Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Embrace, How I love thee

Notice how I am skipping all of the sorry I've been away, thank you all for checking up on me, and am glad to be back? It's because I am so ecstatic about Embrace Books or Jane Holland to be specific. Most of you know I have been away for health reasons but the one thing I promised not to give up was my writing.

A couple of weeks ago I finished a baby I worked really hard on (I plotted). After two bouts of critiquing and heavy rehauling, I sent my top aces baby to Embrace Books.

Now here comes the good part I got feedback in an hour, actually it was 52 minutes – it took me 8 minutes to face my fear of rejection and open it.

I wish I could paste the email for you all to see. The editor – Jane Holland read it and liked, she thinks my writing is edgy, ME!

If you really want to know why I am so overwhelmed, go to her website and read her resume, she is all that and then some more.

Anyways she did point out something I knew I sucked at – Punctuation and Sentence Structure. When I saw that, I did a face-palm because I knew that was my weakness and I worked really hard on it.

Now this is how amazing she is, she went ahead to give me examples of what I did wrong and how I could fix them. I was really humbled by her email.

So guess what I am doing now? I have bought three no, four books The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Eats, Leaves and Shoots by Lynne Truss, Woe is I by Cant remember the author's name and What a Westmoreland wants by Brenda Jackson.

I am hoping to learn from these books; Jane said I could study how other authors did it too so I am just going to be soaking up stuff. My amazing CP is reading Strunk and White with me. She is too amazing for words and is explaining stuff to me. Some awesome people from our blogging community have also offered to do some punctuation and sentence structure crits for me. I am so close to realizing my dream that I am taking all and any help I can get.

I also will share what I learn in my books in my blog posts in case there is someone out there who can learn something through me.

What have I learned from all of this? It is not enough to have talent or book ideas. You also have to work hard to hone your craft if you intend to make a career out of this. Watch out for the part two of my story, I am determined to get "the call" this year.




  1. Congrats on the great feedback. Today, I posted an offer for a free proofread on my blog. (I'm thinking about starting a profreading service and need the practice.) If you're interested, I would love to help.

  2. This is so weird I just sent u an email.

  3. Hey Joanna! Missed you! That's awesome news. Feedback like that is priceless. I have Woe is I (by Patricia T. O'Conner if anyone is looking it up) and it's a great reference book. I love craft books. Best of luck!

  4. This is beautiful. I know you'll be embraced. Couldn't go to a nicer person.

    Go Jo!


  5. Welcome back and I hope you are doing better.

    How cool is that to get such awesome feedback?

    Good luck with everything. Thinking good thoughts and perfect punctuation for you!


  6. Yay for you!!!!! Yay for such great feedback of your novel - this just proves that you are so nearly there - of course you'll be all published sooner, within the month!! Yes!! Why not?!?!?!? YAY FOR YOU!!

    Good luck proof editing and such like - once that's over it's onwards and upwards for you!!

    YAY!!! Welcome back! Take care

  7. Congrats on the positive feedback!

    Punctuation and sentence structure can be easily learned and practiced. It seems to me that you have the most enigmatic part of the writing process down -- which is great!

    Good luck! :)

  8. I too struggled with sentence structure and grammar. I still do, but the lessons I learned over the course of several years has made me more aware of my own pitfalls. I know you'll overcome. Good luck.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  9. Hey Jo, missed you. That’s great news on that feedback. I have the same problem as you. My editor is constantly telling me to re-word things or structure my sentences better.

  10. Oh wow that is really encouraging for you Jo, Brilliant! If you get the audio tape of eats shoots and leaves you can play it in the car it's an absolute HOOT! :O)

  11. Welcome back Joanna, sulking cos you didn't reply my email, lol.

    It's great when an editor/agent replies with good feedback, right? I look forward to your coming posts. All the best.

  12. Well done! No need to tell you to keep working as I see you're on top of that. Pretty cool that you got so much feedback from that editor.

  13. I was so happy to see your comment this morning. I've been worried about you. Take care of yourself and do what the doctors say. Even if it's disgusting.

    Congratulations on such good feedback from a great editor. Now ... read, study, practice.

  14. Glad to see you back! I think the whole sentence structure and punctuation are pretty important--and I am good at some aspects and pretty horrible at others. THANK HEAVENS for my crit partners, who have strengths where I have weaknesses, and show me what I can change. Very valuable!

  15. So many writers have this problem. I blame the lack of grammar education in the school systems. At least in the U.S. But if you want to write you have to be able to punctuate and such, so I guess it boils down to teaching yourself! Way to go Joanna!

  16. Join the club, honey! I had the same issues. I am still learning, but I am so much better. One of my crit partners, an English teacher, helped me a lot. From there it's practice, practice, practice!

    So glad to see you're feeling better and you're back. WE MISSED YOU!


  17. Oh Joanna, you were so missed! Welcome back, hope you're feeling better.

    All the best with your revisions. I'm looking forward to learning from you all you're learning!

    BTW, I'm hosting Roland D Yeomans today, who self-published his book THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS and is sharing his journey with us as well as a four book giveaway!


  18. Welcome back, Joanna!
    I was wondering where you were :(
    I missed your posts. Congratulations on your feedback from Embrace. Good luck with your latest project and keep us updated ;)

  19. Looking forward to having you as an embrace stablemate soon, Joanna! That's great feedback from Jane, congrats!

  20. Congratulations....so pleased for you. Take care. Hugs x

  21. I've met Jane in person and she rocks. She's funny, friendly and SUCH a good writer.

    Happy to help with any line edits/ reading if need be! Just let me know!

  22. Yeah! You're back!!! Sorry to hear you're having health problems--get better, okay?!

    Glad to hear too that your writing continues.


  23. Congratulations! What an exciting email to get. With determination like yours, you'll get the call this year.


I'd love to hear what you have to say, so go on & make my day