Monday, March 31, 2008

Hope for Us All

Lois Lowry didn't publish her first book until her kids were older.

H/T to EditorialAss

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Highlights High Five Check!!!!!!

Highlights awesome! They already sent me my check! Maybe a new dress (from an after Easter Sale) is in my future.....

(I really love the "pay upon receipt of contract" folks.... the "pay upon publication" thing can get really old when a publisher holds onto your piece for years at a time.....)

Now, back to work...... I haven't done any hard-core editing yet today--just some fun with the first draft of my novel. Now I've got to look over a few potential magazine stories... and attack a picture book ms to see if it's really ready to go....

But I've fallen behind in submitting, so I have to get back in the groove.......

Good Article on getting Published

I haven't blogged in a while.... between Holy Week, Easter, sick kids, visiting and being visited I haven't had much time....

But here's a cool article on how to get published! And the rest of her blog's pretty good too! =)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Contributorr's Copies.. Wheeeeee!!!

I just got my contributor's copies of Clubhouse. They renamed my story "Tough Shell" - a much cooler title.

They also picked a good illustrator! (I love seeing how my stories are illustrated-- I get giddy when I see them all nicely set on a magazine page. It's so exciting!)

The story seemed a lot better than I remembered it... I'm tempted to sit down with the original and see just how much they edited it-- because it really sings now--

I can't remember if it sung originally, because I worked so darn hard on it that by the time I finally got it to work I was just glad to get a break from it for 6 weeks! =)

But for now, I'll just go post over at Verla's and then get back to attacking a story that's NOT ready yet.....

But Oh! The Contributors Copies! They make me so happy!!!!

Leaving my Critique Group

As a New Year's resolution I joined an online critique group -- Because everyone said critique groups are great.....

But I'm beginning to think that "everyone" must have a lot more time and energy than me!

Because I only have 5 hours a week to write (which is why this blog is so pathetic!) so spending 1 to 1 1/2 hours a week critiquing is just NOT ok.....

Especially when I could be spending that time self-critiquing.

So it's back to my old routine of only submitting something for critique when I'm utterly stuck. Otherwise, I'll stick to the "ignore it for two weeks and then attack it like it belongs to a stranger who you're predisposed to hate" method.

I think I'm finding that most outside critiquers are just too gentle with me. And everything I've ever sold has been self-critiqued.

sigh. I DID really want the critique group thing to be as good as everyone else said it was. Ahh well. Has anyone else has this problem? Or am I just an anti-social, pressed for time, overly rigorous freak?

(I think part of my problem is I didn't join looking for affirmation and encouragement-- checks from magazines provide that! I wanted actual criticism. And literary discussion. And ideas about story arc and imagery and meaning and heck-- I'll just head over to Verla Kay every day--- I do that anyway! =) )

Friday, March 7, 2008

My take on E-readers

I'd never been able to understand the appeal of the Kindle or the Sony Reader. I just like books, actual physical books, too darn much....

And then, last night in the shower I had a flash of brilliance--or insanity---

What if the E-readers were totally WATERPROOF, like those shower radios? And came with little suction cup thingies, so you could read while you showered! I'd LOVE one then-- after all, the shower is the one place I'm ever truly alone and undistracted (if I wait to take one until DH is home and can wrangle the kids...)

So.... Sony, Amazon, if you're listening--- Come out with a "Shower" version of your readers, and even *I* will buy one!

Getting the Slush Monkey off my back!

Well, the latest round of rejections has come in, and I've decided that it's time to take a good, hard look at some of my PB manuscripts.

Questions to Ask Myself:

1. If I was critiquing this for someone else, would I be excited to read it, or would I groan and think "Not another one!"

2. If I saw this book in a store with mediocre illustrations, would I still be willing to read it to my child because the story was just so great? Would I read it nightly or quickly consign it to the library book sale?

3. Would I by this book for a friend with a young child?

4. Does it really work as a dummy?

If a book passes these tests, I'll give it another few chances. Otherwise, they're going to the big slush pile that is my backup hard drive!

Now... off to the mines.....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The End of British Childhood

is age eleven

I played with dolls into high school. I remember getting an "American Girls" catalogue in the mail when I was 12-- it made dolls socially acceptable again, because they were collectible and historically accurate.

I ended up with Samantha. And now I'm counting the years until my daughters are old enough for them.

I also find it hard to imagine a 13 or 14 year old being allowed to stay out past 11 or 12... after all, who's picking these kids up and driving them home?

Now, on a related note--does this mean YA really starts at 11? Would an American parent buy their child a book where an 11 year old drank and smoked and slept around?
I wouldn't, but as a Catholic home-schooler I realize that I'm not even on the same planet as main stream.....

Also, how many adults would enjoy WRITING a book about this sort of eleven-year old? Even if the child didn't realize how damaging their lifestyle was, wouldn't you just want to weep with every sentence you typed?