Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Precipice by Melissa Luznicky Garrett

Julia Becker’s life isn’t following the pattern she expected. Her marriage has disintegrated, her job is precarious and her best friend doesn’t understand her need for change. She is balancing precariously on the Precipice. Along comes Wesley. Sexy, sensitive and smart – he unintentionally lures Julia away from all that’s wrong in her life. Unfortunately, instead of basking in his attention and love, Julia is torn between her duties as a wife in a loveless marriage and her loyalty to her best friend Kris, who has also fallen for Wesley’s charms.  

Simply written, in a style indicative of storytelling, this book takes the reader through Julia’s emotional journey. From confused, stuck-in-a-rut housewife to confident lover, she grows and changes as the story progresses. Julia is faced with difficult decisions that test her strength of character and force her to search within herself for truth. In the end, it’s not a question of “what’s right or wrong” – it’s about need and being true to herself.

I had the privilege of reading this book twice. The first time (the original version), it was “good”. The writing was clean and the characters were believable, but it wasn’t spectacular. The second time, I was amazed at what a few small tweaks could do. The story line is the same, but the characterization is more dynamic, the relationships are more “real” and I felt compelled to read through to the end even though I already knew what was going to happen.

Melissa’s narrative style reminds me of sitting in a room with close friends and listening to them talk of their childhood antics, how they met their husbands, and their dreams for the future. It’s comfortable, something you can sink into to escape your own reality. 

"Precipice" is available through amazon as both an e-book and paperback book. 

Melissa Luznicky Garett is an author of adult and young adult novels. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, three children, and numerous animals. Melissa is currently hard at work on her next project. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her blog “Someday When I’m Famous”

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two Simple Words

Some days, I sit down at the computer with the thought that today is the day. Today I’m going to write all day long, inspiration will take hold, my fingers will fly over the keyboard and magic will spill onto the blank page. On those days, I do write, for an hour or so, and then my imagination dwindles, my determination falters and the well of creativity trickles to a hesitant drip. The desire to write is there, but the words simply won’t present themselves.

To be honest, this doesn’t happen “some days”, it happens most days. I have writer-envy. When I see other writers posting their accomplishments for the day, week, month or year on various social networks, I grow green with envy, forgetting that they have also endured struggles to get the words onto the page.

On a good day, I can spit out three thousand good words; on an excellent day, I can produce over five thousand. Those days are rare and usually only occur if I’ve set myself a nearly impossible deadline. Oftentimes, my plans to write are thwarted by other obligations of my own creation. When I try to treat writing like a typical nine to five job, it backfires. Apparently, my muse doesn’t like to be told when to come out to play.

This week, I did something incredible. I typed two words that mean the world to me. Two simple words that put a song in my heart and let me know I can do this thing called writing, stay focused and the accomplishment will come. I wrote “The End” on the second book of the Liminal Lights series. Yes, I know I completed the second book before the first one. I’m also aware it’s in dire need of a solid edit. Putting the work that still needs to be done aside for just a moment, I can celebrate my accomplishment.
So, cheers to me – I did it!

And now, back to work I go. I have goals to meet this year, words to write, chapters to edit and dreams to turn into reality.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It’s lucky 2013 and yeah, I have some work to do. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions I’m thinking I’m just going to set a few concrete goals for the coming year, do my best to meet deadlines and allow myself the freedom to dream big.

First, I need to write more. I’m not talking about books; currently, I have two to edit, one to complete and a fourth in the works. There’s more to writing than novels. I consider myself to be a long-distance writer, but I’m thinking there’s much to learn from delving into shorter pieces such as blog posts, short stories, flash fiction and maybe even poetry (although this is probably the biggest challenge of all for me).

Jennifer Bogart, writing

Second, I need to figure out the whole marketing thing. I might even pick up a book or two, attend some webinars and get myself a bit of education. I know how to use Facebook, but twitter eludes me. I know book bloggers are very important to Indy writers, but approaching established blogs is much like sending out query letters. Of course, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Third, while on the topic of asking, I need to send out more queries, not just in Canada, but in the United States as well. Being independent is a lot of work, and I’ll admit I’m not so great at the marketing, selling and promotion part of it. Even with a traditional publisher, a writer has to make efforts to sell their work, but some of the pressure of constant promoting might be alleviated – might.

Jennifer Bogart, query

And fourth, I need to focus. It’s too easy to get caught up in what others are doing. I enjoy interacting with other writers and artists on Facebook. Blogs are intriguing, articles are inviting. Knowing what’s going on in the world of writing is essential, but there are times when hours pass by and suddenly I have spent the day trolling the internet in search of who knows what instead of working on my own stuff.

Last of all, I need to remember that I’m kind of good at this writing stuff. It’s okay to be proud of my accomplishments and show off my work. There might be days when I want to toss the entire lot in the bin, but I’ve had enough feedback to know my work isn’t half bad. With each new book, blog and bit of writing I complete I learn something new, both about myself and my writing.

Jennifer Bogart - Remember Newvember & Reflections

So, in short, 2013 is going to be a good year for me. I feel the tingling in my fingers and excitement in my heart. Watch out world, here I come.