Monday, August 31, 2009

The big No-No

Today I did a very bad thing.... I submitted my latest chapter book, Lucky Tuesday to an agent - Jill Corcoran at the Herman Agency.  She takes email submissions and I just love this book, even though it is very new and has only been through two revisions.  I haven't even taken it to my critique group yet!  I am so bad. 
And still I think - 'this is the one'  she will love it, she will call me immediately and want to represent me.  Hope is Crazy.   Whoa... that would make a good title.  Gotta go write!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jacket Blurb and Synopsis

Thinking ahead about submiting, I looked at the requirements for submitting to Chronicle books, publisher of Ivy & Bean.  They request the usual query letter, synopsis and first three chapters.  I've never written a synopsis before, but I took a stab at it.  One paragraph for each of the nine chapters.  I will take the synopsis to the critique group next Saturday and see if it's 'right'.  Also wrote the 'elevator pitch', a very short summary that can be pitched in a few seconds if I find myself in the presence of anyone who cares... People says it's hard to do and it is.  I spent a couple of hours writing 93 words, and I think it's twice as long as it's supposed to be.  My book only has 7,000 words.  How do people do it when their book is 100,000 words?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day Three

Today I finished the first draft of the chapter book I started three days ago.  The name of the book is 'Lucky Tuesday'.  It's about a young girl named Tuesday who has some bad luck on the first day of school.  When her Aunt Lydia brings her a lucky stone, her life turns around, until the stone gets lost.  Tuesday works to try and regain her luck.  When she finds that Aunt Lydia and her lucky stone may not be quite what she thought they were... well, I hope that someday you can find out what happens when you see Lucky Tuesday on the bookshelves of your local bookstore!
Meanwhile, it is time to put a few days between myself and this story.  Then I'll take it to my critique group next Saturday... and then, on to the next one.  Write, write, write.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 2 of Writerizing

Today I put a piece of blue tape up on the wall in my 'office'.  It is my 'situation normal' emotional line for my main character.  Then I put up sticky notes for each scene, above or below each other showing the emotional roller coaster my MC (main character) was on.  Where it was not up and down enough, I added scenes to add interest.  This worked great for me!
Then I sat down and wrote 5 first draft chapters of my new and best so far chapter book.  Tomorrow I will finish the first draft.   Next week - rewrite!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plot and Structure

How did I spend my first day as a writer? studying the first 100 pages of the Plot and Structure book, trying to understand the LOCK concept - Lead, Objective, Confrontation, and Knockout...
Working my way through a class on Writing for Children, Reading 3 chapter books and analyzing them against various plot systems, working my own idea through various systems...
The most valuable idea I came across was in the Suite 101 class and had to do with plotting the MC (main characters) emotional state against that characters norm and seeing if the plot took her up and down in a manner that moved toward a good rise/fall of action and a knockout ending. I discovered that my 'new' idea, the one I haven't actually written on yet, did not rise and fall as I would have liked, so I get to move my scenes around or add/delete based on that before I write. Hmmm, that's probably a good idea!

I Am A Writer

"Today I resolve to take writing seriously, to keep going and never stop, to learn everything I can and make my living as a writer."

Thisis almost word-for-word from a book called Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I have been playing on the edges of writing for years and now my life demands that I jump in completely and either starve or swim.

My upcoming grandbaby, and the fact that my daughter is likely to remain settled far away in Boise, will require me to travel so much that I won't be able to hold down an office job.

I have now written enough to see that I can do it. I have some sort of residual 'gift' for it, no doubt from all the reading I've done over the years. Now what I need is craft.

So, I give myself two years. Two years of sponging off my husband (or less, God willing) and taking my writing seriously. To write and practice everyday. To work with my fantastic new critique group. To attend as many seminars and workshops as I can, and in the end to have my new, flexibly located career.

It starts now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MYM - Mellow Yellow Monday

This is a picture of Dale watching the dolphins play at our trip to Seaworld recently - I love yellow and blue - my living room walls are yellow and my furniture is blue... hmmmm, maybe I need to put out a picrue of my own living room one of these days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TWW - glamour, accentuate, pitch


here’s the pitch

act one
small town
glamour girl
in the big city

act two
dreams bloom
then die
a tease of love
bubble of hope

act three
her decline
suicidal ending
zoom in
on dead eyes

roll credits

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday Aug. 3rd

Here is my picture for today... my father took it in the summer of 1959 (?) That's me in the purple tutu, and my once adorable little brother Mark (even then his legs were unnaturally white). We lived in Monona, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Madison. My father loved to take slides and would put on family slide shows, complete with popcorn. Love that yellow baby pool. Not sure it was really meant for two!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Creatively Speaking & Anastasia Suen

So what happened to all the poetry and art projects you used to see here?

Unfortunately, the lady who was prompting the art projects disappeared, so Inch x Inch bit the dust. However, not before prompting me to get going on my writing projects...

My friend Mary Ann and I are working madly on a couple of chapter books for young readers based on the idea of 'gutsy girls'.

We have invented Emma and Abby Harris. Abby is in a wheelchair due to a bike accident a couple of years ago, however, it doesn't slow her down much. Abby is still the braver of the two. Abby is interested in cooking, and Emma would rather live on peanut butter sandwiches. Emma loves drama and plans on being a famous actress.

Mary Ann and I are refining our writing skills by taking an online class given by
Anastasia Suen. So far so good... wish us luck!

Kids Against Hunger

This morning I went to a Kids Against Hunger event and packaged meals with a bunch of teenagers from the New Apostolic Church. It was a last minute thing, and I didn't know what to expect, but it was fun. A team effort. Everybody has a job, either opening the bag, pouring in vegetables, vitamins, beans, soy or rice, then weighing and sealing the bag. In two hours some 150 or so people packaged more than 50,000 meals. The meals supposedly contain 6 servings (probably anywhere but America, where we seem to have completely lost track of the size of a serving) and the cost of the ingredients of the bag is about 14 cents. I know that two local curches picked up 3000 bags each while we were still there. Many others were going to the Harry Chapin Food Bank and some go overseas if needed for disaster relief programs.

Anyway, it was a much better use of two hours than I originally had planned. If you go, take a donation. I didn't realize they expected that, but if you have a little cash, it's certainly a good cause.