Category Archives: Cassandra’s Roadhouse

MIA: Chapter 2

My editor in email: I found a minor loop-hole in the MS.

OK don’t panic was my first thought. I was still in Maine when I received the email. She is mistaken, I know that the part she mentioned was covered in one of the earlier chapters. Don’t freak out I will look at it when I get back.

A few days later after getting home I checked out her edited copy of my MS and began to read. I scan down to the part she mentioned had the loop-hole. She probably just missed it as she was editing. Scrolling back to the beginning I reread my book. I finished and reread it again.

Where in the hell was chapter 2? OK I probably sent the wrong file. Looking over my entire computer I found file after file of the revised chapters but the one I needed. It had to be here. The first time I revise anything by computer instead of long hand and this is what happens. Great just freaken great. How in the world did I lose a whole chapter?

Going over my computer one more time I looked and crossed fingers to no avail. My husband being ever so helpful asked, “Well where did you file it?”

Really hon? He followed that up with, “Well what is the name of the file you can do a search.” Again really? If I knew where I filed it or remembered the name I would have done so. I know I know he was trying to help me but this was not working. An hour later he suggested I checked my laptop but I pish poshed that away for I had used my desktop.

In June my step dad died and we went up. It now being August I made another trip back to see how my mom was doing. In the week to leaving I had to rearrange my doctor appointments, physical therapy, and meetings. I had to pack, make sure my medication was refilled and pay my bills and to get others to be paid while gone. My five bird cages had to be clean and prepped and ready for my son to take over while I was away. And of course the gabillion things that need to be done prior to a trip. Where I was going there would be limited access to the internet.

In between all of this I was revising my MS to send to my editor before I left so she could go over it while I was gone. The infamous MS that was turned down by a publisher but who had told me where it needed fixing. Asking him if I revised it would he look at it again he had said yes. So the week before leaving was a mess.

My thought on my missing chapter was I had copied over it. There was no other explanation. I am paranoid when it comes to saving my writings. I save them on my computer and two external hard drives- each chapter each revision each MS.

I would have to rewrite this chapter. While I could recall what was in it this didn’t thrill me. Coming back from a trip usually means a few days of getting caught up at the homestead. My poor editor just listened to me vent, fuss and complained as she patiently said it is okay you can do this.  Bless her heart

Four hours later

Totally frustrated with the prospect of what had to be done I sat down on the couch to watch tv as I picked up my laptop to search for this and that. As the screen lite up I saw the file ants.odt. Could it be?

The missing chapter was about ants. Trying to not get over excited I opened it up and shazam my MIA opened before my very eyes. Immediately I hugged my poor husband and turned back to the file. Here it was. I have no recollection of working on this machine while I was busy revising the MS. But here it was waving hello to me with a smirk.

The time this fiasco started was 840am and the end time was 435pm. Yeah someone told me I should have listened to my husband. But at that point I was already in frenzy mode and there  was no derailing that train. The MIA chapter has been sent to my editor and upon completion the new revised MS will be sent to the publisher.

I can breath again… for now.

Free Writing

A friend of mine, Ami, asked me to guest blog at her website. When my two short stories got published recently I did a big proclamation in email to a few people. She thought it would be a great idea to share my reason behind letting some of my writings be free to the public. Well I finally wrote something down for her and it is up and running on her blog.

The link:

I would like to thank Ami for asking me to do this. Maybe someone will read it and feel “Hey, that makes sense.”


Free Writing (by Guest Blogger Sharon C. Williams)

Jasper, one of Sharon’s Muses.

MuseInks welcomes Sharon C. Williams (@NewEngland_Muse)! Sharon is a sports fan, chemistry buff, novice crocheter, and animal-lover. [Just ask her about her birds!] She blogs at The Musings of a New Englander

Sharon & I exchanged a series of emails about her decision to publish some of her stuff for free — a decision I supported, but which many writers frown upon. I asked if she’d share her reasons for “giving it away.” She very graciously agreed. Thanks, Sharon!

I have been seriously writing since the Fall of 2009. It had not occurred to me to write as a  career. After all, that was for people who were serious, who had talent and skill. That was surely not me.  What did I know about writing?   Then a friend told me that my husband had told her he felt I wrote rather well (a fact he had not shared with me). This thought rattled in my brain for a while. A few months later a story started forming in my mind. I kept telling myself I was going to put down, but just never did — until the Fall of 2009 when I had two surgeries, unrelated to each other, within 3 weeks of each other. 

Since I had some newfound time on my hands, I started to write.  Once I started, it seemed the words would not stop flowing.  The more I wrote, the more confidence I felt in what I was putting down on paper. Joining a writer’s group in town motivated me to write more on the things I came across.  I varied from children’s book, memoirs, personal essay, mystery and drama. I did not define myself to just one set box.  What happened soon was notebooks filled with short stories that ranged as wide as a rainbow with its colors.   

Then came my subscription to Writer’s Digest. That magazine changed my life, for in one of its articles was an author who talked about social media and how to use it to further one’s writings.  She  left her Twitter name and that was my road to an amazing new world. A world where authors, editors, publishers, printing houses met, chat, supported and helped each other in the facets of writing.  I was blown over. 

I was not an unknown writer to them. I was someone who reminded them of where they once were (or where they were right now).  It compelled me to write more than ever. But with writing comes editing something that I am not good at.   

The great part of social media is the people you meet. If they don’t know the answer, they know someone who just might. At that point I had written 3 books which required editing of some nature. I had written the second part of my children’s book as well as a collection of short stories.  This was all well and good, but not when they needed some editing.

During the early part of last year, I contacted a publisher to ask about his pricing for editorial services. Even when I knew I could not afford it, we stayed in touch.  A few months ago, he approached me requesting the use of some of my work. He was putting together an ebook of short stories. He would pay for the art cover, the editing and all of that. The book would be offered for free to download as a promotional gig, so there would be no money made on this for him or for me. I would maintain the copyrights to my stories; he would just get to use them this one time. In return for my involvement, the book would include my bio, mentions of my WIPs (works in progress), and ways to contact me.

I was ecstatic, to say the least, until a person told me that if I was not getting paid then it was not worth my participation.  I was miffed at first, for I could not understand how anyone could view this as anything but good. I tended to think a different way:

Download the free ebook.

l have 4 short stories in print. To say I am giddy is truly an understatement.  This all happened the week of Thanksgiving and still, when I think about it, I just smile from ear to ear.  I refuse to let the naysayer bring me down. I am proud of myself. It just shows that even if you are unknown it does not mean your work won’t find an audience. It is all how you view it.

Eooks are opening a whole new venue for artists across the board  Making our mark is not easy when we are new and exposure, exposure, and exposure is what is needed. So I say poo poo at that person who thinks it is not worth it for me to allow my stories to be put into print. I refuse to let the negativity of that remark stop me. I have to start somewhere. I view this opportunity from the publisher as my first step. 

At least now, when I do my query letters, I can now say I am published here and there.  Furthermore, there will be a few publishers who will be able to see my stories learn about my next project. Maybe they will see something they are interested in or maybe they will know someone that might be interested in my works. 

Where I stand, this is win, win, and a win.

What do you think? Should a writer EVER allow his or her work to be published without payment? How valuable is exposure? What has your experience been? Chime in below and let me know