Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Fricassee

Happy Friday, dear hearts!

So I keep having all these wondrous plans for the blog, to offer you at the very least an in-house critique round, and at best another Secret Agent contest (in the works!).  But I've been in my revision hut, so the blog is one thing I need to set aside while writing.

Of course, it's all very exciting, because this is my first deadline!  My editor has asked for this revision by February 1, and so far I'm tracking well.  (I think I must be one of those weird people who likes deadlines.) Admittedly, I was a bit tense when I first learned I'd have only 5 weeks to finish.

But I found my stride.  And I'm actually fairly close to being finished.

I've had help, though!  I was blessed to meet Peter Salomon for coffee the day after Christmas, and he uttered words of writerly wisdom to me:  "Just finish one little piece at a time.  Don't look at the whole thing."  Yeah, that sounds logical and apparent, right?  But I NEEDED TO HEAR IT.  Because I was on the brink of freak mode, and I'd lost sight of the proverbial forest.

Peter rescued me.  Thank you, Peter.

Also, my sister has been COOKING MEALS FOR ME.  I can't even.  Twice each week, she's brought me yummy food so I wouldn't have to cook every day.  She knows I hate cooking and she knows that I have to focus on getting these revisions done.  I've thanked her a hundred times, but probably she doesn't realize just how deeply thankful I am--how much her kindness has freed me to write without excess angst (a.k.a. cooking angst CAN I HAVE AN AMEN?).

I'd be remiss not to also mention that my dear husband bought me a new MacBook Air for Christmas.  I've named her Olivia, after the main character in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and she has made my life easier!  Genevieve, my retired Air, was on her way out.  Aside from my only-working-half-the-time E key, I was having serious memory issues.  I planned on running her into the ground, but Eric decided I needed a new laptop as I embarked on my first official revisions.  He calls it a "business expense", but I call it a thoughtful gift.

So, that's me, really!

Thanks and hugs to those who have subscribed to my author newsletter.  If you haven't taken a peek at my new website, please stop by!

And, yes, when you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE AUDIOBOOK, which I wrote and narrated.  (Yes, I love being married to a guy with a recording studio.)

THE WISHING SEED is a fairytale-in-verse for the young and young at heart.  Here are the opening verses:

THE WISHING SEED by Jillian Boehme

In the once-upon-a-time-ness of a land you’ve never seen, 
Where the streams were clear and bubbling and the forests thick and green, 
Stood a cottage in a clearing at the bottom of a knoll, 
With three shabby little windows and a roof that had a hole. 

 ‘Twas the home of Ethan Trowler and his family as well – 
Papa, Mama, seven brothers, and a baby, Annabelle. 
It was crowded, it was noisy, and the furniture was spare, 
But the Trowlers kept on smiling – they had love enough to share. 

Every morning, little Ethan, while he waited to be fed, 
Dreamed of eating cheese and oatmeal with his one, thin slice of bread. 
But the pantry shelves were empty and the flour bin was low; 
“When it’s gone,” thought Ethan, “What will we eat then?” He didn’t know.

And, finally (whew!), I'd also like to invite you to FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM.  Because PHOTOS!  (And not just pictures of books.  I mean, there are those.  And I love books and pictures of books.  But it's much more interesting to look at other things, too.)

So keep your eyes open for an in-house crit SOON, as well as an announcement for Secret Agent submissions (not quite as soon--you have time to get ready!).  And have a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Encouragement From The Past

So Facebook can be annoying sometime with its "one year ago" reminders, but it can also be delightfully helpful.

Today, a link I posted 4 years ago showed up, leading readers to that day's Friday Fricassee--an offering of encouragement.

It struck me, because there I was, talking heartily about NEVER GIVING UP, with no idea how many years still stood between me and my first published book.  The words are timeless, though, and meant for all aspiring authors.  So I'm reposting them here for you.

Because you know that I am never going to stop saying DON'T GIVE UP!


FRIDAY FRICASSEE, January 10, 2014

To encourage you today:

I am the poster child of Things Don't Always Happen Quickly.  An example of what is far more often the case with agented authors--it sometimes takes longer than you would have imagined for your dreams to come true.

Don't give up.

It took bestselling author Jim Butcher 5 years (yes, 5) to finally sell, after he'd finished his third book  (yes, his third).

C.J. Redwine went through 2 unsold manuscripts with her agent before the third one finally sold (Defiance).

{Fill in the blank} had to wait {fill in the blank} years before {fill in the blank} sold.

You get the idea.

So, yeah.  Don't give up.

Don't give up if you're still trying to get an agent.  It took me 5 years.

Don't give up if you're agented and you still haven't sold anything.  I'm still doing that thing.

Look, I've got a great agent.  I love him.  And he and I now share a history of "bad timing" and "saturated market" and  "editor fatigue" and "her writing is wonderful, but..." and "send me anything else she has written" and, simply, "this isn't for me".  Selling a book is about so much more than having a great story.  Naturally, that's frustrating.  But that's the way it is.

So we press on.

If I'm honest with myself, I like where this has brought me.  I like feeling like an experienced warhorse.   I like that I am able, in a way I wasn't able 3 years ago, to disentangle myself from my work.  Not that I don't have bad days; not that I don't feel the frustration sometimes.  But something is different now.  I am--dare I say it?--sanguine.

I'm more excited about my current project that I've been since I first signed with Josh.  It's hard to explain the feeling of "rightness" this one has.  The feeling that I've taken everything I've walked through and produced something that has transcended it all.

And I'm working on a final edit right now.  Final, as in final-edit-before-going-on-sub.  (Well, unless darling Josh wants to nitpick again.  He's a crazy-good editor, but I may have to throw a little hissy fit at some point.  Maybe.)

Of course, I have NO IDEA WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I'm here, and the journey continues.  And I'm not giving up.

Not giving up.

I love my craft.  More than ever--in fact, probably for the first time in my life--I am intensely aware of how STORIES live inside me.  How I think in stories.  Share myself in stories.  Perceive things as stories.

I like this about myself.  I like that my journey has brought me to this place of self-discovery.

So you see, there's more to this journey than just getting published.  So much more.

Don't give up.

Continue to be teachable.  Continue to grow.  Continue to write.  At some point, if you feel like you're going down the wrong path, then, by all means, turn left at the crossroads.  Or turn right.

But if your vision remains the same, then keep going.  There are no promises of quick success.  There is no sense of fairness in how quickly the author next to you sells, while you pine away.  There is no easy road, except for the (very) select few.  And I'm not sure the easy road is always best, anyway.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, keep trying.

Don't give up.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Introducing the Jillian Boehme Web Site

I'm a little excited about this, everyone!

Thanks to my darling husband's many hours of work, my author web site is up and running and ready for your eyeballs!

You can now click on my author pic to the right, or click on the Jillian Boehme tab above, and you'll arrive at

Naturally, I've got a newsletter for you to sign up for.  And I'm SUPER excited to let you know that I'm giving away a FREE AUDIOBOOK to everyone who signs up for my newsletter!

I wrote THE WISHING SEED a number of years ago, and there is, of course, a story behind it.  At the time, I was an avid reader of editor Cheryl Klein's blog, and one day I left a rhyming comment beneath one of her posts.  She liked it so much that she told me she'd love to read any submission of mine that was a rhyming children's book.

Piece of cake, thought I.  For whatever reason, verse has always come easily to me, so I thought I could whip out a little story in no time.

I couldn't have been more wrong!  It was painstaking to both create a solid story arc and write it in perfect meter and rhyme.  Lesson learned!  But I did it, and I sent it to Cheryl, as she had requested.  It wasn't for her, but she was kind enough to send along the names of two other publishers she thought might be interested in it.

They both passed, and THE WISHING SEED was tucked lovingly away among my other works.  After a while, I sort of forgot about it.

Then, when I was trying to come up with a special gift to offer my newsletter subscribers, I came upon THE WISHING SEED, and I was struck with the idea of creating an audiobook--just for you!

Fortunately, my multifaceted husband has an entire recording studio upstairs, so he was happy to make the recording for me.  (He gets so much credit!)

So, yes, THE WISHING SEED is written by me and narrated by me.  It was a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoy the fruit of my (our) labor.

(Also, speaking into a microphone in front of a pile of pillows and trying not to make a single mistake is fairly anxiety-producing.  I don't know how people do this for a living!  Though probably they don't have piles of pillows in professional studios.)