Monday Mourning Celebration

Shit just got real.

Well folks, it has been a long ass journey with this book. First I lived it. Then I wrote my thesis at Goucher. Then I wrote some more.  Then I figured out what the story was REALLY about. Then I cried. Then I killed my darlings. Then I cried some more and contemplated becoming a fry cook at McDonald's.

I was about to chuck it all, but then I won Second place (or as UNT indicated in their conference wrap up--1st Place Runner Up) at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in 2013.
That's where I met David Patterson, who became my agent a few weeks after the conference. He sent me an email that I keep near my computer as a reminder that I don't suck as much as I think I do.

He said this about that book up there. "This is really, really great stuff; sneakily astute, laugh out loud funny, deeply moving without being maudlin, and distinctive. It's already a book that I want to tell more people about."

So, anyway...After receiving validation from an agent, in addition to a prestigious writing conference, I thought I'd been handed the keys to the magic kingdom of big name publishing and after-work drinks at the Algonquin. Well, that didn't work out quite as planned. But I'm not bitter. I'm actually better.

I am self publishing my baby on Amazon and I hope that it is a story that will make you laugh, cry and maybe do a little bit of life pondering/end-of-life planning.

It would be a wonderful book to discuss at a book group. You would have all sorts of stuff to talk about...

Rescuing Cats from a Death Row facility in Gatesville, TX
The Death Penalty
Social Anxiety
Did I mention it's funny? In parts.

And the best thing about this book is that it is only $3.49,  Yes, my friends, for less than the cost of a latte at your favorite java joint, you can feed a starving writer's ego.

Here's the link to pre-order it.  It comes out officially on November 13. Starting today, if you send me a screen shot of your order to thedeathwriter at gmail . com, I'll enter your name into a drawing for a Fire Tablet and a few other fabulous prizes that will happen on October 31, one of my favorite days of the year.

Mayborn Conference

So, this happened.  Second place in the manuscript competition!

What a weekend.  As someone said during the Mayborn, "it's like a spa for writers."  While I didn't get a massage or a pedicure, I was totally immersed in passion, knowledge, and story.  There were so many kick-ass writers there that it was almost overwhelming.  Among them were a few people who helped me on my writing journey.  I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz--and you were there, and you, and even you!. There was Patsy Sims, the director at Goucher.  I remember getting the call from her that I'd been accepted into the program.  I was a little thrilled.  Tom French was there.  He was my mentor when I traveled to death row and met Khristian Oliver.  Margaret Luevano was also there.  She was a classmate at Goucher and the day after the execution, I drove back to Austin and she met with me at a little outdoor cafe where I proceeded to cry and make everyone around us probably very uncomfortable.

So, in addition to all that, I got a wee little excerpt from "Death Becomes Us" published today.  You can read it here.  

And there was something else, but I can't really talk about it yet.  So, now I'm done tooting my own horn. Life will proceed as usual. 

C is for...

Conferences and Cats and some other things that don't really start with C!

As a writer, I like to go to places where other lap top loving loners tend to gather in one place.  And no, I'm not talking Starbucks.  (Too expensive!) So where do I go?  I attend writing conferences.  Writing is a lonely business people, so it's nice to go and hang around other pasty-faced people who stare at blank pages and obsess over tense issues.  Oh, that sounds mean.  I'm sorry.  Writers are very social creatures.  Ha!  Well, some of them are.  Hello Kristen Lamb!

So, what conferences will I be attending this year?  Well my friends, I am going to the DFW Writers' Conference that is coming up in exactly one month from tomorrow.  It's in my lovely neck of the woods and it will be my third year to attend.  Three times is a charm, right?  Will I convince an agent that they really need to get to know me?  Uh, no.  This year I'm not pitching my book.  I'm just going to chill and learn and eat lots of cookies.  That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

In July, I will be attending the Mayborn, which is also in my neck of the woods, but that's not why I'm going.  The Mayborn is all nonfiction all the time and not making shit up is how I prefer to roll.  One of my essays is going to be printed in their journal this year, so I get the added benefit of getting to sign the journal for people who buy it.  What can I say?  I'm a fame whore.  Actually, I'm not.  I'm Very shy.  Very reclusive.  Kind of hermit-like.  But, I'm gonna go because they have a fantastic line up of speakers and a cash bar to lubricate the masses.

Okay, now onto cats.  I love me some cats.  If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have heard a few stories about my cats, but if not, just trust me on this.  One of my favorite finds during this challenge has been The Tex Files blog.  She took cats and grammar and blended it all together for a very entertaining and informative read.  Trust me on this.  You need to read this blog.

So, yesterday, I hinted that I was going to a writer event and Sarah Holmes, a fellow blogger in this challenge was smart and daring enough to guess that it was Anne Lamott.  And she got to pick my "G" topic because she took a chance.

So, Anne Lamott.  Oh, Anne Lamott.  Her book, "Bird by Bird" is my favorite book about writing that I've read and I've read a few.  At the event, I was sitting alone flipping through my dog-eared copy of the book and I noticed on her author bio that she went to Goucher college.  I was like, wow!  We have something in common.  I went to Goucher to get my MFA in Creative Nonfiction.  So, as I'm getting my book signed, my sister-in-law says, "Pam went to Goucher too."  Anne looks up and says, "Really?  I loved Goucher, but I left after two years to become a writer."  I walked away thinking, yeah, I went to Goucher for two years also, but unlike Anne Lamott, I went there to become a writer.  And that's probably why she's waaaaay more successful as a writer.  I'm like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz.  I need a diploma to validate my crazy professional choices.

Okay, I'm rambling.  Today I plan to sit my butt in the chair and actually do some writing.  Not that this isn't writing, but if you're a writer, you know what I mean.

Peace out.