Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Writing Info

From the comments on my last post about the mail box, it seems that maybe I was right, most good news seems to come via email, not snail mail. But, there are a few exceptions.

Thanks for your input.

I browse the internet looking for sights about writing.

I recently found this sight. It's called the Dabbling Mum.

On the bar at the top of their sight click on Writing.

I'm stilling looking around, but so far I have found many good articles. The nice thing about it is that the information is all in one place, you don't have to go looking everywhere.
The topics include anthologies, book writing, fiction writing, general writing, getting paid, grammar, magazine writing, prompts, queries and success stories.

The Recipe Section is also interesting.

If you get the time, (which is hard to come by when you're trying to write and do everything else that needs to be done around the house) go take a look. You just might find some information you've been looking for.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Wondering

A few questions about the mailbox.

Should we take it off it's pedestal?

Should we take away it's star status?

We sit and wait patiently for the mail each day.
We hope to receive good news from our submissions out their in the publisher's slush pile.

But, regarding my stories, the only news I have received in the mail box is bad news.

To put it bluntly . . . REJECTIONS!

How about you? Have you ever received good news in the mail box?

I received the good news about my story that's being published in September via e-mail!

So, I have a question for my readers.

If you have had a story published, did you receive the news in your snail mail box or in your in box of the computer. Or did you receive the good news via your telephone?

Even if you haven't been published yet, tell us your opinion.

Should we be checking our in box more often than our mail box?

Inquiring minds want to know. Is it good news when our mail box is empty?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free Books!

I can't take credit for seeing this first, I saw it on another blog.

But go here to get a free book while they last. No purchase is necessary, there are three to choose from.

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm Back

Sorry it's been a while since I last posted.

We've been on vacation and I had a lot of catching up to do when we got back.

We had a wonderful view from our lodge room on the 7th floor at Pipestem State Park.
If you want to read more about our vacation, go here to my other blog.

This view should inspire anyone to write, don't you agree?

But, since we returned I've been busy in our garden . . . and in the Blackberry Patch!

I named my blog Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch, because in the summer time I literally spend day after day in my blackberry patch. If I want to do any writing I have to do it down there among the vines.

Here are my purple fingers fixin' to pluck a few ripe berries.

Now, I think it is the perfect time for me to get out my picture book about picking berries and edit, edit and edit.

What have you been doing?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When The Whistle Blows

If you saw one of my comments the other day, you will read that I won an advance copy of Fran Cannon Slayton's book When The Whistle Blows.

I was so excited. I emailed her immediately to give her my address.

She answered promptly. She said she was on a book tour, but she would tell her husband to mail it to me.

I got it in the mailbox yesterday!

I emailed her back and let her know I had received it. She promptly got back with me and thanked me for letting her know I had received the book. She said her book tour was going great! I had asked her if there were many differences in this book and the final published version. She said there were some, but they were fairly subtle.

She is so nice and I don't think being published has went to her head at all. I wish her the best on her book tour and with her book When the Whistle Blows.

I am reading it now and so far I love it. I love the language she uses and her style of writing.

Go here and find out all about Fran and her book.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last Night's Meeting

Appalachian Wordsmiths met last night. It had been so long, I was starting to have withdraw symptoms.

It was good to see everyone again. Five of us were at the meeting last night. Two of our regular members couldn't make it. If you're reading this post, "We missed you!"

It was good to catch up on all the news and happenings. After we did that, the ones who brought material read aloud and we discussed the stories and marked up our copies to give back to them.

Last night I read a newspaper article I'm working on and one of my picture books that I am continuing to edit.

I have sent this PB out many times, but only once since I did it 'right.' I have blogged about this before, my having a hard time keeping description out of picture books. I rewrote the story and took out all the beautiful descriptions that you are supposed to leave to the illustrator, and I love it. I tried to do all the right things. I started out with action, used lots of descriptive words such as swoosh! swished, cracked, boomed, splashed, & splattered to make it exciting, and it is (in my opinion) a good story.

I tossed copies to everyone and said, "What's wrong with this?"

My writing friends found a few things wrong. Yea!

Now onto the revisions and sending it out again! I really have faith in this one story. I'm going to keep sending it out until (hopefully) I find a publisher who wants to take a chance on it.

What have you been doing? Anyone have a manuscript out there?
Are you in the middle of revising one of your stories? Do you have a work in progress?

We're all in this journey together. Share your stories, your ups and downs, let us cheer each other on and help each other along the way.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What Is Your Hardest Part?

What is your hardest part about writing?

Is it the waiting? The editing? Getting the ideas to flow? The rejections? The research?

This urge to write came over me a few years ago. The inspirations came and I just wrote and wrote.

Along with writing children' s books, I also write the occasional short story.

I recently read a post about researching your market before submitting to avoid getting those dry, impersonal rejection letters on a story that you thought was great and sparkled with imagination.

Well, I usually do all the research. That is the part I dread the most. I have a number of stories, but stopping to do the research such as looking into books like the Book Markets for Children's Writers 

and then going on line to their web sites and getting the most recent information about them is hard and sometimes heartbreaking. You think you've found just the right publisher for your manuscript, you go to the submission guidelines and find out that they are not accepting unsoliciated stories at this time. They are only accepting submissions from agents and they will not respond if not interested. So here starts the waiting game. How long do you wait before you assume they are not interested?

While waiting you can write or edit your other stories. Read, read and read books that are in your writing genre. . .

and continue to submit your other stories to publishers.

I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. I think, there are other things I could be doing, like keeping the house clean. But then I think back to that long list of writers and their numerous rejection letters on books that finally sold. I think back on the quote from Richard Bach that says "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit."

So I forget the house work and ignore the people who think writing a child's book is child's play, and stick with it.

Now that I've got all this off my chest, what is the hardest part for you as a writer?

Is it the waiting? The editing? Getting the ideas to flow? The rejections? The research?