Advice to aspiring writers; set your novel in some place really cool, so you can visit there, have a wonderful time, and write it off after the book is published. I’ve never had an opportunity to write anything off, but I’m setting my novel in Charlottesville anyway. Hope springs eternal.


My car is in the shop. Have I the stamina to walk 45 minutes each way to my favorite coffee place with my laptop and purse over my shoulder? Probably not*

*Don’t tell me I should take a cab. Cabs are for going to the airport.**

**Ok. Tell me to take a cab.


I’m spending 3 hours a day writing in my favorite coffeehouse. I don’t know if it’s improved my writing, but I’m definitely better at sitting. This will be valuable if I decide to watch the entire Ring Cycle some day.*

Which I won’t I would rather watch an entire season of Petticoat Junction (which I hated).

Quiet car hell


The man sitting next to me on the trip from NYC-DC came on the train wearing really short gym shorts. He tried to get me to use his headphones to listen to the new Star Wars trailer. Then he sprayed himself with some noxious cologne.Then he started doing magic tricks with a small orange. Then he played his computer keyboard like bongos, periodically waving his fingers in the air.

I told the conductor, who got me a new seat. As I retrieved my things, the man said, “And I thought we were getting along so well.”

The trouble with queries*


I was a judge in a special events competition a few times. None of us had been at the actual events. All we had to go on were the photos and descriptions in the submission. So, basically, we weren’t judging the event at all, we were judging the entry, which hardly seems fair. I say this, despite the fact that I won an award three times in the same competition.**

What’s your point, Carol? A great query letter shows you are great at writing queries. A lousy one, well you get it. Unless your novel is called The Man Who Wrote Great Query Letters (or lousy ones, if you want to write a really depressing book) it’s basically the same deal as the events competition.

I would still like to learn how to write a great query letter.

*Yes, I know there’s more than one. I’m big on oversimplification.

**This is either shameless self-promotion or self-deprecation. Your call



My ability to write today is being negatively impacted200px-SigmaAlphaIotaCrest by the Sigma Alpha Iota theme song, which is playing on a loop in my head. It’s a very, very, bad song. SAI is a music fraternity. Seriously people, can’t we do better?

Creeping it up


Making a novel creepier is serious fun. I would like to personally thank Lori Devoti for suggesting I do so. It is tempting to add creepiness to all my writing.*

*Don’t worry. I won’t.

Small ego boost


A full-time author with nine published books (the 10th will be a biography of Gary Trudeau), loved the first chapter of my novel in progress,* even though it’s a YA mystery. I was afraid he might find it too frothy, as he writes serious books that actually say something. Then he confessed he likes chic lit. Home free!

*This would refer to everything I’ve ever written