What you do is you write the Author’s Note, read up on the details of the contests, then ask your friend, Alison, to read the manuscript. After that, you won’t have to worry about what to do because Alison will suggest one or two additional chapters you could write. Then you write them, insert them where she suggested–in the middle of your manuscript and then you can kill some time renumbering all the chapters after the new ones.

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As a kind of footnote to last month’s blog about titles, I have–yes, I really have–changed the title for what I hope will be the final time.  To recap: My Name is Emily Cade Ainsworth was followed by The Bustle in a House, and then by The Queens, any one of which is a perfectly adequate title. […]

What do you do when there’s nothing left but the Author’s Note and a couple of contests you’re afraid to enter and you didn’t expect to be here for another six months?

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My first instinct is that I am not, in fact, really “here,” by which I mean that I am only fooling myself that what I’ve written is anything even close to a completed manuscript, that actually I’ve been delusional all along as I’ve published–with a publisher and by myself–these 250-300 page books and told myself […]

Rediscovering Southern Women in the Mirror

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      Today, in my corner of southeastern Virginia, I woke to snow. For this coastal city, it is a more than respectable accumulation, actually close to the predicted 8-12″ I was sure wouldn’t come. In answer to a question from a friend on St. Simons Island, off the coast of Georgia, I said, […]

Looking for Lydia; Finding Life

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                 I’ll introduce my friend and guest blogger, Molly Roper Jenkins, with a couple of stories–especially appropriate since we met because I could not find any stories about Lydia Roper.   First, I think “phone enquiry” is a rather refined description of the circumstances of our first contact. […]

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

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Having completed two novels, an accomplishment so amazing to me that I still don’t quite understand how it happened, I must have gotten cocky. For decades, my cousins and I have repeated our mantra, “Someone should really write a novel about this family!”  That eventually became an exhortation aimed directly at me, “You really should write […]