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Maya Angelou, A Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou was a true Renaissance woman: writer, singer, dancer, director, civil rights activist. But for me, she’ll always be first and foremost a poet. A sample from one of my favorites:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I’ll miss her grace, her joie de vivre, her laugh. And be thankful for the gifts she left behind.

 

***
Phenomenal Woman excerpt from: THE COMPLETE COLLECTED POEMS OF MAYA ANGELOU, Random House, 1st edition (September 13, 1994).

maya

Six Agent Sites to Check Out

 

Image by David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Though I initially planned to self-publish JURATA’S DAUGHTER, my editor convinced me to give querying a try first. She loves the book and thinks others will, too.

Here’s a list of six agent sites I’m using. If you know of others, please share. Thanks.

#MSWL This is a Twitter feed where agents and editors post their “Manuscript Wish List”. I recently saw one agent who specifically mentioned Slavic mythology–she’s high on my list. You can fine tune this according to genre, such as #MSWL Fantasy, or #MSWL Young Adult, etc. Just remember, you don’t pitch on Twitter unless they’re having a special pitch day, like #PitMad. Send a normal query instead.

QUERY TRACKER – Search for agents/agencies that rep your genre, keep track of those you’ve contacted and their responses, store your query letter. A paid membership ($25) allows you to see what any agent has actually requested from queries, a big help if their site says, for example, they accept YA but all they’ve looked at is MG.

ABSOLUTE WRITE WATER COOLER – Search by agent, or check out these special sections: Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check; Ask the Agent; Ask the Editor. There’s even a board for sharing your work, but you’ll need to set up an account [free!] first. Post your query here and be ready for honest feedback. 

AGENTQUERY CONNECT –  Find an agent or editor, get your query critiqued, and much, much more.

LITERARY RAMBLES – Check out the “Agent Spotlight” here for current and past interviews.

ALEXA DONNE, YA AUTHOR – Alexa has some recent interviews with agents that are definitely worth a look.

Of course, any research will include going to the agent’s site and looking up sales on Publishers’ Marketplace. I hope this list helps.

Cheers!

Indie Recon is Coming!

 

Mark your calendars for 2014’s Indie Recon, the conference for independent writers. It’s coming next week, February 25-27.

It looks like another year full of great presenters, including JA Konrath and Susan Kaye Quinn, and a wide range of topics, from writing serials to marketing on Goodreads.

Hope you can make it!

To view the schedule, go to: Indie Recon.