Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vote for Books!

Go to First Book and vote! before September 30th!

Of course, I would love for you to vote for West Virginia, but that's OK, just so you vote.
You can go back and vote every day.
The state that wins will receive 50,000 new books for children in need.
What a wonderful program, putting books into the hands of children who may not otherwise get one.

Spread the word. Tell your friends to go vote.

West Virginia is currently (at the moment I'm typing this) in 4th place.
They ask you to type in the book that got you hooked on reading.
After you go over and vote, come back here and tell us what book got you hooked.

I remember getting hooked in Jr. High School when I read Christy by Catherine Marshall.

So, what book got you hooked on reading?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unique Ideas

Hi, just thought I'd let you know that I'm still around.
I've been busy editing some of my stories and keeping busy with lots of other summer things. You can check out my other blog for what's been going on around our house.

I'm really giving Amazing Miss Maizy the once over.
I've put it on the SCBWI forum for critiques and at our last Wordsmith's meeting Susanne and I also worked with it. I want to really be satisfied before sending Miss Maizy to publishers again.

While glancing through the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market I read some interesting tips from the publishers. Some said:

they wanted picture books with fresh approaches. . .

they wanted something outstandingly different. . .

they wanted something unusual, original and well written. . .

they were always interested in a new twist on time-tested subjects. . .

and one of them said - "if it is not letter perfect, we do not want to see it." I guess I'll have to make a note not to send anything to them.

and another said, "you should find a reputable agent and have him/her submit your work." I guess I'll have to cross them off my list of possible publishers, also.

So I think writing a picture book and getting it published is easy. You just have to make it outstanding, unusual, original and/or put a new twist on the subject. We should be able to do that, along with making it letter perfect.

So let's everyone put our heads together and come up with a unique idea for a story.

How about . . .

an elephant who wants to learn to water ski

crafty critters - a non fiction book about smart animals

a ghost who was afraid of the dark

I'm sure you can come up with ones better than mine.

Let's have fun and add to the list. Can you add a unique, original and outstandingly different idea for a story?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Writing Goals

My writing goals are:

1. I want to be published. I want to see my name after an article, column, book etc.
I guess you could say I've accomplished this because the anthology with my story in it is going to be published in September. I also had an article published in our Sunday Gazette a few weeks ago.

2. I want to have one of my children's stories published.
This is my dream and I have not accomplished this yet. I have some PBs that I really feel strong about and a couple of MGs that I love. I'm still editing one of them, though, and the other has been out to a publisher since March and I haven't heard anything from them yet. I need to take time out from writing and submit my PBs. It is so time consuming to look up and find the right publishers that will accept unagented material that I keep putting it off. And you know, nothing will happen to your stories if they are in your computer's hard drive or on your desk. They will only gather dust.

3. I would like to get a personal rejection letter. It may sound funny that my goal is a rejection letter, but I am tired of getting those form letters or notes with not so much as a signature on them. It would be nice to get a personal one with words of encouragement scribbled on it.

4. I would like to be called a writer. Most people don't think of you as a writer unless you have been published and unless you are getting paid for your writing.

5. I understand that in the beginning you may have to write for little or no compensation. That is OK, it will give you the experience you need and it will give you (hopefully) a following and name recognition. But eventually my goal is to get paid for my writing.

It seems like most of my goals center around getting published. But that is my dream. And it would be nice to get paid for it, also. I know I will not get rich from writing, but I would like to make some money.

I have decided that until my children's writing takes off I will also try to do other things, like sending in articles to newspapers and/or magazines. Writing short stories for anthologies, entering contests (which I have already been doing) and any other writing endeavor I can think of.

I have decided that you have to go after what you want. You can't just sit there and expect good things to come to you. You have to get brave (which is hard for me to do) and submit, pitch your ideas and write, write and write. You are not a failure, unless you don't try. If you get rejected or your ideas get put down, you have to get back up and start again.

What are your goals? Have you already met some of your goals?

Do any of you have suggestions on getting your feet wet in the writing world? I'd love to hear your comments and ideas.