Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow and Edit, Edit, Edit

We had a quick blizzard come through last night and it almost caused our writing meeting to be canceled. But Granny Sue and I met and I'm so glad. I've written a story to submit to Erma Bombeck's Writing Competition and the deadline is January 31st. I needed input! And did I get it. My draft has chicken scratch all over it. Thank you, Susanna, for your advice.

She's great at editing. I helped her with a couple of her poems. I'm not very good at poetry, but I actually had a few good ideas to give her. One of them would make a good picture book.

It's snowing again and we put out more seeds. We love watching the birds! My husband is celebrating putting up the suet in our maple tree without falling over the rails of the deck.

It looks like the birds are fighting over the seeds. They've gorged their selves today!

The cardinals are my favorite!

Anyone else feeding the birds? Or editing?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Inspiration

I turned on the local news show this morning. It told a story about a remarkable young lady. Go here to read about Andora.

She is a 12 year old prodigy of sorts, but not of math or music. She is gifted in writing.

On her blog profile she says she is a 12 year old author and teacher.

If you have children who might be interested, have them go to her site and check out everything there. It also directs you to her personal blog and her book blog.

In her book blog, in addition to reviewing books, she has a post that gives tips on writing a book review! Go to her profile and click on Andora's Book Club.

Her goal is to reach out and inspire other children who don't like to read. She started reading chapter books at age 3 1/2 (Bug Inspector). Her first love is historical fiction.

She has already published 3 books:
Flying Fingers,
Dancing Fingers,
Yang in Disguise

Go to her site and look around. She's not only an inspiration to kids wanting to write, but adults as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Contests Are Fun

Contests are fun to enter and if you are talented or lucky enough to win, it gives your ego a boost. Here are a few contests that you might want to know about.

I went over to Sherri Tales and she blogged about a fiction contest Highlights is having. But you have to hurry, it ends January 31st.

Erma Bombeck's writing competition is now open. There is a humor and human interest category. It also ends on January 31st. I'm not a very good humor writer, so I don't know if I'm going to be able to come up with a story to submit or not. But I may give it a try.

There is no entry fee for the above contests. But there is prize money offered. If you think you've got a story to enter, go ahead and give it a try.

The WVWriter's Annual Writing Contest
is also accepting entries now. There is a fee for this writing contest. This contest is also open to children. There is no fee for children this year.
You have until March 15th to enter this contest.

I think contests are fun. Some may be in a different genre than you are used to, but you may find out that you are good at it.

I've won an honorable mention at the WVWriter's Competition before. It was with one of my picture book manuscripts.

Have any of you ever entered a writing contest before? Any of you win?

By the way, my January column for Two-Lane Livin' has been posted on line and if you go here, you can read it. Go to the right hand column on that page and click on Fun Facts for Kids and it will take you to my other columns from the previous months.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Painless Writing

What is painless writing? What is painful writing?

Painless writing is when the words flow from your mind onto the paper and keyboard.

Painful writing is when you pour your heart and soul into your work, only to get it rejected. Or worse yet, after months of waiting, not even receiving a reply.

Painless writing is writing for free, because you love to write.

Painful writing is writing for free, while spending money for books of the craft, conferences, contests, reams of paper and writing classes.

Painless writing is the wonderful, encouraging and understanding writing friends you meet.

Painful writing is when family and friends just don't understand. They don't understand the work and time involved, they don't understand that writing for children isn't easy, they don't understand what an accomplishment it is to get published (no matter how small the publication) or they don't understand how hard it is to get your story picked out of a huge slush pile of stories.

What is the purpose of this article? It is to say that writers need to be tough and persevere the times of painful writing until the painless writing overcomes and our goals are met.

And also to show you a book I purchased at the WVUP Bookstore when we went there on Wednesday to buy my son's college books for next semester. It was only 9.99, so I bought it. They also had books titled Painless Grammar and Painless Vocabulary.

It is filled with writing challenges called Brain Ticklers, examples, tips and web site addresses for further information on topics in the book. It takes you here . . . click on writing advice for lots of helpful information. Plus there are many more site addresses where you can go for helpful information.

To help your writing to be a little less painful, go here for character traits and go here for descriptive words.

Of course, the most important thing of all is writing the story everyone is wanting to read, the story that hasn't been written yet and the story all the publishers are looking for. So, write down your list of goals and write, write and write.

What is your definition of painful or painless writing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Writing and Cold Weather

It is so cold. It is so snowy.

We were going to have our first writer's meeting last night in over a month and had to cancel because of the bad weather, and I was so looking forward to it.

I didn't have anything to share with the group until the last minute. I woke up yesterday morning with a story on my mind. I laid there for a while, not wanting to get up, but gave in and reached into the drawer of my end table and drug out my writing tablet and pencil.

I kept writing until I had a very rough draft of a short story.

It's called The Unlocked Door and it needs a lot of work. Maybe by next Monday it will be ready for my writing group to critique.

What's your weather like? I think Global Warming has decided to take the back burner for a while. We've got snow in the forecast for the entire week with temperatures dropping every day.

I guess it's a good time to stay inside and write. . . or read, whichever you prefer.

It's also a good time to feed the birds and watch our feathered friends brave the cold.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lists and Writing Resolutions

Some people are list makers and some people are not. Which are you?

I tend to fall into the non list maker category. But when I do make lists, I usually get things done. When I see that list staring me in the face, I will do at least some of the items on it. It feels good to be able to mark off my accomplishments.

So, my first New Years Resolution is to make lists!

In my earlier post I said I was not going to give up until I got a story published.

Well, I think I need to be more specific with my goals, if I am to succeed.

1. I will send at least one story a month out to publishers. Those publishers aren't going to come to my house and read my stories, that's for sure.

2. I will get paid for my writing. I love to write, but since my husband just retired, I would also love to be able to contribute a little money into our budget.

3. I will submit to WVWriter's annual contest and, hopefully, place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in one of the categories.

4. I will write, write, write until I'm good enough for publication!

I'm going to run off this list in LARGE PRINT and tape it on the wall behind my computer screen. I will stare at it everyday and hopefully be able to put a check mark beside of each one before the year is over.

Have you made any resolutions this year?