I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Monday, May 31, 2010

Write From the Soul

Last 5 days of my giveaway! Ask a friend to become a follower  Have them mention you and it means more points and more chances to win! I'm so excited that I've passed the 50 followers mark! So I've added another book prize, Newbery Honor Book, Savvy by Ingrid Law, and a few "just chocolate" winners. The more followers I have, the more giveaways I do:-) Hitting 100 will be awesome!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Write from the Soul


      All writers, I think, go through times when they feel insecure about their writing skills. (Well maybe not awesome writers like Jane Yolen or Patricia Polacco, or Mo Willems.) That's one of the reasons I like having a critique group. Even though these fellow writers are telling me things that need to be improved in my story, they're doing so because they want my writing to be the best it can be. And that's a really positive, affirming place for me. It makes me want to write better.

       So, keeping that in mind, you'll understand why I'm disappointed with my local critique group. I joined this group a year ago and became the 4th member. One of the originals dropped out, and then we were three. True to my teacher, I'm-in-charge personality, I became the motivator, the reminder of meeting dates, the suggester of changes to make us more efficient and get more manuscripts worked on in our monthly meeting. I even brought 3 more people into the group.

And over the past 3 months, the group seems to be collapsing.

Instead of 6 people showing up, it was 4. One month, it was just 2 people. Is it me???????????????  Doesn't anyone else realize how vital a critique group is for a writer?

     Or maybe, some of them are just discouraged because the writing process that leads to publication can take a long, long time. Like 4 years, or 6 years, or more. I've been writing for 3 years now and I'm finally at the point where I think my writing is worthy of publication. (Of course, that hasn't been verified by too many editors or agents yet!)

      Maybe my fellow critiquers are feeling insecure about their writing. There's a good reason to show up for the writers group; we can make them feel supported and encouraged.

     Or maybe, I need to find some more people to join us......

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Write From The Soul

Oh. My. Gosh!  The blogosphere has the greatest people. I asked for your help inceasing my followers to 50 by June 4th and with 3 weeks to go, I'm at 48! [doing the happy dance by my computer, now fist pumping-so glad you can't really see me!]

Thank you new friends and long time friends (I hate calling people you already know 'old friends', especially because most of you are younger than me :-D ) I am so excited to see where I end up!

 Here are some reasons why new blogger friends are great to have:
  •  You'll have more people entering your blog giveaways (and don't forget mine goes until June 4th. Find out about it here.
  • You'll have more contests/giveaways to enter yourself and here's one from Tricia J. O'Brien and from The Alliterative Allomorph 
  • Now that you have more blogger buddies, there will be more people to find and meet in person @ the SCBWI LA Summer Conference! I'm going, are you?
  •  Something you post might actually help out another person, and as a former educator, I love that idea.
  • Since bloggers usually reciprocate by following their followers' blogs, there's a wealth of, and I do mean humungous, opportunities to enjoy the creativity, talent, and knowledge of others (and maybe borrow a few ideas? Isn't that what friends do...share?)
So keep spreading the news for me, a little tweet, maybe a sidebar mention, I'm not greedy. Anything will do! 

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I mentioned a few posts ago that I was "working with" my city's Public Works Director to make changes in the sidewalk corridor between my home and the street where I pick up the bus. After taking a walk together, along with my white cane to point out the difficulties for someone with limited vision, he got the point and also got the improvements approved by the City Council. He informed me the improvements would be done by Fall.

Last week, a neighbor informed me while walking her dog, that she came upon a worker tearing up the offending sidewalk blocks. Could the city really be listening to the public? Were they really going to help me out? So soon???

Three days ago, another neighbor came by to tell me the workers were tearing out the corner curbs in order to replace them with ADA mandated ramp curbs and metal "bubble plates" to indicate a curb for the disabled.

One friend refers to the sidewalk now as the Gail Handler Memorial Sidewalk. I requested we not call it that because I'd have to be dead for it to be a memorial, but I'm okay with it being an honorary sidewalk! Well, maybe just a small corner plaque that says dedicated to a determined woman (with a loud and persistent voice!)

No seriously, I am thrilled, I am elated about the timeliness of these improvements and all the kudos go to the Public Works Director for his willingness to listen to my concerns and then follow through. And of course, kudos to the city councilman who connected me to the PW Director. 

So, now I know one persistent individual can fight city hall and get them to listen. I hope this will also work on the rapid transit leadership in Atlanta. You see, although I'll have a fabulous and safe sidewalk to travel on up to the bus stop, MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit something-or-other), in their need to cut their budget, has decided to shorten or eliminate some of the bus routes.... mine is planned to be totally cut.  [Gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair goes here. Okay, maybe a little cursing too.]

Tomorrow's agenda includes a letter writing campaign to the MARTA leadership on the need to maintain the 132/150 bus route. Let's see how persuasive I can be. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Write From The Soul

                                                        http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:-L11F1Y9uGBi9M:http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/files/imagecache/news/files/news/20090916_fingers_crossed.jpg                      Okay, let the contest begin! I think I have my ducks in a row now :-) Here's the info on the giveaways and the "rules":

  • A gift card from Border's 
  • A gift card from Barnes & Noble
  • A copy of Jennifer Jabaley's YA book, Lipstick Apology (great book!)
  • plus your favorite chocolate (within reason!) included with each giveaway item.

Here's how you can enter:
  • You need to be a follower of my blog and leave me a comment (1 pt)
  • You mention  my giveaway, with link, on your blog (2 pts), or on Twitter (1 pt), or both (3 pts) then leave me a comment telling how you shared the giveaway
  • You convince, cajole, beg- whatever-  someone to sign up to follow my blog, then leave me a comment letting me know  who will be following. You'll get 1 pt for EACH person you convince to follow! (how good are you at convincing others???)

I said the contest would end May 31st BUT..... since I'm not posting this until May 4th, I'm extending it to June 4th.

That gives you a month to work on your best follow-her-blog pitch :-) And collect your points. I'll announce the winners on Monday, June 7th.

Thank you for your support and help growing my readership!