Three Links 7/10/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

Three Links 7/10/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “You wouldn’t know it by looking at my desk, but I have a natural organizational system. That system is called organized disorganization. *grin* Everything looksdisorganized, but I can find what I need…most of the time.

Wherever I am, I tend to accumulate piles of “things” I need to deal with: things to file, things that need follow-up, things I want to dig into, etc.

In person, those “things” build up into literal piles covering the top of my desk. In fact, I still have one massive pile that I haven’t yet unpacked and put away after the chaos of our house flood. And sometimes I’ll have rows of sticky notes covering the edge at the bottom of my computer monitor.

On my computer, I’m not any better, as my browser explodes with 400+ tabs…as I once again accumulate things I need/want to deal with: articles to read and share, advice to try, programs to check out, etc.” Sounds like my desk, lol. I make endless folders, notebooks, sticky notes, etc. Still, it doesn’t help.

2. “A common question we agents get is “How to you know?” Or as Bob Hostetler put it, “When you know, how do you know?”

The answer is extremely subjective. And each agent, just like a consumer, will see an idea or read a book differently.

After thinking about this question, I believe it comes down to three things.


For me it is an instinct that comes from reading voraciously for many years. After a while you start identifying the markers of which books were worth the time and which ones were not.

Instinct can be described as an innate impulse, something that cannot necessarily be taught but is something that can be learned.

Can I describe it? Not really. It is truly a gut feeling.”


Research & Fun Bits:

1. “I always knew coauthoring had benefits – half the workload, and twice the platform to launch from are the obvious bonuses. Sure, you have to split your royalties, but you also share the costs. But I had reservations (how do you allocate who writes what? What if you don’t like each other’s ideas or writing?), so it was relegated to something other authors did. 

Until a fellow author approached me, asking me to cowrite an urban fantasy series. I was nervous. I was intrigued. I asked some questions. I hesitantly agreed. Not long later, I approached another author friend wondering if we should do the same with an idea I had percolating. One that felt like it could be far better served if it was molded and cultivated by more than just one mind. 

And so my coauthoring journey began.”

2. “Several weeks ago, I asked my awesome clients to share a few awesome words about their awesome writing spaces. (Some of them said I overuse the word “awesome,” but they’re just being picky.) It’s a subject that fascinates me and sometimes inspires a change or two to my own writing space, so I share their responses in the hopes that they do something similar for you:


“My workspace is an organized mess. It’s almost shameful but it’s all work-related. There are research books, calendars, appointment lists, and goal sheets everywhere. I choose for my workspace to be this way because I can find things quickly without losing my train of thought” (Cindy Sproles, author of What Momma Left Behind).”

3. “I recently read a blog with a firm stance on how to deal with body parts. I don’t entirely agree. I don’t have trouble with figures of speech, and if I’m reading that a character ‘flew down the block to John’s house’ I don’t see her mid-air. If someone writes “a lump of ice settled in her belly” I’m not seeing actual ice.

How do you react when you read things like this?

Their eyes met from across the room.

His eyes raked her body from head to toe.

Some Things More Serious:

1. “Completing a draft of a book can feel like you scaled a mountain. You might take a moment to breathe and celebrate. You did it! You are on top, after a difficult climb. And then you notice, as the clouds clear a bit, that you have only scaled the first peak. There are three more even steeper peaks ahead before you can call it DONE! Those triple steep hikes are called editing.

I recommend three different edits completed by three different people. Try to use both men and women and people from different races and backgrounds than your own. They will provide a more diverse edit and provide you a broader perspective on your work.

If you are having the book edited by a traditional press, the process is similar to the experience of self-publishing in which YOU are the publisher.

I don’t recommend skipping any of these edits, because there is nothing worse than a manuscript full of typos, errors, and even plot holes.”

2. “I just saw an article this morning—which of course, I can’t find now—comparing the amount of news pouring at us right now to a DDoS (denial of service) attack. There’s so much news, every hour of every day, that we can’t keep track of it.

I’m keeping up, as best I can, on the virus and vaccine news. I’m scanning the political news, because I consider it related to virus and vaccine news. But the economic news—that’s almost impossible to keep up on, and right now, that’s as important as the virus news.

I’m simply not getting the answers to the questions I’m asking, at least not in any cohesive fashion. It leads me to believe the answers aren’t out there, not yet, but they will be over time.

Right now, everyone is struggling with their personal finances, even if they’re well off. (Well off people are looking at their investments, trying to figure out how to manage them.) Most people are struggling on a much more profound level than the investment level. Do I show up at my job for the paycheck and maybe catch this damn illness? Do I stay home and lose that job?”

3. “If there’s any silver lining to the global Coronavirus pandemic, it’s that if I ever attend a cocktail party again, people will no longer say: “Wow, you’re a writer? It must be great, working from home. You know, I’m thinking of taking a couple of months off to write a book myself.”

We writers have been working under quarantine-like conditions for, like, forever. Yet what has changed for us with COVID-19 is that the entire narrative context of contemporary storytelling has become outdated overnight.  So many of the books, dramas, and screenplays we’ve set in the present day have suddenly become period pieces —  tales from a bygone era — simply because our characters go outside.

Before the Coronavirus, a fictional modern couple could dismantle their marriage while commuting between New York and Hollywood. Main characters could lose a child at an amusement park; deal crack on a crowded street corner; or run away from an oppressive community in Williamsburg by hightailing it to Berlin.  They could do countless romantic or depraved things crucial to entire genres of fiction.

But in 2020, how can two “summer sisters” have breezy romances when they can’t lie on the beach? How can serial killers kidnap victims when no one’s mindlessly lingering in parking lots? For that matter, how can private detectives work the streets when they’re supposed to stay home – and why would they anyway, when all their suspects are stuck on their sofas watching Netflix?”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “Fripp Island, South Carolina, is the perfect destination for the wealthy Daly family: Lisa, Scott, and their two girls. For Lisa’s childhood friend, Poppy Ford, the resort island is a world away from the one she and Lisa grew up in-and when Lisa invites Poppy’s family to join them, how can she turn down an all-expenses paid vacation for her husband and children?

But everyone brings secrets to the island, distorting what should be a convivial, relaxing summer on the beach. Lisa sees danger everywhere, while Poppy watches over her husband John and his routines with a sharp eye. It’s a summer of change for all of the children too, who are exposed to new ideas and different ways of life as they forge a bond of their own.

While revelations from the past and present unfold, the book builds to a shocking event that will shake your sense of justice and leave you wanting to talk about crime and retribution.”

2. and rooms are full of perfumes, 
the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, 
but I shall not let it.. . .

from Leaves of Grass

Drawing on the phrasing of Walt Whitman’s great late 19th century poem Leaves of Grass (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of expansive and outward looking love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.”

3. “The Light Within You is a self-help book about personal empowerment. Using examples from her own life, author Gemma Smith hopes that her book may assist readers in searching for a life purpose, or will help those who want to make some changes in their current life-style.

Written in an easy-to-read manner, Gemma included a lot of material and ideas; I particularly enjoyed the sections on connection, power words and gratitude. I’ve read quite a lot of books around this subject, but I enjoyed being reminded about some of my favourite concepts.

One downside to reading this book on kindle was the vast quantity of non-essential material at the start; the dedication, quotes from readers, forward etc; this took up the first twelve per cent of the book. It was too much and nearly made me give up reading; most of it could easily have been placed at the back of the book, where I could choose to read it at my leisure.”

2 responses to “Three Links 7/10/2020 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thanks for sharing my review of The Light Within You.

    1. You’re welcome, Rosie!

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