It’s All In The Details


My latest WIP is now in the hands of my agent after a month-long round of edits. Fingers crossed that it will make it to the submission phase before the year is out. We’re working on a pitch, which is a good sign.

The interesting thing about this latest round of edits is that I added words instead of editing them out. And it was challenging, and tricky, and time-consuming (yes, I spent 90 minutes on two sentences that I can recite in my sleep), and dare I say–fun. It appears that my first few go a-rounds had left out important details.

My excuse? I’m a get to the point kinda gal. When I read the work of author’s burying me in atmosphere I have been known to skip to the juicy parts. (Unless the atmosphere is completely captivating, an important part of the mystery, or I’m enamored with the writer’s skill, then I’ll dawdle over it.) In turn, when I write, I try to follow Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing, or at least I follow number ten, which is “. . . leave out the parts that people skip.” And it’s predecessor 9. “Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.” So most of my writing comes out lean and mean, fresh and clean.

But what I failed to realize is my short stories/flash fiction that’s been published is the writing that has those little details. Those details are what draw out tension, add character flavor, and make readers feel like they’re right there in the pages of the story.

My duh moment.

So while BAD MOJO winds its way through Veritas, I’ve started something new: a middle grade sci-fantasy novel, sort of a Super8/ET meets The Secret Garden, with the Blaski spin of course. It’s WIP title is BLUEFLY. And you can bet those little details are spinning earlier rather than later.

Now if I can just get a handle on rule number 5. “Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” Kinda tough when your protagonist is an enthusiastic eleven-year old.

Photo by Jack Schiffer

What’s to Like About Rockford: On The Waterfront


As promised, here is my first monthly post about what makes Rockford a special place to live.

On The WaterFront is an annual music festival that takes place in downtown Rockford over Labor Day weekend. Starting Thursday evening, the festival runs through Sunday night. This year over 80 performing artists were featured on five different stages including: The BoDeans, Creedance Clearwater Revisited, Smokin Gunz, Casey James, Guy King, The Lovehammers, and lots of local groups. In the past, I’ve seen Ted Nugent, Daughtry, Styx, Cheap Trick and Buddy Guy at this festival.

In addition to the music, there are lots of special attractions. Carnival rides (1/2 price before 2 PM), food vendors serving your standard carnival fare (corndogs, elephant ears, BBQ turkey legs, lemon shake-ups) as well as some specialty items (crab rangoons, the walking taco, pulled pork nachos)–this year, The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor from Forest Park, IL was there, the Cupcake Ice Cream was a favorite–and lots of community booths, including the ComEd Kids Castle, where a parking garage is turned into a free game/craft emporium for kids under 12.

The festival has gotten smaller over the last couple years, another casualty of our economy. But it’s still cheap to get in (I paid $10 for a three day pass, even though I only went on Sunday). Kids under 9 are free. The festival advertises $15 for a three day pass purchased ahead of time or $15 for a one day pass at the gate, but there are lots of employers in Rockford who purchase passes in bulk for discounts they pass along, as long as you get the passes ahead of time. Parking is extra of course, but the further away you park, the less you pay. Lazy me parks in the garage across the street for $5.

Less crowded, great music for cheap, beautiful weather, tasty food, and you can throw your kids inside these inflatable plastic hamster balls on a pool of water and watch them try to stand up…


What’s not to like?

Photos by Karin Blaski 9/2/12