Thursday, June 2, 2016


Isn’t it funny how certain words evoke images in your mind?  For instance, for me, the word summer has always meant sunshine, swimming, snowball’s (snow cones for those of you not from South Louisiana) and freedom. No doubt, the impervious conditioning of a carefree childhood, but still today, I can’t help but pair all of those things at this time of year. 

I certainly didn’t get the memo that said I was supposed to give up those precious favorites from summer, and as I enjoy a medium, flat-top, sugar-free coconut snowball from the stand close to my house, I can’t understand why anyone would ever want to grow up if that was the rule!

However, I have children, I have a husband, I am a grown-up with grown-up responsibilities, but I also love summer time and joking around, laughing, having fun, and with a son like mine who is a practical joker 24/7, I am constantly reminded to be happy.

Now James Herrington (the husband) would be the first one to say “Work first, play second,” and he is one of the smartest people that I know and unfortunately right about most things.  (Don’t tell him I said so or he will be incorrigible!!!) And I do understand that we all have work to do, but why not incorporate fun into that work, especially this time of year? 

I certainly have writing deadlines, but surely I can write at the beach.  I have stories to edit, and I know I can do that while enjoying a refreshing shaved ice delicacy.  (Have I explained enough how awesome coconut snowballs taste?)  Then there are things like cooking dinner that well, heck I can’t do anything else while cooking, but it's summer and hot and who wants to cook dinner?  We eat a lot of salad in the summer!

I’m nothing if not amenable to the things that I have to do and the things that I want to do.  Anything is possible with planning and scheduling.  Some days, I wake up earlier or stay up later to fit everything in, but there is nothing like the feeling of meeting my goals.  The key is proper planning. More like perfect planning, but still with the help of my “roll with the punches” family, we push each other to get everything done!  The Herrington's are not an idle little family, and with all of this running around, I feel blessed to have the ability to work anywhere. 

After all, we have four high school graduations within our immediate family, football and basketball practices every day all summer long (which includes 20 basketball games in June alone) and one out of state college orientation to attend.  I’m excited to say that with all of the overactive family life, I also have my new website being launched any day now,, my new novel back from the editor that will be published in JULY, and two short stories published in the next few weeks.  (I’ve been busy, really busy!) 

So for those of you out there, battling your way through responsibilities and hanging on to your carefree ways by a thread, I say HANG ON!  You can do it!  Balance is the key and by tweaking things here and there, you can have it all!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Mission

I hope this post finds you making the most of every day in regards to your personal goals.  Sometimes, it may take a little remapping before your direction is crystal clear, but keeping your destination in mind does help! 
When I first started writing this blog, I was so eager to put my foot in the social media water (A teeny-tiny-little virtual foot) that I wasn’t sure what to do first.
About the only thing I did know was that I needed it to be personal and wanted it to be about my journey as a writer.
Oh My!
My last post was some time ago and if you were sweet enough to read it, way back then, I explained that I had strayed from this blog with my other blog, and with my Writing group at, The Bayou Writer’s Club.
Well, clearly they kept my attention as I haven’t posted here since!  (Worthwhile, I promise!) 
Actually, the BWC still has my complete devotion, but I’ve had a hard time finding my way with two blogs, a website, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn! Not to mention my busy family life that became a Time-Monster on its own!


I hope that you actually did check out the Bayou Writer’s Blog and Meet-Up site so you could see just how busy things could get in the writing world!  The growth has been phenomenal with our numbers around a whopping 175 members and growing.  In addition to our meetings every two weeks, I’ve added “Reading Events” quarterly, at a local English Tea Room which has the perfect setting for our evening event.  Our meetings have taken on an air of advanced writing class lessons and in addition to our extremely talented members, we have guests that have included traditionally published authors, indie authors, and a founding editor of a publishing company. 
It’s been incredible.    
I would say this little side trek of mine has been successful in so many ways and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  However, I had a destination and I’m going to get there! 

Tools for the Assignment

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been busy, but I still wrote all the time, because I don’t know how to not write!  I shared some of this work with the Bayou Writers but mostly, there just seemed to be this huge file of work that never went anywhere but my own virtual writing folder.  There was certainly a time when that would have been okay with me because I’d always written for myself.  Some people journal, I write fiction.  But that was then and this is now… Now, I have goals for those stories! 
The funny thing is, you can’t have a goal without the means.  That is, you can’t share your writing with the world if you don’t write!  I did, I have, and it’s there! Lots of it!
On top of having a large writing portfolio, I have learned to be a better self-editor.  I have more beta-readers, I’ve met writer friends that are graphic designers, know professional line editors, taken fiction writing classes, attended writing workshops and conferences.  (Finding a writing group or starting one is incredibly helpful!)
I’ve learned a lot!

Back on the Path (with a little redirecting)

I’ve learned that I respect the traditional publishing world but am more of an Indie Author.  I appreciate all the incredible books that I have read my entire life that traditional publishers helped spit and polish until they were shiny and ready for market.  I’ve been right there in line with many of my saved dollars waiting to purchase book three in a series that I couldn’t wait another minute to read.  After all, I am not only a writer but a word nerd and lover of stories, a reader in the true sense of the word. 
However, in the age of on-demand and e-books, I like the idea of controlling each piece of the business.  In other words, I want readers to experience my writing under the cover that I choose, with whatever changes or edits that I agree to make, and in the format that they want at the prices I set.  Look at me, the control freak.  Who knew?  (No need to answer that last question!)

X- Marks the Spot (Or in this case, X equals the publishing date of my first novel!)

I am excited to announce that I am closing in on my destination!  Depending on my final edits, it could be as soon as May 2016!!!!  Whoo-Hoo.  I will have a free book available via my website sooner and can’t wait to finally share with everyone what I have been working on.  (I was going to say what has been going on inside my head but that just sounded weird!)
I’ve heard THE JOURNEY is more important than the DESTINATION and I can’t say that it wasn’t worth every step that I took to get here.  After all, I do love to travel.  My husband teases that “it doesn’t matter where the car is going, if it’s backing out of the driveway, Lisa wants to be in it!”  I dare challenge that I simply want to see everything! 
You too?
Then set your itinerary, map it out, leave a little wiggle room so you can wander, and get moving!

Thanks for popping in to see me---I’ll be back really soon with dates and links to my Books! 

Until then-
Happy Writing,

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lost...Writer Girl???

Not lost just wandering elsewhere…
     It’s been quite some time since I posted on this blog and I wanted to clarify that I’ve been wandering.  Not lost, mind you, but simply moving things along with my writing and my writers group.  Since the last time I posted, I’ve managed to send out several queries and thus received several considerate rejections.  I, of course, want the big “YES” but have been encouraged by these letters because I know I’m getting closer!  Each time I received an email from an agent, I was excited because they did read some of my pages and I found their comments helpful in motivating me to improve my writing and grow as an Author.  Maybe an unusual response but I’m generally “the glass is half full” kind of girl!
     This is also where The BWC has come in.  The Bayou Writer’s Club has been amazing and in the beginning, there were only a few members.  In the blink of an eye, I became the organizer of the group and it’s been a busy year.  I honestly LOVE meeting with other writers but I didn’t expect things to take off so quickly.  Amazingly, whatever I do for the BWC, I seem to get back two-fold.  They inspire, encourage, and motivate me to be the best writer that I can be!

The other places
     I took a short break from my first novel to write and edit another which has helped tremendously.  Now I am editing again or as I like to say, polishing my novel per suggestions from agents and beta readers from the BWC.  My writing voice is clearer and I can easily see small mistakes this time around. (I highly recommend taking a vacation from your work for a short while. This virtual vacation does for your brain what the real thing does for your body!)
     As I’ve grown as a writer, so has my writing group.  We have over seventy members in the Bayou Writers Club now and are still growing.  We’re very active and meet every two weeks for a couple of hours but many come thirty minutes to an hour early so we can eat dinner and chat! (WOW!) 
     Honestly, if you can’t find me here, I’m cheating on this blog over at or on the Meet Up website for Bayou Writers Club! 
     Members of the BWC are published authors, traditional and self-published, as well as beginners.  Included in this group, so far, are writers of fiction, non-fiction, romance, fantasy, literary drama, horror, screenplays, sci-fi, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, children’s picture books, YA and Poetry. 

Enlightening detours
     The BWC is not only impressive but this group of writers inspires and encourages each other like nothing I’ve ever seen.  Outside of the group meetings, they even email and text one another.  Currently we are celebrating our one year anniversary with a 12,000 word challenge.  This has motivated members to write more than ever and each person has a partner that checks in with them via texts, email or phone calls to verify their word counts!  How cool is that?
     Since the most important way to improve your writing is to actually write- and write a lot, there are writing prompts posted monthly for members to sharpen their skills.  There is a short word count requirement for these (usually 1,000 words or less) which encourages writers to eliminate useless words.  After all, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs” - Stephen King
     Many of our meetings have short writing lessons/discussions about things like writing dialogue or active and passive voice.  There is also a fun Reading like a Writer, show and tell segment.  A member will bring in books by their favorite author to share and show how well they use imagery, handle dialogue, or write excellent first lines of a story.  
     All writers are encouraged to bring in short examples of their work to read to the group.  If they’re not comfortable reading then someone else will read for them but the idea is to give writers immediate feedback and encouragement.   In addition, we’re all beta readers for one another and members can always ask others to read larger pieces of work.  As a group, we choose novels or chapters of novels that are submitted and then provide an open discussion critique for that writer.  We have rules of positive feedback but also expect honest criticism.  (Seriously, rules are posted on our blog and meet up website)

Valuable attractions
     Writing is normally a solitary affair but I aim to change that for the members of the BWC.  Each of our members has amazing gifts and experiences to share with the group and we learn from one another.  For instance, when members travel to writing conferences, they share their experiences which in turn gives other writers the courage to attend conferences in the future.  We have several writers who have taken special writing classes and they also share what they have learned which not only educates the group, but inspires them to hone their writing and possibly take a course, too.  It’s contagious to be around writers that are so enthusiastic!  The proof can be seen when one of our members brings along their spouse to a meeting and then they begin to write!  

Yield for tasks
     My writing and I are much better for the time given to the group and I can hardly remember what it was like before I found my writing friends or they found me.  A few months ago we began a group project of writing a story together and it has come a long way from a single idea to the actual writing.  This task is helping our new writers learn the process but also our experienced writers learn new processes.  Last week we had the task of brainstorming some of the plot-falls in the chapters written so far and then debating how to fix them.  We didn’t all agree but did manage to vote on some of the details, it was necessary but difficult.  Afterwards one of our members commented “Our meeting was the perfect metaphor for what my mind goes through each time I sit down to write.”   I could totally relate and then laughed for ten minutes. 

Pave your way!
     The lesson here is not only for writers but everyone looking to enrich their day to day. In a world where most people strive to find just a few minutes of quiet, I am not one to go it alone.   Jeff Goins writes about finding your tribe and I understood the concept but didn’t get the meaning until my first meeting with the BWC!  Something powerful happens when you are surrounded by like-minded, no like-gifted people.  So Go!  Get out there!  Wander around (even online, try the Meet Up Website) until you find other writers, readers, sculptors, hikers, beer lovers, singles, bicyclists, vegans, etc…People like you.   Because, "Not all those who wander are lost" - R. R. Tolkien 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Keep Moving Forward


While querying my first novel, I am continuing to learn a lot about the art of writing and what works for me.  Writing is a solitary exercise and although I live for those moments of creativity, I am a social girl at heart.  I can write for hours and hours but at the end of the day or as luck would have it, a few times a month; I have a need to discuss writerly things.  (Yes, I said Writerly.)


I was very fortunate at the Writer’s Digest Conference to meet a handful of incredible writer’s and even more privileged to have made a couple of great writer friends.  Rosemary and Elaine are very talented writers and are going through the journey of getting published, too.  We share our work and support one another via email. Their friendship is invaluable, personal, honest, and inspirational.  We understand the effort it takes to push our work and therefore encourage each other to stay on top of our publishing goals!



Having two friends that are serious novelists convinced me to connect with more writers.  After all, if three writers are powerful then what about a like-minded group? 

I consider it divine intervention that just as I needed a writing group, one was being created.  The Bayou Writer’s Club was started by an industrious local writer, Rebecca, who had the fervor to bring local writers together via the website “Meet Up.” 

The BWC is an eclectic group of writers.  We have some that are published, traditional and self, as well as beginners.  So far, we have writers of fiction, non-fiction, romance, fantasy, literary drama, horror, screenplays, sci-fi, woman’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, children’s picture books, YA and Poetry! 
We have new members joining every week and have something for every type of writer.


Who knew that encouraging other writers could stir your creativity to new levels?  Or that it could also help you stay on top of your writing goals. (It is true!)

Honestly, I get incredibly enthusiastic when I talk to my fellow writers about their projects, the writing industry, how we can better help each other, or critique each other’s work.  Just discussing their challenges as well as successes makes me anxious to write, write, write.  (Who knows where inspiration comes from, perhaps it arises from desperation.  Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses.” –Amy Tan, American Writer)


My writing life is so much richer for the friends that I have made.  I am grateful every day that I have met all of these wonderful people that happen to be writers too!

So today I would like to issue you a friendly challenge.  If you haven’t found a group then start one.  Meet Up is a great place to begin and your local library is another. 

Find your people and you just might find your spark to keep writing, editing, and querying.

Until next time, keep writing.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rules of the Road

You Need a Guide

The journey to finding the right agent to represent my work is equally exciting and nerve-wracking. 

I mentioned The 2013 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino in my last blog but it deserves mentioning again.  It truly is an incredible place to begin.  It has agencies, the agents within, what they represent, whether they are accepting submissions, how to submit your work and on and on and on. 

If you don’t have it then trust me, YOU NEED IT!

It is a wonderful book but implementing a plan to use it was more difficult for me.    I made notes and highlighted agents that I had read about previously, but didn’t take any real action.  It just felt a little overwhelming to send out unrequested queries to strangers.  I still had questions…many questions.  (#1: Was I ready, really ready to do this?)

I needed the process to be a little more personal.  Obviously, this is not for everyone but I wanted to meet some people in the industry, writers and agents in order to make a more informed decision about my next move.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

In April, I was able to juggle my almighty schedule so that I could attend The Writer’s Digest Conference-East.  Probably one of the single best gifts that I have ever given myself was this experience.   

The conference offered very useful workshops on editing, social media, advice on pitching an agent, discussions on the changing industry but most importantly, I met other writers.  It seems making personal connections with like-minded authors was something I truly needed.  (Writer Friends!!!)

The next most important thing was participating in the Pitch-Slam session. This is basically speed-dating for agents and authors.  (You actually get to meet Agents one on one… albeit for only three minutes but still worth every minute!!!) 

This session alone was worth the trip to me for many reasons:

·         I met some great inspiring agents. 

·         I honed my skill at pitching my book. 

·         I got positive feedback as well as constructive feedback on the spot. 

·         I was able to discuss my book with people who love books like me. 

·         It truly demystified the process of finding an agent by putting me directly in front of so many great ones.

·          It humanized the big scary agent because I could put names and faces together and actually have a conversation with them.

·         It put an industry that previously felt out of reach directly in front of me…there for the taking.     

·         It reminded me that while writing is somewhat personal it is still a business and if you work at it then you can be successful.

·         Sending queries to agents is what authors do.

·         Reading queries from authors (slush-pile finds) is what Agents do.

·         It ignited a fire inside of me to work harder to get published.

Travel with a Pack

I met a small group of writers at the conference that went through the pitch-slam with me and we compared notes.  As it turned out, everyone in my friend group did not get requests for their work.  We discussed that in our opinions most of the agents were quite agreeable in person and probably more so than they might be through an anonymous slush-pile query.  (In other words, they seemed pretty open to taking a look at quite a few queries, probably more than usual because of the conference environment!!! Very Nice!!!) 

All the agents that did say “yes, send me something” had standard requests like; email a query along with your first five pages, some wanted up to first fifty pages.  (Nothing crazy or really out of the ordinary!)

It was fun but professional and helped me understand the process of agent and client a little more. My group also agreed that the entire exercise was very beneficial although some of us were more ready than others to move forward.  Personally, I got several enthusiastic requests and had many excited conversations about the premise of my novel.  I also received a request for the full manuscript from one of my favorite Agencies which did an awful lot to boost my confidence!  


Wayfaring sounds so much better than wandering… and I no longer feel like I am lost in my journey but rather have a real path to follow!! 

Since the conference, I am much more courageous about querying agents.  I have set small but reasonable goals to discover, research, and then query more agents that could be a good fit for me and my work.

Understand that Agents really do want you and you want an Agent!  (Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner!)  They can only discover manuscripts that are sent to them and so I suggest you send them something! 
If you have any other suggestions or ideas, please feel free to share in the comments section of my blog.
Until next time, Keep Writing (and editing and querying!)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Where Ya Going?

Start at the Beginning

It is hard to say when my journey actually began, as it seems the actual beginning would be when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and started truly writing.  But then, I have been writing various things for years without the slightest notion of sharing it with anyone.  So for the sake of clarity, my wishes to become a published author began only a few short years ago.  (No time at all, really.)


As with anything that I am unfamiliar, I started with the World Wide Web as my infinite resource.  WOW was that daunting.  There is so much contradictory information out there about traditional publishing versus self-publishing, market trends, author platforms, and the list goes on and on.

The Only Sure Thing I Know

I am certain of one thing and that is, I don’t know anything about the Publishing World. 

It took me a while to look through all of that information but it was easy to decide that I was absolutely a traditional girl!  (Of Course!)

After all, I have put an awful lot of hard work into writing a great book and I want the best opportunity to share it.  In my humble opinion, a literary agent is the expert here and therefore the only way to go.

I Now Have a Map

Every little step of this process seems to take an awful lot of calculated effort.  Who knew that writing was the easy part?  (Seriously!)

No matter how difficult, I am on a mission, now.  I know there is an agent out there in my future and I simply have to find them!  (You can too!)


Conferences are a great place to start and 2013 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino is another.

Gosh I have so much more to say about that but it will have to wait until next time!

Until then, Keep Writing.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting Started

A Great Big Welcome

WELCOME to my first blog post. 
With all of the other things that vie for your attention, I truly appreciate you giving my words a quick look-see. 
Hopefully, after you give me the sixty second scan, you will find my spot interesting and useful enough to return.

Brief about me

A few things about me… I am a writer! (Among other things for now...)
I scribble on the back of receipts, type things out on my phone while in line at the store, and sometimes get to sit down in front of my computer and do it on purpose. (You, too?)

What I have never done is consider writing for the entertainment of others.  I guess I never considered it as something real, which is funny since I read all of the time.  I mean, someone is out there writing these books, right?  Why can’t it be me? (Why can’t it be you?)

What you can expect… Or Platform

Most blogs that I read have “Platforms” to which they dedicate their writing.  Some have a worthy cause that they are championing, while others may offer advice on something else.
Personally, I am looking to help other writers, like me, that want to get their work out there.  Simply, encourage others to take the leap (of faith) into getting published or just to keep writing.

The Idea

My idea is to journal regularly on my efforts, experiences, triumphs, and near misses for you to see.  I have a lot to learn and thus, a lot to share.
I don’t know anyone in the business and am far from being an expert.  I am simply a regular girl writer, trying to do my best to make it to the next level.  I can promise to be open and honest through this adventure.  After all, we want the truth right?  (If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.  –Mark Twain…love that one!)


I truly didn’t know anything about how to get a novel published. 
Once I finished my first novel, I was excited but felt bereft.  What was I going to do in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep?  (Watch an infomercial on the next new thing to hit the blender market?)
I brainstormed for a while and then did what came natural… I started writing.  It was fulfilling but I felt like I was cheating on my first book.  Honestly, how could I have spent so much time with it, love it, nurture it, and then just ignore it.
Next, I started feeling isolated in my craft.  I was sort of lonely, not like something I could cure by visiting the self-help section of the book store, but maybe more like I needed writers’ anonymous.  I desperately wanted to connect with other writers.  People who feel like I do about the process…You know how it takes over your brain space until you write it somewhere!  How about when a character that you create starts correcting you when you write something that he wouldn’t have said or done?  (Okay maybe that is schizophrenia and perhaps another support group all together! But you get it.) 

Forced Journaling

It really helps me when I put my thoughts down on paper, or computer…sometimes iPhone, and I need to keep myself organized.
Keeping a journal seems like a logical way to keep my process in order and make it easier for others in the community to keep in touch.  (A journal that I am held accountable to writing=perfect)
I love to write, but know that I have a ton to learn about getting published.  It is pretty scary trying to tackle the unknown alone.  I am certain that having company through the process will make it easier for me and hopefully, I can help you, too!  (I am always braver when other people are around.)

The End All Goal

I anticipate learning a lot from my efforts and yours.  I hope to build a small community of unpublished writers that can help one another with their goals, whether large or small. 
Please feel free to share if you are trying to get published, your genre writing preferences, if you are just starting a novel, finishing a novel, wherever you are in the process, I would love to know. (There are others like us!)


Something that everyone needs, but everyone doesn’t get is encouragement.  I will give it to you. 
Honestly, I am moved by the smallest gestures, how a simple kind word can motivate me, and I believe in paying that forward.  Therefore, when you need it… I am your girl.
Reassurance from someone outside of your family and friends that have to give it to you (It’s in the handbook) can do wonders. 
We all want to feel validated and until we get to the next level, PUBLISHED…we can help each other.  
I guess what I am admitting is that I am here to stay and hoping that you will, too! 

Until then…keep writing.