Busy and Talented

They say if you want something done ask a busy person.

Amy and Kyle Pratt

One of my friends, Amy, works at the Chehalis Library near my home. She writes in her free time and has been the local liaison for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the last few years. She also serves on the board of the Lewis County Writers Guild which, among other things, organizes a one-day writers conference each year. We often sit next to each other at weekly guild critique sessions. At one of the guild board meetings, Amy showed a large diamond painting she had been working on. I wondered when she had the time to work on such an intricate creation.     

I’m not sure if Amy considers herself a busy person, but it seems like it to me. A few days ago I taught a class, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What?, at the Chehalis library. It has often been said that authors write because the page is blank, painters fill a canvas because it’s empty. When my Library talk was done Amy removed the poster and later made it into a bow. Why? For the same reason climbers summit a mountain—it was there.

The bow looked like a complex weave to me, but as Amy handed it to me she said it took only a couple of minutes to make.

I’ve often heard it said that you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. In my case I have a lot of busy and talented friends.

Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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Mutual Events

I’ve never won NaNoWriMo.

I’ve taken part in National Novel Writing Month several times but never written the 50,000 words needed to win. There isn’t a prize. Everyone who writes the required amount gets to call themselves a winner. My friend, and local coordinator for the event, Amy Flugel, encouraged me to take part but … maybe next year.

Kyle Pratt speaking at the Chehalis Public Library

Perhaps in recognition of my NaNoWriMo failure, I scheduled a talk for November titled, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What? The occasion, at the Chehalis Public Library, was scheduled for November 3rd. I figured it might be helpful for those that can and do win the event. Only later did I learn that Amy had scheduled a “write in” at the same library that afternoon.

Our two events mingled together. Amy started with writing sessions and moved on to word wars, where individuals compete to write the most words. After an hour of writing, I talked. I discussed critique groups, beta-readers and what an editor can and should do for a manuscript. Then I explained the different routes to publication available today. I’m not sure whether some of the audience were taking good notes or continuing to write while I talked. I stayed around and answered questions while Amy continued with another writing session.  

Like many authors, I’m an introvert and would enjoy just staying home and writing, but the path of growth, both as an individual and a writer, requires getting out of your comfort zone. I enjoyed the day and, I think, the people there did also.

Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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NaNoWriMo & Friends

I love National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

During the month of November, the NaNoWriMo goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel. I have a strong internal editor that always wants to correct or improve what I’ve written, so I’ve never been able to write 50,000 words in a month.  But, I love the comradery of fellow authors and enjoy watching as they work to achieve their writing goals.

Author and friend Lisa Brunette wrote a full page article titled, The World Needs Your Novel, for our local paper. The article focused on a local write-in at the library and quoted my friends Amy Flugel and Jennifer Vandenberg. The article also included a nice picture of Jennifer.

I didn’t attend that event, but a few days later Jennifer came to my house for a critique meeting and I was able to get this picture with her.

So, another year will pass and I won’t “win” NaNoWriMo but, the good news is, several friends, including Jennifer, have.

Growing Reach

I received a surprising email recently.

Since I started, I’ve felt that the best way to promote and sell my books was online. While I’m thrilled when it occurs, I put little effort into getting them into stores and libraries. Still, over time, they have appeared in several brick and mortar establishments like the Strand in New York City, Powell’s in Portland, and my local store, Book N Brush.

So, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised when my friend and fellow author Jennifer Vandenberg sent me these pictures. She was visiting the local Chehalis library and found the book just as you see it in the picture.

I went to the library the next day and talked with the only person I know working there, Amy Flugel. She checked the catalog and informed me the regional library system three copies of A Time to Endure, all checked out, and three more of Through Many Fires at other libraries.

So, thanks to someone in the Timberland Regional Library system, the reach of my books continues to grow.