Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Book Signing

I went to a book signing yesterday at our local hospital.

Dr. Morad practiced general surgery at Jackson General Hospital in Ripley, WV for 37 years until his retirement in 2001. As it says on the inside flap of the book. . . He practiced medicine with his heart and was dearly loved by his patients. He was a devoted and dedicated physician. He will always call Ripley his home and the people of Jackson County his family.

He was a wonderful and compassionate person and doctor who cared for his patients.

His book is A Memoir. I arrived there in time to get the last hardback copy of it. I think people came out of all the hills and hollers of Jackson County to see Dr. Morad and obtain a copy of his book.

I have not finished reading it yet, but have read many sections. I am thoroughly enjoying the book.

I checked and it is listed on Amazon.com.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

Our preacher actually inspired this blog post.

He spoke this morning about people going around saying they are the best.
"I am the best church member, the best Christian, etc."

Well, you know, some people are like that.

And then you have the people who want to be the best church member or the best Christian.
There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone should strive to be their best.

But no matter what you do or what you strive to do, you should put your whole heart into it.

Even though we want to be, we may not ever be the best children's writer or best novelist.

But whatever you want to do or be, just put your whole heart into it and do your best. Then you won't ever have any regrets or wonder if you could have written the next best seller.

That is all you can ask of yourself. And if after you do that, you are the best children's writer or the best novelist. . . then great!

Remember the story about the ant and the rubber tree plant.

Oops! There goes another rubber tree plant.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Figuring Out Where to Send Your Work

Okay, I admit it. I wrote a list of goals at the beginning of the year and I'm not living up to the #1 on my list.

My goal was to send out at least one story a month to publishers. Sure I'm sending out my column each month to Two-Lane Livin' magazine. But that would be cheating if I counted that, wouldn't it?

I have to keep pounding it in my head that a story can't get published if you don't send it out.

Don't worry about getting those rejections in the mail. . .they build character.

Don't worry about waiting on the mailman everyday only to get a mailbox full of bills and junk. . . that gives you the much needed exercise your legs need. It gives you a break from sitting at the computer and typing your stories.

I must confess that I love to write. I'm sure that's not news to you. But I hate stopping and searching for publishers to send my stories to. It is time consuming going back and forth from your Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market and their sites on the internet looking for a publisher who still accepts unsolicited manuscripts and would just love my writing.

Don't we all wish we had an Aladdin lamp to rub and the perfect publisher's name popped out for our manuscripts?

That would solve a lot of our problems. Oh well, I've got work to do. I've got to send out some stories before the end of the month and I have to get our garage cleaned out before winter hits again.

Maybe I could write a picture book about a scared and cold little car whose only wish in life is to be able to squeeze inside it's master's garage. But, I don't think that would sell.

Join me in sending out something this month. When you've mailed out a submission, come on over and let me know and we can all celebrate together. Or if you have already mailed out one this month, come on over and brag about it. You deserve to celebrate!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Looking At Things In A Different Way

Writer's get discouraged, but we must write on!

Our writing group has dwindled down to only two people attending since the beginning of the new year. I am discouraged, but will write on.

We will keep meeting and I am hoping that my fellow friends and writers will soon return. There's nothing like having a group of friends who understand the frustrating ups and downs of writing. I love and need feedback from other writers. I don't know, maybe this is teaching me to be more independent. However, I like being a member of a group. They keep me motivated.

They keep your spirits up when you receive a rejection letter by saying, "Hey, that's great, that means you're submitting."

On another subject. . .

Here is a little imagination and some pictures to go with it.
Maybe this will lead you to look at the pretty little flowers in a different way, too

Dandelion blankets
spread about my yard
shining like the morning

Dandelion puffballs
stand against the sky
glistening like the full

Dandelion seeds
float across the heavens
sparkling like the evening

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where do the Words Come From?

I read all the time how people have trouble writing an entire novel without editing as they go. I have that problem, also.

But I started out as a children's picture book writer and my biggest problem is writing enough words to meet the word requirements of MG and YA.

I am now editing a manuscript, which I have been told because of the ages of the main characters, it should be considered YA and not MG. Well for it to be YA I need to have close to 40,000 words. I don't have nearly that many words, but I really love my story. I am currently editing it to add words. My first step in doing this was taking each chapter one by one and writing down the amount of words I had in each chapter. I'm working on the shorter chapters and trying to add more detail to them. I'm accomplishing this, but still am far from the required amount of words needed. At this point and time if I could get 30,000 words, I would be happy. I would be ecstatic!

What suggestions do you have in finding more to write about?

I'm adding more detail to what I already have and that is helping, but what are some ideas on finding more chapter ideas? My story takes place in the early 1900s in rural WV. I have a lot of detail and description in my story letting the reader know what life was like 100 years ago. The story is based very loosely on my grandparents life and I've taken tidbits of info I knew about them and weaved a story around those details. All fiction, of course.

I don't know, maybe I'm not cut out to be a novel writer, maybe I'm always going to be stuck in the picture book genre. But what's funny is that when I write picture books I have to go back and cut out what is not needed, not add more. With picture books, the fewer words the better. They want you to take out that description and take out those extra characters which add so much to the longer stories.

I hear there is a genre now called Tween. Does anyone know the criteria for that category?

Any suggestions on how to add more story, more details and more words to those MG and YA manuscripts?

Help, please!