Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Author Interview - Laurie LeClair

Let's welcome this month's author, Laurie LeClair.  She's written the Once Upon A Romance series, a re-imagination of classic fairy tales with a modern twist , as well as the Heart Romance series and The Long Journey Home.
 




Laurie, thanks for taking some time to answer our questions.  Let's get to it...



1)     What were your favorite books growing up?
My parents signed me up for a monthly book club when I was little. Four brand new books a month! I still remember the day Miss Twiggley’s Tree arrived in the mail.  I’ve loved treehouses ever since.  Homer Price stands out, too. Maybe because it involved doughnuts. I loved all the Little House on the Prairie books.  I would save up my money and when a new Trixie Belden book would come out I would rush to the store and buy it. When I was about ten, my oldest brother dated a girl who loaned me her entire collection of The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys. I was in book heaven!
2)    Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger writer self to believe in myself and learn all I could about the craft of writing, ask my now deceased writing mentor more questions (too shy to ask – thought I was bothering her too much), and ask for help when I needed it.  In my personal life, I’d tell my younger self to enjoy every moment of my childhood and enjoy every moment of being with the people I love the most. Time flies. Life is too short.
3)     Describe your typical day.
I have a day job, so those nights are light on writing and focused more on edits and business details. When I’m off, my typical writing day begins around 6 a.m. I like to write first thing in the morning before anything else tries to steal away my attention. On good days, the words come easily and I write 20 or more pages until I’m at a nice stopping point. (I stop at a place where I know what will happen next. The following day I reread a few pages and I can pick up writing where I left off.) I take a break and go back to handle the business side of writing. On the days the words don’t come as easily, I write what I can, maybe 5 pages, edit or revise, and put more time in the business side of writing. I take another break and go back for an hour or two at night before calling it a day. 

4)     Who is your favorite character in your books?
That’s a tough question. I have to say the one who “haunts” me (in a good way) right now is Griffin James from Taming McGruff. I was busy with edits on another book when his name came to me. I wrote it down and put the sticky note aside. I went back to my edits. But Griffin James would not leave me alone. He stayed and lingered until I gave in and wrote his story – in three weeks! He’s a wounded military hero who finds love with a fun-loving heroine and the redemption he desperately needs. The way he transforms from a “McGruff” to a “McHero” still makes me sigh with happiness.
5)    What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable?
Writer’s block. Those are fighting words. I have experienced that dreaded disease. I think, for me, it was a combination of things. I had published, had 2 agents, 4 editors, books sold, lots of books rejected, my line folded, switched from writing historical romance to contemporary romance, and had a book stalled in the industry process for more than a year waiting for a green light to only end up rejected when the editor left and a new one came in. Also, I felt the sweep of changes in the publishing industry weren’t the best for writers at the time. Frustration and doubt hit hard. I had to put everything aside and question if I wanted to write. It took quite a while to make the choice to continue. Once I accepted I was a writer even if I would never publish again, the ideas rushed back. I realized I had to write even if it was just for myself. I haven’t had writer’s block since (knock on wood).
6)     Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost?
I use both real life and my imagination for characters and their stories. As a child I was painfully shy, so I’d sit and watch everyone, absorb what they said, how they moved, why they did or said something, the undercurrents between people, etc. That was the backdrop to my character research, I guess you could say. Also, if I got bored, I’d start to daydream and make up stories to keep myself entertained. Now, a lot of my traveling experiences add to my books. For example, years ago, while on a road trip, my husband and I got lost in Colorado (we are directionally challenged) and stumbled upon a modern day ghost town. Eerie! That town has stayed with me all this time. I just wrote about it in a recent romantic suspense novella, Murphy’s Law, Book 1 in The Bounty Hunter series.
7)    What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)?

I wrote my first manuscript in longhand on spiral bound legal pads! That was my first historical romance. It did get published. I do have 3 more historical romances that are collecting dust and won’t see the light of day.
8)    Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing?
I did the traditional publishing route. I tried to stay there, but things changed, including me! I’m indie publishing now. In the future, I’ll consider hybrid publishing, if there’s a way it works for me.
9)    What Works In Progress are brewing?  Any target dates for publication?
I’m writing a novella for my romantic comedy series, Once Upon A Romance. That will be out in February.  2014 will be a busy year for me. I have two more in that series slated for the new year,  3 women’s fiction novels, another romantic suspense novella in The Bounty Hunter series, a new 6 book series (the first out in 2014), and a romantic comedy, Wanted: Fairy Godmother out in January.  Plus, I have 14 story ideas swimming around in my head that I haven’t gotten to write yet!

10) How can fans reach you?  A website, blog, and newsletter are in the works! Until then, follow me at https://twitter.com/LeClairbooks  or https://www.facebook.com/laurie.leclair.75




Monday, December 30, 2013

Your Favorite Goofs - Part 2 - Vote Now!

Here's the link to vote for your favorite goofs of the last half of 2013. 

Pared down from sixty-seven contenders, this list of twenty-five represent the "best" of the best.  Voting is open until Jan. 10th.  After that, the top vote-getters will be in contention with the top four from the first half of the year for the Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or a $25 credit for the winner on their next manuscript.  So be sure to vote and pass the link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FT3XBS9 ) along to your friends!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

My List Overrunneth

So I took a quick look at my Blooper Nominations for the last six months of 2013.  I checked it twice, just like Santa Claus with his Naughty and Nice list.

I currently have sixty-seven (yes, that's 67) nominees so far.  I have another book or two that should get done before the end of the year, so maybe that number will creep up a bit.

So, based on my first survey that had only seventeen to choose from, I feel as if sixty-seven is a lot to go through.  I'm looking for a few people to do some pre-screening, to either pick their top ten or twenty bloopers or at least cut some off the list.  Any takers?  Email me by Jan. 3, 2014 if you are interested in helping out.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's That Time Again

We are wrapping up Christmas presents and wrapping up the end of the year.  So that means it's that time again - time to review our past year and think about the next.

I wrote before about goal setting.  I made some simple goals for myself for 2013, and I'm happy to say that I followed through on all of my goals.  I made sure they were simple, even though they might have been things outside of my comfort zone.  I made sure they were measurable, quantifying how many of this and the timing of that.  And they were things I wanted to do for myself, professionally and personally.

Do you set goals for yourself, either for your personal life or your writing life?  Or have you never written down your goals?

Check out these articles on successful goal-setting and see if you are inspired to get going on your 2014 goals.

General Goal Setting Advice:
Really Simple Goal Setting

Beginner's Guide to Goal Setting

An Online App for Goal Setting: Lifetick

Goal Setting for Writers:
Setting Effective Writing Goals

Goal Setting for Writers

No Excuses: 15-Minute Goal Setting for Authors 

Goal Setting for Authors Who Don't Set Goals

Video:
Watch this twenty-minute video.  It might be a bit "out there" for someone looking for traditional goal-setting advice, but here's a line they talk about: Match your soul to your goals.   If you are looking for something a bit more spiritual, this might speak to you.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

You Can't Say That

I only have vague memories but I do remember watching some of Nickelodeon's You Can't Say That On Television. Every time someone said, "I don't know," they'd get slimed.

In that spirit, I've decided on next year's contest (check out this year's contest here and here and here).  Certain phrases get repeated - not just in a book, but in book after book after book.  But there's one phrase that is driving me nuts! I've had some weeks where I've seen this mystery phrase in EVERY BOOK I was working on! Different authors, different genres - it doesn't seem to matter.  This phrase keeps popping up.

So, for 2014, I am going to keep track of this mystery phrase.  I'm going to note the author, the title, and how many times it (or a slight variation of it) was used in the manuscript.  I'll post a little Facebook or Twitter update (#MysteryPhraseStrikesAgain, maybe?). By the end of the year, I should have a tally of how many times it was used (or over-used, as the case may be).

I'm not sure how I should judge a "winner," though...should it be Most Uses in One Manuscript?  Most Over-the-top Usage?  Most Uses By One Author Over Several Titles?  And maybe I should invite reader participation - see if anyone can guess what the phrase is, if an author would let me promote their book as qualifying as a contender for the Mystery Phrase.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Author Interview - Rick Bettencourt

Let's welcome this month's author, Rick Bettencourt, author of Not Sure Boys, a collection of three intertwined short stories, is now available.




Faith, thank you so much for giving me opportunity to chat with you.

1) What were your favorite books growing up?

Charlotte's Web was one of my all-time favorites. I remember reading it for a book report in elementary school and sobbing at the end when—well, I don't want to spoil it for the two or three of you out there that may not have read it. Anyway, it's really a simple and beautiful tale.

I also really liked Judy Blume books. One summer, I took out nearly every single one of her books from the Salem Public Library. I would stay up past midnight and hid in the bathroom reading them. Why the bathroom? Well, I knew if my mom saw the light on in my bedroom she'd tell me to shut it off and go to sleep. But the bathroom was fair game.

Actually, one of the reasons I love my Kindle so much is that I can read in the middle of the night without bothering my husband.

(Insert sound of screeching brakes.)

Yes, you read that right: "my husband" and yes, I am a man.

I am openly gay. Not that I think you'd have an issue with it—most creative people are unfazed—but it sometimes gets me a double-take.  I just like to get everything out in the open.
2) Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self?

Buy Apple. Buy Google. And don't wear those Jordache jeans that were so tight you needed a spatula to get into them.

Okay, on a serious note: I think I looked pretty hot in those Jordache jeans.

No, I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned—as I mature—is to believe in myself. I hope to inspire others to do the same. If one day someone tells me that something I wrote has emboldened them to get out of a rut or encourages them to do some good in the world, then I can die a happy man.

When I was younger I was pretty much a twit. I couldn't get myself out of the rain even if the sun was shining. There’d be me holding an umbrella on an 80-degree, sunny day. But I learned along the way to be my own best friend. I learned that you have to tell yourself—every single day—that you can do it and that you are a success! And soon enough the universe gives in and says, “Alright already! You’re a success. Here’s the medal.”

3) Describe your typical day.

Alright, this is a bit difficult for me because, as you may know, my life is in flux. I am in the process of making a huge change to my life! Over this past summer I sold my house in Salem, Massachusetts, just last month quit my day job and by the time this interview is published, my husband and I will be settling into our one-bedroom condo in Florida. You may have heard the expression don't quit your day job. Well, I don't believe it. I am investing 100% of my time (actually 110%, as the axiom goes) to writing. Scared? Yes. But confident.

I can tell you, one thing that won't be changing and that is the beginning of my typical day. I get up around 5 a.m.—even on the weekends. I've always been an early bird. Plus, my dog, Bandit, is like an alarm clock. He wants to be fed and do his stuff at the same time every day—whether it's Monday, Tuesday or the morning after I've pulled an all-nighter with my Kindle. I think he’s going to have the hardest time adjusting to the Florida change. But, he’ll get used to it.

4) Who is your favorite character in your books?

In Not Sure Boys, the character that is probably the least understood is Susan. So, I have to say my heart holds out for her. Susan, for those of you who have not read my book, is developmentally disabled. The biggest reaction I get from my readers is, “How does a straight girl with special needs have a place in gay fiction?” And the answer is, “Why shouldn't she?” Susan is straight and in love with a local country singer who happens to be “not sure” about his sexuality.

I love Susan's innocence. And while she can be vulnerable—aren't we all!—toward the end she really takes a stance and grows. It’s a great coming of age story.

I've always held a soft spot for the developmentally challenged. In the past, I've worked with Downs-Syndrome kids and adults. I find them to be so sweet and pure. Yet in my story, I don't explicit state what Susan’s disability is. I like to leave it up to the reader’s imagination.

5) What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable?

Yell. Scream. Have a hissy fit. All of which never help.

I usually find moving can help me get past it. I might go for a run, talk the dog for a walk, or even get in the car and go for a ride. Music also helps. My writing is greatly influenced by music. In fact, for my WIP novel I can attribute a song or two to nearly every chapter. (Well, being that my protagonist is a singer and actress—I guess that's not all that impressive but it means something to me.)

6) Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost?

Well, the truth is a little of both. But that’s too easy of an answer. I was telling my best friend the other night about the thrill I had when, as a kid, reading a Hardy Boys book (I should have added those books to question # 1, too) the author mentioned landing at Logan International Airport. You see, I grew up outside of Boston. When I read that, I remember running to my father. “Dad! Dad! Did you know the Hardy Boys flew into Logan?” It just instantly made everything so real for me. I love, love, love instilling and reading about actual places in fiction—the more facts, the better. Now, reading about Logan may not be all that exciting to you but as a ten-year-old boy recognizing, in print, a place he had actual been—well, that was just riveting. I love Robert B. Parker's books for this reason. Plus he was—God rest his soul—just amazing with wit and dialogue. In pretty much all my writing, I intersperse specific details about Boston’s North Shore and New England.

7) What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)?

I don't know if this qualifies for an actual manuscript but as a kid I wrote a fairly detailed story about a family’s struggle with cancer. In real life, my best friend’s father had died from pancreatic cancer and my uncle had lung cancer. That first story was mostly my way of understanding death. It was so melodramatic. I guess that’s not too surprising seeing I loved sentimental movies. The only light of day it saw was from my mother reading it. She said, “It was cute.”

“Cute?” I said. I wasn't impressed. I wanted her to fall down in sobs and claim it to be better than Barbra Streisand's A Star is Born, which was my favorite movie at the time. Go figure. Silly kid.

You can think your stuff is good but you really need the feedback of others. If it doesn't affect your audience, you’re dead in the water. Plus you need a good editor—or editors—to help you along the way.

8) Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing?

I have pursued traditional publishing with the novel I mentioned earlier—the one about the singer in the music industry. While I got some decent feedback on it, that doesn't mean squat. I'm not under contract. In fact, after discovering indie publishing and the successes of self-published authors, like Jasinda Wilder and Amanda Hocking, I don't know if I want a traditional publishing deal.

I got some good feedback on it. Particularly one from an editor in LA who thought it would work well in film. I’m going to be rewriting it—down in Florida.

9) What Works In Progress are brewing?  Any target dates for publication?

I have a romantic thriller that spawned from a writing exercise I did a few years ago. And thanks to my fantastic editor—kudos, Faith!—I will be coming it out soon. It's about a man who discovers his ex-husband has escaped from prison and may be hiding out in the mansion for which he is the caretaker.

10) How can fans reach you? 

I love hearing from people who have read my writing. You can subscribe to my blog RickBettencourt.WordPress.com, like my Facebook page, read about me on Amazon and/or tweet me @rbettenc. So, give me a shout!


And Faith, thanks again! This has been a lot of fun.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cause of the Month, 'Cause You Care

You've all seen it: every month there seems to be some big cause to support.  

We just survived October, the pinkest month of them all, in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  It was also National Down Syndrome Awareness month, Healthy Lung month, and National Dental Hygiene month (no, my dentist didn't pay me for that plug!).  

In November, it's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, National Alzheimer's Awareness month, and possibly my son's favorite, Manvember (From the Urban Dictionary: A dedicated month during the year, specifically November, when manliness is at its peak. During this time there will be no shaving, except for the head...because that is manly. Flannel shirts will be worn as frequently as possible, tobacco products will be on hand at all times, and meat will be consumed at least twice a day.).

Now, all of those are great causes (well, except maybe Manvember...that might be taking it too far).  But this is a proofing blog, so perhaps you are wondering what this is all about.  Let me tell you, 'cause I'd like nothing better...

Cause - noun: a reason or motive for an action or condition 
Cause - transitive verb: to serve as cause or occasion of :  bring into existence or  to effect by command, authority, or force

'Cause - a contraction of because (conjunction).  for the reason that :  on account of the cause that — used to introduce dependent clauses 



The difference, dear reader, is that little punctuation mark - the apostrophe. Such a little thing that wields such power to change a word from a noun to a conjunction - amazing, isn't it? The apostrophe is misunderstood, abused, and ignored...but it still is a powerful weapon. The Chicago Manual of Style tells us in 6.113 that the apostrophe has three main uses: 
  1. to indicate the possessive case
  1. to stand in for missing letters or numerals 
  1. to form the plural of certain expressions    
It's the use of the apostrophe to stand in for missing letters or words that you have to remember when you use words like 'cause for because, 'cept for except, and so on. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Orwell's Questions

Previously, I posted some writing rules.

Here is another selection from that pdf.  This time, it's Orwell's Questions.

What am I trying to say?
What words will express it?
What image or idiom will make it clearer?
Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
Could I put it more shortly?
Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?


(When I typed this list, I almost typed What image or idiot will make it clearer?  I guess idiots sometimes make everyone else look better, so maybe that works just as well!)

What questions do you ask yourself when you are writing?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Semicolons: Friend or Foe?

I love the semicolon. 

There, I said it.  I know some don't (ahem, Ms. Tameri) but they serve a purpose. I love the Oatmeal's take on using semicolons. Here's what the Chicago Manual Of Style has to say about semicolons:

CMOS 6.54: 
Use of the semicolon
In regular prose, a semicolon is most commonly used between two independent clauses not joined by a conjunction to signal a closer connection between them than a period would.

She spent much of her free time immersed in the ocean; no mere water-resistant watch would do.
Though a gifted writer, Miqueas has never bothered to master the semicolon; he insists that half a colon is no colon at all.
This is the most common usage I see; the close connection that is needed for some sentences is best served by the semicolon, not a comma or a period.
CMOS 6.55:
Semicolons with “however,” “therefore,” “indeed,” and the like
Certain adverbs, when they are used to join two independent clauses, should be preceded by a semicolon rather than a comma. These transitional adverbs include however, thus, hence, indeed, accordingly, besides, therefore, and sometimes then.  A comma usually follows the adverb but may be omitted if the sentence seems just as effective without it.

The accuracy of Jesse’s watch was never in question; besides, he was an expert at intuiting the time of day from the position of the sun and stars.
Kallista was determined not to miss anything on her voyage; accordingly, she made an appointment with her ophthalmologist.
The trumpet player developed a painful cold sore; therefore plans for a third show were scrapped.
This example is a little less common in most of the manuscripts I see.  But when I do see this, I check for the length of the sentence; sometimes I suggest splitting up the clauses to make it easier for the reader.
CMOS 6.56:
Semicolons with “that is,” “for example,” “namely,” and the like
A semicolon may be used before expressions such as that is, for example, or namely when they introduce an independent clause.

Keesler managed to change the subject; that is, he introduced a tangential issue.

Again, not a very common usage I see, but good to know.

CMOS 6.57: 
Semicolons before a conjunction
Normally, an independent clause introduced by a conjunction is preceded by a comma. In formal prose, a semicolon may be used insteadeither to effect a stronger, more dramatic separation between clauses or when the second independent clause has internal punctuation.

Frobisher had always assured his grandson that the house would be his; yet there was no provision for this bequest in his will.
Garrett had insisted on remixing the track; but the engineer’s demands for overtime pay, together with the band’s reluctance, persuaded him to accept the original mix. 
I really appreciate the semicolon's ability to make a strong, dramatic separation in addition to giving closer connections.  It's so versatile! 

CMOS 6.58: 
Semicolons in a complex series
When items in a series themselves contain internal punctuation, separating the items with semicolons can aid clarity. If ambiguity seems unlikely, commas may be used instead.

The membership of the international commission was as follows: France, 4; Germany, 5; Great Britain, 1; Italy, 3; United States, 7.
The defendant, in an attempt to mitigate his sentence, pleaded that he had recently, on doctor’s orders, gone off his medications; that his carwhich, incidentally, he had won in the late 1970s on Let’s Make a Dealhad spontaneously caught on fire; and that he had not eaten for several days.
but
She decided to buy three watchesan atomic watch for travel within the United States, a solar-powered, water-resistant quartz for international travel, and an expensive self-winding model for special occasions.
Ah, those complex sentences!  Anything to make the meaning clear is a good thing!

So, don't fear the semicolon.  Don't dismiss it, either!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Editor Interview

Taking a page from our usual Author Interviews, this month I'm answering some questions.

Describe your typical day.  I'm typically up anytime between 7 and 9 (mostly depending on how late I was up or if I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep).  After feeding and walking the dog, it's time for me to wake up (read emails and news online) and get ready for the day.  Mornings are typically dog walking interrupted by editing.  After lunch, the dog walking slows down and I can focus more on editing.  Dinner is either the start of my winding down or just a pit-stop before more editing.  That depends on deadlines and whether or not the hubby is home.  Some nights I've got meetings (church, town, and professional). I hit the hay around 11 and am hopefully asleep by midnight.

Favorite books growing up: our town library was so small when I was a kid, I feel like I read everything they had.  I wouldn't be surprised if the total square footage was less than 750 square feet (and it was a big deal when it moved to the basement of the new town hall - 2,000 square feet of luxurious rack after rack).  But I was super fond of the Adventures of Tintin, all of the Little House on the Prairie books, and the Bobbsey Twins.  As a teenager, I found science fiction and fantasy (thanks, big brother!) and picked up Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, and Anne McCaffrey.  And what childhood would be complete without the works of Steven King to freak you out (or reassure you that you weren't the weirdest kid in the world)?

What would you tell your younger self? You won't die if you speak out loud in public.  People might actually be interested in what you have to say.  It took me until I was about 30 or so before I became comfortable speaking in public.  Some people would say they preferred it when I wouldn't talk, because now they can't get me to shut up!  I am still shy in social situations, but I've really gotten much better at asserting myself when I need to.

Any writing ambitions?  As any regular reader of this blog knows (and thanks, by the way!), writing is not my best skill.  I am much better at editing.  I really admire my authors—you create new worlds and characters and make them come to life.  I've never really had a story or characters stuck in my head, driving me crazy until they came out on paper (or screen, as the case may be!).  I will say I can write some interesting stories about things that have happened to me, but my life isn't so interesting every day that I'd try to write a collection of stories.  The occasional blog post is about the best I can do on that front.


Is the Atwater Group really a group, or is it just you? It’s just me. It has grown and morphed over the years in purpose and “employees.”  My husband is one who continually has great ideas and wants to start all these “small businesses.”  So, at first, it was a way to corral all of his ideas and ventures.  But then he got laid off from his real job and had to start a rep agency while he was looking for work.  “The Atwater Group” sounded solid, dependable, more than just a one-guy outfit, and wasn’t specific to his name or industry.  He did find another job, but it required that I quit my job (I was working for a rep agency that is in direct competition for my husband’s new job).  So I putzed around a bit, started my own company (Atwater Chocolates) under the umbrella of The Atwater Group, but that proved to be time-consuming and not profitable.  Once I started proofing and editing, I took over the name (after all, it’s a pretty good name and we had all the tax ID stuff set up). We’ve toyed with my husband providing voice-over work and audio books, so if he ever does that it will be under services that The Atwater Group provides. So…no, there’s no farming out, no big corporate backing, no small, dedicated band of brothers/sisters who work here…just me!  (The hubby provides moral support and technical support when needed; the dog provides distraction and a reason to get away from the eyestrain of the computer screen!) 

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me a bit better.  And next month, I promise to have the Author Interviews back on track!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heinlein's Rules of Writing

I found a list on Galley Cat that you can download a one-sheet list of writing rules.  Well, it says it's a one-sheet list but the pdf is actually two pages, so someone needs to be reminded of the difference between one and two.

And I warn you, the print is small.  Tiny.  Minuscule.  Difficult to read.

I used to read Robert Heinlein books whenever I could get my hands on them.  Usually from my brother's stash of sci-fi books.  If my mother had known what I was really reading, she may have banned me from reading anything other than Wizard of Oz books!

But anyway, here is a list of Robert Heinlein's writing rules:

You Must Write
Finish What You Start
You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
You Must Put Your Story on the Market
You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold
Start Working on Something Else

So, what do you think about his rules?