Scotland Photos

A few people have been asking me to see photos of my trip to Scotland in May. I flew to Edinburgh, and from there worked my way up to Elgin, where I met up with my parents, who were touring around, too, to spend several days touring all the family history areas of the country in Morayshire and the West Highlands. After that, I worked my way down the west and back to where I started, ending my trip in Dunfermline, with a day trip to St. Andrews on my last full day before I flew out of Edinburgh for home. You can see a gallery of my pictures here, if you’re interested. Share...

Stopping to Listen

I’m not writing today. I’m tempted. I have a story that’s been talking to me for a couple of weeks now, asserting itself with scene ideas when I’m trying to sleep, keeping my mind occupied when I’m running errands or working out or doing any of the thousand things we do in a day that don’t need our full, undivided attention. It’s alluring, the thought of opening up the word processor and getting some of it down on paper. And I will. But not yet. A month ago, just before I went away to Scotland for two weeks, I turned in a manuscript to my agent. I’d spent weeks rewriting and editing it, and was thrilled to get it off my plate before I left. Once I hit send, I was free to take a holiday from writing. None of the other projects I have on the back burner were...

Query Tips From My Inbox

I don’t claim to be an expert on query letters, and I’m not a literary agent. But in my day job as a conference coordinator, I get a LOT of inquiries from people who are interested in being part of our conference. Most of these are perfectly reasonable emails, but by around this time every year, enough problematic ones have arrived that the common mistakes people make in writing and sending queries become astoundingly obvious. And if they’re obvious to me, with my relatively small number of queries received, imagine how they look to literary agents who deal with thousands of queries every year. So, for what it’s worth, here are a few of my tips for cleaning up your queries, based on the repeated mistakes I encounter: 1. Follow the...

Help My Husband Make a Movie

Hello, all! Probably easiest to let my husband speak for himself here, since he knows the details. His note is below. If you’re able to help with a few minutes of your time, either by becoming a fan to support Hyde+Seek yourself (details below) or simply passing the information along to others who might be interested, I’d really appreciate it! Thank you. Kathy Hey friends and family, As you may know, I’m entered in the Cinecoup movie contest with a great local production cast and crew. The prize is $1M in funding to complete the movie, called Hyde+Seek, and and make its way to a theatre near you! We would love your support to help take us through several voting rounds as we progress to the final stages for consideration. There will be many...

Writing Inspiration

Happy new year! I took a couple of weeks off over the holidays. I started out the month by accepting Nephele Tempest’s December writing challenge, in which you try to find at least fifteen minutes to write every day. It worked exceedingly well for me the first three weeks of the month, by which point I’d met all my writing goals for December and more, so I didn’t feel at all guilty about taking a much-needed vacation from work of all sorts. Like for all writers I know, time off is never just time off. Everything I encounter in the world has the potential to fill the well, inspire me, prompt story ideas, or make me want to be a better writer. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s important to step out of my own head and see what else...

Happy Holidays

I’m deep into the last-minute preparations – baking, cleaning, wrapping presents – for our family’s Christmas celebrations. But today, I took a couple of hours off to have a hot chocolate with a good friend, and when I got home, a package was waiting for me from another, who lives on the other side of the country from me. Inside? A box of her homemade sponge toffee. It made me teary-eyed when I opened it and saw that she’d taken the time to send a homemade treat from 3500km away. For me, that’s exactly the kind of thing that makes the magic of Christmas. It’s lovely to do nice things for people at any time of year, but there’s something special about a stretch of time in darkest winter when so many people make an...

Reflections on This Week

This is going to be a long post, because it’s been a full week in the news already, and it’s only Thursday, and I’ve got a lot on my mind. This American Thanksgiving, I imagine there are a lot of conversations going on at a lot of family dinners about the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in cities all over North America and the world. I know we’ve been having those conversations at our own dinner table. Whatever your views on this particular case, the fact is that black Americans are statistically far more likely to be killed by police in the USA than white Americans, and that’s a big societal problem that goes far deeper than any one case. (Here’s one look at the numbers,...