Blog Articles

It’s all about the timing: Critique groups

By Mary Holland / January 3, 2016

From mid-October to mid-December I submitted the first six chapters of my work-in-progess (tentatively titled ‘Parse’) to a virtual writers workshop. I’m not sure if it was or was not a success. The feedback on the first two chapters was positive, but the subsequent chapters were universally panned. For my last submission I revised chapters 3-4, and the feedback was slightly more encouraging. This post isn’t about the other participants in the workshop, nor about … Read more

Contest Winner!

By Mary Holland / September 23, 2015

My short story, ‘The Divvy’, won an award for ‘Propulsive Scene and/or Plot Line’ in the 2015 Stoneslide Story Contest. They may include it in their anthology or publish it on their website; as soon as I know I’ll post here and on Facebook and Twitter. Propulsive scene and/or plot line: “The Divvy,” by Mary Holland, starts with an unwanted and burdensome gift and moves at tremendous speed through complications and challenges, barreling toward revelation, … Read more

Upcoming: Other Writers’ Books

By Mary Holland / August 14, 2015

Before I was a writer, I was a reader. And if I have a choice between reading a new book by one of my favorite authors or working on my own, I smother the guilt (all writers struggle with guilt on a daily basis unless they are actually WRITING) and curl up and read. If you’re on my favorite author list, I buy your new title in hardback. Because that’s the way I grew up … Read more

Publication and Sale: The Dog of Pel

By Mary Holland / July 5, 2015

The Dog of Pel is now available in ebook on Smashwords and Amazon. The paperback should be available on Amazon later this week. As a celebration (because I’m always so damn relieved to get this far!) the ebooks of both Matcher Rules and The Bone Road are on sale at both vendors for $0.99 during July and August. Or longer if I feel happy. Update on 2015-07-11 21:12 by Mary Holland The paperback is now … Read more

The Dog of Pel — Coming July 2015

By Mary Holland / June 28, 2015

    All Jamie Pel wants is a quiet life in his demesne and someone to share it with. As the secondary heir—the spare—of the Magne of Pel, his uncle, he’s avoided the pomp and ritual other Magnes and their primary heirs seem to relish. But with talk of a nascent slave trade circulating in Gallia, the Magne of Pel recruits Jamie to join an observation mission to the Scour, the blasted, burned-out territory where … Read more

ISBNs: It’s Your Job

By Mary Holland / June 16, 2015

Today I waited at the auto repair shop while my car was being smogged. I’m in California; we do this a lot. Two of the Parts technicians were helping a man who wanted a leashed gas cap for his wife’s car. There was some confusion about which one would fit, several databases were consulted, and finally one of the technicians called the dealer and received the final word. Yes, this particular leashed gas cap with … Read more

Revisions and Editors

By Mary Holland / April 4, 2015

After three months of revisions, I sent the finished manuscript to a professional editor. My final version of The Dog of Pel is almost exactly 100,000 words, by Microsoft’s Word Count. 340 pages. For anyone interested in process: I printed out the entire manuscript, went over it line by line, and wrote in corrections and notes to myself. Sometimes they were very detailed corrections to the text and other times said informative things such as … Read more

The Dog of Pel is Done

By Mary Holland / December 15, 2014

The first pass, anyway. Two and a half years of work mercifully not down the drain. It made a nice birthday gift from me to me. Depending on how you count, it’s either 94,000 words if you go by Microsoft Word or 80,000 words using the classic editorial 250 words per page. I prefer the actual Word count. I expect the final version will be over 100,000. There are some sections I need to expand … Read more

Fun in Our Work

By Mary Holland / October 6, 2014

Yes, it’s been a while since I updated this blog, but give me a choice between blogging and making progress on The Dog of Pel and you guessed it. I’ve combed through the existing manuscript, removed, changed, modified, and added all sorts of text, and sent the revised opus off to my beta readers. I’m working on the final chapters and thinking about the END, which is marvelous. Choices have been made. By me. I’ve … Read more

Progress on The Dog of Pel

By Mary Holland / August 14, 2014

I’m writing steadily on The Dog of Pel. Current word count, as of today, is 75,000. I’ve accepted this one isn’t going to move quickly but it IS moving. My best guess for the final total—and this is a total guess—is between 100,000 and 110,000. I’ve outlined to the end of the story at least three times and no sooner do I get my head into the writing than the story takes off in another … Read more