Laying Track

by Mistina Picciano on February 4, 2013

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Six weeks have passed since I sent my fledgling novel off to one of the big publishing houses. Not a peep. However, I realize these things take time. Even if an editor loves your work, she still has to sell it to the rest of the decision-makers. This is part of the reason that the traditional publishing process takes so . . . darn . . . long.

Anyone who meets me can see my control-freak tendencies, but I’ve been fine with the waiting. Sort of.

On the one hand, lack of rejection means that hope can spring eternal a little while longer, right? On the other, I realize that the eventual response—assuming, of course, that one is forthcoming—will likely be negative.

So what’s an aspiring writer to do while playing the publishing waiting game? [click to continue…]


Even Writers Get the Blues

by Mistina Picciano on January 21, 2013


One month ago, I released the first completed draft of my novel Second Chance to an executive editor at a large publishing house. He had requested the manuscript several weeks earlier, and I didn’t want him to forget who I was by the time my literary baby arrived in his inbox.

It was my last official act before the weekend preceding Christmas. The holidays were upon us. I’d finished the manuscript over which I had labored for the past nine months. I even had a handle on my next novel idea. Time for celebration, no?

As it turned out, no. Not so much. [click to continue…]


Finding Your Writing Process

September 23, 2012
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For any aspiring novelists out there, how many books do you have on how to write a novel? At least a dozen are sitting on my shelf, with a handful more taking up space on my Kindle – all mocking me. I probably subscribe to the same magazines that you do, and I’ve read many […]

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Eat Your (Literary) Broccoli

September 14, 2012
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I like broccoli. Really. But when choosing between a stalk of the green stuff and, say, a crab-and-pork soup dumpling or a morsel of pan-seared foie gras, broccoli will lose. Every time. Sometime last year, I started writing a short story. Horror genre, with an interesting twist. In fact, this story is the second in […]

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The Joy of Writing

August 5, 2012
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“I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.” Michael Kanin I’ve wanted to be a writer since the tender age of eight, but it didn’t take me long to agree with the likes of Michael Kanin. In fact, I was firmly in that camp by sixteen. Despite the knowledge that many aspiring […]

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Taking the Plunge

June 5, 2010
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Some weeks ago, while reading Bit Literacy, I decided to teach myself touch typing with the Dvorak keyboard layout. Because I am 1) impatient and 2) constantly pressed for time at work (hence, my decision to switch), I’ve been taking things slow: practicing drills for an hour here and there, a few times a week, […]

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Are You Treating the Problem or the Symptoms?

June 3, 2010
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My Facebook friends know all about my recent computer woes. They started when my computer started acting funny. Applications kept crashing. Restarting took several minutes, not seconds – an eternity by Mac standards. My keyboard sporadically stopped working. At my wit’s end, I tried to wipe my hard drive and start afresh. (This was after […]

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Coping with Curveballs

June 1, 2010
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“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” Apparently, John Lennon was one of the many great minds credited with voicing this fact, which has been replaying in my mind for the past three weeks – minus the one week I spent at Folly Beach near Charleston, S.C.

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Refilling the Well

May 9, 2010
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Earlier this year, I was having a superproductive writing period. Writing most days, cranking out a high word count. Things were going well. Until they weren’t. Somehow I found myself more than 100,000 words in my novel, with no end in sight. What went wrong, and how could I fix it, short of scrapping my […]

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Should I Wear a Cape?

May 4, 2010
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Much of the writing process seems to be about putting yourself in a writing state of mind. Several of the entries on this blog cover different ways I lure my writing self to the page: fountain pens, pretty journals, cupcakes, overpriced headphones. What about a writing uniform? I’ve bought NaNoWriMo gear to remind me of […]

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