Out On Submission.
June 18, 2011

You know that feeling where you want to hug the whole world?

That’s how I feel with my revisions finished. I’ve never worked harder in my life!

The 27th Letter of the Alphabet, originally entitled hollyrusken@yahoo.com, is officially out on submission!

A state that, for me, leads to reflection and philosophizing.

If asked which I value more — the end goal of my writing, or the lessons learned along the way, I’d have to choose the latter every time. The lessons in persistence, hard work and faith serve to benefit not only the writing and publishing journey, but the journey that trumps all journeys: life itself.

What some call a wretched road, I call a blessed road, and a road I feel privileged to travel. And I wish the same for all of you; that amidst the twists and turns of your dreams, you find value and meaning sprouting along the roadside … surprises that grow you, delightful moments that enlighten and sustain you.

Dogspeed, as I like to say.

Dogspeed to you.

Dare To Suck. That’s right, Writers.
April 22, 2011

It’s Friday, I’m happily pounding the keys as I work on revisions (very exciting!) and a light beer is beckoning, not to mention ranch chores, so let me make this short and sweet.

Dare to suck. Doooo it.

Daring to suck means you’re thinking, writing, practicing, evolving. There’re no edits, no rewrites, no revisions, no polishing — no words — if you don’t first dare to suck.

And you just might find, as you read your words back, that they’re not so bad, after all.

Good writing, everyone.

The Patron Saint of Beans
March 29, 2011

The Patron Saint of Beans

The storyline for this YA novel was inspired by a news story on parental kidnapping/alienation.

Violin prodigy Carey Benskin spent the majority of her fifteen years hidden away in the Obed Scenic and Wild River National Park, with her mute little sister, Jenessa, and their bipolar mother, Joelle. She didn’t expect Mama to go into town for supplies and vanish off the face of Tennessee, leaving the girls no choice but to return to the father who abandoned them long ago … or did he?


Usually, I would now include the first five pages, Kindle-sample-style. But, as an agented writer, I’m unsure about the protocol when it comes to first rights and manuscript excerpts.

I’ll find out and be back to post the pages if given the green light.

In the meantime, this novel is now in my agent’s hands.

UPDATE: I’ll be doing further revisions, but the manuscript has been accepted as my next novel!

 Not all of a writer’s manuscripts are guaranteed representation, even by a writer’s own agent. Scary, if you’ve never thought that far ahead. Yet, on the other hand, if a manuscript is a clunker, your agent is protecting your name and brand by refusing it.

Unless the writer disagrees …

You can read more about that particular twist in the road at agent Jennifer Laughran’s blog:

 Jennifer Represents…: When Your Agent Isn’t Feeling the Love

Thank goodness my agent felt the love!

I’ve loved books my entire life. As a writer with a manuscript on submission to editors, I appreciate books (especially their brave, hard-working authors!) that much more.