An Internet search turned up several writing coaches, and the one I chose was Lori DeBoer. We set up a time, and since I couldn't figure out Skype, (curse you, newfangled technology!) we decided a phone call would work fine. Lori got right down to business, and though some of her suggestions were slightly painful (what do you mean I'm not perfect?), they were are incredibly helpful. All these light bulbs kept going off over my head. As we read through a writing sample I'd sent, she made suggestions and pointed out issues. I have to confess, I had a few "man, I suck; I should step away from the keyboard forever" moments. But Lori assured me it wasn't true. She gave me encouragement to keep going, noted my strengths, and suggested tips to improve on my weaknesses.
Lori was tough, but kind. She gave me a few titles of books to read, some on craft, and some for story structure. I ordered them, and will dig in with delight. I left the call with renewed enthusiasm and plans. Big plans. Once I get my WIP to a certain point, I'll work with Lori again.
Visit Lori's website if you need a little help to bring out the best in your writing.
Holy Shmoly, I'm late with this announcement. My winner from the Name the School for Gifted Children contest is Christina H. chosen by random.org. Thanks for all the great school names. I still haven't picked one, there are so many delightful choices! I'll let you know when book three comes out and you can see which name was chosen.