Monday, October 29, 2012


Hi all! Just want to let you know I might be taking the rest of today and tomorrow off to finish edits before November.

See you soon!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Overcoming Your Fear of Blogging

Hello Everyone in Misha-Land! Thanks so much for having me.

Today I’m going to share with you my fears about writing and what scares me to death when I sit down to blog each week. It’s a little bit dramatic, a lot personal and even more so about conquering my fear of hitting “submit” at the end of writing a post.

I have been journaling since I was a child and began blogging on Livejournal in 2000. These posts were filtered for only friends and acquaintances to see to keep up with my life. For a long time, I found much rejection from people who read my posts. I was judged in times of great pain, gossiped about when happy and general raked over the coals for being myself. It made my life a living hell because I also saw many of these people socially.

It seemed these “friends” didn’t know me as well as I thought. I slowly phased them out of my blog filter, one at a time. Eventually, I was at the point where every post I wrote felt it should be made private. I marveled at the point of that. I didn’t want to write my thoughts and feelings just for me, I wanted to share my life and connect with others as well.

For a time, I gave up blogging. My heart just wasn’t in it. I sat on the idea of wanting to blog for a few years but wasn’t sure how to start up again. I didn’t have any friends who blogged anymore and to write for the whole public to see, even though I knew I’d be lucky to get one or two readers, was terrifying. I had something to share that was important to me but I needed others to see it, otherwise I may as well be talking to myself.

I had so many questions this time around. What if I was rejected for being myself again? Should I put on a happy face and only post about specific topics, such as knitting? Or could I sprinkle in posts about how I’m feeling in my life as things happen? How much of me should I put out there? What if something I posted upset someone and made me lose friends again? (It did, but it was bound to happen.) What if a future employer read things they didn’t like? Would I not get hired?

I decided to take the plunge anyway. I created a new public blog and gave myself a fresh start. I chose not to tell anyone about it until I had a decent amount of content posted, as I was still feeling very insecure about the entire process. I fumbled my way through post after post, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I was still struggling with how much of me to put out there and couldn’t see my way around it!

One morning, I stumbled across an article about this very topic. It spawned a great post that has changed the way I write my own blog. I instantly overcame my fear and now write whatever I want about anything I want without trepidation.

This is my advice to any writer, whether you are already published or just starting out, whether writing a book or a blog: Be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. You are one of a kind! Go share it with the world, it needs your voice. Hit “submit” already!


Shannon Hunter is an Apparel Design & Merchandising major at WSU in Pullman, WA. She is also the fashion columnist for the university’s newspaper, “The Daily Evergreen”, and has her own blog here. She is an aspiring fiction writer who will be attempting NaNoWriMo 2012 in November and has been blogging since 2000. She hopes her urban fantasy trilogy will become a best-seller and allow her to design clothing and accessories on the side. Currently, she writes for several blogs, studies too much and spends more time knitting than she should.

Thank you very much for your inspiring post, Shannon. I also found out who my friends were when I started blogging. Anyone else have that experience?

Before I go, I just want to ask for some volunteers. Next week, I still have no takers and I don't know why. :-( It's a great way to get exposure to new bloggers and it's a lot of fun. I even give a them to inspire your thinking process without limiting your topics too much. November's them is Keeping Track. See? Easy. I also need a guest post for the 9th, and they're the last open GPF slots for the year, so if you're interested, please e-mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Edit: Thank you very much for the good response. More people than required volunteered to post for the next two Fridays! You guys continue to be awesome! X

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just a quick thank you! (And a please help)

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I completely lost track of time editing.

Today I’m away from home, so I won’t be doing anything long. Just want to give a shout-out to everyone who commented over the past two days with tips and links for writing a synopsis.

Thanks so much!


P.S. Since you're all such awesome people, I want to ask one more thing. For some reason, the Fridays of 2 and 9 November just haven't been booked. It's really a shame, because its been a lot of fun and I want to see the November ending on a high point. Please please pretty please? 

The theme's so easy. Keeping track. It could practically be about anything writing, or lit world related. 

If you're interested, please mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

Monday, October 22, 2012

As a result of NaNo...

As I mentioned before, I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo this year.

Because I actually want to continue querying through November, I decided to give Doorways one last look-over. The way I see it, if the story is as polished as it will get, won't have to worry about anything except copy/pasting into the query.

I plan to do the same with my query letter. Another version will be coming out, although I don't know what it will look like yet. All it know is it better be better than any of the previous ones.

Lots and lots of Query Shark readings will ensue.

Then there's another monster lurking in the querying waters: the dreaded synopsis. About 80% of my expanded agent list has at least a 1 page synopsis as part of their submission requirements.


I don't have a CLUE how to write a synopsis.

Any good query and synopsis links for me?

Friday, October 19, 2012


Hi all! Today I welcome Lee to MFB. She's going to show off her writing chops to tell us about some scares she had in her house. She's a wonderful lady, so if you want to find out more about her and her writing, please go say hi on her blog.

Take it away, Lee!

I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t. Really. But . . .

Our house was built in the 1930’s as a mountain cabin for people from San Francisco who wanted to escape the city and live among the redwoods. We remodeled it when we moved in, adding a couple of rooms and reconfiguring the entrances and exits. I’m telling you this because it’s important to my story. 

A few years ago things started appearing on stairs, on counters, and always in the original parts of the house. A red scarf came first, and I asked every one of my friends who’d visited in the previous month if it was theirs. “No.” was each person’s answer. I finally gave it away and forgot about it. I wouldn't have remembered it, except a few months later, I tripped over a pile of combs and ribbons on the stairs up to my bedroom. I’m the only female who lives here. Still I discounted it. There had to be a logical explanation. 

Then one day I went to my jewelry drawer to put on my favorite pearl earrings and there was only one in my jewelry box. I searched. I cleaned drawers. I accused my family of playing tricks on me and trying to make me think I was losing it. First things appeared, and then they disappeared, and I was getting a bit cranky. 

After three years passed, I decided that earring was gone forever, so I had a jeweler make a matching one for me. I brought the two earrings home, opened my jewelry box to put them safely away, and there in the drawer was my long lost pearl earring. I don’t know how to explain why I have three pearl earrings, but I do. 

Nothing else has happened for years, but a friend who spent the night in the old bedroom swears a ghost visited him. He described how a woman (At first he thought it was me.) entered the room. He said she ran her hand along the books on the shelf near the bed, then walked into the closet. That closet is located where the old entrance to the bedroom used to be. My theory, if I believed in ghosts, would be that the ghost knew her way around the old house and thought the closet was still the way out. Well, for her it was. She didn’t reappear, according to my guest. He’d never heard my stories about the appearing and vanishing items. He’s also never spent the night with us again.

Brrrrrr.... creepy. Thanks for the story, Lee!

I have two slots left. The dates are: 2 and 9 November. The them: Keeping Track. This could literally be about anything in writing within this theme. Or even if you want to follow Lee's example, a story you want to tell. If you're interested, please contact me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A-NaNo'ing I'll go...

Hi all! Sorry for not posting yesterday. Had to entertain someone with whom my business works.

Anyway, I have a tiny announcement to make.

I decided to give NaNo another try. But this year I'll probably shut up about it on my blog.

Although I realized that I don't draft fast and probably never write 50k words in one month, I know that I'll be able to kick start my drafting again after a year-long dry-spell.

Only thing is, I don't know what I'm going to write. I have the rewrite to last year's NaNo figured out and I have a completely new story.

Both are awesome.

I guess I'll decide on November 1.

Anyone else doing NaNo this year? I'm iceangel, if you want to buddy up.

How do you pick the projects you'll write for NaNo?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DINYB Blogfest: Jodi McIsaac

Today I'm taking part in the Did I Notice Your Book Blogfest. Basically, I pick a book that caught my eye and blog about it. Then I see if the author actually finds the post.

Without contacting her directly. So, bloggy friends, this is where you come in. Please spread the word that I'm looking for her and maybe awesomeness will happen and she'll stop by.

This is the book I picked:

Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac. The title caught my eye first, but I adore the cover (although I think the title could be more prominent). Here's what the story is about:

Celtic mythology and the modern world collide in Through the Door, the first book in the new urban fantasy series The Thin Veil.

Cedar McLeod lives an ordinary but lonely life, raising her six-year-old daughter Eden on her own while trying to balance the demands of her career and the expectations of her mother. Everything seems normal until the day Eden opens her bedroom door and finds herself half a world away – and then goes missing. Suddenly, Cedar realizes her daughter is anything but normal.

In a desperate search for answers, Cedar tries to track down Eden’s father, who mysteriously disappeared from her life before Eden was born. What she discovers is far beyond anything she could have imagined. As she joins unlikely allies in the hunt for her daughter, Cedar finds herself torn between two worlds: the one she thought she knew, and one where ancient myths are real, the stakes are impossibly high, and only the deepest love will survive.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Definitely a book for my TBR list.

Would it have caught your eye? Will you help me spread the word? And Ms. McIsaac, are you here yet?

Monday, October 15, 2012

A little bit of housekeeping

So... I decided to change my blogs' looks.

It took me 12 darn hours to manage, because I had to change some html codes. Well... more specifically, I changed them, saved them and checked, but the blogs didn't change.

Yeah. Annoying as hell, because as far as I could discover, there was nothing to do but repeat the process again and again until it worked.

But yeah. I think it's worth it, don't you?

For one thing, the comments should be more visible.

OOOH! Speaking of comments. I've received more than a few messages with regards to the comments. Apparently some people just can't seem to comment on my blog. NO idea why. I do notice, though, that more than a few of them use wordpress.

So here's my question: Who would (for whatever reason) prefer if I cross-posted to my wordpress blog? The posts' content will be available. But maybe it would be more convenient for you? If it is, please send me a mail and let me know: mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

On an unrelated note, I removed the lists of blogs I follow. For some reason, they were grossly out-of-date and for some reason they refused to accept wordpress blogs. I will gradually build them back up, though, in another format.

That's me for today.

What do you think about the new look? Any niggles you'd prefer me to fix while I'm at it? Think it's a good idea for me to cross-post?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Starting Out as a Film Critic

Thank you Misha for having me over here today.

You might know I write movie reviews. It took patience to acquire the love for film criticism. If you aren’t passionate about writing, your journey will feel like a chore.

I began blogging six months ago and it has changed tremendously how much time I spend writing. I comment on blogs most of the time and forget about writing. Social media is an expert at doing this to writers: more time on the internet and less time writing.

It took half of my life to realize writing is what I want for a career. Yes, I’ve always loved writing but never did I take the plunge on it right away. I was too scared to begin with because the writing business is competitive.

The less I write, I’m more perceptible to losing the ambition. If I simply don’t write, my dedication will decline. I’ll realize I’m writing less often when I should be writing my heart out. I don’t want this happen but it’s always in the ballgame with the blogosphere in my distraction.

It’s difficult to discover inspiration as an aspiring writer. You run out of original ideas and then what, visit the store and shop for some ideas? This isn’t the case for writers. You must climb up a steep mountain for several years only to find nothing at all.

If I don’t have ideas, I can’t write anything. It’s hard to come up with something right away. It takes staring off in space for hours until you find a piece of gold. Some people may question you, “What are you staring at?” Then you have to explain your story, “I’m an aspiring writer. I have to come up with ideas for my novel and blog.” People are very understanding especially when they can relate to you.

This is what I love about the blogosphere: you meet writers who understand what you’re going through. I don’t want to lose these friends that I’ve made and they amaze me every day.

I fear what every writer fears: losing the enthusiasm for writing and running out of ideas. You’re not alone, guys. We are all in the same boat, taking different writing journeys.


Livia Peterson is an aspiring film critic. She’s been writing film reviews since 2010 and has enjoyed every minute of it. She currently resides in Wisconsin with her family. You can check out her blog here.

Thanks so much for this guest post, Livia. I know exactly what you mean. 

Before I go, a little admin: I still have two more Guest Post Friday's available for the rest of the year: 2 and 9 November. The theme is Keeping Track. If you want to book one, please e-mail me at mishagericke(AT)

Have a great weekend all!

What's your biggest scare or writing fear? Want to write a guest post about it. ;-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to lose 4000 words in eight days - the good way.

I needed a bit of a break from thinking about writing, so I took a bit of a break, but I just thought I'd share how my editing went.

Well... My writing was tighter than I thought, but I still cut over 4000 words out of it.

I only took out maybe four tiny scenes.

Would you like to know my secret?



I read most of the book out loud. Yeah I know, tedious as hell, but one thing it does do is keep me focused on flow. When I read out loud, I immediately notice when the flow's off. Or when the sentences are boring.

Another thing I got a lot was over-writing. If I said the sky is blue once, I don't have to say it again two seconds later if it isn't important to the story. So the best way I said it stays. The other doesn't.

Sentences running too long when they sound better shortened got split. When you split a sentence, you tend to lose words. "Ands", "buts", "ases", "becauses" etc. become unnecessary. He did something as another thing happened could possibly become Something happened. He did something. Depending on the sentence's complexity, I lost at least a word.

Cutting to necessities, I changed phrases like: The exterior of the house to The house's exterior. Two words gone because I changed the sentence. Another favorite: was "verb"-ing. The "was" goes the minute I simply change sentence's tense.

Switching sentences to cut passive tense can lose three or four words for you.

Finally, I have one special word: that. I can't believe how it infested my writing. I probably found five (yes. FIVE) sentences with three (yes. THREE) "thats" in them. *shudder*

Probably an anticlimactic answer to those of you who are new to editing. Still, one or two words per sentence might not sound like a lot, but when you're dealing with thousands of sentences, those little bits at a time add up.

I probably cut many more words than 4000, but I had to put some in here and there to focus the characters' motivations a bit more and so on.

What do you cut when you want to pare down words?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A ramble about my life, for a change.

... I had something to write for this post, but after doing some major shifts in my life, I just... Don't... know what to say.

Well... for one thing I'm back. Finished my edits on Monday. Yes, damned fast, but then this was a read through to catch flow issues, so speed might have been a good thing.

Took yesterday to query again, so now I'm back on needles and pins, waiting to hear back from agents.

Basically I've quit something that made a rather significant impact on my life for two years. It feels strange. I'm liberated. I suddenly have five free hours a week. I hadn't had so much time since before I got my degree.

Still... I established a sort of relationship with the people I'd worked with. So now I feel a little bad. It's not one of those: "HA! see how you deal without me!" moments.

It's more of a regret that I couldn't do more. I started out so optimistic and excited. Now I have nothing left. I'd put in way too much and nothing changed for the better.

Maybe it's wrong with me, but there are three things I hate above all in this world: 1) Hypocrisy 2) Complacency and 3) Stupidity.

By stupid, I'm referring to people refusing to learn. For two years, we've been dealing with a two consecutive leaders going with one thing, despite us (who actually see the effects) complaining repeatedly that what they were doing weren't working.

Furthermore, just going along and getting by isn't enough. It doesn't even approach RIGHT. And since they didn't listen, it just continued.

#1 is aimed at me though. I hate hypocrisy in other people, so I make a point of rooting it out in myself as far as I can. And when I have a blog about how to be happy and how happy I am, being unhappy to the point of crying yesterday just isn't an option for me.

Those aren't necessarily the reasons why I quit, but they're the reasons why I'm damn glad I did.

What about you? Have you made any big changes in your life after realizing some things made you unhappy?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview Day: Brooke R. Busse

Hi all! Welcome to another interview. Today I'm posting the chat I had with Brook a couple of months ago. 

First things first. Tell us a bit more about yourself?

Okay, start with a hard one right off the bat. Hmm... Well, I'm still in high school. I love all things nerdy. You can tell that just from looking at my YouTube subscriptions. I love that amazing feeling you get when a story idea falls into your head. Lucky for me, I have that feeling a lot. I'm very anal retentive. Um, sometimes I make random noises when I'm sitting at the computer. My best friend has gotten where she doesn't even react anymore. And I'm currently obsessed with "The Walking Dead." See, this is why this is a hard question. First I can't think of anything and then the things I think of are all totally unrelated. Glad my writing isn't like that! 

Hahaha so what do you write? 

I write a lot of things. My current WIP focus is an upper YA/possibly NA light sci fi. At least, I think. I'm working on planning a dystopian that revolves around marriage for my next project. Other works are supernatural or fantasy. However, I like to try my hand at contemporary occasionally, though none of my completed longer works are solely in that genre. I also enjoy writing short stories and poetry. So basically, I write what my ideas tell me to.

How many works have you completed?

It depends on what you mean by "completed." I've finished four rough drafts. I have yet to actually finish revising and editing a novel.

Is there a reason why you haven't started revising?

It's not that I haven't started, I'm revising the aforementioned WIP right now. I'm just never finished doing it. I've been writing seriously for about three years. Almost an entire one of those years was spent rewriting a different project. My first drafts come quickly. The rest, not so much. It's mostly because I'm pretty scared I have no idea what I'm doing.

Ah I see. So do you love all your project equally, or do you have a pet project that you can't let go?

I'm all about equality. ;) My love for my projects is very intense and usually the most obvious for the project I'm currently working on or thinking about. However, I can get that intense love for any of my projects at about the same magnitude.

It's almost the same with me, although I find that my love for the Doorways series far outstrips the others. How do you go about writing? Do you have a routine or do you write when your mood strikes?

I wish I had a routine. The only issue with that is routines tend to add stress to my life. I feel like I have to conform to those expectations no matter what. I'm still working on having a routine and being flexible at the same time. 

I know what you mean. I also have a sort of routine, but it's flexible. Can you tell us a bit about your WiPs?

Another hard one. As I've already mentioned, my current focus WIP is an upper YA/NA light sci-fi. The MC has a genetic mutation that allows her body to send out vibrations at a specific wavelength. This wavelength gives her the ability to control thoughts. She is what is called a Controller, or Trol for short. She tries to break into a government facility in order to save child Trols that have been taken for research. The current WIP that I am outlining is a dystopian based around marriage. I'm still working out the kinks. For more details on these and other projects you can check out the Projects page on my blog.

Sounds like a great story. What's your favorite part of the process and why?

Thanks, Misha. ^^ My favorite part of the process would be anything that inspires new ideas for the story. This most often occurs during outlining, but it can happen during the actual writing as well.

When I was a plotter, I used to outline on sticky notes. What do you use? How do you approach outlining?

I use a sheet of paper or a legal pad to write out the major plot points in the order I think they should go in. I collect tidbits of worldbuilding and character names and relationships. No farther than that. It takes the excitement and thrill of discovery out of the writing.

I know what you mean. The thrill of discovery is so important to keeping my interest in a a story I'm writing. Last question: Where can people find you on the internet?

Of course I have my blog 

Thanks so much for this great interview, Brooke! I loved to learn more about your writing and method. All the best with your writing and revisions. 

Before I go though, just want to remind you all that I have a Friday open for a guest post on October 19th. Theme is scares, which is something every writer faces. Want to help me out? Please e-mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Then I want to ask: Who has any good revision tips?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: In the Query Trenches

Just putting in a quick post to let you know how I'm doing.

Well... I found a major issue with the query for Doorways, so now I have a new and infinitely shinier version.

Has the character's voice and everything.

BUT, the tally on the previous query letter is as follows.

Queries sent: 5
Rejections: 3

Of which: 1 was a form letter which I assume came from the intern, 1 was a form letter which I assume came from the agent and 1 (received today) was a personalized letter.

Didn't get crit on any, but from the last reply: "With regret, though, I'm afraid the material didn't draw me in as much as I had hoped."

It basically tells me two things, although somewhat conflicting. 1) That my story and query letter was okay. 2) That they can be tightened up.

Which is great to know, because as it happens, I decided to go through my story one more time. Already I've found LOTS of places where I could say things better. Also, I find a lot of things where I said almost the identical thing a few sentences before that. So those are going.

So I'm far from giving up. But right now I'm trying to cut out wordage, because I think it's the reason for the first two form rejections. Not sure why, but call it a hunch.

But yeah. That's me for today. Who else is querying? Editing?

Monday, October 1, 2012


So... I'm reading through Query Shark's queries, trying to see if I'm doing anything wrong with my query.

Can't see anything, but there's one thing that's niggling....

It's been bothering me for a while, but I think Doorways needs another go-over. Just to make sure all the unnecessary stuff is gone.

That's what I'll be doing now, so I'll see you on Wednesday! (There's an interview tomorrow, so I won't be doing any serious writing.)

Have you ever thought you were done, only to realize you're not?