Saturday, February 22, 2014

Writer's Conferences

If you haven't been to a writer's conference. I highly recommend it. I spent last week at LTUE and learned a ton (not just from the panels, but from watching the other authors...we'll talk more about that next week).

Here's some positives from going to a conference:

1. You learn the craft (do you remember when you were a kid and your mom wanted you to learn how to embroider or sew a button on a's nothing like that). The craft of writing includes: plot, voice, tension, world building; things that will make your book/story better.

2. You get to meet cool people. I have a group of writer friends that I get to see at most conferences, but sometimes you get to meet other writers who are considered the superstars of writing.  Like:
Orson Scott Card
Brandon Sanderson

(I am not confirming or denying any accusations that I am stalking any of these writers)

3. If you're lucky, you can meet and pitch to agents and editors. This year I will be meeting with an agent. It's nice to be able to meet face to face with an agent/editor to discuss your book. This means you can surpass the slush pile. But please do your homework. Doing a pitch can make or break your chance with that agent. 

4. Some conferences allowed one to work with professional writers in workshops. If you have the chance at a conference...DO IT! I've worked with a number of authors and have gleaned new information from each one. (They are so brilliant!)

Those are a few things that you can gain from going to a conference (not to mention eating out for every meal which cooking...yes!) 

If you have been to a conference, what have you learned? (Don't forget the online conferences...WriteOnCon is excellent.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Last week I introduced you to my baby book, Boys Don't Cry, Do They?  It was already uploaded to Kindle, but I needed to make some corrections.

Invisible on my work copy but very visible on the Kindle previewer were random lines.  Some pages were fine and others had distracting dark lines on them.  Most troublesome were the black horizontal ones, but there were blue ones as well, both horizontal and vertical.

I tried everything I could think of, but it's hard to erase invisible lines.  In the process, though, I discovered other errors.  And that is the interesting thing.  Mistakes can be wonderful opportunities to learn.

I have learned a lot from mistakes.  I had to get help with this one, and that is often the case.  For my book, I had to get help from my son who is a computer genius.  Luckily I have several computer geniuses who call me mom.

Some mistakes require heavenly help.  Instead of a computer genius, I need a genius of the heart--a doctor of the soul.  He is always there for me.  I appreciate Him more than I can say. He loves me no matter what and like my son, He erases black lines.  He is the ultimate eraser.

That is the good news.

In other good news: Boys Don't Cry, Do They? is live on kindle without black lines, and just in time for my birthday.  Click here to see it.

Although my book went live yesterday, I think I can say we share the same birthday.  We both have a lot to celebrate, including erasing.

Linda Garner

Friday, February 14, 2014

Boys Don't Cry, Do They?

Several years ago I wrote a picture designed to prevent sexual abuse.  It is called Some Secrets Hurt, and was published in 2008 by Shadow Mountain.  That was the beginning of a wonderful journey.

The journey brought me into the crazy world of writing, and it also brought me into the personal lives of abuse victims.

I have received  touching letters from victims of sexual abuse, who thanked me for writing the book, and wish it had been around when they needed help.  I appreciate these men and women for opening the doors to their wounded hearts and trusting me with their thoughts.
I have had the opportunity to talk to religious leaders and community leaders about sexual abuse, and I have had the opportunity to write articles, and participate in fund raisers to raise awareness about sexual abuse.  I have spoken in schools, and book clubs about sexual abuse.  For several years, I blogged weekly to the book’s website, 
My book was beautifully illustrated by Brandilyn Speth.  I am grateful that we were brought together for this project, because she had an inspired vision of the book.  I am grateful for her sensitivity.  It was Brandilyn who felt that we needed a boy’s book.  I wasn’t sure at first, but the idea teased my mind and asked me to pay attention.
About one in three girls are sexually abused before the age of eighteen in the U.S. today.  Boys are not far behind with nearly one in five boys being sexually abused before the age of eighteen.  Some think the stat for boys is not accurate, because boys are less likely to disclose abuse than girls.
In our community, we have been inclined to think that sexual abuse happens mostly to girls, but that may not be true.  In recent years, we have seen more in the news about sexual abuse to boys.  I think we are beginning to get a truer picture.
Sexual abuse is damaging, whether you are a boy or a girl, and whether you are seven or seventeen. The effects are difficult to overcome. Prevention is preferable.  Education is the key.  Parents and teachers need to educate themselves about sexual abuse, and they need to start talking to the kids in their care.  They don’t need to be graphic, but they need to be clear.  Kids need this information.  Teenagers need this information.
Some people get the idea that Some Secrets Hurt is a book for children who have already been abused.  I have sometimes been asked “How will I know if my child needs this book?”  I always explain that every child needs it, first because we never know which child has been abused, and second because prevention is so much easier and effective than repair work.
Indeed I intended Some Secrets Hurt to be a tool that parents can use for prevention.  I intended it to open the doors of communication.  I intended it to give children a voice.  We are reluctant to talk about sexual abuse, yet talking about it is our best defense. 
Shadow Mountain decided not to publish the boys’ version, and Brandilyn decided not to illustrate it, but she had planted an idea in my mind that I acted on.
Lilly Johnson agreed to illustrate the book, and I have spent several months learning the process of converting text and pictures to e-book.  The book is ready to go, and will be out on the Kindle website within a day or two.   
Because Shadow Mountain owns the copyright to Some Secrets Hurt, everything about this book had to be different, so it is not a redone version of Some Secrets Hurt.  Like Some Secrets Hurt, Boys Don’t Cry is a must have for every home.
Boys Don’t Cry, Do They?
Watch for it.  Every home needs one.
Linda Garner




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Cookie Making

What's more fun that Valentine cookies?  Maybe a Valentine e-book about cookies.  My Valentine e-book is on sale through Valentine's day.  It's a lot of Valentine fun for $2.99.  Click on the Valentine Disaster book cover on the side bar to get your copy today.

Amy has a list for everything, including getting ready for Valentine's Day.  She planned for everything...well, almost everything.  What will she do when her Valentine cookie crumbles?

A Valentine's Disaster is more than a book about Valentine love .  It is a book about problem solving, a book about service, and a book about forgiveness.  Also included are child friendly recipes for Valentine cookies.

It's available through the kindle store, but no worries if you don't have a kindle.  You can get the kindle app for you computer or phone.

Happy cookies making.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Believe in Clean

I wonder how many posts I have written about dejunking.  It seems to be a constant for me.  I am a junk-magnet.  I collect stuff. 

Unfortunately, I am a saver.  I save way too much, and I am drowning in the stuff I have saved. 
We have a need to create space in our home right now, and I have felt the need to lighten the load for some time.  I spent several hours yesterday, and made a big dent, but there’s so much more to do. 
How does it happen?  Where does all the excess come from?  Why is getting rid of it so hard.  I second guess every dejunking decision.  It might come in handy, after all.  
It helps that I have a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate.  I don’t really mind the work, but it eats up all my time, and there are so many things I’d rather do.  I have three writing projects that are calling my name.  Those voices are so seductive. 
I must be strong.  I believe in clean.  I believe in clean.  I believe in clean. 
Linda Garner