Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mommy Fashion Tip

Those glasses with the dark plastic frames are really great for hiding the kind of circles you get under your eyes when the kids haven't napped in three days but persist in going to bed at midnight and waking up at four am......

Just in case you were interested...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Frodo of the Nine Fingers, and the Queries of Doom

I hate writing queries. I’d rather be judged by my work, not by my description of my work.

But these days, queries are inescapable, at least if you want to reach some of the bigger publishers.

This week I have a stack of queries to send out. I need to finish writing them. So what have I been doing?

Lurking on the SCBWI boards, of course. And catching up on chores. And doing almost anything else imaginable so that I don’t have to spend time with queries…

Which means that tomorrow, I’ll have to spend a few hours with them, instead of getting to do them in small chunks... sigh…

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A GREAT READ!!!!

I just finished reading Bella at Midnight by Dianne Stanley. It was exactly what a middle grade fantasy novel should be. I wished I could have spent more time with the characters, there were references to famous fairy tales (especially Cinderella) but the plot wasn't hemmed in by them, and there was just enough romance to set a ten-year-old girls heart aflutter.

I think Stanley may be the next Robin McKinley... I know that my first impressions of Bella brought back memories of my first readings of The Hero and The Crown and The Blue Sword!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Market Research

One thing I love about writing for children is the "market research." It's a wonderful way to justify hanging around the new book shelves at the library.

Yesterday I picked up some great ones.

My kids have fallen in love with Pip and Squeak by Ian Schoenherr. The pictures are great- I never thought of snow as warm and welcoming before, but he makes it seem that way. The story is short and sweet, and the mice think just like toddlers!

I flew through A Dog for Life by L.S. Matthews. It was a short, thrilling journey across England. It touched on a number of serious issues: grieving, cancer, alternative medicine, animal experimentation and prejudice. I think it will leave kids wanting to think longer and harder about them, but it didn't get bogged down in delivering a message. I highly recommend it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A great resource!!!

The Craft of Research

We've had this book for years and this is the first time I read it. It's great! The authors walk you through a research project, step by step. While not everything applies to historical fiction, there are some great hints on organizing your questions, attacking the problem, finding resources, taking notes and getting help.

I highly recommend it to other beginning researchers. It's a great help when you need to take a massive problem like "How do I write about this historical time period" and break it down into small, manageable chunks.

I'm doing my planning right now... I think it will save me a LOT of time in the long run...

It's been forever....

The last three weeks have been a jumble of out-of-town guests, sick kids, pregnancy-induced exhaustion and Holy Week and Easter related chaos.

I haven't been able to keep up with the chores and my writing, much less my blogging.

But now the sun is shining again, we have a few weeks of downtime, and the kids are back to their perky selves, so I'm back...