SUCCESSFUL QUERY LETTERS

I’m in hot pursuit for a literary agent who wants to represent a fresh voice on women’s issues. It took six years, but my first manuscript is complete and I cannot wait to share it! My book, “American Onion,” deals with overcoming the stigma of depression. It is a sordid tale of what I have been through, culminating in the startling accusation of being married to a child molester. These are tough subjects, but I know that so many people have been affected by mental illness that this book must be shared.

Successful Query Letters

I’ve invested many hours on my query letter. In the spirit of sharing resources, below is a link that I highly recommend regarding successful query letters to literary agents: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/agent-query-letters-that-actually-worked-for-nonfiction_b68937

According to Media Bistro’s link (above), these are letters that actually WORKED.

Another good resource can be located at Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/successful-queries

It’s a time consuming process to find the right agent, but with enough effort and patience I’m confident that I will succeed – and so will you.

What has worked best for you?

Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF A WRITER’S DREAM HOME?

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Dream big – what’s your idea of a dream home for a writer? Here is my short list:
1. To recharge, we need to be able to connect with nature. Ideally, I’d love to conquer writer’s block by taking a walk in the woods. Other writers might prefer a walk on the beach, a hike in the mountains, or apartment patio gardening.
2. A large tub with whirlpool jets to soak our aching backs would be great. Doesn’t that sound great after a writing marathon?
3. A room or a “suite” that is separate from the rest of the house would help us write with more focus. This could be a large den on the second floor with windows so that the writer can gaze at the setting sun on tree tops. High above the world, he can hone his craft.
4. Sell us a house with interesting designs, provenance, or ghosts. We will incorporate the house into our writing. Haunted house, anyone? What a fun writing prompt that would be!
5. Writers tend to go into hibernation at times, so if the house had a good security system, we could keep solicitors and mothers-in-law from intruding.
6. One room has to be a library, or at least one wall should be earmarked for shelves. Writers are readers.

Writers, what features would your dream house have? Does the right environment help you overcome writer’s block?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

SIX TIPS TO RHYME LIKE A PRO

What can you do when you are in the flow, writing a killer poem, and you get stuck because you can’t find the right rhyme?  This is classic poet writer’s block.  Below are my tried and true tips, along with links to rhyming resources.

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Roses are red, violets are orange… nothing rhymes with orange!

TIP #1 – USE A DIFFERENT WORD

Rewrite the line. The orange violet example could become: “Roses are red, violets are cool, my rhyme schemes will make you drool”

TIP #2 – CHANGE THE ORDER

The classic “Roses are red” poem rhymes the 2nd and 4th lines.  This could be rewritten as: “Violets are blue, roses are red, sugar is sweet, she loves me, she said!”

TIP #3 – CONSONANT COMBINATIONS & PREFIXES

We usually make a quick run through the alphabet.  If we were striving to rhyme the word “red,” we would quickly find:  bed, bled, cred, dead, fed, and so forth.  I also recommend that you add the following combinations and prefixes to your rhyming arsenal:

Sl            Bl                 Ch                Br                 Pl

St            Br                 Cl                 Fl                 Pr

Sh

 

Tr            Con              Dis               Ex      Mis     Pre

Th           De                En                In       Non    Re

TIP #4 – THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

I personally do not use rhyming apps, but you can find free rhyming apps for your smart phone.  Droid has B-Rhymes which includes suggestions for near-rhymes.  For the iphone and ipad, RhymeNow has a free edition with over 55,000 words.

TIP #5 – NEAR RHYMES AND HALF RHYMES

Simple words like “red” and “you” have scores of rhymes, but other words are more difficult.  A near rhyme will often suffice; for example, a near-rhyme for “orange” is “challenge.”

TIP #6 – NEW WORDS

What is even more fun is to create your own new word.  My mother was masterful at this technique.  In a poem about children enjoying a snowy day, the children warm themselves with “steaming cups of choke-a-lot.”

 

The primary sites that I use for rhymes are:

Rhyme Zone:  http://rhymezone.com

Rhymer:  http://www.rhymer.com

B-Rhymes:  http://b-rhymes.com

 

Remember that not every poem needs to rhyme, but it can be challenging and fun.  Don’t let poet writer’s block keep you from completing a killer poem.  Do you have a rhyming tip that you would like to share?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.  Keep writing and keep sharing!

-Cronin Detzz

ANGRY JACKET

ANGRY JACKET

Photo by Cronin Detzz
Photo by Cronin Detzz

wearing your jacket of anger
deploying your umbrella of denial
carrying a briefcase of shame
trudging to work with a stiffened smile

You smother your feelings
with your thermos of hatred
drinking it lustily as it burns your tongue

wondering when, exactly, life slipped sideways
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be

Slip on your leaden shoes
and drag your heartache around
scream inside your head
until you are deafened to love’s sound
Or
Draw the bows from your quiver
aim at your traumatic past
and finally kill your demons

Burn your angry jacket
in the bonfire of vanities

Wear rose colored glasses
and peer into tomorrow
see it embroidered with possibilities

Until at last
through heart-felt gratitude
you can freely run naked
in the satiny, silky present

-poem by Cronin Detzz, 2013

POEM FOR WRITER’S BLOCK: THE GOLDEN DOOR OF DREAMS

GoldenGate

At this time of year, my thoughts drift strongly to my dearly departed mother’s birthday, November 12.  She was taken away from us by a drunk driver when she was only 46.  Last year, I started to write a poem for her but writer’s block prevented me from finishing it.

Do you have some poems that, for some indeterminable reason, you were unable to finish?  I have a folder of half-written poems.  This year, I completed “The Golden Door of Dreams” in time for my mother’s birthday.

In honor of overcoming writer’s block, I offer the following poem:

THE GOLDEN DOOR OF DREAMS

 

As she opens the secret door

Beautiful light rippled across the floor

“Wake up,” cried Ma, “open your eyes and see

I open the Golden Door of what is and will always be”

 

“Mother, please come in and speak to me,

Quickly now, before it is too late

Reveal the secrets before you cross

beyond the reach of heaven’s gate”

 

The golden light glitters

tiny flecks of honey swirling

Ma beckons me to follow

The bedroom is whirling

 

I stood at the threshold

And slowly opened the door

The whole world disappeared

And the sky became my floor

 

“Time is an illusion,” she said

“Your life is but a dream

Wake up, my child, to reality

and listen to life’s audible stream”

 

I reached out, grasping at thin air

hoping to catch an angels’ wing

“She does not see,” a voice boomed

And I could no longer see anything

 

Once again, I was back in my room

saddened at the end of the angelic show

I wanted to hug my Ma one last time

to hold her tight and never let go

 

I lay back down and closed my eyes,

imagining that she was there

She swept away the monsters under the bed

kissed my forehead and patted my hair

 

Now I know that life is a dream within a dream

that time is an illusory focus, a painting that’s brittle

Ma goes downstairs to make coffee and pancakes

and leaves the door open, just a little

 

Happy birthday, Ma. I miss you – Cronin Detzz 2013

#poem #poetry #writer’s block

5 TIPS: SLAYING THE BEAST & GETTING YOUR BOOK FINISHED

5 TIPS: SLAY THE BEAST-GETTING YOUR BOOK FINISHED
Woo-hoo! I set a goal of one book per year, and my next book, “Supernatural Poetry,” has just been released and is available at Amazon.

How do you slay procrastination the double-headed monster of procrastination and writer’s block? How should you motivate yourself to finish your writing projects?

“FINISHED IS BETTER THAN PERFECT”

Procrastination is a huge hurdle in writer’s block. Below are a few ideas to help you slay that beast:
1. Set a realistic deadline and have someone hold you accountable. This has worked for me thus far. I made an announcement to my dear relatives in Chicago, who live 1,500 miles away, that I would have a new book done when I visit each year. I do not want to let them down.

2. Write down your goal. It must be in writing. Make it realistic and specific, such as: “Write four chapters by the last day of this month.” Put this goal in a visible place.

3. Write yourself 5 motivational notes such as, “Get that chapter done by next Monday.” Have fun with it.  Imagine starting off your day with a note that reads “I believe in you!” Put those 5 notes in unusual places around the house. You could try the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, a lampshade, inside your slippers, and on your computer.

4. Reward yourself when you meet a goal. This does not have to be expensive or elaborate, simply memorable. For example, you could stash five Snickers bars away and only allow yourself to eat one after you accomplish your goal.

5. Most of all, remember that finished is better than perfect. Your grammar and punctuation must be perfect, but the inner content does not need all the rewrites that we writers suffer through.

Huzzah!  My latest book, “Supernatural Poetry,” is a fusion of my photography and poetry.  It is such a great feeling to slay that writer’s block beast and get it done! It is available at Amazon. You can peek inside by clicking on the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Poetry-Nancy-Kennedy/dp/1492388947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382294012&sr=8-1&keywords=cronin+detzz

Keep writing and keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

Writing and Formatting Poetry

Have you given much thought to formatting your poetry? It’s usually obvious to the poet as to where the stanza breaks should occur, but sometimes it is fun to play with the visual aspect of your art form.
Maui

For example, if you are writing a poem about the waves of the ocean, giving succeeding lines some indentations or extra spaces could make each line reach the right-hand margin of the page and then come crashing back to the left side.

WordPress provides some great tips for formatting your poetry. This link even gives basic instructions on writing html – a pretty simple language used by web software. Here is the link. Have fun with it! (Click on the link or copy and paste into your browser):

http://en.support.wordpress.com/writing-and-formatting-poetry/

-Keep writing and keep sharing! Cronin Detzz