Archive for Writing – Page 2

Jen’s Friday Favorites

Too many favorites to count this week!! But here goes…

1. Family (and extended family) trip to Vegas!

2. George, the crew, and the boat wrapping up the Dungeness crab season and coming home this weekend.

3.  Eva and Vincent’s spring gymnastics show.

4. Only three more months until I find out if my submission for the 2011 Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s literary contest is a finalist.

5. Registering for the Bloggy Boot Camp! (And thanks to Mom and Dad for babysitting so Mommy can attend!)

6. My upcoming feature story for National Fisherman magazine! Stay tuned for details.

7.  The most hilarious lunch with my parents, sister, and precious baby niece today. Lots of laughs and the best way to spend an afternoon!

8. Everywhere I went in Vegas, I heard Jazzercise music. It made me feel so at home, at ease, pumped up, and ready to roll.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


The Next Post is Up to You!

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before on Highliners and Homecomings.

I’m going to write a post(s) from a writing prompt sent from one of YOU!

Go ahead. Send me your prompt. I’m not sure how many I’ll use, but it will likely be between one and five prompts.

Don’t be shy! Send ’em on. Let’s start March in a unique and festive way!

Bring it.

Another Cool Commercial Fishing Blog

I am really excited today. I have no idea why, as nothing amazing has occurred, but I’m pumped.

One thing I love is that the large non-fiction writing project I’ve been working on for years has finally come together and feels perfect. Don’t get me wrong; it’s far from finished. I finally sat down last week and reviewed a ton of feedback on the work I’ve gathered so far from editors and agents all around the country, along with feedback from a few fellow writers.

Most of the feedback was legitimate and caused me to sit back and reflect upon the suggestions and insight. Other feedback was so off-base it was clear the reader did not have a handle on the material at all. That feedback I simply rolled my eyes at before depositing in both my mental and real shredders.

I decided that I will, in fact, enter the 2011 Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Literary Contest (deadline February 28) along with hundreds of other writers. I may not win a ribbon, but at the very least, I’ll come away with even more feedback to mull over.

The other thing I’m excited about today is that I’ve finally entered the “burn phase” of the 24-day AdvoCare Challenge I’m doing with a few other people. I did just fine on the first ten days and am looking forward to the final fourteen. This challenge, combined with all the Jazzercise, should help get me back on track and well on my way to feeling like myself again (as well as ready for our first real vacation in four years this spring!).

Last but not least, I discovered yet another awesome commercial fishing blog. I enjoyed the content, subject matter, and writing style so well that I’ve included a direct RSS feed to it in the sidebar to the right.

Fish Tales is written by Jen Pickett, who posts once a week on (the creatively and aptly-named) Pickfish Fridays. Here’s a bit about Jen, taken directly from her blog:

“Jen Pickett is a freelance writer, a poet, and commercial fisherman. She has spent nearly two decades in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry. Starting as crewman, she’s worked tenders, seiners, trollers, gill netters and long liners fishing Alaska’s waters for herring, salmon, and halibut from Southeast Alaska to the Copper River Flats, Prince William Sound, Kodiak and Bristol Bay.  At the ripe age of 28 she became one of the few women to own and skipper her boat on one of Alaska’s most dangerous waters, the Copper River Flats, where she fished alone for the famous Copper River Kings and Reds. Encountering storms, breakers, broken-down equipment, ripped up nets, exhaustion, whales, sharks, and close calls with giant cruise ships and many other near misses, all became the norm aboard her 28′ boat…”

Pretty cool, right?

And before I go….Happy Birthday to my one time fishing crew mate and forever little sis, Steph!!

Posting Every Week in 2011

I’ve decided to join the WordPress blog challenge in 2011.  I’m starting now and plan to post on this blog once a week for all of 2011. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing the past three years anyway, but I do love an official challenge, so I’m taking WordPress up on it.

Thank you all for the hits, clicks, views, and reads in 2010; the stats for December were especially exciting and I appreciate it!

Blogging once a week isn’t always easy, but it is fun and inspiring. I’ll make use of The DailyPost and the community of other bloggers with similar goals to help me along the way. If you visit Highliners and Homecomings, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments, likes, and good will!

I’m thinking of introducing some new features (guest bloggers, etc.) but haven’t worked out the details yet.

George and I had a great New Year’s Eve (our tenth!) with dear friends and a date night at a beautiful hotel a mile down the hill. Thank you to my parents for watching our beloved little ones!! We love you so much!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful evening and relaxing first day of 2011!

Jen :-)

I laugh every time I look at this picture! Happy New Year, G!

Hot rollers and hair spray to welcome in the New Year!

My Prophetic Dream

Most of you know by now that I spent last weekend at a writer’s conference. I’d been planning to attend the Conference for the past two years, but I was not ready last year.

This year, I was ready and prepared with a folder of information I planned to present to two agents and one editor during my non-fiction book pitch. The folder included my business card, my thirty-second verbal pitch, my one-sentence book description, the synopsis, and two sample chapters.

It’s no secret that I suffer from serious anxiety that can be rather debilitating, and I’ve been both blessed and cursed with extremely vivid dreams. Of course, I didn’t sleep well the night before I left for the Conference, and had a first-class nightmare to send me off on my big weekend.

In the dream, my first agent appointment had been moved from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m., but nobody told me. Fortunately, I had arrived early for the appointment, so I was ready. Unfortunately, the agent took one look at me, decided I was lame, and told me she didn’t want to hear my pitch. She talked with me for five minutes and then sent me on my way. I convinced her to take my folder of information, which she grudgingly accepted.

Later that day I was sitting in a chair at the Conference and looked up to see a movie mockery of my pitch playing on a big screen, which the agent had put together. Other Conference attendees sitting around me were watching the movie, laughing about how stupid an idea my pitch was!

Next in the dream, right before my 3:20 p.m. appointment with an editor, I somehow ended up in a taxi that took me far from conference center. I begged the taxi driver to turn around so I could make my appointment, but she refused.

I called everyone I knew to come get me and take me back to the Conference, but of course couldn’t reach anyone. And to make matters worse, during the course of the Conference, I couldn’t get on any elevators, had my make-up all screwed up, and bought a new car in the middle of it all.


Powered by Plinky

Plinky Sounds Like Fun!

I discovered the following awesome WordPress notice today while checking my blog stats….

Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky Prompts

by Joy Victory

Do you ever think “Ugh, I’d totally write a new blog post, if I just had something to say?” Or maybe, “I’m sick and tired of writer’s block but I don’t know what to do about it!”

We’ve all been there — those days when the light bulb seems dim, if not burned out. To give you a little creative push and get that writerly mojo flowing again…

…Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a challenge — and you type in an answer. To keep it interesting, prompts are a mixed bag of fun commands (“Write a haiku about the last meal you ate”) to more thoughtful questions (“What is your favorite summer memory?”)

It’s me again.

Plinky will work with a variety of blog hosts. If you have a blog, it works with a variety of blog hosts. If you don’t have a blog but enjoy writing, just sign up and start having fun with the prompts and meeting other writers!

I can’t wait to get started with Plinky. I signed up the moment after I read the above notice. Writing prompts are fun, and so is reading the work of others, especially on like subjects. If you sign up for it too, let me know so we can connect on Plinky!

Blogs, Pitches, and Tag Lines…

George took the kids to pick up a meal at the new BBQ place just outside our local grocery store this evening. In the fifteen minutes my family was gone, I took a headlong dive into the notes I’ve collected recently on writer’s websites, blogs, social networking, marketing, and pitching.

My little family wasn’t gone five minutes before my eyes were blurry from all the information.

I thought I’d share some of the various tips I’ve gathered and see what y’all think:

1. Who you know does matter. The more you do for them, they more they’ll do for you.

2. Be able to describe your book in 200 words. Why? Few people you work with, besides your editor, will actually read your book.

3. If you are interviewed for media, have your own questions and answers prepared in advance. The interviewer will probably not have read your book.

4. Don’t worry about social networking. If you do have a blog, you need to “blog” three days a week. Better is five days a week.

5. Make sure you know what’s going on in your own hometown when it comes to marketing your work. New Yorkers don’t know what’s going on beyond the Hudson River. (Not my quote, by the way!)

6. A 30-second verbal pitch about your book is critical.

7. Read Publisher’s Weekly on a weekly basis to find out information regarding deals, agents, editors, and people in the know.

8. The cover letter is all-important.

9. Some reviewers will not review a trade paperback.

10. The quality of your proposal, your cover letter, and your synopsis mean everything.

11. Research the person to whom you are sending these things. Polish all three things.

12. Stop the publicity for your work six months before publication. Whoever interviews you before your book/writing is published won’t you interview you again shortly after your work is published.

13. Word of mouth is the greatest marketing tool of all.

14. Independent booksellers will sell the majority of copies of your book. Check out

15. Be able to describe your book in a one-sentence tag line not exceeding 20 words.

The above is just a fraction of the info I’ve gathered on pitching or marketing your writing or book. I could keep typing, but George is sending me a look requesting help with two little blondies who need to go to bed.

Let me know what you think!

Nautical Writing Opportunity

Here is an interesting writing opportunity for those interested in nautical/maritime history and culture. It was sent to me by a Seattle author that I’ve worked with before,  so I thought I’d pass along the information:

“I’m writing to you and all my writer/editor friends to tell you about my new maritime heritage website, Fyddeye, The tagline is “Discover and share your maritime history.” It’s now up and running and traffic is starting to grow. I’m making plans for a printed version of the Fyddeye Directory to complement to the website.

I’d like to ask for your help. I’m looking for writers willing to contribute to the website. The contribution could be as simple as a review for one of Fyddeye’s 2,500 tall ships, historic warships, maritime museums, lighthouses, and historic sites. Two or three reviews would be even better. I’m also looking for newsy 300-word articles that would be bylined and placed on Fyddeye’s home page. To get started, simply register on the site (it’s free) and you can post material right away.

Three people will win one of these gifts: A 2010 Tall Ships Calendar by the renowned tall ship photographer Thad Koza, a belaying pin turned from wood that was part of the set for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and a 58-piece, 13-inch, 3-D lighthouse puzzle. The calendar and belaying pin are provided by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, owner of the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, whose calendar portraits appear in December and November, respectively.  I’ll award the prizes to randomly selected registered Fyddeye users on Feb. 17. Anyone who registers and writes at least one review by Feb. 17 will be eligible.

If you’d rather not register, but would still like to help, you can rate any Fyddeye listing one to five stars. Rate as many listings as you like. And please write to me at and tell me what you think of Fyddeye.

 Thank you!”


Joe Follansbee
Fyddeye – Discover and share your maritime history:

Wow, an Optimistic Forecast for Dungeness Crab Season 2009!

It’s not often that I read an article about the Dungeness crab season that is halfway positive. As everyone in the industry knows, the fishery is often plagued by low prices, sketchy catches, and tribal issues.

So when I opened up Pacific Fishing magazine and read the article written by Cassandra Marie Profita, I was surprised. Not only because the writer has the first two names as my own sister (amazing!) but because the news about the 2009 Dungeness crab fishery was not all bad.

Profita writes that Northwest crabbers and processors expect a better season this year after low prices and low abundance made last year’s season a struggle. She also writes that markets are hungry for fresh crab this year because the low volume of crab from last year’s fishery meant less product in the freezer. Also, test fishing in both Washington and Oregon brought in high numbers of legal-sized crab. Last but not least, Profita writes that processors are expecting strong whole cooked and live crab retail sales.

This is the best outlook for any Dungeness crab season I’ve experienced in a while, so my fingers are crossed. If the prices are decent and stable and all the fishermen stay healthy and strong, it could be a great run this year. We’ll see!

Also of interest to commercial fishermen-types in Pacific Fishing this month was a highly amusing snippet, written by Anne Hillman, about the return of TV crews from the Deadliest Catch to Unalaska. That story is located on page 21 and is a must-read.

If you’ve been following my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) progress, you’ll be interested to know that I did complete the challenge. I wrote just over 50,000 words during the month of November and received the Winner’s badge, which is featured on the sidebar of this blog.

I actually finished NaNoWriMo two days early, thanks to Nebraska Outback, who shot ahead of me early on in the challenge and set a rigorous pace. The challenge of trying to keep up with her word count really helped keep me typin’ away!

Happy Halloween!

It’s a big weekend for our little family; not only is it Halloween and the kids will be trick-or-treating for the first time, but this is George’s last free weekend to relax before the crew shows up and the long, windy, stormy, crazy month of Dungeness crab gear work begins.

We have had the best time off together and my only complaints are that the time was too short and went by too fast! We spent today walking in the fall wind around our quaint section of town, visiting a local bookstore and the local running store. George also bought the Juicer he’s had his eye on, so I’m expecting one especially tasty cocktail tonight. Okay, who am I kidding? I’m expecting two tasty cocktails tonight!

After years of consideration, I’ve finally decided to give National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) a shot.

NaNoWriMo is not for the writing faint-of-heart. The task is to complete a novel (50,000 words) in one month. Writing begins at midnight November 1, and ends at midnight November 30. This year, organizers are expecting 150,000 participants worldwide! Check out the NaNoWriMo website if you’re interested in learning more.

I now have my NaNoWriMo participant page, joined my region for in-person write-ins, and connected with a writer friend across the country. Except for the fact that I have no idea how I plan to write 50,000 words of anything in one month, I’m ready to go!

For Halloween this year, Eva is going as Tinkerbell (she doesn’t even know who Tinkerbell is, but she saw the costume and thought it looked like a “pretty princess”) and Vincent is going as a dinosaur. For anyone keeping track: yes, Vincent went as a dinosaur last year as well. (Hey, the costume is really cute, he only wore it for about five minutes, and it still fits!)

Happy Halloween!