Wednesday, December 1, 2010



I know it's been a while since my last post, but I've been busy writing / editing / rewriting / and entering the changes in WORD on four different manuscripts.
3 children and 1 paranormal/contemprorary romance.

Since my book, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me", in part deals with pet adoption and rescue I have decided to donate a portion of each sale on CreateSpace to one of five NO-KILL animal shelters. The following is what I've been posting =

Books make a wonderful gift for children, especially when there is something they can learn from reading it. Given the topics which my book, “A Lesson My Cat Taught Me”, book deals with, and this being the holiday season, I will be donating $ 0.70 [70 cents] for each copy of my book sold through , until the end of February 2011.

I have listed 5 animal shelters from throughout the country with their websites, for you to decide where you would like the donation portion from your purchase of my book to go to. In order for the donations to be properly allocated to your selection YOU MUST enter the appropriate code provided next to each shelter in the discount code field when you check out.

The Cat House on the Kings, Inc Parlier, CA SKLUW8D9
[please be sure to watch the YOUTUBE video on the group’s homepage]

North Shore Animal League of America, Inc Port Washington, NY JXE954KW

S P C A of Westchester County Briarcliff Manor, NY 943VBC2K

Dutchess County S P C A, Inc. Hyde Park, NY 85ZEYX5U

Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctusry, Inc. St. Pauls, NC WLKRK7FL

If for some reason the link does not work, please copy and
paste the link, otherwise “Google” the shelter involved.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I'm getting ready to donate 70 cents from the sale of each book purchased through to one of about 5 animal shelters when the specific code for that
shelter is entered while checking out.

I will be posting the list shortly here and on all the groups I belong to.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


With all the discussion of bullying going on these days, I have decided to change and enhance one of the aspects I had in my story. We have to remember that bullying is not only physical, but can also take many other forms.
So I'm off to the rewrite.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My children;s book, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me" just got it's first review, since I decided to self-publish it after the contract I had with my publisher ended in March. It got reviewed in a wonderful blog about pets and wildlife.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I've been quite busy the past three weeks.

I now have an event book signing scheduled for the beginning of December, where, if someone buys a copy of my book from me, I will be donating $1.50 to the shelter from the book signing is taking place.

I'm in the process of sending emails to about 5 animal shelter, sanctuaries, etc asking if they're interested in sending out emails about from book, and that I would be giving them 10% of each sale their emails produced [ $.70 / 70 cents ], provided the book would be ordering through the e-store I have on createspace using a special discount which I would provide.

The first thing I need to do is the contact these animal shelters to see if they are willing to accept my offer.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I just got the date that a local cable station will interview for one of their programs. The date for the taping is December 8, 2010 @ 12 noon.

I also got the approximate date for my online internet talk show interview, it will be for a Sunday evening, between 9PM - 10PM, and should be in the first half of the month.

I sent a copy of my book out for a review in at least one pet related blog and a few pet related columns.

And I'm still surfing the net to find addition places to post about my book.

Yes. marketing and promoting your book can become a full time job, especially if you are serious about doin it,

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Just received my first order of my book, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me" [110 copies]

I've set aside 10 copies for "promotions". One copy {the version I had with my publisher] has gone out to a woman who works as the EVENTS MANAGER for a radio station. I originally spoke to her it concerned purchasing tickets for an event, I found out she has a cat...Anyway, when I emailed her concerning who she would like me to autograph a copy, she said her child's teacher's class. Since the autograph copy is going to a teacher, I also enclosed pictures of my two cats who inspired to write the book, and the citation about my book being made a recommended resource by Teaching Tolerance [updating the information to show my current book], which reminds me to send them a copy as well to update their web site for my book

I also gave the web sites to purchase a copy.

Now I can finally send a copy to someone who wants to do a book review for a major online site for pets, which goes out to other sites. I can also fulfill a promise to send a someone who said he wants to interview me on his online talk show,

As can be seen from the above you need to keep the promises you made while you were promoting your book. Remember you're giving "away" a copy of your own book, which you purchased at a greatly reduced price. The cost of each copy of your book, let's for argument sake is $5 + $2 for postage. For $7 for you are reaching hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, people can now see and hear you, instead of merely reading

I envelope done for today, one/two to go. Remember to keep the receipt you get from the post office for each book you mail out [document your expenses]. Once they're done, it's a quick walk to the post office.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I've already posted items on the groups I belong to on
I've created an account on Facebook, and have research for and joined several
appropriated groups for me.
I've started to use an old screen name on have on YAHOO, deleting the groups I
had there and have begun joining new ones involving chrilden's books, cats,
humane society, etc. and begun posting items there. All these groups pertain
to the genre of my book and what my book is about

Of course all this is time consuming, and if you're truly interested in getting your book promoted and marketed, that is what you must be willing to do. No one will come to you, and no one will know about what you have to offer, unless you take charge and do something on your own.

Without question TIME = MONEY. You must be willing to put in as much time as you can in this endeavor. But then, of course, you can always pay someone else to promote/market your book. However, paying someone else will not guarantee that you will get any better results.

Sam Levenson, once stated [or restated some advice he got from his parents] that if you should ever need a helping hand you can find one at the end of your arm.

Well, I'm back off to searching for more groups to join. One of the groups I joined on YAHOO, back me another kind of group I could join. You to take every idea that comes along and run with it.

Right now I'm going back to reading my emails [another time consuming task], and replying to those which might help promote my book. Then it's back to the search/search anew for more groups to join/post. I know, and you must remember that enough though a group might have 5,000 only a portion will actually read your post, and only of portion of that will actually go to the link you provided.

Finally, in doing what I've discussed here, don't believe that this will be the pot at the end of a rainbow, you must remember that in "blind marketing" [where you receive unsolicited offers in the mail] the returns are only about 2% - 3%, and in a few incidents somewhat more

Friday, October 8, 2010


In the past few days I did my last set of postings on the groups I belong to. So far I've received=

1 - 3 requests to do a blog interviews [one of them in Australia]
2 - 1 requests to do a book review [a book of advise = = stay away from
people who say they'll do a book review for you, but only
after you pay them.
3 - Some offers to do postings on my behalf on different sites, etc

It's been quite hectic around here, I've been putting in 12 - 14 hours a day.
I've also been a "hard-nosed' editing my paranormal romance novel and I am now down to my last 47 pages

On my way to my union's office, I'm a Co-Vice Chair of their retirees, I found a new thirft shop which is for CAUSE FOR PAWS , spoke to a woman there about doing a booksigning. Now I'm waiting for them to get back to me.

I've also been busy creating a facebook account for my book, and doing postings to groups which pertain to me or my book.

My book finally became available on [one marked published Oct 2, 2010] it's also on

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Now that I have completed the self-publishing a my chidren's book, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me", [ ]it's time for me to begin the marketing process again. The are many ways of being able to market your book(s). The cost ranges from being totally free to costing hundreds of dollars. It is for you, the author, to decide how much of your own money you are willing to spend. Since I currently do not have the funds necessary to really market my book, I'll be looking for all the freebies I can find/get.

While I had a contract with my publisher, I started by contacting my college, and I succeeded in getting into the electronic newsletter of the college, this lead me to getting an article written in the campus newspaper [paper and electronic]. I also got into several newspapers. It will be hard trying to use these avenues again, but I will still make an attempt, the worse answer I could get is that they're not interested.

In the past year I've joined several groups on and elsewhere. The groups which I belong to deal with specific topics, and I have begun to do posting to discussions, etc of these group; writing specific postings depending on what the group deals with. I just did a posting to a select portion of these groups [for me it involved 9 groups, the membership of these groups totals approximately 8,500 [but in calculating a more accurate number I need to deduct a percentage for possible duplicates, as more than one person could belong to multiple groups discussing the same topic. In the next few days I will be postings some of the other groups I belong to.

I've also did a posting to the LinkedIn Group I am the owner of

It is a tedious process, and the best way to handle having to post the same posting to several groups is to simply write/save them in word, and then do a copy/paste to do the actual posting.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yesterday, around 6 PM I saw a rainbow. We had heavy rains in the morning, overcast the entire day with intermittent light rain. The sky around then had dark spots. Went into a Hallmark with my wife to get a birthday card, and some instant scratch Lotto tickets for a friend of the family. When we came out, the sun came out, the clouds broke and right in front of us see saw a complete rainbow.

So, I saw a rainbow. Big deal. Why would it matter if I did or if I didn't? The thing is when I check my email, I had received word that the physical copy of my book had been shipped via PRIORITY MAIL... meaning if the cards are right I should be receiving it today...If everything is fine and I approve it today...My book will become available through "my" e-store by Wednesday and Amazon by October 19th.

Guess, I'll be spending a lot of time updating various web sites where the old copy of my book appears.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Just got word a physical proof has been order by the Support Team at Create Space working on my book. They advised me that it would about 5 days before it will be mailed out. As soon as I approve it, it will immediately become available through a direct link to their e-store, followed in about 15 days on

I read a post in one of the groups I belong to on, and after clicking on the link provided I believe I now have a possible story idea for another children's book.

I have a personal tagline which is on my business cards =

So far I have gotten story ideas from;
1. Watching the antics of my two cats [Published / and is now being re-released as
as self-published book].
2. From my wife who had an idea for a story about a boy and his bean. [Manuscript
completed...waiting get it published...need $$$ from sale of first book.]
3. From an online critique ... a short-short story less than 2500 words revolving
around a fountain. [Manscript completed but now needs a major re-write.
4. From checking out a link from a group I belong to on [outline for
story line being formatted first in my head and then on paper. Right now
I have the mid-point of the story to the end...need to formulate now I will
begin it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Just approved the interior for my book. I've been advised I will be receiving a hard copy of my book within 8 business days.

So right now I'm just counting the days until my proof copy arrives. And the counting starts NOW.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's amazing no matter how many times you re-read what you have, you'll usually find something else whichs needs a little tweeting. Just as I got ready to give my final approval, I found two more little changes which I needed to make. Now I'm awaiting to get the next PDF.file for my book for my approval. Hopefully, I should get it tomorrow or Thursday.

I found some more minor changes in my second manuscript for a children's, and in my third manuscript I eliminate an entire portion [it could convey some wrong ideas as to how to behave to some readers. I read a post in another group I belong to, went to the link which had been provided, and to my surprise I'm now have the possibility of yet another story for a children's book. But then again, it fits the personal tag I have = "YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHERE YOUR NEXT STORY IDEA WILL COME FROM".

Saturday, September 11, 2010


About two days ago I submitted the changes I need to have for the interior of my book. The only restriction I had, is a limit of 20 changes, before I would be charged any additional fees.

I had a few text changes in a handful of paragraphs. How do I not have each change in a paragraph count....Simple copy the text from my original submission, paste it into what I want the text to read field, make my changes, and then tell them to replace the whole paragraph.

Since my book has illustrations, I need to have the text facing the appropriate illustrations. In the end, the next to the last page of text was almost blank due to the manner the text had been formatted. It didn't create any real problem, however it became tedious having to count every line on a page and then insert a page break to even out the last few pages of text. The end product will hopefully come out I way planned.

According to my count I still have about 7 changes left which I can make.

According to the timeframe I had been advised of, I should get a new PDF.file with these changes by Wed/Thurs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Still in the process of approving the setup of my book with CreateSpace. I have only so many opportunities to make changes before they will start charging me. The cover [front and back] have already been approved. Now working with the book's interior is correct [size of illustrations, font type and size, and all margins]. Once that is okay, I can move on to the tedious task of being a "galley slave". No, not the kind under CAPTAIN BLIGH, the one using a RED PENCIL going through page after page making under the changes I want after the editor has gone through it. But, alas, the days of the RED PENCIL and paper are gone. Instead, I have the tedious task of indicating on a form, the page, paragraph, line for my change. Once they receive these changes, I have to wait for them to send me another PDF file for my approval. Once that is approved, I will receive ONE COPY of my book...once I give the green light, my book will available of

Sunday, August 8, 2010


After a few tweets regarding the size of the illsutrations, text font size, etc., I've just approved the interior mockup of my book's first few pages. I had approved the book's design for the front and back cover previously. There I had been given two design concepts to choose from, and after some consideration I chose to go with one concept for the front cover and the second second for the back; each one with a minor tweet.

Now with this stage of the process done. I now have to wait until I receive a PDF file of my entire book, which is going to follow the format of the mockup I've just approved. Once I give my approval here, I then will received a hard copy for my final approval. I anticipate that these two steps will take approximately three week to complete [hopefully it will be less]. This would make my book available for purchase by the beginning of September.

As far as my other writing efforts are concerned;
I've now completed a total of 112 pages of 256 in my lastest editing/rewriting of my paranormal romance.
I have begun an outline for my YA paranormal.
In addition, I beginning to mull ideas in my head for a serials of YA books, probably involving the sci-fi/fanasty/time travel genres.

One thing I really have to do is to set-up a more defined timetable of what plan to do each day regarding my writing endeavors, distractions are allowed, but they should run my daily routine.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


As I said in one of my first blogs, if you are serious about writing in any genre, you should join a recognized group to that genre. If you are interested in children's books you have the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) []; of which I am a member. There are chapters, each one offering different progams. The good thing here is, being a member of the national organization, automatically makes you a member of your local chapter. To find out if and where your local chapter go to the national site mentioned above. SCBWI has a magazine and its web site offers member an opportunity for its members to reach to each other for support and guidance though its discussion groups; its also contain of wealth of information.

I am also a member of the Romance Writer of America national organization [], which allows me to join any of their local chapters. I had a choice between one in NYC and one in Rockland County (Nyack, NY); I chose the one in Nyack, NY; Hudson Valley RWA [] The reason I chose them, is the critique session that is offered at their meetings. (You can go to two meetings, after that you need to be a member of the national organization in order to join this group).

I have, until now, not made any progress with my paranormal romance for the past four months. At the same time, by listening to the critiques of others, I have gain knowledge in how to tweet what I have written in my own manuscript. The great thing about their critiques are done, is that no one there attempts to criticize what you have written, everyone there merely wants to help each other hone their skills as an author. I just took a look at the first few pages of one of my original versions of my manuscript and compare it to what I have today. And I didn't know any better I would say they were written by two different individuals; and I have to thank everyone there in making it happen. If you are truly intested in pursuing written a romance novel, and live in the Hudson Valley area, I invite you to check this group out on their web site.

Now, let me get back to the subject of this blog. In the past few days:

I have re-edited 27 pages out of 256 for my paranormal romance.
Edit/deleted my third manuscript of a children's book.
[My second one is waiting for me to get the funds I would need to move
it forward
Since my YA manuscript does not appear to be going in the direction I would like,
I've decided to scrap it. Since then I have written four pages for the new

Time to get some sustenance so I can return to do some more editing. I also
have to work on my emails, on line group, etc

Sunday, July 18, 2010


With the text of the various postings and emails I plan to do once my book is available again, I am now begining to prepare a listing of various venues where I can do a fundraising book signing at.

Look at what your book is dealing with. Does it deal with any group of people, causes, etc? If it does then start making a list of the charity, contact person, web site, etc.

Since my book deals with the acceptance of people for who they are and not what they are; and also deals pet adoption and animal rescue, I will be concentrating in these areas. And in order to compile this listing I will scouring my emails, newspapers, etc.

The good thing about doing a booksigning for a fundrasing, forgetting about the monetary return for you with increased sales. is the possibility of getting FREE MEDIA ATTENTION about your book. The increase in media attention from one event can easily increase your sales, as well as, opening the door for additional fundraising booksignings.

The first item on my list is for a group in the NYC area which provides a santuary for feral and unadoptable cats, and is looking for funds to finance a revamping of the home used for this purpose. Unless to say, I will not be contacting them until I have the copies I would need in hand.

When deciding what portion of each sale you should give to the organization you doing the booksign for; round off the regular price of the book, divide this price by the sales tax on the book [for example, if the sales tax = 7.5%, book = $11.95; then the pretax price would be $12/1.075 = 11.16], and then consider what you feel would be a fair amount to give as the donation for each copy of your book that got sold. Please keep in mind you also need to be fair to yourself as well, as far as the profit you will now be making on each copy is concern.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


As I wait for my book to move through the various phases of production until I receive a hard copy for my final approval (the previous one being a digital [PDF]copy, I can begin my marketing plan.

The first thing I'm doing is to set up various pre-written items which I feel I would need to use in the future, some of which might be over and over again. While this is going to take some time to complete now, it will save a great deal of more time in the future.

As I'm doing this. I'm surfing the web to find appropriate sites, groups, etc where I can post these items. Again, the time that I'm spending now will save me time in the future. When my book becomes available again, I can "rapid fire" everything out the same day; instead of doing all of the research, writing, posting, etc; instead of doing everything then.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Minor Setback

Submitted the third and final set the hard material for my book, text, illustrations [interiot/front cover], and back cover information to CreateSpace. My book now moves to the next step, and it will be about 3-4 days before their design team will begin working with me to begin to "sculp" these sections into the final product. The setback came when I inquired when my book will be available on Amazon; I answer I received advised me that it could take up to eight months. Perhaps, keeping my eyes, toes, and eyes crossed, it will take less.

While I'm waiting for this to occur, I can start setting up the marketing plan for my book.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


After making several setups for the back cover, with a picture of my cat [UNO - the main character of my book] or myself; I made the decision not to have any picture at all. The reason for this decision, it made the cover too busy and I like the simplicity that I already had on the book.

Once I made this decision I began the "defined" submission process that CreateSpace has in place. The great thing is that there is, from my experience a great support mechanism included in the fee which is paid. The extend of the support depends on the package purchased. Since my book had already beed edited prior to beginning published the first time around, I didn't need this service.

On the submission page you start off by submitting the text which I did after one last read through of the manuscript. I then submitted each of the illustrations I have in my book, as a JPEG file. [I'm grateful that my illustrator, Nancy Lepri, who has been very supportive in my having a usable copy of each of the illustration]. To get the required JPEG file I merely scanned the hard copy of each illustration as a picture. To get each illustration properly placed within the text of my book, I had to include their placement within the confines of the text I had already submitted, according to their instructions.

Now comes such things as what I want to be placed on Amazon regarding my book. This is going to get place during the coming week. As they begin their portion of my book's set-up, they will obtain a new ISBN, and insert it on the copyright page, in addition they will be asking me for my preference in fine tuning my book's appearance.

Once the all the portions submission process has been completed, with the assistance of their support team at each step of the process, I will receive a digital copy of my book for approval. Once I approve, I will need to approve a hard copy. Once they receive my approval, it will take about 10 business days to get it on Amazon.

Well, it's Sunday, a day for the major shopping for the week with my wife amongst other things. Then, I'm off to edit another chapter of my paranormal romance, and possibly type 3-4 more pages in the YA manuscript I'm doing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

decisions, Decisions, DECISIONS

Other than doing things with my wife this weekend, I've spent most of the time deciding on what I should do for the new back cover of my book. I've gotten feedback from several people, including my illustrator [Nancy Lepri], and I value all of their input. Some individuals felt I should place my picture next to the small book related bio, others suggested I should place a picture of the one-eyed calico, my wife and I own. [We also own the Maine Coon in my book].

After lots of thought designing and redesigning the back cover of the book, I've come to the decision to leave the back cover in the same manner which existed on the previous back cover. No matter how I placed the picture, combining it with the text, the back cover appeared to be too crowded and distracting to read. The simplified cover of text only makes it easier on the eyes.

Now all I have to is to finalized the back cover text, review the text borders of the book, correct placement of the illustrations. etc. I'm hoping I'll be able to complete everything, including phoning someone where I'm getting the book setup and printed tomorrow. They'll be supplying me with the new ISBN which is one less item I have to worry about. And lastly I've decided to keep the price of the book the same, $6.95.

Well, I'm off to prepare dinner. Nothing special, only some turkey sloppy joes; great tasting but not the same of the ground beef variety

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've allowed myself to have to many distractions from my writing. I've gotten more involved with my union, joining the retirees group and becoming a co-chair of the group, as well as additional activities; activities which my work and schedule had previously prevented me from being involved with.

I've also had to deal with finalizing my pension. I could have easily mailed everything in, but, given the bureaucracy of things being passed from pillar to post before it gets to the individual who actually needs to get it, I decided to hand deliver it and get a dated copy of what I gave.

I'm in the process of setting up definitive schedule of what needs to be done and when I will be doing it. Needless to say, first up on my agenda is the children's book I want to get published again. I am committed in getting this done by the middle of next week. Part of my schedule will be a daily goal of how many pages of the new YA manuscript I'm writing, how many chapters of editing I will be doing on my paranormal romance. One thing I can not forget is allowing for time for "emergencies", R & R, etc. No "emergencies" will allow for greater movement in my goal. I also can not forget about setting up more of my marketing strategy for when my book is available again, and a third children's book manuscript which is now on the back burner and requires almost a total rewrite of the second half.

Well, I'm off to do some editing on my paranormal manuscript and to make my final decision of what I'm going to do with the back cover of my book. So until my next blog, keep plugging away on what you are doing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Things happen for a reason. I retired in February of this year. In March the contract with my publisher ended. Although this might be a disappointment for some, I am looking at this as an opportunity; an opportunity to take matters into my own hands, and to take risks, which if they failed might have impacted negatively on my fellow authors who were still with my publisher.

I took steps, steps which I could not take before, including tightening up on parts of the story of my book, which would have otherwise have cost money to make the revisions. I, of course, took steps to form my own corporation, obtaining all the necessary items to become a corporation. I also had to purchase the rights to the illustrations in my book. Given that my words, and her illustration combined to make a wonder end product; and after some discussions we arrived at a mutually agreed upon price, which we, considering the circumstances felt would be fair to both of us.

Now with the rights to the illustrations in hand, and having completed making the final edits. I am almost ready to get my book published again. Just need to complete the arrangement for the back cover, and to obtain some feedback on its design.

With all the time I now have, I have been able to make final edits for another manuscript for a children's book I have written, and to begin making edits on a third. Time has also given me the opportunity to sit down and to begin to complete writing the paranormal romance manuscript I began writing about seven years ago. First manuscripts take the longest to write, as one strives for prefection. And given what I have heard about what is being looked for in the market place for certain genres of books, I am looking at possible writing a YA (young adults book).

Things happen for a reason, and I am glad I decided to retire when I did.


Given I had written a children's book (ages 5 - 8[9]), my publisher got an illustrator, Nancy C. Lepri, to do the illustrations.

She did a superb job in doing them, capturing the visual story of my words. The weirdest thing about her illustrations is the cover she drew. Why am I saying the front cover is weird? The answer is simple. Even though she lives in North Carolina, she drew the view I had from my apartment window as I wrote the book.

After the illustrations had been done, I became a "galley slave", reviewing and making final changes to the story. Once I approved the final draft, I waited patiently for the first copy of my book to arrive. The smell of ink of a fresly printed book fulfills the dream of each writer wanting to see their work in print. It is a smell which will always be remembered and cherished.

During the time I had been with my publisher, she held chats where all the authors who where there able to begin to learn how to market our books, and we developed a kinship, supporting each other along the way. We shared each others ups as well as our downs.

Even though one gets published, we still need a network of friends and supporters who are able to understand and feel the emotions we have.


Having written numerous articles (commentaries) in my community newspaper for several years, and as a lark I wanted to see if I could write a full pledge fictional story. I wrote three pages one week, two the next, three... At the end of a few months I had written about 35 pages I saw the beginning a story (paranormal romance) starting to take form. But, I wondered if a guy could write something in this genre and get it published. After a little googling I found the RWA (Romance Writers of America), and to my amazement the president at that time was a guy writing under the name of Leigh Greenwood. Well that does it. I got the green light to move on with my writing.

I located a local chapter of the RWA in Rockland County (New York), Hudson Valley RWA ( which offered critiques to their members, but first I had to join the national organization ( I received a warm welcome at the first meeting I attended.

After attending a few meetings I had learned a great deal. One of the most important things I learned is that there is a vast difference between writing fiction and writing the non-fiction commentary type items I had become quite skilled at writing. It had been at one of these meetings that I read the first five pages of my manuscript, and I got to learn I had been making all of the most common mistakes new authors have, too many tags, being overly descriptive, POV, etc. There were a lot, and I do mean a lot of "problems" within those five pages. Yet, through each critique, I got the sense that no criticism existed in those critiques, except a willingness to support me in becoming a better writer.

Along the way, my wife suggested that I stop writing the story I had been writing, and write something for children, and since I had a severe case of writer's block (it had been several months I had written anything). I looked around, and seeing the antics of our two, I got an idea for a story, which I decided to call, "A Lesson My Cat Taught Me".

When I finished it, I showed it to one of the women there, who said, "that although it had a few minor errors..." she deemed it to be publishable (thanks to the support and guidance I had received in writing my romance manuscript), . At last a green light. Time to search out and get a publisher.

After the normal, drawn out process, of query, reject, query... I got picked up by a small press publisher. My contract ended in March of this year, and since my book will no longer be available, I'm in the process of going self-publish.

So seek out the organizations in the genre you're writing in, seek out their local chapters for guidance and support. And join.