Five years in the making

Five years ago, I participated in National Novel Writing Month with a shade of an idea.  The idea grew, developing a life of it’s own and though I ended up with some of the story I envisioned, much of it grew and developed on its own.  Characters became real people.  Homes and walks and descriptions were vivid in my mind.  Words flew out of me (some good…some not so good).  And when the dust cleared after 30 days, I had put the entire idea on paper.  It was done.

Well, not entirely.  After I finished writing, I read.  Then I put it away.  I put it away for a long time.  I loved my idea, but I wasn’t sure I had the heart to do what needed to be done.  I needed to look at the book not as the author, but as a reader.  I wasn’t sure I could do it. Could I cut out an entire character, who I’d invested a lot of time and energy into, because she didn’t ultimately add to the plot?  Could I add in new characters who could further the plot?  Could I learn to show, and not tell, my readers?  Could I trust them to get the point without me beating them over the head with it?

So I hide the book.  I pulled it out every once in awhile, reading and making minor, and sometimes more major edits.  Every once in awhile I’d get a rush of energy and do a major edit and find friends or colleagues willing to read and critique my work.  And then the energy would dwindle and I’d put it back on the shelf again.

In 2011 I had a major push, primarily from my mother and my husband, that prompted me to hire an editor and have a substantive edit done on the book.  She returned the book in two weeks. 

I let it sit for six months.  I paid her for her honest opinions, thoughts, and edits.  But did I really have the heart to read them?  I decided that until I did, I couldn’t publish the book anyway.  Because if I couldn’t hear the feedback I paid for, there was no way I could hear the feedback of real readers.

So I waited.  Time passed.  And eventually, I detached a little bit from my book and my characters.  I was able to read my editor’s comments without taking them personally.  I made some really phenomenal changes that did nothing but improve my book.  I enlisted more test readers.  I had another edit.  I had more test readers.

And then, lo and behold, I published my book. 

It only took five years.

You can find Scattered on amazon for your kindle or in paperback.  I hope you love it as much as I do. 


The Stories Writers Tell

Writers tell stories. Whether the pages are filled with hundreds or thousands of words, it’s likely that you’ll find some facts mixed with some fiction, some truth mixed with some lies, and some happiness mixed with some tears.

Sometimes the stories I tell are my own. Whether they’re my experiences or my inventions, they’re shared by me and made real when you read them.

And sometimes the stories aren’t mine to tell, either because someone else can tell them better, or because someone else should tell them first.

However you dice it, today, I’m an aunt.


In Which I Lose My Blogging Mojo

I feel like I used to have these really insightful, witty even, things to say when I blogged.  I’m not sure what it is about having your third child that turns your brain to mush, but I know it has happened to me.  When I sit down to blog, I’m finding myself at a loss for an anecdote to recite or some deep thought to share.

It’s depressing, that’s what it is.

But it’s a challenge, and I like the idea of rising up to a challenge.  It isn’t that I crave thousands of readers or a following for Kelly Without a Net.  I don’t actually believe that most of my blog readers then go and read my AC articles or think that one day, some famous literary agent is going to read a blog post I’ve written and ask for a copy of Scattered. But what I do want is my blog to mean something–to me, and to the people that do read it.

We’ll see what the next blog brings then, shall we?


Bicycles and Horses

I fell off whatever apparatus you want to call it yesterday with my first rejection from a literary agent about Scattered.

I was bummed. However, at least they responded, which they didn’t have to since I forgot to include a SASE. It’s a good thing I thought to include my email address.

So, even though I know that writers experience tons and tons of rejection before their work falls into the lap of that right agent or publisher, I still felt really bummed out yesterday when the email came through.

But, I’m trying to be positive about things. I am doing something that so many writers never do–I wrote my book and I’m getting it out there. I’m actively trying to find an agent and a publishing house for it. I want people to read it, because I really believe in it.

So, I’m brushing off the saddle (or the banana seat) and hopping back on. The second query went out via email about ten minutes ago (this agency only wanted the query letter…I guess if I can’t sell it and myself in that one page, I can’t sell it yet).

And so it begins…again!



I feel like we’ve been experiencing a bit of a frenzy here.

It started with the realization that I was dying to read a good book. Since then, I’ve devoured three (Sarah’s Key, Woman in the Fifth, and Shopgirl) with a third and a fourth underway (The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Shack).

Then, I had a friend read my own novel, Scattered. She really liked it, and though we haven’t talked about the details in depth, just that was enough to light a fire under me and get me writing again. I’m almost halfway through a final edit/proofread, and am really pleased with the corrections I’m making. In addition, after a conversation with a writer friend, I researched agents who may be interested in a novel such as mine, and wrote my first query letter. It required me to write a one sentence hook that could sum up the book and catch a reader, an agent, and a publisher’s attention, as well as a short, one paragraph summary of the entire novel. It was work…but I did it. And if I do say so myself, if I saw that hook on the back of a book, I would grab it off the shelves and read it. Of course, I’m biased…

The unpacking and organizing is almost complete, and I’d venture an estimate that we’re 95% unpacked and situated. Pretty impressive for ten days work, don’t you think?

I’ve also signed up to start my own direct sales business, selling lia sophia jewelry. It’s affordable, fashion-forward jewelry, and I love it. The pieces are beautiful, the rewards for hostesses are incredible, and for me as an advisor, there’s limitless earning potential. I’m excited to be working on this part time. It will get me out of the house and socializing in a new area, and will help ease our budget woes just a bit.

So, a frenzy, to be sure. Add in my pregnancy (almost 17 weeks now, and all is going along swimmingly), two small kids, and a husband who’s been home with us non-stop since June 30th (which can be a blessing and a curse), and it’s a miracle we’re so on top of it all.

Here’s hoping your own summer isn’t quite so frenzied…


A Week’s Worth

Whew! What a week!

It’s only Monday…isn’t it?

At any rate, Kiki and I spent last week atvthe beach with the girls, which was lots of fun. The weather wasn’t entirely cooperative, but we had lots of fun anyway.

We’re in the home stretch now, though! We’re back at mom’s house, and there are 8 days until Marcus comes home! Yay! So that’s in the back of my mind, every day.

We had a bit of fence drama at the new house for a stressful (for me) and frustrating (for Marcus) 30 hours. But, it’s in the process of getting sorted now, which is encouraging. It’ll cost us…but unexpected expenses happen, and that’s why we have savings… Sort of.

My writing is going well, and I’m starting to branch out more, which I’m excited about. Expect a whole writing related post soon.

Knitting continues, and I’m working on a newcsock design. I have test knitters signed up, and hope to email them a draft later this week.

So, what a week…on Monday. I wonder what Tuesday has in store…


Associated Content: Category Editor

Last month, I applied to become an Associated Content Category Editor. Once a month or so I’m responsible for AC’s Lifestyle category and a subcategory, making me responsible for selecting highlighted content.

This is my first week of work, and I was responsible for Lifestyle and the Pets subcategory.

For Lifestyle, I chose to stick with a spring theme, with a focus on flowers.

Lifestyle Category at Associated Content

For the Pets subcategory, I focused on pets and the upcoming Easter holiday.

Pets Subcategory at Associated Content

Be sure to take a look!