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 .

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Write From the Soul

          I think being a writer brings out the insecurity in us. First we worry about whether we have any writing skills at all. Then we wonder if we can put enough words together to create a cohesive story. Of course, through the writing process, there's that fear we'll never finish the book.

           And then it's done.

           And then we worry.......will anyone like it? Will an agent want to represent you?

            This is where I currently am. Between that will-anyone-like-it rock and the agent hard place.

             Today, a friend and member of one of my critique groups shared her feedback with me. 
  • She called my main character a wonderful, gentle but strong boy. 
  • She said he was on a heroic journey in the story and handled it with grace. 
  • She said she read the story all the way through and couldn't put it down because she loved the character so much. 
  • She pointed out similarities I didn't even realize about the protagonist's and the antagonist's struggles.

And my heart sang. 

And now I dare to hope that the queries I'll be sending out in the next 2-3 weeks, will touch an agent's heart and make it sing as well.

 Then I can start the process over again with a new project.
Unless I get stuck thinking about publishers.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Write From the Soul

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to read about the craft. (The best way, I think, is to keep writing, writing, and writing!)

Lately I've read about 6 word memoirs. The idea is to express important aspects of yourself, share your feelings or beliefs in only 6 words.

Not so easy for a wordy girl like me!

But I figured it's great practice for writing a book pitch. Yes, I know the pitch is 1-2 sentences. However, after you squeeze the essence into 6 words, you can always add more description, right?

Some of the samples were from kids. In fact, the suggestion was made to use this as a writing lesson in a classroom. You can read the finished short memoirs aloud and see if classmates can guess who it talks about.

The teacher in me still loves to find different ways to teach kids.....even if I don't have a classroom anymore.

Here are a few "kid samples"
        Math was made to torture me!
             Dogs are the world's best pets.
             Brother for sale;make an offer.

Here are a few about me.
        Sight is precious;use it wisely.
              Wish sweets were good for you!
              Family and friend make me smile
              No food comes close to chocolate!

So take the challenge....write a 6 word memoir about  yourself and share it with me.
It's a fun way to learn about each other :-)  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Write From the Soul

I've been out of pocket for 2 weeks while I was celebrating the Jewish High Holidays with my family in the Boston area. I meant to post, I planned to post, but I got busy and didn't post. Sorry. My bad. Didn't mean to worry anyone. Love you.....

Now I'm back and "in pocket." And boy, do I have a great contest to share with my writer friends. 

Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse  
has hit the coveted 1,000 followers !!! She is offering not only critiques but also a three month mentorship! (gasp)

She will be available for email questions, help with your blog, web site, platform, query letter, and general all-round cheerleader for your book and career. How awesome is that?!

Head on over to her blog and sign right up. NOW. Don't stop. Go do it. Now means immediately. Don't even finish this p.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Write From the Soul

          I have finally completed my middle grades book. 

I've revised it a billion times (and probably will do more revisions if I'm honest with myself). But just having the initial draft done gives me a sense of completion and permission to begin thinking of submissions.

I decided to read through some of the many writing articles I've saved to my computer [ you know, the ones we save to read when we either have nothing else to do or are trying to procrastinate from something!] and I found one that seems appropriate to now. It's from The Institute for Children's Literature. If you aren't familiar with them and don't already receive their FREE eNesletter, go right now to the web site, find 'free eNews' on the left sidebar and sign up! They have wonderful tips, encouraging articles, and many ongoing features. 

One of those ongoing features is Kristi Holl's blog based on  her book called Writers' First Aid

In the archives (May 10, 2010 to be exact) she talks about the Serenity Prayer For Writers. I think she brings up important points to remember so.....
here it is for you!

Remember the Serenity Prayer? It goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

How about reducing frustration with your writing life by applying that wisdom to your career? Here are some things to accept that you cannot change:
  • How long it takes to get a response from editors and agents
  • Rejections
  • Editors moving before buying the manuscript they asked to see
  • Size of print runs
  • Reviews
  • Publisher’s budget for your book’s publicity and promotion
Trying to change anything on the above list is a sure-fire route to frustration and wanting to quit.
However, do you have courage to change the things you can? Here are some:
  • Giving yourself positive feedback and affirmations
  • Reading positive books on the writing life
  • Studying writing craft books
  • Writing more hours
  • Reading more books in the genre where you want to publish
  • Attending local, state, regional and national conferences you can afford
  • Joining or forming a critique group
If you’re battling frustration and discouragement with the writing life, chances are good that you’re trying to control something beyond your control. It will make you crazy! The fastest way back to sanity is to concentrate on what you can control about the writing life.

Good things to remember, while working on your writing or your life!