Monthly Archives: May 2011

More Contests!

Ok, it’s finally here….summer!  I’ve officially kicked into ‘Ultra-focused-time-management Protocol’ now that the kids are home.  Writing time is more rare (and more valuable) than ever.  A challenge!

I’m knee-deep in ‘novel-mode’ right now but I aspire to enter at least one contest a year.  I highly recommend that you do the same.  If for no other reason than feedback.  It’s hard to come by and priceless on the road to publication.

Check out the link below for some great contests to consider this summer (and over the rest of the year).

http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/creative-writing-contests.html

Happy Writing!!

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Exercise Challenge

I’ve talked about the importance of exercise here before.  It’s vital!!  Make it a part of your routine.  I have plenty of reasons not to partake (5 kids, a job, complete psychological and physical exhaustion etc…) and I go through the same reasons NOT to do it every day just like everyone else (I could be sleeping!  I should be paying bills…is there a kid I’m supposed to be picking up?) but I ignore the voices and make myself exercise.

Try this.  Put on your workout clothes and sit down and write for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, get up and go workout.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a sentence or a thought or staring at a blank screen or whatever; go do it.  After your workout, go write for another 30 minutes or more.  You’ll see what I mean.  Forget about the pain in your back, cramps in your calves and that weird twitching in your toe, and focus on the clarity in your head.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to gather my thoughts after a workout.  I challenge you to try it.

Down to business…

Trying to decide exactly how to format your query letter?  Do you format an e-query different than a snail mail query?  (Yes!)  How long should that synopsis be?  Did you format your manuscript correctly?

Check out the link below from AgentQuery.com.  It’s an older post but still accurate and an easy, informative read.

http://www.agentquery.com/format_tips.aspx

Keep on writing!


Time to Write

Over a month has passed since my last entry!  Anxiety!

My life as a parent is invaluable to my existence as a young adult/children’s book writer but that awesome role also leaves me with limited time and energy to devote to the very thing that I long to do (write)…..

Some rambling thoughts….

My writing pendulum normally swings completely towards either young adult fiction or picture books.  My mindset for each is so vastly different that I (normally) find it hard to transition quickly between the two.

However, with my recent time constraints I’m attempting to work on two projects concurrently–a picture book as well as a story for young adults.  Wish me luck!  When I’m knee-deep in editing I’ll decide if it was a bad idea to take on more than one story at at a time.  How about you?  Can you (effectively) tackle more than one story at a time?

One more thing….if you ever read this blog (hi, mom!) then you know I’m a fan of children’s author, former agent, and blogger, Nathan Bransford.  Check out his recent post about how to know when to put a novel to rest (http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/case-for-putting-manuscript-in-drawer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NathanBransford+%28Nathan+Bransford+-+Blog%29 ).

How do you know when to walk away from a story and move on to the next?

Personally, I don’t know that I ever truly bury the stories that I’ve decided are just not quite good enough for publication.  There’s a shelf in my office stacked with completed and partial stories that never made it to a query letter.  I don’t have the heart to throw them out but I recognize that they’re not my best work (a vast understatement).  But those stories do have a place in my journey as a writer so I choose to keep them.

What about you?  Do you throw out your writing mishaps?

Have a great weekend and Keep on Writing!