Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reality Bites - You Don't Say...

For a girl who was weaned on equal part written word and rabbit-eared screen, it seems these days I don't have much time for watching the tube. What little TV time I do manage to catch typically revolves around either the paranormal (as in L.I. housewife converses with the afterlife) or that never-ending loop of home fix-up programs - fitting since we are currently residing in a self-induced construction (DEstruction?) zone. (Dare I not tread upon those raging coals...) So it dawned on me, that what reality TV is lacking is a close-up dose of WRITER 101. Perhaps something day-in-the-life of an average aspiring novelist. I imagined phoning one of those big-shot TV execs to pitch my idea.

Big-Shot: "So what's this great new reality show idea you've cooked up. You've got two minutes to win me over. I have a 10 a.m. tee time."

Me: "Okay well, I was thinking the cameras could follow a writer around and record her daily goings on. Ya' know - like a Kardashian only with less hair. People could watch her as she labors at the keyboard in search of the perfect sentence, checks emails, posts periodic updates to Twitter, suffers rejections, courts the Muse."

B.S.: "Hmm. Can this writer also talk to dead people?"

Me: "No."

B.S. : "Is she a pudgy southern beauty queen with a crazy redneck family?"

Me: "Again, no."

B.S.: "Was she a former child-star tackling her adult-sized demons in rehab?"

Me: "Not quite."

B.S: "Is she a real housewife of any coast?"

Me: "Perhaps, but that's not really the point..."

B.S.: "(sigh) What about action? What have you got?"

Me: "There'll be lots of staring off into space."

B.S.: "That's not exactly edge of your seat stuff."

Me: "Head banging. Regular spewing of expletives. Jealous rants."

B.S.: "Well, that's better, but...I'm not convinced. Tell ya what. Fine tune your concept and then have your people call my people."

Me: "Wait, I - I don't have any people...!"

Click. Dial tone.

Okay, so we writers may not lead the most exciting lives, I grant you that. However, just think. Where would TV or the silver screen be without us? Seems to me it would simply be a bunch of actors running around speechless.

You don't say...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's a Banner Day for AKA

AKA Literary Agency is partying hard this week. Just yesterday our own Johnny Knew's very first book was released. This beautiful and smart children's book is entitled, "The Tree With No Branches." This from the publisher: "The tree with no branches may be different than all the other trees in the forest but it has some 
unique qualities and a very special purpose. Brilliantly crafted by author Johnny Knew and wonderfully 
illustrated by K. Von Ward, nature-loving children learn about the joy in accepting others different than 
themselves and that standing up to a bully is the right thing to do."
If you haven't dropped by Johnny's site, Knewville, by all means do so, and bring the youngsters along for the ride. I guarantee a good time for all! 
Visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever you usually go to purchase your favorite reads and pick up your copy. And don't have to be a kid to appreciate the important messages and lyrical prose in this book. It's one size fits all! If you aren't sure, check out this preview:

Ya see? You're smiling aren't you? I won't say I told you so....but I did ;)

AKA Literary is such an amazing group of writers. I am so very fortunate to have found a home there. It isn't often you combine strangers from all over the world, people whose only common bond is their love of books and their desire to be published, and have them forge the solid family-type foundation that exists within our team. We are all so incredibly proud of Johnny and wish him sales o' plenty.

Congrats to our agent and leaders, Terrie Wolf, Neil Erickson and each and every one of us!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ten and Ink

It isn't so much that I'm waxing nostalgic today. It's more the case that I came across some old photos and it got me thinking. About how life starts out one way and as we grow, becomes a very different place. The girl in the picture below is ten years old. I thought it fitting that it's somewhat blurry, since that's how I remember her. In a hazy film of years gone by, days piled on days, details piled on details. By the time a decade or two (or three) passes, memories turn yellow-edged and murky. But I know this much. I know she's smiling because she's blissfully unaware. She's on vacation with her family and she doesn't know that it's such a precious thing, so sacred she ought to regard it piously- this moment with her parents and grandmother who, as far as this little girl is concerned - will share this earth with her for a bazillion years. And bazillion is an actual frame of reference. Because at ten she has no concept of time. Summers roll on through with endless crayon-scented breezes and chlorine induced highs. Winters arrive and she's cozy, safe, warm and dry, surrounded by the people she loves the most while she awaits the coming of another merry Christmas. Life will go along forever this way!
 Won't it?
She doesn't know that as she ages, somehow, as if under some warped, wicked spell, time will kick into high gear and careen by on a steroid induced flight. She doesn't know that her very best friends will hurt and disappoint her. That boys will painfully redefine her romantic school-girl notions about love and happily-ever after. That grandma's go to heaven before bazillion has a chance to happen. That vacations must sometimes take a back seat to paying the rent. And as she begins to become aware, of such unpleasant, downright awful things the likes of racism, crime, anxiety, loss and basic human suffering she realizes she'll never be ten again.
I remember it was about that time this little girl thought it best to escape into the pages of a book where she'd surely remain insulated from whatever life had in store for her. Sometimes she'd take pen to page and create an entire world of people who wouldn't let her down, wouldn't leave or do bad things. If reality couldn't be that way, then reading and writing would make it so.
This little girl. She's all grown up now. Tough lessons learned and learning still.
I guess I remember her a lot more than I thought I did.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


My dear Hooksters - the times they are a'changin'. Is this a good thing? Some folks hate change. They balk, they slink, they shimmy, scamper and slide to avoid it. But guess what? It's gonna find you. Like it or not. As for me, I've grown accustomed to time bringing its changes to my life. I've learned it's best to roll, bend, smile and sway - it's going to happen anyway. Some changes that come along are self-inflicted. For example, our kitchen reno project is finally, FINALLY about to begin. Did I say finally? It's going to be out with the old and drab and in with the everything but. I hope...However, this is not the piece de resistance of the newness. Oh, no - not by a country mile...

 This week I officially joined the agenting team of AKA Literary - the beloved home of the two books I've written since WISHLESS - in the capacity of Associate Agent in Training.  (FYI, these other novels are currently awaiting their turn at bat. If the Muse Gods of Publishing choose to shine on me, then you shall one day find these stories available for purchase in your fave book emporium, as written under the pseudonym Caya Laine. Fingers crossed - oh heck, cross those toes, too, people!)

The amazing TERRIE WOLF, my agent extraordinaire, has seen fit to include me among her office cohorts. I'm honored and deeply moved by her trust and faith in my ability to somehow make a difference. The way I see it, this comes down to passion. It's the unflinching, searing adoration of the craft of writing, the process of taking some 80,00 words - give or take, fashioning them into a cohesive and interesting story and then wrangling that same story into the hands of a few million readers. Cake, right? Day at the beach? Not so much. It takes a village to raise a book baby. In many cases it takes the concerted efforts of an agent and her teammates to bring a writers goals of glory to fruition. Some authors choose to go it alone. Brave lot, they are. But many others will make the choice to put their dreams in an agent's hands. And the thing of it is - she only has two - on her best day.

So here I am, with two additional appendages at the ready. With the very best of intentions. With an eagerness and drive the likes of a fresh batch of dough, just hankering to rise to the occasion. I am blessed by this opportunity. I hope I will not disappoint.

Should you feel so inclined, follow me at my newest Twitter account  You can also find me at (which was formerly @lcwritten.)

And now it's time to stand and face the ch-ch-changes. Not strange. Just one helluva good thing.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dream Elbowroom

Seems we've arrived at another Labor Day - another summer ultimately reclining into fall. I'll resist bemoaning the obvious (where did the time go?) because, well, I've been there done that. It's usually my own anxiety that leads me to belly-achin' over the swift and steady passage of days, anxiety over the sense that the calendar appears to speed up particularly so when you have a goal at hand, as yet to be reached. The ticking grows louder and more ominous. Like one of those bad horror movies. Will the heroine get where she needs to be before time runs out??? (Okay so I moaned a little after all.)

While I 'm busy waiting for my world to change, I often wish for a time capsule or a diner doorway into the past (yep, like in 11/22/63, thank you, Mr. King) so that I could somehow snatch a decade or two back for the express purpose of leeway. A little dream elbowroom. I just know it would serve to allay the feeling I
have of time being like a woolen sweater after a spin in the dryer. Shrunk down, tight and itchy and far too snug. Yet I know the fact is those doorways only exist in bestsellers. So I seek out stories like this one: Real-life tales of ordinary folks who by some stroke of God-given fortune, have extended their lives well past the norm. By the way happy 116th birthday, Besse!

If I knew I could cruise beyond my hundredth year, things might not feel so urgent anymore. I might fret less, fiddle more (Not in the actual sense. I don't know a thing about playing an instrument.) I might begin to believe in the worn out, personally frustrating cliche about how all good things come to those who wait. I might actually state with a certain degree of certainty: Slow down! What's your rush?

Alas, I fear I will remain harried and hurried and terribly impatient. I will stalk the last of the sultry summer breezes until they fade into a crisp autumn spice. I will pretend my own time here is endless while secretly hoping there's enough left to fulfill my desires. And I'll think of Besse.