Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tim Federle and Ten Things a Debut Novelist Needs to Know

This was posted a few months ago in the Official SCBWI Conference Blog, but needs to be repeated as we prepare for the new year with all the possibilities, dear writers.
Tim Federle, Better Nate Than Ever, list his ten things nobody tells you about being a debut novelist. Things you'll need to remember when your first or any novel comes out.

And I love his bonus - Love your characters.  
Thanks Tim for this and the many wonderful books you provide.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wishing Everyone A Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a blessed and wonderful holiday season.

Friday, November 21, 2014

So busy-

 AHH,  I've been so busy working up my Work in Progress for a new Easy Reader Series. Yes, it is coming along so well. And since I've fallen in love with my characters, I've decided to get them out of my head and onto my sketch pad. The dummys are almost done.

So  please be patient with me as I finish up.
Here are a few tips I ran across from  The Editor's Blog to help me with this project. Lots of great tips.             

So be patient with me as I finish up.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How many times have I used that word?- Word Frequency Counter

You are going strong. Words flying from your head to the tips of your fingers and it's working so-- so good.

After awhile, you think- hmmm, I've used that word a lot-    You may be surprised at just how many times. So finish that draft and then:

Check out this link, Word Counter   

Paste your story and see what your favorite words are!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is it Middle Grade or Chapter Book?

You've finished that first draft of your middle grade novel. But now taking a long look, maybe not. Maybe it is a Chapter book. Or is it? 
How can you tell? Now it's not as clear as you first thought in your rapid fire, getting it all out on paper and spouting out to everyone, "I'm working on a middle grade story."
Going back to read or reread all the books that seem the slightest bit similar sometimes helps. And sometimes doesn't -
I found a blog by Emma Walton Hamilton with a clear way to compare.
She uses clues about: 
Age of Protagonist
Yes, there are always exceptions!
I'm still researching every chapter and middle grade book I can get my hands on, but each morsel of information helps me on my journey.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Resources for Authors and Illustrators

Yes, I have found my one stop place to find resources, links, inspiration and everything else that delights authors and illustrators. Elaine Kiely Kearns and Sylvia Lui, the founders of KIDLIT411 have done an amazing job bringing all these things together.
Wow oh Wow- so much to check out-

My sketch is featured on their Challenges for Illustrators spot and I'm thrilled to be part.
Thank you KIDLIT 411-

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to get the Most from LinkedIn

I have a secret to confess-

 I've been a member of the social network Linked In for some time, yet I have never taken much time to check out how this platform could help me and other artists and writers. 

What a thrill to find Joan Beiriger's blog on how to use Linked In. I feel so dumb that I have not used it more effectively, but now I can't believe all the opportunities that are possible.
Joan's work has always impressed me and her knowledge of licensing is excellent, as you will see in this article.

                                                                   Link to me here

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Amazing Children's Book Author Interviews

YES AMAZING- Oh my goodness. Fifty great interviews from Adolescent Literacy featuring Children's and Young Adult Writers telling their secrets, success stories and lots of other things about how they write and why.
Grab a cup of Joe and join me. I'm on my third cup. A little buzzed, but ah, there is such great information.....

Friday, August 1, 2014

Knowing Your Villains

 Kami Kinard is an accomplished author. And Kami knows villains. Author of The Boy Project and The Boy Problem (2014), she comes clean about taking a long look into your bad guys. 

       Her article in Nerdy Chicks Rule Blog dives deep into why the villain is so important. 
Maybe your antagonist is so mean and nasty; but you need some enduring qualities to make him more rounded and deeper for your reader too.
Check out her five ways to give your evil one- more humanity.  

Find out more about  Kami Kinard  on her site.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Postcards are Out

So you are making promo post cards for your illustration work, great!

Don't forget important points as you prepare your cards. 
Make the art clean and clear and avoid more than one illustration per side. 
Make your design unforgettable from the many arriving daily on the Editor's/Art Director's desk
Don't clutter your contact information. 
Leave room for card's addressee.
Make sure you have proper postage.
Keep a list to whom and where they go.

I try to keep to a quarterly schedule.


 Mailed my postcards out this week. 

Did you get yours?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chapter Book Time

So, in between art sample projects and revision work, I'm trying to read every Chapter Book my library has to offer for 5-8 year olds. I'm doing well.

But there are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many excellent ones to choose and so little time. I found Sarah Jane's list on her great blog to help me check off my list. How many have you read?

She called it magic moments; where words and pictures merge-

  I do love magical moments and books that make you lose yourself in a wonderful adventure.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jane Yolen, the Queen of Inspiration

Thank you Julie Hedlund for your amazing post and interview with Jane Yolen. Here, along with video from Jane's Picture Boot Camp, one finds magically gems on writing. And I loved the bullet points on building a body of work, taking writing risks --- and other tidbits not to be missed.

 Yes, I agree with Julie. She is the Queen of Inspiration.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Playing Around

Busy things have been happening. Lots and Lots- But now the dust is settling and I'm starting to get back to working. Playing with an older dummy here. Maybe it will develop or maybe not. We will see.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Indies First Storytime Day and BOOK WEEK 2014

Yes it 's BOOK WEEK

Today I participated in the Nationwide Indies First Storytime Day at Malaprops Bookstore. What an honor to read from some of my favorite books with local authors from the Asheville N.C. area, Constance Lombardo, Jasmine Ferrara, Allan Wolf, Alan and Windi Gratz, Joe DAgnese and Denise Kiernan.

Listening to these pros was so amazing and very revealing, to find out which were their favorites.

My favs, oh yeah,----- The Little Engine That Could and The Cat in the Hat

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Going Round and Round

Sometimes one feels like they are spinning and making circles; yet not getting anywhere.
But circles can be a good thing. Going over that manuscript or art project just one more time sometimes hits you. Wham-   and you really see what was missed, even after so many passes before.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yes, We need a Diverse Books Campaign

 I'm joining Grace Lin and many others to promote diversity in children's books. 

Yes a campaign.  Join us!

Yes, everyone is talking about it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Delivery that Gutsy Pitch, - Joan Knows

It is baseball season. The warm springtime and the red clay dirt. What is better than baseball. So how do writers get warmed up and ready to take a few swings; make a hit, maybe a home run and fly around our bases or goals. Joan Edwards knows and her article:
How to Deliver a Short Gutsy Pitch to Entice Editors, Agents and Readers is the perfect way to prepare. Thanks Joan.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Voices of Experience, Advice From Publishing Veterans

Publishers Weekly holds so many gems for all, but when I found this article, I had to read twice and share at least three times. After Twitter and Facebook, here is my third. The article I speak of is The Voices of Experience-ADVICE FROM PUBLISHING VETERANS. Yes these are The Voices of Experience, starting with Barbara Marcus from Random House, Moira Kerrigan from Chronicle, Joy Peskin of Farrar Straus and Giroux and dozens of other editors and various insiders from the publishing world. They share great advice and insights. Well worth the read.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

REVISION 101 with Kimberly Griffiths Little

I loved, loved, loved The Healing Spell, by Kimberly Griffiths Little. A middle grade book I couldn't put down.
So when I came upon her article on Writeoncon and her advice on revision, titled All the Things or REVISION 101, I read, highlighted, and made little stars all over it.

I hoped never to forget these important keys things writers need to be aware of as they begin the revision process.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sewing and Writing, Ripping Out the Seams

Giving credit to Teresa Coltrin for her interesting comparison of sewing and the revision process. This Journaling Woman's four examples in  Ripping Out the Seams  helped me revisit some problem areas of my own.

It so works for me.

And how I love her Mark Twain quote!
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” —Mark Twain

Friday, March 14, 2014

Literary Agent, Danielle Smith Moves to Red Fox Literary, -taking me too!

So the official announcement went out yesterday. I'm so very proud of my fantastic agent, Danielle Smith. and in awe at her expertise and background.

And she is taking me with her on this wonderful journey to Red Fox Literary. An excellent agency focused on children's picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA  I couldn't be happier.
So hard to work when you are this excited and so honored-

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Keep on, Keeping on...

So I am, 

Finished up my revision for first review with my agent, submitted to two contests and I'm reworking my outline presentation. Getting the most out of this chilly weather, since warm days aren't calling me out yet.

almost forgot,

and editing my promo too

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN.....My Work in Progress

Still after this revision creature.  My Chapter book has changed and I believe, for the better.

Is all this work, reading, critiquing, reworking, researching and reworking again- paying off? We shall see. 

 And I hate to admit- I'm enjoying it so.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Needing My Plot Whisperer to Keep me on Track

Yes that is you, Martha Alderson. I'm leaning on you again as I revisit my revision process. Loving all your videos on how to improve the story.
This video struck home with your words:

Now let me get back to my chapter book.  
Oh, let me make my plot graph one more time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Edit, Edit, Edit

As I comb through my chapter book and I prepared to do some revision work,
I find myself checking out how others work through this process.

Just where to begin.
I found Nathan Bransford's blog on how he edits with many great insights and ways to approach this (overwhelming at times) task.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Using Meaningful Verbs

When Beth Hill says verbs bring action, she means it. Such an excellent article from Editor's Blog that explains the many verb problems and successes.
Now back to some of my revision work waiting on the desk.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Plans

So I've started my list. All those New Year Goals.
But I"m taking it slow, making sure I haven't missed ones I really need to focus on while not wasting time on others. Ok, so sketching more was one of them and playing around with black and white work was my project for today.