Author Tamela Hancock Murray

Teased Hair

My mother has sported teased hair all her life. My beautician says they don’t teach new hairstylists how to tease hair anymore. So when I need to find someone to style my mother’s hair, I have to ask if they know how to tease it. I found two in town: one is my hairdresser, and the other is the back-up stylist I go to when my regular beautician isn’t working.

“Oh, you mean, backcomb?” She smiled and nodded. “Sure! I know how to do that.”

As she teased my mother’s hair into a lovely, fluffy cloud, she told us that in her school, they had to spend every day for a month backcombing hair on mannequins. “I learned patience.”

What a great reminder that our writing profession isn’t the only one requiring patience. So, would you prefer to wrestle with characters and wait on agents and editors to review your work, or would you rather tease hair?

Your turn:

Are you more patient now that you are a writer?

How has writing taught you patience?

What would you tell new writers about being patient during the process of being published?


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Saving the World, One Romance at a Time

Often I will receive submissions of novels tying in an element of mystery and suspense with romance. Writers targeting the romantic suspense market will find difficulty in placing this type of story. Why? Because romantic suspense readers have certain expectations that won’t be met with a mere element of mystery and intrigue.

In my experience trying to sell and market romantic suspense, I have found that the readers of this genre want all-out adventure and crime solving along with compelling romance. The suspense is foremost, with the romance being tied in so deeply that the story won’t survive without it.

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Letting Go of Your Babies

One of the worst mistakes writers can make is being too possessive of their words. They fight for each adjective, adverb, and conversation tag.

My early writing suffered from too many words. I once wrote an artist didn’t “really” understand the difficulties of making a living in his profession. The editor kindly cut all instances of “really,” “just,” “so,” “very,” and other weak words experienced editors call “weasel” words.

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Letter to a College Senior

A senior in college wrote to me asking for career advice in publishing. Perhaps a few thoughts I shared then might be of help to you. __________ As your letter indicates, publishing offers many options. The ones you are focused on, rightly, are finding employment with a traditional publishing house, …

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What Will You Read Today?

Reading at least a few chapters of a book is a worthy goal for each day. One app I have recommends a half hour of reading. Seems doable to me! Since I have at least a thousand books in my collection begging to be read, I’m attempting to be discerning …

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Floating … Floating … Gone …

Writers conferences and blogs talk about this topic often so I don’t pretend to be breaking new ground with this post. Yet I still see some floating body parts and cliches creep into otherwise great stories. No, I don’t mean murder mysteries depicting a stray arm floating in a river. I mean much gentler fare.

Yes, floating body parts offer the reader — and writer — shortcuts. But relying on them as description in narrative doesn’t challenge anyone’s imagination.

Rolling eyes

The offender I see most often is:

“She rolled her eyes.”

Yes, we all know this means that her eyes went from the ceiling and back. No, wait a minute. Her eyes didn’t go the ceiling and back. Her gaze went to the ceiling and back. See the difference? No pun intended.

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