Tag Archives: agent

2010 in review

Well, 2011 is here…so long 2010! ’10 was good, but I’m looking forward to ’11 as I’m excited about what’s planned so far and what I anticipate!

I jump right in with both feet in January. I will be attending the Wizard World Convention in New Orleans as a guest on Jan. 29-30. It will be the first time I’ve done a signing session in New Orleans since around 1992! Wow! Hope to see a bunch of familiar faces there.

The very next week, on Feb. 4-5, I’ll be signing books and will lead two workshops on Graphic Storytelling at University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

On March 24-25, I’ll be speaking in Nashville, TN at the public library system; I’ll be at the Goodlettsville and Madison Branches talking about Graphic Novels.

Then, in May, I’ll be graduating with my MFA in Writing from Spalding University. You’re all invited to the graduation ceremonies, of course. J

I hope to announce that my agent, Kimberly, has placed my book The Interns by then, and I’m hoping I’ll know more about job prospects by then as well. I’m submitting my applications for academic year beginning in Aug. 2011 and I think most colleges and universities would like to have those positions filled by then.

WordPress did something neat this year. Below are the stats they given me for 2010. Not sure what it all means, but I DO note that I didn’t blog near as much as 2009–has SOMEthing to do with school, I’m sure. ha. I’m not promising more blogs this year, but I’m gonna try.

Here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 19 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 251 posts. There were 22 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1,005kb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 16th with 87 views. The most popular post that day was Plot to the end.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, livingwordliterary.wordpress.com, sites.google.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for roland mann, cat & mouse, buying time, buying time roland mann, and civil war reenacting .

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Plot to the end March 2010
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2

Who’s Roland? November 2007
8 comments

3

Bibliography December 2007
2 comments

4

Projects January 2008
3 comments

5

Buying Time is Here May 2010
3 comments

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MFA Residency, the 2nd

I’ve completed the second (out of 5 total) residency at Spalding University. My experience this time was different than the last. At my last residency, I did most of the events with a small group of 610 students (meaning first semester) also in the Writing for Children and Young Adults (I just call it W4YA, since that is my main focus). Because of that, our small group experienced a nice bonding process from start to finish at the residency and then stayed in infrequent contact throughout the semester that followed. But because of the way the YA program is set up, YA students in 620 and 630 (second and third semester) must focus on a different concentration (meaning either Fiction, Poetry, CNF, or playwriting/screenwriting). The first few days of this residency, I felt a bit “orphaned” because the classmates I’d bonded with last semester were scattered about, and the other classification students were already bonded. It got better as it went on and I think Admin were alerted to the feelings (I wasn’t alone in my feelings, some of the others felt a bit orphaned as well) and are working to address those issues.

That’s one of the things I really like about the program: the administration seems genuinely interested in the experience of students, realizing that we’re all non-traditional students and our needs are a little different from the traditional 18 year old who comes to campus and lives there for the next few years. Not only that, the program is relatively new (2001, I think, was the first year) and thus it is only expected to have some growing pains. And honestly, I’m excited to be part of a growing group that has input to help make the program better.

So, if you’re wondering, I’m still 100% sold on the program and have no hesitation recommending it to anyone considering this sort of program. In fact, I recruited someone this past weekend who walked away leaving me with the impression that she was seriously considering Spalding low intensity MFA.

I’m also excited about my mentor this semester. Rachel Harper will be my mentor and I had a very good meeting with her prior to leaving residency. Yes, yes, I know it is her JOB, but she made me feel she was truly interested in reading the material I produce this semester and helping me create the best material “I” want to create and not what “she” wants…I can also say that not all writing programs are that way—many of them want you to fit into a mold. For what it’s worth, it is my plan to finish work on The Interns this semester. I’ve been talking it up to Kimberly, my agent, and I’m excited and ready to put it in her hands…but gotta finish it first!

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School and projects

I’m now officially registered for coursework towards a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing. I’m very excited about it, too…in fact, even a little nervous. The MFA in Creative Writing is 100% geared toward writing creatively. No foreign languages or math classes for me, thank you very much. I’ve been overwhelmed this last week with reading all about registration, the course-work, etc. I’ll be able to do most of it from home, and as most of you know—that’s a huge relief to me. Not sure when my first assignment is due, but I’ll be turning in 25-30 pages of original work!

No real news on the hunt for a publisher for The Gifted. Kimberly, my agent, has gotten some decent feedback, but a couple of them have said it was for a younger audience than what they were looking for. Guess I’ll have to work on “upping” my audience. Cat & Mouse, the novel I’m working on now should definitely have older content. In talking with Kimberly, I guess I’m really shooting for the Twilight age audience…essentially, Brittany’s age. She enjoyed The Gifted, but I do realize she has Daddy-bias. But in my discussions with Kimberly, we talked about a few things I could add to help get that audience. Not sure it will work, but I’m willing to try it.

And that’s really what’s been keeping me busy; my revisions for Cat & Mouse. I’ve just now reached the point where I was “at,” in my writing anyway. The revisions aren’t huge, but they take some reworking to make sure everything works just right. Either way, I’m still right at 25,000 words and that’s pretty exciting.

Another project I’ve spent a little time on is something tentatively called Moonbeam Bobby, a possible comic-style story about a missionary kid on the Moon. His Mom and Dad are missionaries to outgoing colonists and he’s just “stuck” there. I’ll post material here when I get the okay!

I think I said this earlier, but Brittany has been offered a bid in the Mid-South Talent Fair. She’s very excited about that and has really worked on her stage presence this year. She’s got the song down; she should, she’s been doing it all summer. For those of you in the Mid-South area, she will perform October 1, at 7:30 p.m. The competition takes place at the Desoto Civic Center. But don’t bring your video camera or camera—seems they want to charge you $50 for one of their “professionally” produced things.

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Lost electricity and I got an agent!

My daughter came up with a very good funny the other day…was so good it put me in stitches. Many are aware of the line of really nasty storms the mid-south region has had the last few days. Friday afternoon was the worst one here: started around 4 p.m. with large marble-sized hail. First time since we’ve lived here that both vehicles sat (mostly) under the garage.

We lost power around 4:30.

As things go, we ate dinner and played Uno by kerosene lamps. Brett was able to play his various electronic games until the batteries all ran out and Brittany was able to watch her DVD player also until the battery ran out. I sat on the couch and continued reading Last of the Mohicans by the oil lamps. As it came time to go to bed, I jokingly told Brittany that Abraham Lincoln had to do all his reading by oil lamps. Without pausing to even think, she said “maybe that’s why he signed all those things he shouldn’t have signed—he couldn’t see!”

I got a very good belly laugh out of that.

But while we’re talking about reading and writing, I’m very pleased to announce that an agent has offered to represent me and my works of fiction, especially The Gifted, which is what caught her attention. Yes, you could say that I’m incredibly excited. I intend to sign, seal and deliver the offered contract this week. I would have done it already, but BJ insists on taking pictures of the actual signing—I was trying to just stage it but she would have none of that.

The agent is Kimberly Shumate and a link to her blog is here—go visit it and tell her what a “smart” decision she’s made! 😉 It’s all new ground to me, so I’m sure I’ll be talking about some of it here.

So, my revision of The Gifted is finished and I’m now working on a “proposal” in the format sent to me by the agent. I guess I should say “my agent.” J It’s quite detailed and is proving to take a lot of time.

Fun time, though!

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