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Diana's Diversions

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Saturday, May 28, 2005 on 12:51 PM
Diana's Diversions

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High School Graduation

Posted by Kathy Carmichael on 12:20 PM
My nephew, Perry's graduation was lots of fun. I particularly liked the theme of the Salutatorian's address to the grads: don't wait for your future to happen to you -- go out and make your future.



The above photo is of Perry, Terri (his mom), Paul (his dad), and Jordan (his sis).

I'll be uploading more photos later -- maybe next week since I'm flying home tomorrow. And in the words of the Class of '05 -- May the force be with you. More photos -- KC

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Drive-Thru Zoo!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Friday, May 27, 2005 on 2:53 AM
To see more photos from Fossil Rim on Wednesday:

Click Here.


Included in the photos are my sister, cousin, nephew, niece, and son :)

Perry's graduation ceremony tonight was great. I'm hoping to upload photos of him tomorrow, but that'll have to be after we return from the Ft Worth Zoo -- KC

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Texas Two-Step

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Thursday, May 26, 2005 on 11:55 AM
I've been out of town since last Friday. First I went to Houston for the RWA Strategic Planning Retreat and mini board meeting. On Sunday evening I flew to Dallas to spend time with my family for a week. My son Ian is with me. My nephew Perry graduates from high school today (Thursday) and his mom (my baby sis) is having a huge party for him tomorrow. Here's a photo of my beautiful 2-year-old niece. I'll post more photos soon! -- KC


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Rent-a-brain?

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Friday, May 13, 2005 on 7:08 PM
It's been several days since I've posted, mainly because I've been snowed under.

Ian celebrated his 15th birthday and tonight he's at his 8th Grade Prom. Today is also my husband and my 27th wedding anniversary as well as my one-week mark on non-smoking (I've gained 1 pound for each day I haven't smoked and have some serious dieting in my future)!

Next week I'm heading to Houston for the board retreat, followed by a week with Ian in Dallas visiting family and seeing my nephew, Perry, graduate!

In the meantime, I'm trying to get caught up on writing as well as finishing up things that must be done before I leave town. Anyone know where I can rent a brain??? I think I'm gonna need one -- KC

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Happy Mom's Day!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Sunday, May 8, 2005 on 11:14 AM
My kids are still asleep and I don't live near my mother or m-i-l, so there's no rush. I've enjoyed a peaceful stroll around my garden. It's fun to see my vegetable babies growing!

Today is Day 3 of being a non-smoker and it's supposed to be the hardest in terms of cravings. Supposed to be is correct -- because it hasn't been bad! I don't think it's going to be, either. The absolute secret must be in having the right mind-set in order to quit cold turkey -- and this website helped tremendously: www.quitsmokingonline.com

My largest battle so far is in terms of what I do out of habit and trying to form new habits to replace the old. For instance, my walk around the garden today. Which is fine when it's nice outside -- but maybe I can take my coffee to the lanai and drink there when it's not.

On the writing front, I haven't written a word since quitting, so my big plan today is to write something. Anything -- besides in my blog -- KC

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Non-Smoker as of Today!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Friday, May 6, 2005 on 6:48 PM
I took the big step and made the decision to become a non-smoker as of today. In some ways it's been much easier than I thought it would be, but I've heard that the mental addiction withdrawal becomes more powerful in a couple of days.

I'm looking forward to the challenge (she said timidly).

John helped me set up an exercise center in my bedroom. We moved in the treadmill (placed it directly in front of a window facing my side yard) and my other exercise equipment, yoga stuff, small weights. I have a lighted beach scene photo-box that has the sound of the sea and seagulls cawing. He'll hang it beside the treadmill tomorrow, then I'll be all set up. I'm hoping it'll help keep off the extra pounds from quitting smoking. I'd told myself that if the cravings got bad, I'd hit the treadmill. The problem's been that my cravings haven't been strong enough to make me want to exercise!

I am very determined and having a fairly good time with it, although I set aside today to deal with "not smoking." Tomorrow I'm planning to get back to work. I won't be going out because I might become too cranky. I really don't want to jump down someone's throat! Well, I might jump down a family member's throat -- but that's it. No TARA sisters, no strangers -- KC

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Writing with Butterflies

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Thursday, May 5, 2005 on 3:31 PM
Until very recently, I hadn't given myself permission to write lyrically. I tend to strip my prose bare, even though I write to an internal metronomic beat. In the interests of constantly trying to improve my writing, I've begun exploring areas I previously feared. Perhaps because of a strong case of imposter syndrome, there were places I simply didn't go.

So today I was determined to allow my inner poet to emerge while revising a partial.

I like what I wrote, but I don't know whether or not it works. Does it sound like human-shaped padding added to a bone-dry skeleton? I'm unsure if the butterflies in my stomach are a =good= thing -- KC

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Email Arrrgh!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Wednesday, May 4, 2005 on 11:20 PM
For the past couple of days, I've been having email problems. I thought they were finally straightened out, but apparently not. Update! I think my email woes have been resolved!

Perhaps because of the email problem, I've had a very good writing day, so that's the upside to this petty annoyance! And tomorrow my oldest son returns home from college for the summer. I'm very much looking forward to having my chickling back in the nest again. He says he's looking forward to having meals cooked for him and not having to do his own laundry. I'm wondering if he'll last the full summer!

Ya know, I'm wondering if =I'll= last the summer! -- KC

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Anything to avoid housework

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Tuesday, May 3, 2005 on 1:36 PM
Today I'm working on a new blurb for my latest book. I use it for submitting, as a hook for my synopsis, and should it sell, as the blurb I send out to reviewers and the public. If you haven't tried my interactive pitch generator, click here.

After finishing the blurb, I have to write a couple of suckopses (lucky me!). Hey, I guess it's better than mopping the kitchen floor -- KC

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Lady Peas Make My Heart Sing

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Saturday, April 30, 2005 on 8:35 PM
Today was gardening day!

Our vegetable garden is approximately 7 feet wide and 12 feet long. Hubby John began turning the soil, then handed off to Ian. Once the soil was prepared, John and Ian planted 3 pepper plants and 6 tomato plants -- of multiple varieties. They are having a contest over whether the plants they each planted will grow faster than the other's.

We also have two types of lettuce (half planted now, the other half will be planted in two weeks), then a third variety that likes Florida winters will be planted in the fall. I planted some flower seeds in the front yard and lady peas in our vegetable garden.

It's sort of a joke that I insist on planting the lady peas. Each year my husband whines, "Not the dreaded lady peas!"

If you don't have family from Arkansas, then you've probably never heard of them. The peas are a pale green, with a darker green eye and look like petite blackeyed peas. The flavor is incredibly wonderful and I'm surprised they never caught on nationally!

It feels very sentimental to plant lady peas because my grandmother had them in her garden. She knew they were a particular favorite of mine and always made me "a mess of them." She passed away almost 27 year ago and I still miss her tremendously. Planting lady peas each year makes me feel as if she's still a vital participant in my life.

So here's a photo of our newly planted garden -- KC

Veggie Garden

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Take Your Child To Work Day (or my chance to escape from school on a Thursday!)

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Thursday, April 28, 2005 on 1:10 PM
Today has been quite the interesting day, indeed.

I first learned how to make some delicious brew known as coffee, because. . . And I quote, "No matter where you work in your life, Ian, you'll always be popular if you know how to make good-tasting coffee."

The next couple of things in my line-up for today included: Sipping coffee without scorching your upper lip. Taking my mom's work and cutting out unneeded/over-used words in one of her current novels, Marrying Up.

Next I read over Mom's synopsis of another one of her books, The Marquis Who Annoyed Me (my Personal Favorite of her current books in the works). It involved cutting out paragraphs and sections that needed some doctoring, trying to reach her goal of 10 pages in length. Finally, I'm here. . .

Typing this in Word Perfect as I'm sitting in her cushioned chair that's straightening out my back in the most unusual way. I'm wearing my blue checkered robe, blue jeans and fuzzy slippers. Also I can't forget to mention the day-old stubble napping on this, my 14-going-on-15-year-old face of mine, with sleep in my eyes.

If you'd like to see photos of me at work, click HERE. This is an example:

Ian editing synopsis

Thanks and please comment on my post! - Ian

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Happiness Is . . .

Posted by Kathy Carmichael on 1:24 AM
I've been having a fabulous time this week because I've been reading/critiquing manuscripts from various friends.

The first one, an incredible Medieval by Denise Lynn, is a total powerhouse. She's such a talented author! Check out her current book, Book 2 in her Falcon's series, titled FALCON'S HONOR on Amazon.com.

The second is the first book written by an as yet unpublished flight attendant named Danedri Thompson. This laugh out loud book is a joy to read. I predict it won't be long until she's published!

It's such a joy to get to read books in progress by friends. I just love it and, of course, I just love them! -- KC

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Query Letter Basics

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Sunday, April 24, 2005 on 7:21 PM
I wrote the following query letter basics to help new authors with what should be included (or excluded!) in a query letter. Eventually I'll move it to the articles section on my website, but for now, it's only available here :) -- KC

QUERY LETTER BASICS -- by Kathy Lynch Carmichael

1. The blurb or pitch on your book. What are the hooks? What will make a reader want to read your book? (Check out my article on pitching and my pitch generator in the articles section of my website.)

2. Your publication experience. If you haven't yet sold a book, have you had articles published? Short stories? Have you won writing contests? If you have published, have you been honored in any way (awards, contests, bestseller lists)?

3. What writing organizations do you belong to, if any?

4. Optional: What makes you the authority for writing this book or type of book? For instance, if you're an attorney and writing about a fictional attorney detective, that would have meaning to the publisher. If your work experience does not add credibility to your writing, then it's probably best to omit it. For instance, if you're an accountant and writing science fiction that doesn't have an accountant protagonist, then there's no need to mention your day job.

5. Offer to revise if the story is close. Editors prefer to work with authors who are easy to work with.

6. Be sure to include your name, address, phone, and send an SASE.

7. You might wish to include a 1-2 page synopsis, but no longer than that unless the editor has requested it.

8. Try to keep your query letter to only one page in length, not including the 1-2 page synopsis.

9. Do you have a built-in audience (like a newspaper column or web blog or website with a big readership), marketing hooks, tips, information about your target audience if non-fiction.

10. No cutesy stuff! No negativity. Don't tell the editor that your book received rejections from 50 other publishers. Don't tell her your book doesn't fit her guidelines (if it doesn't fit their guidelines as to what they publish, then DO NOT send it there!). Don't offer a bribe or threaten him. Don't send your query on cutesy letterhead or weird paper. This is a business, so treat your query like a business letter. Your query can be written in your personal voice and style, and it doesn't have to be dry. Shoot for professional.

11. Possible format for a query letter:

Paragraph One:
Your pitch (check out my pitching workshop and pitch generator)

Paragraph Two:
About you. (Depending on how your background ties to your book, this might take 2 paragraphs)

Paragraph Three (Optional):
Your closing (where you can mention offering to revise or possible target audiences etc)

Paragraph Four (Optional):
If you included a synopsis, this is where you mention it. Also mention that you look forward to hearing from her/him.

Example:

Dear Editor's (Mr. Or Ms.) Last Name:

A CATCHER IN THE CORN is a story about a female CIA agent who infiltrates an organized crime ring in Omaha, Nebraska, and must learn who the leader is before he destroys all the cornfields in the Midwest. Is it possible that the leader is none other than the teen baseball whiz she attended her high prom with?

I've published several short stories and my web blog has a large readership. I belong to a local writers group, Name of Group, as well as regularly attending a regional writing conference, Name of Conference. I was drawn to write this book because my five-year career as a CIA agent gives me an insider's view into how an undercover agent operates.

Enclosed you will find a two page synopsis of the book as well as a self-addressed postage-paid enveloped. I'm really looking forward to hearing from you and learning what you think!

Sincerely,
Your Name

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Diana's Most Excellent, Wonderful, Fabulous, Exciting, Awesome News!!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Saturday, April 23, 2005 on 4:48 PM
I had planned to post today all about the fact that I finished revising my partial (finally!) and emailed it off to my critique partners, but far more important information has arisen!

Diana Peterfreund (one of my TARA sisters) has just sold her first book/s!!! Here's the announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

FICTION: DEBUT
Yale grad Diana Peterfreund's CONFESSIONS OF A (SECRET) SOCIETY GIRL, following the irreverent and intrigue-filled adventures of an average college student who just happens to be a member of one of the most notorious secret societies in the world, to Kerri Buckley at Bantam Dell, in a significant deal, at auction, by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency (NA). Film rights are with Matthew Snyder.

I couldn't be more thrilled and delighted for her! She's also proof positive that a willingness to roll up your sleeves and work your patoot off can and =will= pay off. Diana is an inspiration to any aspiring author: just sit down and keep writing, take rejection under your belt, and keep working at it. Be sure to read her blog!

Back on my partial, I'm really eager to send it to my agent, so I'm hoping said CP's will think the rewrite is peachy-keen. Cross your appendages for me, please! -- KC

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Brain on the Run

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Friday, April 22, 2005 on 5:15 PM
Today I'm thinking about procrastination. So far, I've procrastinated finishing up the partial that my agent is breathlessly awaiting (yeah, right) by constantly checking email, by checking on other folks' blogs, by annoying my husband as much as possible while he takes a business call, and in general doing anything other than what I should be doing.

The reason for my procrastination? I'm doing major rewriting on the partial and it's hard to get the circularity of the updated concept in my head all at once. Right now I'm seeing bits and pieces rather than the whole. I'm nuts about my characters, about the set up, about how they relate to each other, but there's tons of other stuff going on. Basically, I'm grasp-impaired – KC

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Play Time

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Thursday, April 21, 2005 on 10:10 AM
When I mentioned to a friend that I had started a new blog, she said, "At some point you have to figure out what the intent of your blog should be." Oops.

As a writer, should I make it about writing? I get tons of hits on my website from folks looking for writing how-to's, so should I make my blog about that?

Alternatively, I get lots of hits from readers, too. Wouldn't they be bored by too much how-to?

Bottom line, I decided to go with my ego. My blog's theme will be: whatever is in my mind at the time (fun or scary, you decide, especially since right now I'm thinking about ways for murder attempts to take place against my hero's life) – KC

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Bedlam!

Posted by Kathy Carmichael Wednesday, April 20, 2005 on 5:29 PM
I confess -- you should probably be afraid. At first I was reluctant to have a blog because that meant I'd have to post to it frequently. Since being on the RWA Board, I've had to juggle those duties with family and writing time, so don't have a lot to spare. Then my Web Goddess suggested that I have a blog on my site's first page so I could easily update my welcome letter and add photos or whatever I wanted.

I quickly learned blogging is addictive. Because I asked my Wed Goddess to set it up so that I wouldn't have to post often, I had to stop myself from posting! This is why I now have two blogs: one for my front page and this new blog -- The Daily Doodle -- for my mental wanderings.

Welcome to insanity! – KC

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