Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Publishing 101: What You Need to Know
Monday, December 28, 2009
Christmas was great, although my family had to change our plans as we had vehicle issues and we weren't able to take our traditional trek to NH. But it gives us something to look forward to as we're just postponing the trip for a couple weeks.
And now the New Year is coming quickly. This week, while I'm home with my son, I'm using the break from my full time job to organize my writing, revise, and set some goals for the new year.
2010...here I come!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
It's Christmas eve & I want to wish everyone a happy & healthy holiday. May we all remember the blessings we have in our lives: a warm home, food on the table, and loving family and friends that surround us. Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The greatest gifts of our lives are the ones that help us remember what's important, the ones that bring us closer to family, the ones that inspire us to be better every day.
Title: Gift Book: 1: How many people does it take to make a difference? One ISBN #: 9781932319729
Description: The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. Throughout your life there's a voice that only you can hear. It's a call to the true value of your life - a call to make a difference that only you can make. If you never hear it, something magical will be lost. But if you hear it and heed it, then your life will become a wonderful romance and adventure. Each of us comes into the world with certain gifts designed to make life a better place for ourselves and others. We all have special gifts that we've never opened. This book invites you to open and discover some of yours...to honor and celebrate those special gifts...and, above all, to share them with a world that truly needs you. Hardcover, 9 x 7," 80 pp.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'm still trying to carve out time each day to write but the amount of time seems to be minimal compared to everything else.
Anyone else feel the same way?
Friday, December 11, 2009
Open submissions for manuscripts will begin on January 25, 2010 through February 7, 2010.
Anyone else hoping to enter? Anyone have experience & advice for the contest they'd like to share?
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
So, no writing here the past couple of days, and I'm starting to get writing withdrawals. But hopefully, I can get a good nights sleep tonight and pick up tomorrow. That's the plan anyway.
Friday, December 04, 2009
So guess what folks: write a good story, create a good product, and don't give up. You can do it!
Publishers Weekly Article: Elf on the Shelf's Sales Policy Works for B&N, But Not for All Independents
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I've also submitted my writing to five contests over the last six weeks, so results should be rolling in any day.
Next on the agenda, will be to pick up my first novel, "The Hidden Force" and finish revisions so I can submit it to the Delacorte First Young Adult Novel contest by December 31st. Then I'll work on revisions to my NaNoWriMo piece, "Hidden Force-The Reckoning" so I can submit it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in February.
And then more revisions if needed, and off to literary agents galore! It feels really good to have so many projects at different stages.
Monday, November 30, 2009
And for any of you out there still chuging away to complete your 50K - go! go! go! You can do it!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Anyone that can write a book that keeps you engaged from start to finish has a skill, no matter what genre or label you want to put on that book. Writing a book like that is challenging.
So kudos to Stephenie Meyer and her writing. May my novels be as engaging as yours.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
NaNoWriMo word count (drum roll please)...30,876! Woo-hoo! Only 19,124 words remaining.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
For me, writing was an important part of my youth. It allowed me to explore my emotions and bolstered my creative confidence. If fact it was probably the one thing that helped me get through the awkwardness of growing up.
So when I hear about great programs that support the creativity of youth, I think it's important to share. I just learned about The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. If you know a young person who is artistically inclined, you should direct them to the website. You can also support their efforts by becoming a member or making a donation.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
11:00am (C) Bookfest Hackensack 2009
When: Sat, November 21, 11am – 2pm
Description: Free book giveaway for kids of all ages (and even adults) at the Johnson Public Library on Saturday, November 21, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Come join the fun, courtesy of “Read Now!,” an organization founded for the purpose of promoting literacy for young children, predominantly preschoolers, in the Paterson, Passaic, Hackensack, Englewood, and Teaneck areas. With the goal of helping these children be better prepared when they start school, Read Now! provides books for children to keep. They also provide trained volunteers to read to children and encourage parental involvement in promoting reading and literacy in their homes and communities. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So what is my newest book? Well, I was in Barnes & Noble on Saturday, and I was looking in the YA section (have to keep you with the books of my genre, you know) and I spied a book that I have heard a lot about and decided to take the plunge.
So I'm now reading, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Very interesting concept, and a refreshing change. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.
Monday, November 16, 2009
And yet, something inside me said, "Just go to the computer and try to crank out 500 words, because that's 500 words less that you'll have to make up. Then you can go to bed." So I went to my computer, checked email, checked facebook, and finally made my way to the NaNoWriMo website. Going to the site gave me a small boost in motivation, not much, but enough that I opened my writing document and starting adding to the story. I hit 500 words, and somehow I had a flow going. I knew what I wanted to write, and the story was ready to unfold before me. I started to get excited about where it was going. Those 500 words turned into 1,000 words, and then into 2,000. It was now midnight. And I debated whether I should just close down the laptop and pick it up Monday. But a voice in my head said to keep going. Another 1,000 words, now that things were flowing so nicely, would come at a quick clip. At 12:45 I had my last 1,000 words completed. I had made it, 25,000 words completed, half way through my 50,000 word novel. Wow, it felt good going to sleep knowing I'd accomplished that goal.
So this morning, I awoke tired, but excited. I didn't wake up with a huge deficiency in words that I had to make up. I was caught up and ready to proceed with my 1667 daily word goal. In past years I would have succumb to the desperation and given up thinking the task was too big. This marks a turning point in my writing process. Before this I was lucky to crank out 1,000 words in one sitting, and here I am shattering my own ceiling. It's just another layer of growth, and I thank NaNoWriMo for helping me learn that a writer is always a work in progress.
Friday, November 13, 2009
And I'm actually having fun doing this! It has pushed me to make huge strides in just writing, no excuses, no waiting for inspiration, but pure blood, sweat, tears, and creativity. And I'm actually REALLY happy with the content that is coming out.
I posted a novel synopsis and an excerpt on NaNoWriMo if you're interested in seeing what I'm up to: novel synopsis.
I'll catch-up with you on the other side of the weekend.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have printed a copy of the article and have pinned it up in my office to remind me that although the writing process is a lonely process, writers from different genres have similiar experiences.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Monday, November 09, 2009
What a great quote to start off another important week in my writing.
Today is Monday, and everyone needs a swift kick in the butt for the first day of the week and I am no exception. It's the day that I review my schedule for the upcoming week, determine prioritites, and set a plan for what I want to accomplish. So, it's pertinent to remember that some tasks have real importance and others are just hiding behind a guise of importance. So what are my writing priorities this week?
1. It's week 2 of NaNoWriMo, and I have a goal of another 13,089 words. I held a steady pace last week, and only missed one day of writing (and was able to make up some of it over the weekend).
2. In continuing with my plan of submitting my work, I've got 3 contests I plan to enter this week (2 poetry contests & 1 photography contest).
3. It's time to resume submitting to literary agents, so I need to finish a final revision of "Petunia Wiggles, Giggles, and Hops". Then it's time to send out my baby to the first group of agents I want to target.
It feels good to put the things "I want to do" before other things that only pretend to be priority.
*"About Kathleen Winsor: American author Kathleen Winsor is best known for the racy historical novel, Forever Amber, which made a huge splash when it was first published in 1944, selling 100,000 copies the first week. It was banned in 14 states for its sexual content. The ensuing debate contributed to the loosening of restrictions that allowed works by D. H. Lawrence and Henry Miller to be published in the US. Winsor wrote a number of other novels, none as successful. She was born in 1919 and died in 2003." - quoted from Today's Inspiration newsletter, Waterfront Media, Inc.
Friday, November 06, 2009
And while I'm sitting here, I've been debating whether I should take the story in another direction as I'm not feeling like the plot turn I added last night is the exact way to go. So I may just do some revisions today too, but I still vow to get my word count where it needs to be.
My gut feeling is it's a needed direction otherwise I'm might get myself stuck too far into a plot that I'm suddenly not happy with...and then would come writers block...and disaster for completing my goal! So a little tweaking now, could help me make it all the way.
NaNoWriMo word count: 8419
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The American Voice in Poetry: the Legacy of Whitman, Williams, and Ginsberg contest is sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. The deadline is November 15, 2009.
And here's my word count update for NaNoWriMo: 6735.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
It's going to be tough, but I need to do it so I won't be tempted to curl up with a book instead of curling up with my laptop.
I'll let you know when I start having withdrawals.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I'm up to 3473 words and that's before adding today's count. And now I'm headed to the keyboards for another 1667 words...here I go...because if I don't hit my mark I'm not allowed to watch "V" (and for those of you who know me, you know I'm a die-hard fan of the series from the 80's).
Monday, November 02, 2009
"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it." – Wally "Famous" Amos
As you probably guessed, my blog posts between now and November 30th may be a bit shorter than usual as I focus on my word counts for NaNoWriMo.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Maybe I'll pray for a muse, or beg the writing gods for some inspiration. Or maybe, I'll just sit at my computer and type, type anything, just to get my fingers moving and my brain past the wall of writer block.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
1. I'm doing some minor revisions to my children's book ("Petunia Wiggles, Giggles, and Hops"). I had it tucked away for a few months and now I see it with a new perspective and I'm ready to do some much needed revisions. Then I will start submitting it to contests, agents, children's magazines - everywhere. I feel that it's nearly ready, just a few minor touch-ups. Then it's submit, submit, submit until I find the right home for it. In preparation, I need to review and tweak my query letters and here are some great tips on query letters from agent Janet Reid: 20 tips on Query Letters.
2. My YA sci-fi/fantasy novel, "The Hidden Force", is still being revised. I know in my gut that it's still not quite where it needs to be. The plan is still to whip it into shape in time to enter the Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel - the deadline is 12/31/09.
3. Of course NaNoWriMo is only a few days away and that will take up most of my writing time come November 1st. By the end of November, I'll have an extremely rough draft but at least it will be another project that will have all the main elements and structure and will be ready for some revisions. Then that draft will be shelved until "The Hidden Force" is revised.
So, that's my plan! It's sounds so simple on paper doesn't it?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
My profile: http://www.nanowrimo.org/fr/user/170996
Friday, October 23, 2009
WHY WAS MY MANUSCRIPT REJECTED?
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Place: Shelburne Hotel, 303 Lexington Avenue (at 37th Street), New York City
Time: 9:30am to 4:00pm
Here's a blurb from the website:
"3 Literary Agents, 3 Opinions is a seminar-style, one-day workshop designed by literary agents Andrea Cascardi, Anna Olswanger, and Ann Tobias to bring to children's book and YA writers much-needed, seldom-offered feedback on a manuscript rejected by agents and/or publishers..."read more
Thursday, October 22, 2009
What a surprise!
It was about a two hour process in total, and we weren't sure if he was actually going to drive by us or if it was just a shut-down of all the streets for security purposes.
And around 5:20 by golly President Obama's motorcade drove within inches of me. I snapped a couple pictures, as you can see above, from my cell phone. How cool is that?! I never thought in my life that I would be so close to a president. It was definetly a thrill.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I, myself, never realized how tedious the whole process can be, and how hard it is to break out into the industry and then to make money.
Sometimes it's exhausting just thinking about it.
But, I love writing. I've written since I was in first grade (so many years ago) and I will write for the rest of my life. I just hope someday I'll be able to share my writing with the world. And maybe, just maybe, make some money out of it.
Monday, October 19, 2009
"Our fall contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We’re looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.
Awards: First Prize is $3,250, Second Prize is $1,500, Third Prize is $750, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication."
Click here for more information.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Here's a piece of the article:
"The children's book market will benefit from strong growth in retail sales in 2009 and longer-term demand for digital books for children. Digital will grow as a result of the proliferation of devices such as the iPod Touch and games consoles, and the increasing availability of e-books on mobile phones.
These were the main findings of the Children's Conference, hosted last week by The Bookseller, and attended by more than 100 children's publishers, retailers and digital specialists...read more".
How about that for a little silver lining in the dark cloud surrounding the industry!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's a quick intro to the article on Publishers Weekly:
List includes one debut fiction writer, three previous NBA finalists and the second graphic novel in the Awards' history
By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 10/14/2009 10:17:00 AM
The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2009 National Book Awards. One debut fiction writer made the list, as well as three previous NBA finalists and the second graphic novel in the Awards’ history. Farrar, Straus & Giroux landed three nominations and Holt two giving Macmillan five nominees. Random House has three finalists, one from Little Random and two from Knopf; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Norton each nabbed two...read more
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge
I entered today, how about you?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Yes! I feel really good about NaNoWriMo this year. 50,000 words here I come!
Friday, October 09, 2009
As quoted from the Narrative website:
"Awards: First Prize is $1,500, Second Prize is $750, and Third Prize is $300, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. The prize winners and finalists will be announced in Narrative. All N30B entries are eligible for the $5,000 Narrative Prize for 2010 and for acceptance as a Story of the Week."
Thursday, October 08, 2009
So if you're interested in the book, check out the blog, The Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I am SO ready for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I just updated my profile and signed-up to participate in this years competition. I've already been toying with the idea of what my novel will be about this year, but I still need to formally sit down and draft an outline.
Last year when I participated, I tried to do it by the seat of my pants. It was a great experience for me to not know from one day to the next where my story was going to go, but I also think it hindered me in trying to complete the 50,000 words in 30 days as I didn't have a direction. This year I'm going to have a solid outline, as I find I need to know where I'm going to keep up the pace needed to reach the 50,000 words.
It's a daunting task, but I'm up for the challenge. Any one else ready to participate this year?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
BUT, I will say that I am even more determined to get some writing done today. I've brought my laptop with me and I plan on taking a trip to the park during lunch and working on some revisions there. So Ha!, I laugh in the face of procrastination, lack of motivation, or any other device that creeps in my way.
I'll keep you updated, as I wrangle my way through this.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Argh - what a dilemna! Maybe I just need to give myself a swift kick in the ass! I'm going to head off to bed now, read for a few minutes, and try to get a good night's sleep. Maybe then I can get up early and write in the morning tomorrow. That's the plan anyway. Wish me luck!
Thursday, October 01, 2009
But I look forward to the day when I can see my son make the next big leap. I know that he will love the stories that books contain - he's a creative kid.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
On Web, A Most Novel Approach - With Promotion Money Tight, Authors Take to Online Sites To Toot Their Own Horns
Thanks to Ginger B for sharing this on her blog!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Here's what I mean. Here's a list of my current writing projects and the genres of each:
1. POETRY: My first book, "Do You?", was a collection of original poems & photographs. It has gotten acclaim as a finalist in two contests (The NY Book Festival, & The Writers Digest International Self-Published Book Awards), and I'd like to compile a second volume.
2. CHILDREN'S: I've completed a children's book, "Petunia Wiggles, Giggles, and Hops". I'm preparing to send it out to agents.
3. YOUNG ADULT: I'm completing revisions on my YA sci-fi/fantasy novel. The plan is to submit to two upcoming contests, and then to agents.
4. SELF-HELP: I've got rough draft pages on a Self-Help Management Book I've been preparing over the last few years. It still needs a lot of work before it's close to completion and I need to map a plan to finish it.
5. ADULT: I've got plans to write an adult novel for NaNoWriMo in November.
I just love to write, and I love to experiment with different styles. I know most agents will want me to associate myself with one genre to gain momentum with that particular fan base, and I'm certainly willing to commit myself to writing more in one genre once I get committments, but why not keep myself open to all writing styles, because you never know which one will be the ONE. Right? Anyone else have an opinion on this?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It was also nice to see a strong emphasis on writing and storytelling at such a young age. In first grade, kids are already learning to craft stories, explore their opinions about character & plot, and even to debate key elements of the stories they read. They have individual and group reading time, and are expected to read 20 minutes per day every day.
Teachers and schools are building platforms for great readers and the potential for great writers into the future. Keep up the great work!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hopefully tonight I'll be able to carve out more time to write. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY (from the website)
1. Become familiar with the punctuation rules and issues on the website.
2. Organize punctuation activities at your school, library, or office.
3. Share punctuation peeves with NPD founder Jeff Rubin at Jeff@NationalPunctuationDay.com
4. Send photos of incorrectly punctuated signage to Jeff Rubin at Jeff@NationalPunctuationDay.com
5. Forward this website to your friends, teachers, and co-workers as a way to spread the importance of proper punctuation.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Either way, I have opened up my novel on my laptop and I am working on revisions.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It always makes me think about my own book. Will my book have the opportunity to make it to the movie level? And if so, what could I do to ensure it has a movie that is true to my vision and a sound recreation of the story. Right now I don't have the answers to those questions...I don't have the experience to know what the right decisions would be.
Anyway, there are some upcoming movies, that started as books, that I am anxiously awaiting the release of: The Lovely Bones, New Moon, and The Lightning Thief.
Are there some upcoming movies that you are looking forward to?
Monday, September 14, 2009
And our book had better stand out, we had better give it a voice outside the covers. Because getting published (or self-published) is really only the beginning. A book hidden in a warehouse or relegated to someone's back office is not going to become the next big thing if noone knows about it. So we have to actually tell people about it, jump on the social media sites, send out press releases, maybe hire a PR group, do book tours, and just talk to anyone who will listen.
And lastly, we need to believe. Believe in the book, and believe that your work is important enough to compete against all 168 million books...and counting.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
– Dorothea Brande
Wow, what a quote! I think we need to follow those words all the way to success, even on the days that we have writers block, or we're feeling the writing blahs. In other words, just do it!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
And even in that there is a lesson for writing. We may get frustrated, and get to a point in our writing where we don't know what to do next, but if we step back and practice, reach out to someone more experienced to talk us through the challenges, then we can step back in the game...and succeed.
So in this time of year of new beginnings, I wish you all a fresh outlook, and a new beginning in your writing. Think of it as starting a new grade in school, and stepping one level closer to the finish line.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Here's a quote from Nathan's post:
"How can you help out these writers, the ones whose book you happened to hear about on a blog or picked up off the street or checked out at the library and loved? The best way: buy a new book."
I'm constantly buying books, it's just part of understanding what's out there, and learning about the craft of writing, and keeping the creative juices churned up. But I have to admit that sometimes I overlook supporting the "little books" as the big books are hyped-up so much more.
So, I turned the corner today and purchased a copy of "From Where The Rivers Come" by Terin Miller. He's a fellow finalist in the 2009 Book Festival, and I had been meaning to pick up a copy of his book. So I made today the day to do it, and now I can't wait for my copy to arrive. Check out Terin's website, and order a copy of his book on Amazon.
And by-golly help support writers by buying our books. Every sale helps us gain leverage in this topsy-turvy industry.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I mailed out contest entries today to: The Emerging Writers Awards (with a copy of my children's story: Petunia Wiggles Giggles and Hops), and The Garden Verse Poetry Competition (with a new poem that I was inspired to write today titled, "Crickets Wings")
It feels good to have the creative juices creeping back in.
And on top of that I also did some revisions to The Hidden Force yesterday, and I have plans to work on more revisions tomorrow.
Woo-hoo!! I needed writing back in my life. If feels really good.
Monday, August 31, 2009
For more information check out the National Book Foundation's website.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Of course, this doesn't mean I won't submit an occasional blog post on the weekend when I have some juicy news to share or when I get smacked on the head with a major writing epiphany.
So have a great weekend everyone - catch you on the other side.
Thanks for the encouragement T. Anne!
Punctured and Porous, I Become
Death punctured a hole in my soul, not the first and not the last, and bequeathed as its gift a perpetual emptiness.
The longer I live, the more punctured and porous I become, growing ever more so with each loss.
I stand poised and proper, as dictated, yet left with little more than an aging shell and a fragmented spirit.
Elusive power - Change this life-death cycle! But alas that power belongs to mythic gods, of which I am not - I am only
skin, and bones, and fingernails, and hair.
Death must live, and life must die.
This is our legacy.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Don't miss this opportunity.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The top prize is $25,000 and guaranteed publication by a major U.S. publishing house.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Yep, Felix is at it again, helping me to write. It's actually lunch time and I sat down to write today's blog and here comes Felix. Anyway, back to business.
I got up this morning and resumed my morning stretches to Sunrise Earth (I blogged about this earlier, check out the link). It was a great start to the day. It was nice travelling to British Columbia even for just a few minutes. //(Sorry, Felix is at it again. Now he's covering half the keyboard with his body, while I'm fighting for the other half).
Anyway, A reminder popped-up on my Outlook Calendar this morning and I wanted to pass it on. The Emerging Writer Awards contest deadline is approaching on August 31st.
I think that's it for the post today as I'm slowly losing the battle for the keyboard. Talk to all tomorrow!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
So to keep with the theme of "inspiration", I wanted to share a website/newsletter/book that I recently rediscovered. I had heard about this a few years ago on Oprah, and came across an old email newsletter from them again recently. It's called "The First 30 Days". It's great advice, motivation, and inspiration for the first 30 days of any new life-changing project.
For me, the most helpful section has been, Pursuing Your Dreams. So I just signed-up for the free newsletter so I can receive inspiration and tips in my email every morning. If you're in need of a little inspiration and advice, check out the The First 30 Days website.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
May you all have a spark of inspiration this weekend!
Friday, August 14, 2009
And then it hit me...she would make an excellent character for a story. So, after she left the waiting room, I jotted some notes down on my phone. I described her appearance, parts of our conversation, and what I learned about her in that short time.
Now I'll file it away until I have a story that needs an elderly lady as a character.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Here's a quick blurb about the excerpted chapter:
"In this excerpt from award-winning novelist and short story writer N.M. Kelby’s The Constant Art of Being a Writer, you’ll learn how to:
• Determine whether a story idea is sustainable
• Use conflict to make your idea stronger
• Evaluate your characters and their place in your story..."read more
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I thought a good way to start the week might be to talk about blogs, marketing them in particular, as many of you have blogs just like me. Here's an article from SocialMedia Today that's all about that very subject: How To Market Your Blog.
I've been using LinkedIn and Facebook as my main sources for getting the word out. They have both proven useful. Have you guys found other useful methods of letting people know about your blogs? I'm always open to new avenues.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody."
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
About Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a beloved American poet of the 19th century, is best known for "The Song of Hiawatha" and "Evangeline." He was born in Maine in 1807. He knew Latin by the age of six, and when he taught at Bowdoin College, he wrote the textbooks himself. He courted his second wife while teaching at Harvard and frequently walked the several miles from Cambridge to Boston across the West Boston Bridge. The bridge that replaced it was named the Longfellow Bridge in his honor. He died in 1882.
(content from The Everyday Health Network's Daily Inspiration Newsletter)
Friday, August 07, 2009
Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook online
For over 100 years the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook has existed to help unpublished writers make it into print, assist established authors, journalists and others who want to develop their career, and give artists the encouragement and information they need to exhibit or publish their work.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Plus, it fits in with my revised plan-of-action for this novel, which is revising until October (if needed), then submitting to the Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel. One of the stipulations of the contest is that manuscripts cannot be submitted to other publishers or literary agents while under consideration for the prize, so it works out perfectly. Notification is between January and April as submissions are evaluated by the editors, with final contest results announced around April 30, 2010. If I get notification before the end of January, then plan B is to submit the novel to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Plan C will be to submit to a new round of literary agents after that. So it's just the beginning of the process.
And since my goal is to finish revisions by October, then I'll be ready for this year's NaNoWriMo November 1-30, and this year I'm determined to finish. National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Case-in-point, the 38th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference is being held August 7-10th in Los Angeles. And for those of us not able to attend, follow the comings and goings on The Official SCBWI Conference Blog.
The SCBWI Summer Conference is the biggest-ever summer conference line-up of agents, editors, and art directors, plus keynote addresses and over 70 workshops from the most well-known authors & illustrators in children’s publishing, including specialized tracks on Non-Fiction, Young Adult novels, Illustration and Marketing.
SCBWI: Founded in 1971 by a group of Los Angeles-based children's writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing organizations for writers and illustrators. It is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Here's the ordering information & take advantage of the summer sale I'm offering on my webstore.
Three ways to order
To order online: My webstore (summer sale - order here for savings)
To order from the publisher: XLibris
(tell me your choice of hardcover or softcover and how many copies you'd like to order...I'll email you an invoice.)
I can sign copies of the book upon request.
Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me. Hopefully soon I'll have my second book available too - keep watching for updates.
Do You? is a collection of original poems and photographs (76 pages, 36 full-color photographs). Click here to view excerpts from the book: Excerpts
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Good question, right? It's a question I've battled with, and one I continue to evaluate on a day-to-day basis. My feeling is that Social Networking should complement the writing, not distract from it, but that's easier said than done.
This article has some helpful tips on this very subject:
HOW TO: Deal With Social Networking Overload
July 30th, 2009 by Alexandra Levit
"As a career and workplace writer, I get asked all the time: I feel like I’m on social network overload"...(read more).
Friday, July 31, 2009
My cat is perched beside the computer, my cup of ice is stationed on the other side, and I'm closing down the blog - here I go...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
All-in-all my "press formula" seems to be working. All three press release projects have been successful in that I've been able to get press publication for articles at work, for the reunion, and for my book.
Here's why I think it's working:
- I've written several versions of the press releases to appeal to the audience served by the publications. As an example, for Do You?, I decided to target NJ and NH publications. For NJ publications I used a tag-line that mentioned that I am a local, NJ author. For NH publications I used the tie-in that I'm a NH high school graduate. Both appeal to the audience who want to hear about local success. In addition, the subject matter can also be utilized as a tie-in for industry specific publications. It's all about showing the recipient of the press release why your news is important to the publication's audience.
- I created a list of publications in the targeted area/industry/genre and researched contact names to correspond to each publication.
- When sending the press releases, I chose to send them via email with a personalized message for each publication. It's a bit more time consuming but the extra time increases the success of the story. Think about it, are you more likely to open an email that is personalized or one that looks like spam? Me, I'd open the personalized email and chuck the spam.
- And finally, I used a version of the tie-in tag line in the email subject so the person receiving the press release automatically knows that this is a story that has appeal to the readers.
I'm not saying that I'm a pro at this by any means, but I'm excited by the success in what I've been doing on a small scale. Now the trick is to create a plan that can be implemented on a national level for my next novel once it gets published.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This is a nice overview of her "Proposal to Publication" series. Here's an excerpt:
"As I was reading through it, I noticed there are some lessons you could take away in terms of what you can be preparing yourself for, now, before you enter the process.
1. Many writers balk at the requirement to write a really strong book proposal. You may have noticed in Friday's post that everyone in the publishing company, including the sales, marketing, and art departments, are given your book proposal and sample chapters. They might not have time to read your whole book, but they need to know enough to do their jobs. This should be enough of an incentive for you to write the best book proposal you possibly can! If your book is fiction, that 1-sentence hook and 1-page synopsis are all-important..." read more
Monday, July 27, 2009
How to Get Rid of Writer's Block
How to Get Over Writer's Block
Five Ways to Break Through Writers Block
Breaking Through Writer's Block
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Borders Expands Teen Section
By Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 7/22/2009 2:55:00 PM
Borders Group is rolling out a new teen section to take advantage of the relative strength of that category. “It’s a natural extension of what we’ve been doing,” said Kathryn Popoff, v-p of merchandising/trade books at Borders about the creation of Borders Ink...read more
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
"Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."– Ovid
"Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet known as Ovid, best known for the epic Metamorphoses, is considered one of the greatest poets of Latin literature. He was born in 43 B.C. in what is now Italy. He rose quickly in Roman government and was on track to become a senator when he chose to devote himself to poetry instead. His tale of Pyramus and Thisbe is the source for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Emperor Augustus exiled Ovid from Rome for unknown reasons in 8 A.D.; he died in exile in 17 A.D. " as quoted from the Today's Inspiration newsletter, Everyday Health Network.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
That's part of the reason why I write this blog. If I uncover a piece of information that is helpful to another writer, then I consider this blog to be a success.
On that note, I've been thinking a lot lately about how I can pass on the information not only to the writers that frequent here, but also the writers that are just beginning, the ones that are just discovering the magical world of books in schools around the world. It's something that has been rolling around in my head the last couple of weeks. I'd like to tour some local schools to encourage kids to explore their imaginations through books, reading them & writing them.
Upon researching writing tools for kids, I discovered these on the Library of Congress website Suggested Writing/Illustrating/Storytelling/Creating Pop-ups Topics.
Can anyone offer advice as to what might or might not work in sharing this knowledge with kids?
Monday, July 20, 2009
But then, after a moment, a silent voice in my head reminded me that some of the all-time great creative minds have had to endure rejection. I reminded myself that it's "paying the dues"; success cannot come without rejection.
George Lucas of Star Wars fame for example had his share of rejection. Did you know that Star Wars was turned down by several studios before being picked up by Twentieth Century Fox? Imagine if he would have quit after the first few studios turned him down, there would be no Star Wars - imagine! Here's a link to his biography on The Internet Movie Database.
And what about Stephen King who had over 30 rejections for Carrie. Check out this piece on him at Rejections & Writing Habits.
I think I need to read a few more of those stories right about now - Which artist has your favorite rejection-to-success story?
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I'm so happy that my press release distribution is generating interest, and I hope I can utilize some of this for future projects as well.
I'll keep you updated.
Friday, July 17, 2009
It's relaxing and spiritual at the same time. And it gives me an opportunity to do my morning stretches while I watch. I found I was better prepared to start my day, and more in touch with my creative side, which is always more alive in the morning than at night.
Now if I could only squeeze in some writing time right after it I'd have a perfect mix.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
THE 2010 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS ARE NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!
All entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2010.
Winners and Finalists will be notified May 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Book Deal for Self-Published Kindle Author
The tech news website Gizmodo thinks that Boyd Morrison may be the first writer to self-publish on the Kindle and secure a book deal. Morrison scored a book deal with Simon and Schuster's Touchstone imprint for "The Ark"--the imprint acquired "hardcover, paperback, audio, and electronic rights in the US and Canada." It is the second book in the author's Tyler Locke adventure series, and is scheduled for a summer 2010 release. Another book is planned for 2011...click here to read more
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I'm forcing myself to revise, revise, revise; creating the most polished manuscript I can. I've had portions of my work read by people I trust for feedback, and then it's back to revise, revise, revise. I may even send my manuscript out to a professional editor, and submit it for reviews. I've got contests lined-up as potential venues. And every agent, contest, and professional I consider means research. My hope is that the added work will increase my chances of securing a traditional publisher for my novel. I will not lose hope, I will persevere, as I hope all of you will too.
And in the words of Cardinal Leon Joseph Suenes, "Hope is not a dream, but a way of making dreams become reality."
Outlook gloomy for US publishers - survey
Pay freezes, job insecurity and dissatisfaction characterise the US publishing industry,...
How Low Can You Go? PW's 2009 Salary Survey, by Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 7/13/2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I've got so many writing projects just waiting in the wings, many that started as a single note in my notebook. But it's hard to keep denying those ideas that whisper to me in the quiet. I record them, hoping that one day I'll get the chance to develop them.
The hardest part is finding a way to categorize the character sketches, story ideas, and misc notes that I've accrued over the years. It's hard to be inspired by something that is sandwiched in a manilla folder collecting dust.
I remember seeing a news piece on Phyllis Diller and she used to have a huge card system to store all of her joke ideas. It worked for her.
But I'm very visual and I need to see the notes to be inspired by them. So I'm curious, fellow writers & artists, how do you deal with this problem?
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Chalk one up to perseverance!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Ducts.org is a New York-based webzine devoted to publishing engaging personal essays, memoirs, art, fiction, poetry, humor and more. The webzine features emerging and under-recognized writers and artists alongside more established contributors.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The prize of a book contract (on the publisher’s standard form) covering world rights for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties, will be awarded annually to encourage the writing of contemporary young adult fiction. The award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties...
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Let me tell you, I was jumping around with excitement. I sat my husband and son down on the couch and read the entire article to them. They were excited too!
So, of course, I had to share the excitement with you.
So here's a link to the article: Hackensack Chronicle. Let's hope it's the beginning of many more to come.
Monday, July 06, 2009
For those of you pondering this question, this article by Jeff Yeager in the May/June issue of Writer's Digest is worth a read: 10 Questions Writers Must Ask Before Quitting Their Day Job
The idea of writing full-time is something I strive for, and yet as I ponder it I find there are many stepping stones to reach before it becomes an actionable reality.
Anyone out there already a full-time writer? Any advice or comments you'd like to offer on the subject?