Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quote of the day

"Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor."
--H. Jackson Brown Jr.

If you're waiting in the shadows, hiding in the back corner, afraid to get on that dance floor, don't be. Get out on that floor and dance. Even if you fall, you're trying and there will be others nearby, like me, to help you up. Let's dance together and learn together and grow together. That's what being a part of a writing community is all about. So dance, my friends. Dance like no one's watching and feel the power in every step as your confidence grows.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Awesome blogger award

My friend Cheryl from the Wandering (and wondering) through YA Lit blog gave me this award. Thanks Cheryl. *Smiles and waves* She told me I had to share seven things about myself and pass it on to 15 more bloggers. Here we go:

1. I love to run and taught indoor cycling for five years. 
2. I hate vegetables (except corn) and fish.
3. I love Walt Disney World (but can't wait to see Universal Studios Harry Potter attraction in August).
4. I’m learning to play golf but I really suck at it. But I have a purple bag and pink balls that I get to wheel around so that's way cool. 
5. I had both of my knees operated on for medial meniscus tears. (Ouch!)
6. I once left the grocery store without my groceries. I paid for them, got in my car, but instead of driving up to load the bags (it was raining), I went home.
7. I was named after a character in a TV show called Family Affair. ( have curly hair that I sometimes straighten)

OK, so most of these include two things about me:) Now, here are the 15 bloggers I pass it on to:
1. Random Thoughts
2. Terry Lynn Johnson
3. My Two Blessings
4. Edited to within an inch of my life
5. Adventures Beyond the Pond
6. I Don't Believe in Reality
7. In High Spirits
8. Jon's Life. Or Other Odd People Doing Odd Things
9. LM Preston
10. Points of Claire-ification
11. Urania's Distractions
12. Crossroads
13.Watcha Readin'
14. Kelly Polark
15. It's All About Writing

Remembering the American soldiers

Let's use this post to remember our loved ones. Please tell us about your American soldier(s). And if there is someone you want us to pray for, let us know.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quote of the day

"Cherish your wishes and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul and the blueprints of your ultimate achievement."
This is so true, no?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An inspirational mashup

To all of my followers: Dare to be great and don't give up -- EVER!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quote of the day

"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
                                        -- Bonnie Friedman

Monday, May 24, 2010

What have you learned?

I was thinking about all of the things I've learned so far on my writing journey. What have you learned? Here are five of mine:
1. I've learned that I have an even more amazing husband than I thought. I could never do all that I do without his encouragement and support. He gives me space and time to write and never complains, even though it means he spends many nights alone.
2. I've learned that failure isn't all bad. I've learned a lot from my failures. They have made me better and stronger in many ways.
3. I've learned that finding an agent who believes in me and my work is probably one of the most difficult things I've had to do. I just have to keep believin'.
4. I've learned that I'm a better writer today than I was a year ago. I've grown and learned so much. And I know I will keep learning and getting better.
5. I've learned that there is an incredible online community of writers and artists who support one another through various platforms. I feel blessed to have found these people and for their friendship and support.
Now, your turn:)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Agent looking for intern

Agent Jenny Bent is looking for one or two remote interns to read queries and manuscripts. She's looking for a 10-hour/week commitment. See details here.

Take time for some inspiration

Take Time:

Take time to think-
It is the source of all power.

Take time to read-
It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to play-
It is the source of perpetual youth.

Take time to be quiet-
It is the opportunity to seek God.

Take time to be aware-
It is the opportunity to help others.

Take time to love and be loved-
It is God’s greatest gift.

Take time to laugh-
It is the music of the soul.

Take time to be friendly-
It is the road to happiness.

Take time to dream-
It is what the future is made of.

Take time to pray-
It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to give-
It is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to work-
It is the price of success.

There is a time for everything. . . .[Ecclesiastes 3:1-8]Bible
What aren't you taking time for? How will you change this situation?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New contest just announced

New QueryTracker blog contest. This one:
  • Opens Tuesday June 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM EST
  • Only 100 entries will be accepted
  • Genres: Young Adult and Middle Grade only (next month's contest will be adult only.)
Get all of the details here.
And lots of luck to all who enter.

When rejection has you down...

A good friend sent me this video and I couldn't wait to share it. Listen to the words. Although the video is a bit fuzzy, the vocals make up for it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I so needed to hear this today.

Writing exercise on voice

Rewrite this sentence and give it a different voice. This is from my WIP THE LION AWAKENS. Petra is the MC’s wing girl. She’s funny, and when she talks it’s like she has diarrhea of the mouth.

“Oh. My. Gawd.” Petra said. “Is that a for real baby? Like one you have to feed and burp and change diapers and rock and…”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

50 famous authors who were repeatedly rejected

Keep this list of famous writers who were rejected but never gave up for those times when you need a little encouragement.
How do you handle rejection? Drink? Exercise? Write?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Playing with food

I have a super creative staff. We’re always doing fun things. One time, we held a Project Newspaper contest in which entrants had to design (and wear) clothing and accessories made out of newspapers. 
We always hold a Peeps contest each Easter in which readers create dioramas using the sugary treats. In the past, we’ve seen Peeps of the Caribbean, Nascar  Peeps, Trojan  Peeps, Alien  Peeps and  Peeps from the “Wizard of Oz.”
So when someone suggested making the Hotdog the star of the show (given Memorial Day is coming up, the unofficial start of summer and all-things grilled) we were all over it. 
I decided to do come up with some of my own ideas, just for fun. Besides, I love playing with food. I’m such a kid.  Here they are.

1. Finger Food: I created "fingers" with cherry tomato fingernails (sliced the cherry tomatoes in half) and added chips to the presentation. 

2. Shark attack: I hollowed the inside of a hotdog to make it look like a canoe. Then I raided my kids'  Legos and found the dude with the paddle and a shark. Bingo! Just what I needed to make the scene work. I was going to add ketchup for blood but forgot to bring that to work where I set up my creations to share with others.

3. School time: I took the bus from the FisherPrice schoolhouse set and the cars from the FisherPrice garage set in the toy room and made this scene of a bus stopping to pick up a child. I used peppercorns for the eyes and Silly String for the hair. One of the passengers in the bus also sports a blue baseball cap.

I also made a scene from Alien, with the creature emerging from the belly of a hotdog body; hotdog barbells; and a hotdog cannon that shoots out a cannonball (which is really a cherry tomato).
So have you ever played with food? If so, what have you created?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A minute list

Let’s play I say, you say.

Ie. I say peanut butter, you say jelly.
Ie. I say Barbie, you say Ken.
Copy and paste the list below in comments and complete. You should take no more than a minute to do this. Write the first word that comes to your mind.
I say dimples, you say…
I say horses, you say…
I say rocker, you say…
I say work, you say…
I say running, you say…
I say grill, you say…
I say query, you say…
I say offer, you say…
I say Memorial Day, you say…
I say end of school, you say…

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"Every one of us, unconsciously, works out a personal philosophy of life, by which we are guided, inspired, and corrected, as time goes on. It is this philosophy by which we measure out our days, and by which we advertise to all about us the man, or woman, that we are. . . . It takes but a brief time to scent the life philosophy of anyone. It is defined in the conversation, in the look of the eye, and in the general mien of the person. It has no hiding place. It's like the perfume of the flower — unseen, but known almost instantly. It is the possession of the successful, and the happy. And it can be greatly embellished by the absorption of ideas and experiences of the useful of this earth."
                                                  --George Matthew Adams

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quote of the day

"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher."
                                           --Thomas Henry Huxley
I hope that you climb your ladder and do not rest on the bottom rung. Trust that the ladder will take you where you want to go and enjoy the climb. Blessings...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A minute list

Today, list five things you are blessed to have. Here’s mine:
I’m blessed to have:
  • A family who loves me despite my many imperfections
  • Sisters to share memories and make new ones with
  • Friends who never stopped supporting and believing in me
  • An awesome staff that makes me laugh at least once a day
  • A church family that’s loving and supportive
Now it's your turn.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Lucky Agent contest

Chuck Sambuchino has announced the fifth Dear Lucky Agent Contest on the Guide to Literary Agents blog. If you write fantasy or sci-fi, this contest is for you. The judge is Roseanne Wells, a literary agent
at the Marianne Strong Literary Agency. Details here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More great contest news

From Guide to Literary Agents Blog Post here

Winners Announced! Agent Regina Brooks Names Her Contest Winners

Apologies for the delay in announcing winners, but agent judge Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary recently wrapped up our fourth "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest on the GLA blog and has picked her three winners. The winners (listed below) receive a free year of access as well as a critique on their first 10 pages from Regina.

Katherine Higgs-Coulthard: "Chicken Soup for the Social Outcast"
Katharine Kolata: "Thicker Than Water"
Buffy Andrews: "Dance"

Congrats to everyone who entered and the other two winners. Awesomeness! And a big thanks to Regina! (Happy dance)

Minute list

Tell me 5 things about your WIP. Here's mine:
1. YA, The Lion Awakens
2. Involves alternate universe
3. Anonymous gifts reveal secrets
4. MCs are 17-year-olds with powers
5. There's a David and a Goliath
Now, it's your turn.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What happens to the bike?

So I was driving to work this morning and I saw a bike in front of a house. A sign on the bike said “Free.” So tell me, in 50 words or less, what happens to the bike? 

Early contest alert

An early heads-up on May's Secret Agent Contest for Chapter, MG, YA. Open for submissions on May 17.  Details here

9 kids + 2 moms = 1 happy family

I have such a talented staff. I'm so incredibly proud of them. From my editors to my copy editors to my reporters, they make coming to work each day a total joy. Here's one story I wanted to share with my blog readers. One of my best friends told me at breakfast one day about these two women at her church. My friend's husband is the minister. Anyway, I thought it would make a terrific Mother's Day story and the women agree. I asked my religion reporter, Melissa Burke, to write the story and she did a great job. Read story here

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
                                                    --Rudyard Kipling
Happy Mother's Day to all of you. I hope you have an awesome day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Great news

Winners announced in Query Tracker and Chris Richman contest. Awesomeness. I'm a runner-up. Congrats to all of the winners. See post here
Chris also blogged about it on Upstart Crow. Post here

What would your power be?

If you could have any power, what would it be? Ability to read minds? Teleport? Become invisible? Or have extraordinary strength and speed? The possibilities are endless. If you're up for some Friday fun, share what your power would be and why you chose it in comments.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tell me about yourself

OK gang. Here's your chance to tell me something about yourself. Why? Because I'm a journalist and nosy. Seriously, I think it would be fun to know more about my blog readers. So if you want to share, great. If you don't, no pressure. If you want to fill in some of the fields and not others, that's fine, too. Copy and paste the template below into comments and complete.

Lives in:
Genres you write:
Completed books:
WIP (one sentence):
Favorite book:
If you could be any character, who would it be and why:
I write because (finish sentence)
Thanks for participating. Have a super day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I miss you, Wendy

Today is the day I lost my oldest sister, Wendy. She was like a mother to me. Even more so after my parents died. She was only 45. Her husband, Brad, died less than two months before she did. He was 46. They both had cancer.
Brad was like brother to me. He and Wendy had dated forever. We're talking junior high here. I can remember being 6 years old and Brad picking me up to give me a hug. Not a day goes by that I don't miss Wendy and Brad. I'm blessed to have had them in my life.
After Wendy died, I cleaned out her closets and drawers. Most of her clothing didn't fit me, but I found a brown sweater. I call it my Wendy Sweater, and whenever I want to fill her arms around me in a big sisterly hug, I wear that sweater. It's like being wrapped in love and warmth all day.
There are many things I loved about Wendy. But one of the things I loved the most was her passion for life, her ability to go into a room and make everyone smile. She made you feel like you were the most important person there. Besides my mom, who died two years before her at age 61, Wendy wanted to read everything I wrote. The first book I wrote she asked to read. Looking back, it wasn't very good. But she told me how much she liked it and couldn't wait to see it published. She was my biggest cheerleader. I will never forget that.  It's something that's missing in my life. Not that I don't have people who would love to see me succeed, but not anyone like her. She was SURE I would succeed.  
I'm still trying, Wen. And I know you're waiting in Heaven, cheering me on.

What annoys you?

Here's your chance to get sound off. Get it off your chest. Scream. Shout. Whatever! Tell us what annoys you most about the publishing business or writing in general. Sometimes, saying it can help you move past it. And, you never know, someone might have words of wisdom. So bring it on gang. What annoys you? 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A minute list

Let’s play a game of Finish the Sentence. I’ll write the first half of the sentence and you copy it into comments and write the rest of it.
1. I opened the door …
2. The boat was sinking …
3. John reached for Marissa …
4. Tom rolled on the floor …
5. Becca heard a scream …
ie. I opened the door and found a baby wrapped in a blanket inside a cardboard box.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Are you afraid?

"I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged... I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out." --Erica Jong
Are you like this? Do you keep your manuscripts locked in a drawer, afraid to send them because you fear rejection?  Don't be afraid. Remember, in order to finish a race you have to start it. And wouldn't you'd rather try than always wonder.Good luck to each of you.