The Right Way

I know a man who once decided to submit his manuscript to a famous movie producer. He didn’t know the producer, nor did he have any actual contacts in Hollywood. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him…he packaged up his manuscript in a nice, clean envelope, addressed it to the producer’s office, wrote *Confidential and Personal* on the outside and sent it on its way. Since it said *Confidential and Personal*, the producer’s secretary passed it directly to the man. The producer read it, and while he did not choose to make his next blockbuster movie based on my friend’s manuscript, he was kind enough to offer valuable comments on ways to make the manuscript more saleable.

I was at a publisher’s party some years back, having a conversation with my editor. A self-published writer (at the time, self-pub was almost never done and certainly not with […]

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Coming Out Of The Dark

January is never my favorite month. The holidays are over, so all the pretty decorations are gone. It’s cold and damp and there’s not anything in particular to look forward to. So my mood tends to drop pretty badly in January. Most of the time I can tough my way through to spring, but this year was hard. We lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman (and now Glenn Frey, because damn.) A family member of mine has suffered a loss, and I’m dealing with an unpleasant work environment. So I was not at all strong when I ran across an article about an upcoming book that sounds very nearly like the one I already wrote. Coming from my publisher, too. I crashed into an emotional wall. Did that author steal from me? Are there enough similarities for me to complain? Is there anything I could do? Would it even matter? […]

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2016 – My Year of Getting S%!t Done!

Happy New Year, one and all! I hope everyone had a lovely winter holiday. In my faith, yesterday was Epiphany, the day three wise men showed up, having followed a star from the east. (And they say MY way of giving directions is weird!) It’s the official end of the Christmas season, so we took down all our decorations, which has left me somewhat melancholy.

I’m not really one for making resolutions, myself. It’s far too easy to let them slip, for one thing. And making huge life changes all at once (which is what resolutions tend to be, really) is asking too much of most people. Change needs to happen incrementally. Instead of committing to losing 100 pounds, you’re more likely to succeed if you swear to lose just five pounds instead. Once those five are gone, work on the next five, and so on.

Lots of writers careen […]

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Happy New Writing Year!

We’re coming up on the end of another year, and we at Magical Words are so pleased that you’ve all stuck around so long. 2016 is going to be a great and energetic year around here. For one thing, we’re welcoming David B Coe and Faith Hunter back on a regular basis – yippee! As soon as the schedule is finalized, I’ll post it here.

When the year is getting ready to change, most of us start thinking about ways we can make changes that will benefit us. Exercising more often, decluttering the home, saving more money…. you know the drill. Personally I intend to finish projects that I’ve left simmering. And with that in mind, just a few minutes ago, I was meandering through Facebook when I saw a comment one writer had made to another, asking where he found places to submit his work. So I thought it […]

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Climb Up On Santa’s Lap

Like pretty much every writer I’ve ever met, I grew up wishing for books for every present-giving holiday. Every birthday featured at least one book I desired (and often more.) A book was always nestled among the candy eggs in my Easter basket. Christmas was the same – Santa granted my book wishes every year. As a child I received the Marguerite Henry horse books, the complete Chronicles of Narnia, Nancy Drew and the Happy Hollisters. I can’t remember a Christmas that didn’t end with me lying on the floor under the tree, reading whatever story Santa had brought me, until I was forced to put the book down and eat lunch with my family. Reading and Christmas go hand in hand for me. It’s just not Christmas without a book under the tree.

I know not all of our faithful MW readers are not celebrating Christmas for reasons of […]

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Finding the Magic

As I’ve mentioned more than once around here, I was one of those kids who absolutely believed in magic. I knew what kind of world I lived in, of course – I wasn’t completely delusional, and I certainly knew better than to admit such feelings to teachers and classmates at school. That was a sure way to get myself shoved into a janitor’s trashcan during first lunch. But I couldn’t help thinking if I stood still long enough and believed hard enough, the fairies would show themselves. Maybe even take me under the mountain to dance until dawn.

Now that I’m all grown up, I recognize that the magic does indeed exist. It’s not really unicorns and fairies (although who knows? They may still be waiting for me to find them.) The magic of our real world is all around us, and you only have to watch for it. For […]

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Did You Win NaNo?

Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, a gloriously insane thirty-days of writing like your head is on fire and your booty is catching. I’ve participated for a whole lot of years now, although I never win, because this kind of writing is just not what I do. Despite having been told time and again that I should just write it all down and fix it later, I can’t. It needs to be as perfect and wonderful as I can manage the first time, so my writing style is Eeyore-slow. But I still sign on for NaNo every year, just in case. I managed about 9,000 words. Which, for me, is a stunning achievement.

Many folks love NaNo, because it’s a great way to get a project started and because it forces them to produce words faster than they ever do the rest of the […]

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