Friday, March 23, 2007

The SCBWI 2007 Publications Guide

I just got mine in the mail yesterday. It's great! I found the section on book producers especially helpful. I'm going to apply to a few -- It could be a great way to pick up extra money and experience.

My Maryland history novel is temporarily at a standstill while I research. Of course, this hasn't been a great research week either...

Meanwhile, in response to the contest over at http://www.yafiction.com/ I've started reworking the first three chapters of an older project of mine.... It's based on the Oedipus Cycle and my BA project, so it's great fun...

Whoever said that a Classics degree was useless? =)

Sick and Busy

It was a bad week for blogging, I'm afraid. First the girls got sick and I spent days cleaning up projectile vomit. Then I had to catch up on the chores that I neglected while the girls were sick. After that, there were a few writing projects that needed attending to RIGHT AWAY. But now I'm back.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Bad Weekend for Writing, But a Great One for Life

I wrote about 600 words this entire weekend. Now, a few of them were part of a picture book, so the slow-going was justified. But some were part of longer pieces too.

My husband, my children, and the gorgeous weather all conspired against my muse, and won.

John had to do homework for the Spanish class he’s taking. (Spanish is becoming more important to librarians and Hispanics are our small town’s largest underserved group.)
It was all audio exercises, which means the kids were not just a distraction, but an actual hindrance.

So I took the girls outside for about 3 hours, without jackets! I let them putter in the dirt with shovels and pails. They played “fishing” with sticks. We played ball, blew bubbles and drew with chalk. Then I let them was the sidewalk off in a homage to one of their favorite “Kim and Carrots” stories.

(My children are obsessed with “Kim and Carrots.” They’ve taught me a lot about what toddlers really want in a story. Short, sweet, and familiar seem to be the keys here…)

So I had a lovely day outside with the girls, but I accomplished nothing. Then, Monday, I had to attend to some long-neglected chores and prepare for my Latin class today.

(I teach Latin to a group of 10 home-schoolers. It’s a great way to keep my skills fresh, earn a little bit of extra money, and have a bit of fun. We use Henle’s Latin course. I LOVE Henle. When my children are 10 or so, I’m going to start them on Henle’s Latin!)

Anyway, I hope to be posting more and writing a LOT more, as the week progresses.
Unless the glorious mid-March weather lures us into the garden instead…

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Zebra on-line!

My story in Clubhouse, Jr. is available on-line!


http://clubhousemagazine.com/club_jr/stories/a0001503.cfm

Maryland History

I've always wanted to write a mid-grade historical fiction novel, and now that I have Internet access research should be a bit easier.

I'd like to do something that takes place in Maryland in the early 18th century - when the once-Catholic colony was placed under the same harsh anti-Catholic laws that were active in Britain.

I'm particularly interested in the plight of children of Catholic widows -- they could be taken from their mothers and placed into good Protestant homes to ensure a Godly upbringing......

I'm just now starting the research stage. I used to live in MD and still have family in the area, so at least I can combine archive trips with family vacations! =)

Friday, March 9, 2007

This is Great!!!

The game book is really coming along well. The original assignment was from a Protestant publisher, but we're going to market it to Catholic companies since we're more familiar with Catholic classrooms.

I'm really thankful that we got this idea, even if we lost the initial assignment. We're having a lot of fun with the book, and it's a great experience.

And my summer as a tech writer, writing directions for computer programs, is finally coming in handy. After all, directions are directions.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Day of Ups and Downs

This morning at 8:30 I received the great news: My friend Anne Marie and I had gotten a job writing a book of Sunday School games. The catch? We had to finish it in under 2 weeks.

We got right to work brainstorming. By noon, we had at least half the games we needed. We just needed to hear from the editor so she could give us more project information.

This afternoon, we got the e-mail, but it wasn't the one we were waiting for. The editor had decided to give the project to someone else.

So now we have a lot of games, and nowhere to go with them.

What are we going to do? Well, now we're working without a deadline. So we can use our material to write another book, our own book. When we're half done we can start querying publishers.

No work is ever wasted....

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

SCBWI

I joined the Society Children's Book Writers and Illustrators because I had some Christmas money left over and I figured that it couldn't hurt to give it a try.

I'm hooked! The discussion boards are marvelous, the more experienced writers and illustrators are incredibly friendly and helpful, and their publications are life-savers!

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get serious about writing for children.

The Reason for the Blog

I decided to start this Blog after three events occurred in one fantastic week:

- I found out I was pregnant with our third child

- An Editor responded to a query letter and asked for a copy of my manuscript

and

-We got Internet access again after a 3 year hiatus.

Eventually, if I ever publish a book, I'll use this site for shameless self promotion. In the mean time, it will just be a collection of thoughts on kids, writing, and the world in general.