So, here we are, blogfriends: I’ve been blogging for six months, and am ready to shake it up a little, go for a blog makeover, a little redecorating and shuffling and trying something different. Crazy talk! I like it — this feels fresh and new to me, and maybe even easier to read and navigate for my readers. I find all this exciting, which is a red flag to me that I may need to get out more.
Now for a writing update: I have submitted two more essays to anthologies, and am waiting to hear if I am a finalist for either book. My email mailbox had become merely a repository for umpteen writing newsletters (yes, I am still reading too much about writing instead of writing about writing). Now that I am eagerly awaiting an email confirmation that I am still in the running, checking email has become much more fun again. And I only check 10 times a day, tops.
One of the [keeping-fingers-crossed] publishers is F+W Media’s Cup of Comfort book series. Incidentally, this website includes a wonderful blog and member forum that outlines the calls for submissions and the status of each title; it also includes very interesting posts by the editor Colleen Sell — her experiences weeding through stories, and compiling a tight collection that will appeal to their readership. She shares many of her life experiences that shaped the writer and editor she is today.
The second possible publisher is The Ultimate Book Series from HCI Books, which was the publisher of my first published story (did I mention it was published?). Their website also explains everything a writer needs to know about submitting to books of this genre. The whole process is quite straight-forward and enjoyable and HCI was a joy to work with the first time around.
As a contributing author in an anthology, I reaped the benefits of their publicist, who sent out press releases in all major markets highlighting any local authors who were included in the book. As a result of the publicist’s efforts, I will have my first radio interview tomorrow. It is on a small, local public radio station, for a weekly feature called “Grandparenting Today”. I will tell heart-warming (and perhaps cautionary) tales about potty-training and lying and chocolate cake. I will try to be engaging and funny and appealing to an audience of, well, another generation; one who may or may not be interested in potty stories. At a certain age, diapers are not funny anymore.
I am excited, nervous and seriously wondering what I will talk about for 30 minutes. There is an old Saturday Night Live skit about a public radio interview that keeps running through my head… I do not want to be that guest. I think they talked about radishes for 15 minutes. Yeah… ummm… okay…..
Wish me luck.
Cindy Zahneis said:
I love the new look too. We not only get to enjoy your writing talents, but your photography skills as well. I need to hear how the radio session went too — maybe you will soon be adding public speaking to your list of talents!
Congratulations, Jane! Love the new look but I also really, really enjoyed the old one. Can’t wait to hear your take on the radio show. Go you!!
cousin charlie said:
Very nice makeover jane…
good luck with the book…. and interview. no stories oftree island at uncle bud and gladys…. those chickens behind your place in marytown or the corner tap? for a later interview.
Cousin Charlie, the chickens! I forgot about the chickens! and tree island! You are my muse today…
karen from mentor said:
So wowed Jane!
Good luck on the new work being published.
And you’re right, your hair looks FABULOUS today!
Happy six month bloggiversary!
Karen [grins hugely at you!]
off to see if I can find the radio podcast…..
How exciting! I’m sure you were funny and engaging and more – not only can you turn an ugly duckling of any sort into a swan, you can turn a swan into a boa (I’ve seen it!). I’d love to hear it if there is some link – please let us know.
Cheryl, if only the listeners could have seen my truly awesome skills with tin foil, I would have been home free. I did have a great hair day, which is always important on radio. Today was LIVE, but I may be sending CDs of the broadcast in the Christmas card…
Wow – congratulations on your 6 month blog anniversary. You’ve done more with this blog in these short months than most of us have done in several years of blogging. i’ve got a lot to learn from you. 🙂
Tom, I was too shy to point this out ahead of time… But now that you mention it, if anyone is so inclined the interview will be rebroadcast Friday morning at 5:00AM Eastern (come on, Judy at ZebraSounds! That’s just 2:00AM your time!) streaming online on wmkvfm.org
JohnD, as I recall, potty training was NOT funny to you, especially when someone needed “a wipe”! Thanks though for the encouragement… miss you guys
CoffeeJitters, Thank you! What a kind thing to say!
JOHN D said:
In regards to your statement:
“I will try to be engaging and funny and appealing to an audience of, well, another generation; one who may or may not be interested in potty stories.”
I do not believe it is a generational thing…rather a guy/girl issue…potty jokes are always humorous to the male psyche.
Break a leg…not yours…
The station may well stream their show’s over the Internet. Many of the NPR stations do.
So you’re a radio personality now! Too cool! I hope all goes well. What time and what station – I’d love to tune in! I’m sure you’ll do great.
You’re sure doing a professional job of making yourself visible! I wish I had that strength.
Linda, thanks for the encouragement. The banner photo is one of mine, taken in Bryce Canyon, Utah in 2007.
Jan, I’m just happy that you know me now!
Judy, thanks — I think I will have a story when today is over.
Tom, yep, definitely don’t want to be that guest! The verdict is still out on the rest of the summer…
OperaProfMom, good idea to steer clear of the ol’ birds & bees lest I find myself in a sticky situation. Maybe green beans would be safer? Thanks for your kind words; it means a lot to me coming from you!
Kris, the broadcast range of this little station will not likely reach your house even though you are close… and BTW, I wish I had your strength to finish writing a book!
If the topic even approaches the birds and the bees, go to radishes. Or butterflies, or all the other things you know about and appreciate because of how intimately you see things. In the years I’ve known you I’m amazed at your ability to recreate yourself. You’re awesome, and soon there will be a huge audience that will know that too. Tomorrow is the start of something new and exciting. Good for you!
Woo-hoo!! You go!
BTW, the SNL skit I am thinking of starred Alec Baldwin, and please, please do not be that guest!…
Glad to see someone still has the energy and concentration to shake-up the summer.
1) I love the new look! It is easier to read.
2) Yay you for your two submissions! I’m thinking good thoughts!
3) Radio! How exciting. I’m guessing I can’t tune in out here in California. Maybe they’ll have podcasts… If not, you’ll blog about it and I will get the Jane Bretl version of what happened and it’s hard to say which I’d rather do – listen or read about it later.
So excited for you! Yay!
Jan Phillips said:
Jane, soon we will be saying we knew you when…
I do wish you luck on the anthologies and the interview. And your new fresh look is very nice. Is the gorgeous banner photo one of your own?