Friday, February 26, 2010

A Contest in 125 Characters

My post about the "6 word memoir" was such a hit, I knew I had to post information about this super short contest. I mean seriously, my post on LinkedIn in the group "Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, and Writing Professionals" about the "6 Word Memoir" has 78 comments so far, and it's still growing daily!

So, for all of you fans of the super short - here's a contest in 125 characters from the Boston Pops. "On the occasion of the its 125th anniversary, the Boston Pops has announced a (short and snappy) writing competition..."(click here for more information)

Good luck!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's Up in YA Books 2010 - webcast

I attended the webcast today, "What's Up in YA Books 2010". It was really cool to hear publishers pitching their top books for the upcoming year. The presenters were:
Jason Wells, Publicity & Marketing Director from Abrams/Amulet
Natashya Wilson, Senior Editor from Harlequin Teen
Glenda Howard, Executive Editor from Kimani TRU
Patty Rosati, Director-School & Library Marketing from HarperCollins Children's Books
I wrote down a few of my top picks that I want to watch for as they're released over the next few months. But on the other side it was also a great opportunity to actually hear how these books are pitched, both with the wording and how it was related to the audience of the webcast. This was a great learning experience.

Once the webcast is loaded to the SLJ (School Library Journal), I'll post a link to it on the blog so everyone can check it out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Contest Alert - The Writer 2010 Short Story Contest

Check out the prizes for The Writer 2010 Short Story Contest...


First Place: $1,000; publication, along with the finalist judge's comments, in The Writer magazine; a free 10-week creative writing workshop offered online by Gotham Writers' Workshop ($420 value); and one-year subscription to The Writer magazine.

Second Place: $300; free enrollment in a four-week How to Get Published seminar taught online by a literary agent and Gotham Writers' Workshop ($150 value); publication on The Writer Web site (; and a one-year subscription to The Writer magazine.

Third Place: $200; free enrollment in a four-week How to Get Published seminar taught online by a literary agent and Gotham Writers' Workshop ($150 value); publication on The Writer Web site (; and a one-year subscription to The Writer magazine.
For more information on how to enter, click here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Weekend Was All About E-Book Formatting...

I spent the weekend converting my book, "Do You?" into e-book format. I was hoping to have it done and uploaded by the end of the weekend but it's still not ready yet. I formatted everything but once I did the preview of how it would look, I decided I needed to head back to the drawing board. Anyone have any tips on ensuring that images come out properly? How about proper HTML formatting? Phew my head is spinning. So I'm going to put it aside for a couple days and pick it up once I've figured out answers to those questions. So hopefully I'll have it all done soon, uploaded, and ready for download for kindle, computer, and blackberry users. Woo-hoo, I'm excited again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Contest Alert - NPR: Three Minute Fiction Contest

This one sounds like fun! NPR provides a picture and all you have to do is write a story about it, one that can be read in three minutes (600 words or less). So check this out
Three Minute Fiction contest (round three)

And while you're at it you can review the winners of the first two Three Minute Fiction contests from NPR.
Round One
Round Two

Now one, two, three...write!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Keeps Us Writing

There's a post on Nathan Bransford's blog today, "You Tell Me: What Keeps You Writing?" If you haven't done so already, I suggest reading through the comments that have been posted. It's interesting to see everyone's reasons why they write.

I posted a comment too, here's my reason:
Writing gives me a sense of control in a world that is so totally out-of-control. In my stories I can create the passion, the turmoil, the environment, the conflict, and everything in between. I can create life and take it away. I can explore a first kiss even though mine was so very long ago. It isn't easy, by far, but writing is familiar and empowering. It has been a part of my life for so long that I don't know what I would do without it.
I also did a similiar post on January 4th titled, "Why Write?".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Promote but Don't Brag

If you're like me, you want to promote yourself and your work, but you don't want to come off as a braggart. So when I came across this blog from the Copyblogger site I thought it brought up some good points. Hopefully, it will give you some pointers too.

The Art of Shameless Self-Promotion by Nathan Hangen

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Website Launch

I've been working on upgrading my website, and I'm happy to report that I just went live! Check it out at:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Contest Alert - "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest

Calling all Middle Grade & Young Adult novel's a contest for you over at The Guide to Literary Agents

"Dear Lucky Agent" Contest:

Kids Novels (Middle Grade and Young Adult)
This contest will be live for approximately fourteen days - from Feb. 7 through the end of Sunday, Feb. 21, EST. PRIZES!!!

First place: 1) A critique of 25 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A query critique from your agent judge. 3) Two free books from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the books your want).

Runner-ups - second and third place: 1) A critique of 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) One free book from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the book your want).

If you're writing a book-length kids novel, this second contest is for you! (read more)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Event - NJ SCBWI Annual Conference

SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) is a great organization, and the local New Jersey chapter is having their annual conference in June. As a member of SCBWI, I'm hoping to attend the local conference this year. Here's the information for those of you interested.

Register Early for Best Pricing and Workshop Choices!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Music and Writing

I know a lot of writers who prefer to write with music in the background. Myself, I need silence. But, music is still very important to my writing process, I just happen to use it before, not during a writing session. Music sets the mood for a specific scene, or even for a genre that I'm working on. For example, when I'm writing YA fiction, I like to listen to current pop or rock. I find Taylor Swift's music to be idealic for the mood for my current young adult project. I also like to put in some of my favorite 80's music because it brings me back to my teenage years and helps me tie into my old emotions & struggles from the times. When I'm writing poetry, instrumental music like Wyndam Hill or George Winston are the best mood setters.

Music is also great for tuning the ears for picking up great wording. Lyrics need to be short but precise. It's like poetry set to a rhythm.  How's this for a great lyric:
"Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable.
And life's like an hour glass glued to to the table. No one can find the rewind button, girl. So cradle your head in your hands. And Breathe...Just breathe"  excerpted from the song Breath (2 AM), by Anna Nalick
I love that lyric because there's just so much in it.

It's funny because my husband doesn't pay attention to the lyrics when he's listening to a song, but for me the words are often more important than the musicality, but then I am a writer - words are my life!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Quote of the Day - Winston Churchill


"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

– Winston Churchill

Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy 101 Award - Thank you!

Thanks to Nicole over at One Significant Moment for the Happy 101 Award! What a nice surprise. The support that you and so many others have given to me is both greatly appreciated and welcome, especially in this lonely world we call writing.
As part of the award, I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy...
1. My husband - we've been through a lot over the last 15 years.
2. My son - proud to say I have an intelligent, caring, talented child.
3. Extended family on both sides, their support is endless
4. Friends, wow-great friends. What else can I say!
5. Felix, my loving cat. I love him even when it's 4:00am and he's meowing to get everyone up.
6. Ok, I'm weird, but ice makes me happy. My friends know that I don't stop chewing the stuff.
7. Food makes me very favs: cheese, chocolate, bread, and desserts galore.
8. Writing. I'm in my happy place when I'm writing.
9. Music. I love music that evokes emotion or helps me remember things in my life.
10. drum roll please, and the 10th thing that makes me happy guys, the readers. Thanks for your support. Thanks for reading and commenting and participating.

And I'd like to pass this award on to a few of my writing friends. And the Happy 101 award goes to...
Beth Revis
Teresa Edmond
George Ingram
Terin Tashi Miller

Now it's your turn - What makes you happy?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Six Word Memoir - Can you do it?

Do you think you could tell your life-story in six words? Wow! What an interesting excercise! NPR talks about the new book, It All Changed in an Instant.
"Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn." In this spirit, Smith Magazine invited writers "famous and obscure" to distill their own life stories into a single sentence. It All Changed in an Instant is the fourth collection of six-word memoirs from the magazine..." (read more).

Can You Tell Your Life Story In Exactly Six Words? Here's mine:

Bottom to top; over and over.
-Michelle Reynoso

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Off the Writing Track

I took a few extra minutes this morning to enjoy what's important. And as my son walked into his classroom, I heard him announce to the class, "Sorry I'm late but I was having a snowball fight with mommy." Priceless!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Grants from SCBWI

I forgot about the looming deadline on this writing grant: WIP Grant from SCBWI. Thanks to Kathy Temean for providing a reminder on her blog: Writing and Illustrating.

Here's grant information from the SCBWI website:

The SCBWI Work-In-Progress Grants have been established to assist children’s book writers in the completion of a specific project.

Other Grants Available from SCBWI:

•General Work-In-Progress Grant

•Grant for a Contemporary Novel for Young People

•Nonfiction Research Grant

•Grant for a Work Whose Author Has Never Had a Book Published