Flowers and Butterflies and Rainbows

I originally wrote this post two weeks ago, and I’d planned one of my “your turn to rant” days. But recently I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot of negativity being expressed in the blogosphere. Everyone needs a chance to rant, but Jessica at Bookends gave writers a chance to rant about agents this week, and I think we’ve had about enough ranting for now.

So instead, let’s keep it upbeat. Let’s talk about what we’re happy with these days. Forget the economy and rejection letters and snarky agents. Let’s talk about the GOOD stuff.


What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

What great books have you read lately?

What really cool people in publishing have you met?

What do you like about writing?

…or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

Have a good weekend!

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. bed liner in houston on August 17, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    This was a truly amazing read. How long have you been writing? I enjoyed reading this article so very much, I linked to it from my web-site !

  2. kristin-briana on April 6, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    >What a great idea for a post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m actually loving the revision process – adding things to my characters and my plot to make it stronger. I had a lot of fun writing the query too, because this time I feel like it’s a strong query. I love the thrill of getting a partial/full request, but I also enjoy that first kick of adrenaline when you see a response in your mailbox/inbox.

    2. I loved THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. Looking forward to reading TUCK, by Stephen Lawhead. CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare was pretty good too – a satisfying end to the series. ๐Ÿ™‚ UNWIND by Neal Shusterman.

    3. A bunch of awesome agents who ultimately rejected my ms but gave me some great feedback. Some authors repped by those agents who offered nothing but encouragement. Several young authors my age who are in the process of revising for their agent/querying/waiting on publication.

    4. LOVE watching the ideas come together. I love reading a passage and thinking, “Wow, I wrote that. That’s something I would actually buy in a bookstore.”

  3. Kim Kasch on April 5, 2009 at 10:34 PM

    >I love writing late at night – it’s so relaxing to me, to curl up in bed with my laptop. Listening to the clickety-clack of the keys as I fall asleep helps get me into a restful rhythm.

    And I’ve met so many wonderful people I couldn’t list them all but here’s a few:

    Alvina Ling
    Lisa Graff
    Erin Molta
    Harold Underdown

  4. Anonymous on April 4, 2009 at 9:55 PM

    >I’m happy that we writers got a chance to express our opinions on agentfail and speak out for a change. There’s a real reason writers needed to vent: frustration, and yes, anger.
    Most healthy pople don’t like to be mistreated and ignored constantly.

    Has anyone thought that many writers are normally happy people who prefer to be upbeat—but it’s hard to stay positive when you’re constantly ignored and rejected by agents? Sure, the writing is great but welcome to the real world of publishing.

  5. Horserider on April 4, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Writing. I love writing. And since I haven’t even got to the query part of publishing, I don’t really know that much yet.

    What great books have you read lately?

    Hunger Games. That really is an awesome book. I’m reading Eon: Dragoneye Reborn right now. Almost done and it is great! Though very long. But I like long books, so it’s all good.

    What do you like about writing?

    Meeting new characters and seeing them surprise even me. I love writing novels. I feel like there are so many stories out there that need to be told and I am one of the lucky few that can tell them.

    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

    Kittens. Kittens are positive. And sunny days. And spring!

  6. Deborah Blake on April 4, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    >Great questions! And let’s hear it for positivity!
    1)What I’m enjoying–I just hear last week that I got the EMILY contest “Best of the Best” award. News like that makes me float on air for days.
    2)Great books–just read Brit author Trisha Ashley’s A Winter’s Tale. Absolutely wonderful!
    3)Cool people I’ve met–There are a few authors who have been incredibly encouraging, helpful and sweet during my journey (I’m still looking for an agent for my fiction, although multi-pubbed in NF): Candace Havens, Mindy Klasky, Yasmine Galenorn and Annette Blair, to name the most wonderful of them all.
    4)What do I like about writing–that’s a tough one. Can I just say: everything except rejection ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Patty G. on April 4, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    >I love that feeling of “whoo hoo, happy dance!” when a scene turns out just right. Without that, I know it’s back to the keyboard for more editing.

    What I’m learning: that my comfort zone is being stretched as I approach the submission and promotion aspects of this business. God is good, and He sends His comfort and guidance, equipping me for what lies ahead through the support of fellow writers and blogs like this one.

  8. Pam Halter on April 4, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey? All the people I’ve met, of course, but also the delicious anticipation of meeting my ideal editor at an upcoming conference.

    What great books have you read lately? The Lord of the Rings … again …

    What really cool people in publishing have you met? Nancy Rue, who is not only my mentor, but my dear friend. Chip MacGregor is pretty cool, too, and he does a mean karaoke.

    What do you like about writing? I like the beginning process, when the ideas are bombarding me and in the midst of all the chaotic notes, I find a similar theme, which I did not plan. And symbols, which I did not purposely plant. And how it all ties in together and I’m so excited I can barely start writing because it’s hard to sit still.

    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.
    My grandon is due in one week!

    Yes, Timothy, God is totally awesome! It’s hard to believe He loves me so much, wretch that I am.

  9. Annie on April 4, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    >Right now, I am not seeking to be published, just enjoy writing about my thoughts in my blog. I read quite alot!! My favorites are mysteries and ones that inspire. The best book I read so far was the The Last Lecture. What I love about writing is finding out who I am, getting my thoughts on paper, looking and thinking about things with more wonder and most importantly, making a difference in someone else’s life. Here is a quote that is basically my life story…
    Optimism ROCKS!

  10. Jen and Kev on April 4, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    >My publishing journey has taken some fun, surprising twists lately. On the way to attempting to publish my book, I started selling humor articles for a magazine. I also joined a nourishing writing group.

    Book: Sushi for One? by Camy Tang.

    People:Jim Watkins, an incredible editor and author; Patti Lacy, new author of edgy, compelling fiction (An Irishwoman’s Tale; What the Bayou Saw); Cammie Quinn, a fellow writer whose voice is like John Steinbeck and who gives her stories, food and a listening ear to homeless people.

    Enjoying finding new, snappy ways to say what is in my heart, hoping it is a true reflection of God’s heart.

  11. Dr. David and Lisa Frisbie on April 4, 2009 at 8:07 AM

    >Across more than a decade now, everyone at San Diego Christian Writers Guild is part of our journey: We love and value these dedicated writers! We are doing life together, cheering for each other and also telling each other the hard truth when necessary. The friendships are deep and real.

    Also, our editors at Harvest House have become deep friends and partners along our journey. It’s not about book proposals and marketing plans any more, it’s about doing life and adding value to someone else’s existence. Carolyn McCready, Terry Glaspey, Paul Gossard, LaRae Wiekert — we love these people and we are better because we know them.

    Rachelle, thank you for allowing us a chance to celebrate the good.

  12. Cathy Bryant on April 4, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    >Here's my A4U:

    Publishing journey: All of it–what an adventure! In particular, the fact that an editor actually asked to see my entire manuscript. It may not mean publication, but it's a step in the right direction!

    Good books: I review books, so I've read lots I enjoyed. But my favorite? Bonnie Grove's "Talking With The Dead."

    Cool People: I recently attended the CBE, where I had the opportunity to meet Colleen Coble, Deborah Raney, DiAnn Mills, Christine Lynxwiler, Margaret Daley, & Mary Connealy.

    Love of writing: Like is not a strong enough word for me, so I changed it to love. I love having that seed of an idea turn into a full-blown plot with people that are real to me. I love playing in my words. I LOVE typing THE END. ๐Ÿ˜€

    It is so easy to focus on the negative–thanks for giving us the chance to show the positive side of what we do. Blessings!

  13. Jen C on April 4, 2009 at 12:42 AM

    >Thank you for this! All the negativity lately is making me want to run screaming from the Internet to avoid it!

    I am in such a positive place in my life right now, so here is what I am positive about:

    What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    I’m really enjoying working on my new book. It’s been ages since I’ve been this excited about writing, and this book has really reaffirmed my love of the job.

    What great books have you read lately?

    Slowly reading Gilead. Wow. It’s so amazingly and beautifully written.

    What do you like about writing?

    Writing is hard sometimes, but what I really love is creating. I also paint, sew etc., just the act of creating is magical to me. I’ve found writing to be the most fulfilling form of creativity for me.

  14. R. K. Mortenson on April 3, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    >Too much to say. It’s been a skyrocket day.

    I am in awe of God and His timing.

  15. Katie on April 3, 2009 at 8:09 PM

    >Wow – tons of stuff! I feel like God is taking hold of my toes and my ears and just stretching me like Mr. Gumby! And it’s been awesome. Over the past few months – I’ve grown so much as a writer. And a lot of it has to do with the ACFW community and other writers I’ve met through it (my crit partner). My WIP is coming along nicely and I’ve been getting an onslaught of book ideas running through my head that I’m super excited about! And I’m getting prepared for my first writing conference in Sept – which I’m super pumped about. Plus, I just read a really good book by Susan Meisner – Blue Heart Blessed. A great feel-good, laugh-out-loud book. Good stuff!

  16. Deanna Price on April 3, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    >I answered your questions on my blog. I think your blog is great and has a lot of useful information I’m glad I found it.

  17. Julie Gillies on April 3, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    >The number one thing I’m enjoying in my publishing journey (besides actually being published, which is still jaw-dropping amazing to me…)is meeting new writer friends, through blogs like yours and at writers conferences.

    I just finished reading Mary DeMuth’s latest novel, “Daisy Chain”, a tough read, but compelling.

    Have a great weekend!

  18. Anne L.B. on April 3, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    >Just one of the numerous and way cool people I’ve met is Rachelle Gardner, whose blog has become so successful I no longer attempt to keep up with the comments. Her success is a happy, positive thing I’m glad to witness.

  19. Anonymous on April 3, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    >Am enjoying the hell out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson–the book actually matches the hype.

    Love the insights, wit, and occasional encouragement garnered from all the wonderful agent blogs. If such a thing existed 20 years ago, I would not have had to flounder in the dark so long.

    What I like about writing? Making myself laugh (pathetically enough) or creating an image that resonates with the theme of my story. I also like the physical and aesthetic comforts of being in my writing space, coffee at the near, Yorkie on my lap (till the big bad crows alight in HIS yard and he must leap to my defense, shattering the peacefulness of the scene with his ear-achingly loud yelps).

  20. Cheri Gregory on April 3, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Getting feedback (via survey)from my audiences / potential market — fabulous comments and ideas! Even tho we’re not face to face, we’re collaborating.

    Finally got a simple personal blog started — it’s a fun challenge to see if I really can write every day of the week!

    What great books have you read lately?

    Right now, I’m 1/3 into Outliers. It’s helping me better “get” some of my studnets . . . and a few family members!

    What do you like about writing?

    Sometimes, I like writing just to see what I’m thinking. But most of the time, I like seeing what others think of my writing!

  21. elaine @ peace for the journey on April 3, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    >The pondering behind the words…that’s what I love most about my writing journey right now. A good, long chew on a right and truthful thinking produces a potent piece of writing.


  22. Heather on April 3, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    >I’m enjoying so much in life right now! In my writing, I just went to a writer’s conference in February, and I’m applying everything I learned there to my writing. I love seeing how those few things help me tell me story so much clearly.

  23. Lady Glamis on April 3, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    >Happy positive things? Life in general is great. I get to stay home and raise my daughter. I have a strong relationship with my family and my Savior, and writing is going great. This is a great post! Thank you for keeping things positive!

  24. MisterChris on April 3, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Reading my edited first drafts to my kids at night, and having them REALLY enjoy the books.

    Having friends review them and really enjoy them as well, asking for the sequel.

    The sheer joy of waking up in the middle of the night with another exciting plot twist or character situation to develop.

    What great books have you read lately?

    Oh, our homeschool has introduced me to SO many good books. Recently, it’s been ‘Seven Daughters and Seven Sons’, and before that, it was ‘The Land I Lost’.

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    Well, You, for one, Rachelle. Thanks for this blog post. It’s good to end the week on a positive.

    A writer friend, Haley, who has helped me crit my books. Friends at that have helped me with my books too.

    I’m just beginning my journey into writing, so I haven’t met enough yet.

    BUT, I sure hope to lengthen this list soon!!

    What do you like about writing?

    Oh, I answered that above. Since I haven’t tried to publish yet.

    I enjoy living out the plots of my characters, and spreading the joy of a good story with kids. Kids have such active imaginations, and they really seem to love the genre I’m writing in.

    So I’m enjoying writing some wholesome fantasy that they can enjoy without the goo that often goes along with it.

    Family values, character traits, honesty, integrity, keeping your word, watching what you say…

    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

    I am so blessed beyond measure by this wonderful God we serve.

    I’ve had an opportunity to work with AWANA and Scouts for the last 20 years, and it’s been so wonderful.

    And God’s given me back the joy of writing Songs for Him, and I’ve learned so much about myself and shared so many thoughts with others through that. And He’s blessed that beyond measure – more than a hundred songs in just a couple years.

  25. Karen Duvall on April 3, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    >What's making me happy about my writing career is my fantastic, brilliant, attentive, highly responsive literary agent! McIntosh & Otis is awesome!

  26. lynnrush on April 3, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    >I just read, THE VOICE, by Bill Myers. Oh man, I ate it up. Read it in ONE day.

    It’s right up my alley. Supernatural, lots of action, and a touch of romance. Ok, my writing has a BIT more romance, but hey, THE VOICE was still really really good.

    What I’m lovin’ about writing at the moment is just that, writing. The stories keep flowing through my fingertips, so I keep writing. Second thing is the editing.

    Polishing the story is so much fun for me. I love my crit partners, although they sometimes shred my work, it’s making it better.

    Iron sharpens Iron, right?

    Great post, Rachelle! Happy Friday.

  27. Amber on April 3, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    >I just finished reading two great books:
    Love Walked In (De Los Santos) and P.S. I Love You (Ahern). Both were great books with unexpected but acceptable endings. Both offered a bit of humor, love, and thought-provoking reading.

  28. lizB on April 3, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    >Update: Happy – no – thrilled that Iowa Supreme Court decision came in today! They had said earlier in the week they weren’t releasing it until tomorrow. Iowa rocks! And I’m so happy to live here.

  29. Jeannie Campbell on April 3, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    >i’m happy today because i have a great crit partner who catches stuff…but even more so b/c i’m starting to catch them on my own, which means my writing style is elevating to the next level! i also just came up with the perfect black moment (i know, not exactly flowers and rainbows and butterflies for the average person, but for a writer…it’s game) for my heroine in my current WIP!! so thanks for allowing me to share some happy thoughts with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Achim Zahren on April 3, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    >I have made a happy discovery. After revisions number four, five, six or whatever, my brain goes totally numb and I miss really glaring stupid stuff and so I feel the need to get the stupid thing down on paper. I used to send it to Staples and for close to forty bucks get back something that looked like a double spaced, collated and bound five pound doctoral thesis. Now I have discovered lulu and at fourteen dollars a pop I can upload the manuscript, design a pretty cover and in only a few days I get something in the mail that looks and feels like a real book. It’s great for focus groups and there’s something about being able to turn the pages that really helps me get a better feel as to whether various parts of the story are working. As a bonus you can leave them out on the coffee table and guests will think you’re a real published author.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m going hiking.

  31. Renee on April 3, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    >You know, just because writers are ranting doesn’t mean the rants are coming from the right perspective. I have not had any bad experiences so far in my journey toward publication. Everyone I’ve come across has been super nice. But I also don’t set standards for people that I feel they must meet, so I don’t set myself up for a rant. Even if I did, it wouldn’t be the agent’s fault but my own.

    I love writing. I love creating worlds. I love being able to use the gift God gave me. I love the learning knew things from agents and editors. I love the community of writers, for the most part, they offer support.

    Exciting news, I have four weeks left of classes, then it’s back to writing.

  32. Dara on April 3, 2009 at 10:20 AM

    >I’ve recently started a project where I’m writing at least 500 words every day. It’s really helping me finish my first draft.

    I haven’t met anyone personally in publishing, but I am part of an awesome local critique group. They’ve helped me become more confident with my writing, plus they’re just awesome people to hang out with ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hmm, what else…oh it’s Friday, which means the weekend is here! And tomorrow will be a nice and bright day (as compared to the cold and rainy day it is now). And all the trees are blooming, the grass is growing, bringing the hope and promise of warmer, brighter days!

  33. Sharon Gerlach on April 3, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    >I love every aspect of my writing & publishing journey. This is definitely the best era to be a writer; it's so easy to connect with others whose lives resemble your own. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't leave home without a notepad on my person, doesn't go to bed without a notepad beside the bed, wakes up in the middle of the night to use the notepad, can't sleep because descriptive and dialogue are churning my mind.

    My latest completed novel brought my beta readers to the point of sobbing (which was my intention); that goes beyond flattering. That means I've done my job in bringing them seamlessly into my fictional world. To have touched someone's heart so deeply that they cry for my fictional characters…that's the best part of writing right there.

  34. Ella on April 3, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    >What am I enjoying about my publishing journey?
    Seeing my book in print.
    What great books have you read lately?
    It’s an oldie but goodie, Care of the Soul. I bought it and never read, until lately.
    What really cool people in publishing have you met?
    Anne Leslie Tuttle, D. Maas, M.R.Sellars, Bertrice Small–what an awesome lady. And, of course, my online peeps.
    What do you like about writing?
    The ability to paint pictures with words. Seeing my characters come to life and telling their story. The feeling of accomplishment and, as someone else said, even if I’m the only one that loves the end result.

  35. David A. Todd on April 3, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    >I’m reading three books right now, and as it happens they are all books of letters:

    Letters From Hawaii by Mark Twain; a travelogue he worked up with a San Francisco newspaper before he became famous for his books. I’ll pass the half-way point in this 300 page paperback tonight.

    Selected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkein; covers most of his life, but not every letter he wrote. He speaks much about writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring, and about their publishing. I’m not terribly far into this.

    Letters of C.S. Lewis–not the complete 3 volume set (a bit pricey at $150 dollars), but a smaller volume of the letters he wrote either describing his own spiritual walk or giving spiritual guideance to others. I’m not very far into this one yet either.

    Next in the reading pile is Burnt Sienna by David Morrell. Looking forward to it.

    Unfortunately, not much upbeat or exciting to say about my publishing non-career at present.

  36. Jana on April 3, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    >Just home from a long perfect weekend:

    Cabin in the Smokies, hubby happy fly-fishing, and one complete day devoted to nothing but mapping out the rest of the W.I.P.

    Even got to read Don Miller’s ‘Blue Like Jazz,’ which I enjoyed immensely.

  37. Cheryl Barker on April 3, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    >Rachelle, love this post encouraging us to think about the positive — thanks!

    I think the thing I love most about writing is the unbelievable privilege of being able to touch or minister to others through words I’ve written. Can’t get much better than that.

    Also love the friendships that can develop through blogging, online groups, etc. Especially fun when I get to meet one of those new friends in person. It’s only happened twice so far, but what fun when it does!

  38. Edward G. Talbot on April 3, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    >Thanks for the opportunity to vent positive, Rachel! Not long ago, I read “The Eight” by Katherine Neville. One of the best books I’ve ever read and the best thriller. I also enjoyed Antarktos Rising by Jeremy Robinson.

    regarding the publishing journey, well I’m not published yet. Last year, I released my first book in audio form as a podcast on my web site to start building an audience, and it has been building. The best thing about the writing adventure is enjoying the growing network of fans and other authors. Sure, I want a book deal. But the journey is fun too, not just the destination.

    What else? Well, two of my fellow podcast authors have their first books with major publishers coming out in the next two months. Now THAT is made of awesome.

  39. sex scenes at starbucks on April 3, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    >My mind is abuzz with promotion/writing ideas right now. Most recently, as far as publishing people, I met a new writing partner and we’re working on a new project together. Plus my mother-in-law just complimented me on my lastest published story. Very exciting times.

  40. Writer and Cat on April 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    >I am going out to lunch with a writer friend and her mom. We have a lot in common. If it weren’t for writing I wouldn’t have met people like that since I don’t have as much in common with non-writers.

  41. Michelle on April 3, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    >This week I’m happy that I found a new story and new inspiration to keep me writing. I’ve been writing in every spare minute I have, and I can’t seem to stop.

    It was wonderful to be busy at work the other day and think, “So how did that book end that I was reading” only to realize that I didn’t know the ending yet because I’m still writing it.

    I love the passion of the writing process and knowing that I’m telling a great story, even if I’m the only one who thinks so.

  42. Lea Ann McCombs on April 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    >I’ve been so pleased with the humble open way most sucessful authors welcome new writers, with tips and hints and so much helpful information. The lack of ego and self-absorption has been both surprising and refreshing and gives me a great model to use for one-of-these-days…

  43. Prest0 on April 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

    >In the process of putting together a horror anthology, I got to meet author David Wellington. Not only did he contribute an awesome story, but he’s a cool guy.

  44. Patricia W. on April 3, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    >We all succumb to negative energy from time to time, but as we grow we should do so less, even heading it off at the pass. I find myself moving into that proactive space in my life, and I love it!

    What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Growing in my craft and my confidence as a writer. Working with my crit group, which helps me to write more regularly.

    What great books have you read lately?

    Deadly Charm by Claudia Mair Burney, Nobody But You by Francis Ray, and Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    In the last year, I met authors Sherri Lewis, Victoria Christopher Murray, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, and Rhonda McKnight. I also met Tyora Moody, a Web 2.0 marketing guru, and, by way of the Internet, author Angela Benson and author/conference organizer, Tia Ross.

    What do you like about writing?

    The unfolding of the story, which is always different and more than I imagine. The strength and openness of the online writing community. The opportunity to share a piece of myself.

  45. Rosslyn Elliott on April 3, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    >Great topic – thanks for the happy thoughts.

    I just picked up James Herriott’s _All Creatures Great and Small_, which I haven’t read in twenty years, at least. What an amazing authorial voice. It just goes to show that you can write about *anything* beautifully and engagagingly. His opening chapter about assisting a cow in labor could be a model for a writing workshop.

    Really cool people I have met in publishing: at Glorieta, I met Susan May Warren, who is a shiny, loving person and blessed several authors there with her support. Caroline Coleman and I made a real connection–she asked me to sing the 19th century song in my first novel for her! Only authors can appreciate what it means when someone else takes that much interest in your mss. Allison Pittman is hilarious and a real independent thinker, which I love. And it was a pleasure to meet Siri Mitchell, who is really humble despite her amazing talent.

    Most significant was the contact I made with two writers from my home city, who are now my critique partners. We would never have met had we not attended the conference, but their feedback has been invaluable. Both of them are very talented in their own unique ways and they are also *male*, which in itself makes them a statistical oddity. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of them just signed with a well-known agent and I’m sure the other won’t be far behind. Hi there, you two!

  46. Judy Schneider on April 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    >Happiness is…

    when you think your WIP is mundane, so you print it out and take it to Hawaii, read it with Diamond Head to your left, the Pacific in front of you and some huge, slushy pineapple drink on your lap, and you like the story well enough to keep revising!

    I’m enjoying In the Woods by Tana French.

  47. selestial-owg on April 3, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?
    I am at the stage where I'm preparing to send out queries on a book that I am really passionate about. So as nerve-racking as the process is I'm excited. Ever since I started this project I've had a great feelign about it. I'm also enjoying talking to so many great people: writers, agents, editors, reviewers. I'm always up for talking to wonderful people.

    What great books have you read lately?
    A friend has recently gotten me hooked on Richelle Mead's "Vampire Academy" series (so much fun). I'm a sucker for anything from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld, so "Men of the Otherworld" didn't disappoint. Also there are some people in my writing group working on amazing pieces right now – I'm proud to be one of the first to have the opportunity to read their work.

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?
    Wow, again, Kelley has been a huge one for me (incredibly approachable and supportive), Morgan Ashbury (Siren) is like my own personal cheerleader, my writing group, and the amazing folks I've met on-line (I <3 Twitter)

    What do you like about writing?
    I love getting into a character's head (even those stubborn ones who don't want to let you in), I love it when things just click into place as I'm writing, I love those first words, I love "the end", hell I even love revisions (okay, that might be a stretch, but I at least like them as a friend).

    Thank you for the flowers, rainbows, and butterflies, can we add some blue skies and sunshine to the mix? ๐Ÿ˜€

  48. Kat Harris on April 3, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    I’ve taken a brief step back from my fiction project for the past couple of weeks. After spending the past year and a half working on perfecting it, the break has been liberating.

    What great books have you read lately?

    I just started reading a book by Denise Hunter called “Sweetwater Gap.” I’m not far enough into it to decided whether or not I like it.

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    There are a couple, but the one that stands out the most is getting to interview Joe Eszterhas.

    What do you like about writing?


    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

    You said that the ranting needs to end for awhile at the perfect time. I declared a moratorium on the word “fail” in any title. All use of the word “fail” in any title (e.g. queryfail, agentfail, authorfail) is now out of style.

  49. Timothy Fish on April 3, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    >Since we’re talking about positive things, I would like to say, isn’t God amazing? Who else would send his son to die for people he didn’t like so that he could call them friends?

  50. lizB on April 3, 2009 at 8:43 AM

    >I’m happy it’s Friday!

    I’m thrilled about a new project idea and much progress made on WIP this week.

    I’m glad agents share their thoughts and take time to blog. Helps me learn from others’ mistakes.

    I’m so happy my husband is on his way home.

    I’m excited and hopeful to hear my state’s supreme court ruling on gay marriage tomorrow. Crossing fingers that they do the right thing and extend the same rights to ALL Iowans.

    I’m grateful for my wonderful children.

    Many, many reasons to be happy today.

  51. Anonymous on April 3, 2009 at 8:40 AM

    >I’ve written over 20k in the past ten days and I feel great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Julie Weathers on April 3, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    >Thanks, I think we all needed this. The agentfail was just depressing.

    Things I’m happy about.

    1. I spent five days at Myrtle Beach with some enormously talented writers.

    2. I should be submitting Paladin this month and I sincerely feel like it will sell.

    3. I have another story waiting in the wings as soon as I finish Paladin.

    4. Divorce from hell should be over this month and I can fix computer.

    5. I have very dear friends who love me.

    6. I have made contact with some awesome agents.

    7. Best of all, I have three wonderful sons who married girls I love and given me the best grandbabies on earth!

    This is a big turning point for me, but I have finally matched the confidence in myself to the voice in my writing. I know there are going to be ups and downs, but at last I feel like a writer.

  53. LorelieLong on April 3, 2009 at 8:33 AM

    >What I like about writing:

    That bliss-out point where the words just flow and you can worry about editing later. I’ve been hitting that more and more lately.

    Really cool people in publishing:

    Carrie Lofty, author. My IM buddy and my go to girl for so many things.
    Sarah Frantz. A professor, she’s working to elevate the romance genre to a position of respect. And she’s a blast to grab lunch with.

    Random positive thing:

    My husband’s back from Iraq. Woo-hoo!

  54. clindsay on April 3, 2009 at 8:28 AM

    >Marla –

    6675 copies is nothing to sneeze at! Congratulations!


  55. Stefne on April 3, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    >What am I enjoying in my publishing journey? The process of learning that it’s okay to put yourself out there and risk being told you don’t have what it takes. I’ve learned that even if my manuscript is never published, just sharing it with people has literally changed the way they look at their relationship with Jesus Christ . . . and that was my goal anyway.
    What great books have I read lately? Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It rocked my world! Loved It!
    What do I like about writing? I get into a zone where I feel like God is speaking to me, teaching me a truth but allowing me to see it through someone elses eyes. For some reason, learning hard lessons can be easier if you are living it out through a character.
    For example, my father and I haven’t spoken in 10 years. I was able to take my character, Attie, allow her to be wounded by the man that is suppossed to love most in the world and then walk her through the journey of acceptance and forgivness. I am still working on it in my own life, but God was faithful in showing me the parts of my life that I need to work on and the parts that I need to hand over to Him. I don’t know if I will ever have a relationship with my dad (and neither does my charcacter) but together in the real world and on paper, we walked through the very painful process of forgivness. Just that experience alone makes the entire writing process well worth it.

  56. Krista Phillips on April 3, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    >Oh, wow! I SO needed this post today! I’m a big believer in the “think happy thoughts” cure!

    What am I enjoying about my publishing journey?

    Well, besides just the thrill of being able to write a story and seeing it shape onto paper, I am LOVING networking with other like-minded people, meeting other writers on the journey (waiving HI to Lynn,Jody,Avily,T.anne and others!). After so many years of wondering why my mind is works so differently than others, it is GREAT to have people that understand my insanity!

    Great books I’ve read lately

    A published writer in my local group is Tamara Leigh, and I’ve pretty much fell in love with her books. They are fun, romantic, hilarious and I’ve had to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading every one of them! Faking Grace, nominated for a Rita this year! is one of my favorites.

    Cool people I’ve met in publishing

    See #1 and #2 ๐Ÿ™‚

    What I like about writing

    Meeting new people. AKA: my characters. I love to get into their heads and see what they would do. I love to throw things at them and see how they react (how mean am I!) Most of all, I LOVE to give them their happy ending.

    Other happy thoughts

    The stock market ended up yesterday… *grin*

  57. clindsay on April 3, 2009 at 7:58 AM

    >As an agent, I’m ridiculously happy right this minute because an author with whom I’ve been working for a year on revisions has now turned in a project that is amazing. When she and I first started working together, her manuscript was probably 75k words too long, but her voice was extraordinary and the story intriguing. I couldn’t say no to this one. So over the course of the past twelve months, we worked together to find the book at the center of all those words. She worked tirelessly on four major revisions, and several minor ones, and in the process carved off those extra 75 thousand words.

    Last week I gave the manuscript to a couple of cold readers, people who had never seen the manuscript before. They both had the same reaction: “This is amazing! Where is the sequel? I need it now!”

    A year ago, when we started our journey together, the book wouldn’t have elicited that reaction. I am thrilled that she’s pulled together something so special, and I’m grateful for clients who persevere the way she did.

    And I’m happy as an agent that I have clients who remember small things, like another client who sent me an e-card yesterday, congratulating me on one year of working together. I wouldn’t have remember that, and the card made my day.

    I’m happy as an agent and grateful to editors who always rise to the occasion, willing to look at yet another manuscript and another and another and another, reading on their days off and after work and on vacation and when they should be sleeping…because God knows they don’t get to read at work!

    And, lastly, I’m happy as an agent to be surrounded by colleagues of the caliber and character of the great people at FinePrint, all of whom have taught me so much over the past year.

    There are so many things to be happy about.

  58. Marla Taviano on April 3, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    >Just found out that my latest book, Expecting, has sold 6,675 copies in the first three months. As one person told me, “That’s not that impressive,” but it’s kicking my other books’ booties, so I’m wearing a happy smile.

    Kudos to the fine folks at Howard Books (Simon and Schuster) who took my words and made a beautiful keepsake for pregnant women.

  59. Melinda Walker on April 3, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    >A wind gust catches pale pink petals of the flowering cherry trees, whirling them in an airy dance. The breeze dwindles, and they drift to the grass like spring snow.

    I know itโ€™s a bit much (not too bad for eight a.m., though), but now yโ€™all know what I saw outside my window this morning. Thatโ€™s what I love about writing.

  60. Sharon A. Lavy on April 3, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    What great books have you read lately?

    The Justice by Angela Hunt

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    Lots. Too many to mention. That’s from going to writing conferences.

    What do you like about writing?

    This is how I communicate (or not) with the world around me.

    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

    Rainbows and butterflies are my favorite things even after 64 years.

    ~~Grandma Sharon

  61. Debra E Marvin on April 3, 2009 at 7:13 AM

    >Well said Gwen. Your thoughts rang true with me.

    I love plotting but I love the surprise of a sneaky twist that comes out of nowhere.

    I love the “YES!” moments when the perfect word jumps forward out of my brain.

    I love how you can think something is really great and then look back at it and see how much you’ve improved it months later.

    I love interacting with readers and writers who are all in search of that Ahhhhhh moment when the sentence just sings!

    I love knowing that as much as it’s solitary work, I’m not alone and that God has blessed us with His creative nature for the enjoyment and encouragement of others.

  62. Chatty Kelly on April 3, 2009 at 7:12 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Small victories. Each little publication (magazine) encourages me that I write okay (well, even?) and that maybe that book could be published.

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    I need to go to a conference! I haven’t actually “met” anyone in publishing, although I follow a couple of cool blogs. Your included, of course!

    What do you like about writing?

    I love the outlet of writing, I love the encouragement and feedback of it.

    I love all these shiney happy people holding hands today! LOL! Better than fussin’ any day of the week.

  63. Just_Me on April 3, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    >Ah, good karma and happy thoughts :o) Thank you.

    Let’s see…

    What do I enjoy about publishing?
    – When something works. I’m trying to get a “clean” copy of my manuscript to query and I love hearing from my beta-readers that it’s almost there, or I only need to fix a few commas. I’m about half-way done and maybe one edit away from querying. We’ll see how the ending flies.

    What great books have I read lately?
    – I’m eagerly anticipating the last of the Vorkosigan Saga any day now. I’m reading Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. And I really want the next Lost Fleet book. I recommend them all.

    What cool people have I met?
    – No one published. But my writing group is awesome and I expect you’ll see them in print within the decade.

    What do I write about?
    – That’s complicated. I guess, when everything else goes away, I write about people. Survivors. I write about people who have come to a cross-roads, and whether they know it or not they can’t go back. I add explosions and space ships in just because they make me happy.

  64. Myowne on April 3, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    >I have been reading a lot lately and two good books that I am enjoying presently are “This I Believe II” and “The Mercy Papers…” I really enjoy memoirs and reading about other people’s lives is great food for thought.

    I also taught a poetry workshop two days ago to a group of high schoolers where I work. It went great and I am still reading their poetry and hearing their thoughts.

  65. Timothy Fish on April 3, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    >Best book Iโ€™ve read recently:
    The Race: From Pit Row to Victory Lane by Rick Lemons. Itโ€™s a great book for the spiritual journey.

    Enjoying in my publishing journey:
    The church โ€œbook clubโ€ recently discovered more of my books. Thereโ€™s nothing like having someone come up to you at church and say, โ€œI enjoyed your book,โ€ only to walk down the hall and have another person do the same. Good reviews from family and friends and mothers are meaningless to publishers, but to me they are worth more than all the tea in China.

    My profits are up 30% from last year. Church Website Design: A step-by-step approach has exceeded my sales projections by 7%.

    Like about writing:
    I love that a character crafted in the recesses of my mind, recorded with my keyboard weary hands and speaking my words has the power to incite my anger, bring me to tears or make me laugh.

  66. Lisa Jordan on April 3, 2009 at 6:45 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    Talking to the voices in my head and chatting with other writers who totally understand about said voices.

    What great books have you read lately?

    Great is subjective. I read to be entertained. I am not a literary reader. For me, a great book fills me with hope and satisfaction. That said, my latest great reads include:

    Against All Odds by Irene Hannon
    Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus
    Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter
    Word Gets Around by Lisa Wingate
    Sweet Caroline and Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Trish Perry, Sara Mills–Published authors

    Rachelle Gardner, Karen Ball, Liz Curtis Higgs

    Online friends I’ve met through ACFW and in crit groups

    What do you like about writing?

    1. I like taking life experiences, today’s challenges, and what I see in my head and putting them into words for other people to experience and find hope in Jesus.

    2. ACFW writers conferences

    3. Really cool people who think it’s normal to talk to the voices in their heads

    …or any other happy, positive things you want to share with us.

    I like to think I’m a pretty positive person. I try to look for the good in situations because no one wants to listen to an endless whiner. Life is what you make it. Yeah, there are circumstances where life can truly suck, but having faith in Jesus helps us to get through those difficult times. We’re never alone.

  67. paulawiseman on April 3, 2009 at 6:39 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?
    I LOVE it when my tiny test market group of readers connects emotionally with something I’ve written- a situation, or character that causes a strong reaction.

    What great books have you read lately?
    Actually it was a MG book we read as part of my daughter’s homeschool list. Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White. It is far and away the best book I’ve read in a while. Extremely well crafted.

    What do you like about writing?
    First drafts! I love testing the plot and seeing the characters come alive.

  68. Wendy on April 3, 2009 at 6:16 AM

    >I’m reading PEACE LIKE A RIVER and it’s reminding me of everything I love about writing…the craft of lining up a string of words sentence after sentence and having it impact the reader to the point where they think differently because they’ve read each sentence, each word even.

    Hope you have a great weekend too and thanks for the question!

  69. Jessica on April 3, 2009 at 6:03 AM

    >Are those anon posts for real? Whew.

    I’m reading a book by Randy Singer and am completely hooked. I’ve never read him before.

    I’m to have made writer friends through the blogosphere. I like my new wip a lot, and I’m looking forward to going to a conference this year. Woohoo!

    Hope you have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. LexiconLuvr on April 3, 2009 at 5:27 AM

    >I’m just happy to see someone else say Q4U. =]

  71. Erastes on April 3, 2009 at 5:15 AM

    >What are you enjoying in your publishing journey?

    All of it. Every day is different, and it never gets dull. Holding each new book in my hand is like magic.

    What great books have you read lately?

    False Colors by Alex Beecroft. A truly amazing piece of writing. Age of Sail, conflicted sailors, classic ship adventure, amazing research, wonderful love story as well!

    What really cool people in publishing have you met?

    My fellow gay historical writers. I have met some “famous” people but those aren’t people I see as cool. My peers are encouraging and helpful and friendly and useful. Also – at the risk of sounding like a suck up, this blog is great, because, no matter what genre, everyone is welcome here, and the advice is some of the best on the net.

    What do you like about writing?

    Managing my target word count. Then I can go to bed happy and not worrying that i’m just playing at it.

  72. Gwen Stewart on April 3, 2009 at 3:32 AM

    >Yay for a thread devoted to rainbows, flowers and butterflies!

    What I love about writing:

    I love that writing is simultaneously cerebral, emotional and intuitive. I love sitting down to a blank screen with one goal in mind only to discover another. Sometimes the intuition is faulty, but it’s always exhilarating to follow where it leads.

    I love words. I love the nuance in words–the cadence and rhythm of them in thought, speech and song. I love how our brains are wired to process language: that the meaning, sound, context and emotion of words have the power to change our thinking–to change our lives even, especially the Word that comes from the ultimate Author.

    As for the other questions…well, I’d need a series of my own blog posts to express proper gratitude to all the amazing people I’ve met on my writing journey.

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  73. Alps on April 3, 2009 at 3:00 AM

    >Something I’m learning: I’m not a slave to negativity because I don’t base my worth on whether I hear back from an agent, whether I get a request for a partial or a full, whether I ever get my book published. When I look at myself through God’s eyes, I’m beloved, regardless of what I do or do not accomplish. This is hard to remember sometimes, because there’s so much rejection in this biz. I guess it’s a matter of coming back to the basics and getting my focus straight; giving myself the pep talk: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darnit, people like me!” (Just kidding on that last part.)

  74. Richard Lewis on April 3, 2009 at 2:53 AM


    My colleague AS King (DUST OF A HUNDRED DOGS) has sold her second book at auction — she’s one of those writers who finally said “I’m going to write for myself” and since she’s weird and wacky and wonderful, what she wrote for herself, everybody wants.

    Thinking back about that instantly famous (infamous?) comment trail at Bookends: Life’s unfair, but it is fair enough so that you get a chance to be fair with people around you. That’s all you can control.

  75. Maggie May on April 3, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    >What great books have I read lately…

    I read Agatha Christie and can’t remember which one! But I loved it.:)
    She’s genius.

    I read Terms of Endearment and really enjoyed it, a really good read, with great dialogue and heart.

    I read Theories of Falling, a poetry book by Sandra Beasley, and loved it. Beautiful.

    I read Mystic River and was very sad. What a hard read, but very good.