Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Writers face many challenges. Ideas don’t rain from the sky. Good prose doesn’t gush like a spigot. We can’t just turn it on and off. Promotional work isn’t done for us by elves as we sleep. It’s easy to focus on the glamorous side. The pretty book covers. Fan meet and greets. A nice review on a favorite blog… but the truth is that it’s like any job with one exception. No accountant walks into his boss’ office to ask if he/she can stop working because he’s blocked. A doctor can’t halt mid-surgery, lay down his scalpel and claim he’s no longer inspired. A firefighter wouldn’t turn the hose off a burning house because he’s out of fresh ideas.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The flowers here were a birthday bouquet from a previous time, since I don't have anyone's permission to post a photo of them blowing out candles. Even though those are the most enjoyable birthday photos.
This weekend I was able to participate in two birthday events. One was for my son who is in his 20s. It was a delight to celebrate this wonderful young man who has made me more proud than I could ever have imagined. I found the perfect card that made me cry. (How do card writers do that?) We had a fun dinner with my son and his wife on Saturday night at a noisy eatery they hadn't tried before. The food and drink were yummy, and visiting with them always makes me grateful they have each other, and I can be a part of their lives.
Sunday afternoon was quite different--a party for a three-year-old girl. Her mother had moved the family into a new home and totally redecorated it in a short time. (Wow. To have such energy!) The gathering was fun for every age (60+ down to 18 months), and incredibly well organized. It was a treat to watch the interactions of this group of grandparents, parents and their darling kids. After gifts were opened, the kids all got to go play at the park. And they each had a bottle of bubbles! and a bucket and scoop to play in the dirt. Gotta love that!
Now that I write fulltime, I try to get as much work done as possible Monday through Friday, so I can give myself weekends off. It's not just party-party-party, of course. Goodness no.
Um...except this coming Saturday is a day-long Kentucky Derby Party. I hope there will be cake. And mint juleps.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
There may be some growing pains, some uncomfortable adjusting to do, but often those changes are making way for phases of life that may be equally wonderful.
Her novel, Reclaiming Home, A Green Pines Romance, is available at Amazon.
You can find her on her website, www.miloukoenings.com, on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.
Monday, April 20, 2015
The answer is easy. We Germans have a simple approach to life. If you want to be good, make sure you study your subject at university. If you want to change track in the middle of your life, don't. If you want to become an author, keep on dreaming. If you want to have information about how to write, how to submit to a publisher, how to polish a manuscript, see point one. Or make sure you have excellent connections in the industry.
When I had come to that point in my life, I realized (thanks to the Internet) that Americans approach life in a different manner. They shrug, smile at you and say, "If you want it, you can do it." And then they show you how. You're a nurse, a gardener, a lawyer, a manager? Never mind. You can do it. Be prepared to work hard, be prepared for rejections, but go right ahead.
Next, I looked at the German book market and realized that most romances, chick lits, and mysteries were first published in English and then translated into German.
If the German market proves so difficult to crack, I thought, I'll take a roundabout way to become a published author. I'll write in English and target the US market first. Let the Germans make their own translations whenever they'll get round to it.
So I started to write my first novel in English. I guess I was the fool who was never told the impossible. Then, in spite of all the help via the Internet, I was stuck. I knew I had to improve my craft but didn't know how. Everybody said I should join a writer's group, but I didn't know any other writers in my area. Everybody said I should go to a writer's conference, but I couldn't afford the trip to the US. I felt as if I was a desert mouse, trying to learn to ski with all the other mice looking on and shaking their heads.
So I searched the Internet some more and decided to give my manuscript to a professional book editor. I hit a jackpot. Elizabeth Lyon gave me such a detailed report, it was almost longer than my novella. She criticized every single point in detail, but she did it in such a wonderful way that it didn't hurt me (another American talent!). I couldn't wait to go back and make all the changes.
Next, Elizabeth met the then-editor from Avalon Books at a conference and sent me their information. I submitted my manuscript, changed it again according to Avalon's suggestions, and many months later I received the incredible news that I had made it. Avalon Books had accepted my first romance "Wings to Fly"! The desert mouse had learned to ski.
That was in 2008. Today, I've got 12 full-length novels published, three with Avalon Books, the rest independently, and I won't stop writing anytime soon . . . I've even translated my first novel "back" into German, but have found that it's not much fun. I prefer to write in English!
How about you? Have you ever taken a roundabout way to realize your dreams?