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Archive for September, 2010

Do you need an agent?  Clueless about how to get one?  Just how does the author/agent relationship work, anyway?  Is your current agent the right one for you?  How about your best friend’s agent?

Your literary agent is likely to be the most important person in your writing career, yet most authors will agree it’s harder to get a good agent than it is a good publisher. Agents sell books, yes, but they do so much more. This workshop will deal with every aspect of professional representation, including how to select an agent from the hundreds out there, how to approach them, how to sign with one, what you can expect in the agent-author relationship, and how to end a relationship with an agent that isn’t working out (as frequently happens despite due diligence). Over the course of my career,  I have experienced a variety of agent relationships, and I will share some of my personal experiences as well as those of my writer friends (identities shielded, of course!)

This two-week online course (Oct. 4-15)  is presented by the Northeast Ohio RWA chapter.  Here’s where you can learn more and sign up:  http://www.neorwa.com/index.php/Workshops/Workshops

The fee for this course is $15 for NEORWA members, and $20 for all others.  You do not have to belong to RWA to sign up.

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Old Friends, New Sights

Becky and me on the Santa Monica Pier

One of my very best friends from Texas, Rebecca Russell, decided to take a road trip with her husband along Rt. 66–on a Harley!  What an adventure.  They started in Vinita, OK, and traveled west to Santa Monica, CA, where Rt. 66 ends at the Santa Monica Pier.

They were on a tight schedule, so Rob and I drove to Santa Monica to meet them for brunch at a restaurant on the pier.  It was so good to see Becky.  While I don’t have any regrets about moving to California, I miss my friends!  (Awful picture of me, I look like a bag lady!)

This was a great opportunity for us to play tourist.  When you live some place, you always figure, “Oh, I’ll have time to do all that fun stuff later.”  Then you never do.  When I was visiting Long Beach (before I moved here) I resisted going on the Queen Mary because I thought it would be something fun Rob and I could do together, after we moved.  Have we been there?  No.  But at least we did this.  It was a great morning.

Santa Monica Pier

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World’s tiniest tomato

I’ve had some big honkin’ tomatoes from my garden this summer, but have you ever seen one this little?  It’s not a cherry tomato or a grape tomato.  I’ve harvested many full-size tomatoes from this plant (which is, I’ll admit, a volunteer found in a potted cactus given to us by a friend). But this marble-size little guy started to ripen almost before it got started.

It’s a funny color of orange, but all the tomatoes from this plant are a golden/orange color when ripe, and they are so sweet!

I almost hate to eat this guy, but I think he’ll go on my salad tonight.

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But of course, it’s one of those thousands of things I’ve never quite gotten around to.

However, RusticRedo.etsy.com does beautiful homemade paper.  I just bought some.  I have this crazy idea I might make some collages, or handmade greeting cards, or maybe just a painting or drawing.  The paper itself is so beautiful.

I have so many things I want to do.  So many things and too little time.

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What is “More Meaningful Gifts”?  It’s the name of a forum thread on Etsy.com, the site where I sell my handmade and vintage stuff.  I have been a regular participant on this thread for two years–I was one of the original members, one of only three people who have been there the whole time.

Anyway, “More Meaningful Gifts” is a Buy-and-Replace sort of ongoing game.  You buy an item from someone on “the list” (which usually is about 30 shops) and your shop replaces theirs on the list.  This month the list owner, Dorana, has launched an anniversary game in which participating members do various things to accumulate points.  The shop with the most points at the end of the game wins a big prize of a bunch of gift certificates (donated by us!).  I know it sounds complicated, but it’s really not and it’s so much fun.  The people on this list are like family to me now, even though I’ve only met one of them in person.

So if you are an Etsy person, stop on by the thread and say hello!  And maybe buy onto the list and join the fun.  Here is the link:  http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6622259&page=1.  Tell them Kara sent you and I’ll get a few points.  Not that I have a prayer of winning.  There are some very ambitious and energetic people on this list who are already way ahead of me.

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A blank canvas awaits me

Rob and I moved our bedroom furniture into the finished blue room (which someday will be Rob’s office).

This room looks a lot smaller with furniture in it!

It’s a tight squeeze but I’ve discovered this room is much quieter at night.   It’s farther from the street, and no windows face the apartment building next door.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any windows except the French doors, and I can’t leave those open for safety reasons (there is no balcony, just a long drop!).

Now I get to attack the second room, which will be our bedroom again someday.  Here is what it looks like now:

Well, I suck at arranging pictures on the blog, but you get the idea.

This room is my new blank canvas.  I can’t wait to paint it!  After it’s done, my reward is to buy a new set of linens.

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Kara at the home office in her old house, before the move to California.

Do you dream of working at home every day, sitting at your computer in your sweats communing with your muse? It’s not an impossible dream no matter what your situation. With some careful planning and a lot of self-discipline, you, too, can look forward to Monday morning as a stay-at-home writer–even if you haven’t yet sold your first book.

I’m teaching an online workshop”Yes,  You Can Quit Your Day Job,”  for the Red River Romance Writers, starting Mon., Sept. 6 through Sun., Sept. 19, all about how to achieve your dream of becoming a full-time stay-at-home writer.   In this workshop, we’ll discuss making the transition to self-employment while addressing all financial obligations and family/societal expectations.

The class is conducted via e-mail through a Yahoo Group.

The cost is $15 for RRRW members, and $20 for non-members.

To enroll —
(1) send payment through PayPal to treasurer@redriverromancewriters.com
and
(2) send an email to treasurer@redriverromancewriters.com with your name, email address to be used for the class, PayPal receipt number, and month and name of workshop.

Or send a check and registration information to:

RRRW
P. O. Box 4822
Wichita Falls, TX 76308

There’s still time to join!  I’m looking forward to a fun class.

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