Tag Archives: Linda Epstein

Lit Agent Fairy Dust: The Path to Making Dreams Come True

spinaltap_2430544bWith the Writing and Yoga Retreat just two weeks away, I’ve been so ridiculously busy that my head is spinning. It’s so tempting to say “literally spinning” but can you imagine if it was literally spinning?! Someone call Dial-an-Exorcist, please! But you get what I mean, right? My usual ADD way of mucking through life — oh wait! there’s something shiny over there! — has been amped up to 11.

One might ask oneself why a literary agent who is already quite busy working with her amazing clients, who has already  done a round of Spring writing conferences, and is already scheduled to go to conferences in August, September,  October and November, why that (insane? masochistic? just plain stupid?) person would decide to create a writing retreat from scratch and host it in July…. Why?!

imgresWell, it’s kind of like this: I’m in the business of making dreams come true. Now stop rolling your eyes. Stop shaking your head. Stop saying, “Well, how come you’re not making my dream come true, wench?!” The funny thing about making dreams come true is that it starts at home. That is to say, every time I make my own dreams come true I get a little bit more sparkly fairy dust to sprinkle around for other people. For years my friend, the extraordinary poet (novelist, yogi, librarian, writing insructor) Stefanie Lipsey, and I had been talking about how awesome it would be to lead a retreat for writers that would encompass some of the cool things from the cool work we’ve done in various aspects of our lives.

yoga_silhouette_vector_collectionOf course that would include yoga. I mean, Stefanie is one of those really bendy, flexible, chillaxed yogini people (well, compared to me, anyway) and I do my little yoga practice once or twice a week. For like the past 15+ years. So yeah, we wanted to include yoga in our writing retreat. But besides the twice daily opportunity to do yoga at the retreat, what’s been really cool is to be building our curriculum, the workshops themselves, the planned interstitial moments, the small touches, all with an eye on yoga. So if one goes with the assumption that yoga is the physical, mental and spiritual practices and disciplines one would engage in to attain peace, for the weekend we’re going to apply that to our writing.

How, you may ask, does this have anything to do with making my or anyone else’s dreams come true? Well, for me I’ll be facilitating and creating a small community of writers for three days, building a separate little world for just a moment where we are all focused on our works in progress. We’ll be conjuring magic and stretching ourselves physically, intellectually and creatively as we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards). And I fully expect to get as much out of this as I put in, both energetically and creatively (I already am!). So there’s going to be a LOT of sparkly fairy dust flying around!

fairydust800We still have a few spaces left for last minute registrations. If you’re interested, but still have questions or are worried that you’re not “right” for this retreat, just shoot me and Stefanie an email so we can address any of your questions or concerns. And FYI, for local NY folks, there’s now a daytripper rate, which makes this phenomenal weekend more affordable.

 

So I’m off now, to flitter around from sparkly thing to sparkly thing, in between negotiating contracts, reading and editing manuscripts, going through queries, sending and receiving a gazillion emails and phone calls, wheeling and dealing film and television options, and doing a (teeny tiny) bit of my own writing. Oh look! A Butterfly! Chasing a Unicorn! Over a Rainbow!

 

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Act II of Linda’s life!

Some of you may have seen my blog post that sneaked out last week, totally by accident, which announced in a beautiful way that I have become a literary agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. I pulled the post down because the website wasn’t yet working and Jennifer wanted to properly announce the good news (tomorrow, but I’ll be away from my computer for a good part of the day) and I wanted all the ducks to be lined up nice and straight. Well, I lost that well written, lovely version, so I’m just saying it: I’m an agent! So check the website for my submission guidelines, and please don’t query here. (It will get deleted unread.) And yes. I’ve been dancing the happy dance. A lot.

It’s amazing when we get the things we’ve worked really hard to achieve! What have you achieved recently? What are you proud of?

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It’s tension that keeps those pages a’turning…

When I read a novel I want something to happen. My best friend, who is an avid reader, doesn’t agree with me. She doesn’t mind reading a whole long book where basically nothing happens. When I had more time, and I was in a book group, I bagged reading a fair number of books where nothing happened. It’s really a matter of taste. Some of these were books that had won awards, were on best seller lists. People like them. But for me as a reader, it drives me crazy when nothing happens. I do love pretty sentences, carefully drawn characters and lyrical or graphic descriptions of place. But it’s also imperative to have a plot impetus to keep turning those pages. Now that I think about it, that goes for non-fiction, as well. Maybe I’m shallow or lazy or something (it’s quite possible both!), but I want to be pulled forward in a book. If I have to work too hard… well, I can just watch t.v. or pick up something else off the stack of books waiting for me to read them. Don’t get me wrong, I like deep ideas, intricate plots, meandering stories, complex characters. But there has to be a certain amount of tension, a certain amount of not knowing, that keeps the plot moving forward and keeps pulling me towards the end. You know how J.K. Rowling has said that she knew all along how the Harry Potter series would end? She started with the end so writing the books was just a matter of filling in everything that happened, with all the details. I definitely think of it as being pulled toward the end  of the book, rather than being pushed from the beginning. If there’s not enough tension, I don’t care how pretty the words and images are that I just read. I lose interest.

What has you keep reading a book?

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