Saturday, December 19, 2009

Humpty Dumpty

I knew the title of this post would catch your attention. No, I'm not talking about the egg who sat on the wall. I'm talking about the magazine that I sold a story to. Actually it was a build a book manuscript that was purchased. It should be out in the March/April 2010 issue. It' funny, but you just never know what an editor will like. I met Terry Harshman, the editor, at IN-SCBWI's fall picture book conference. Since she said she was in need of these particular manuscripts, I got three together and sent them off. I wasn't as fond of the one I sold as the other two I sent. But a sale is a sale, and I'll take it!

My blogging (and writing for that matter) has been slow lately, because of my editing job. It seems that lately all I do is edit. But, that is a guaranteed paycheck, and when the bills come in, well, you do what you have to do. My intentions for the new year (I hate to say resolution because I've resolved to do this before) include being a better blogger. Hey, maybe I'll make it my intention to post a blog about my intentions for the new year!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sara Grant Conference

Just over a week ago I had the chance to listen to Sara Grant speak at a small conference in Carmel, Indiana. I must say, out of all the conferences I have been to, large and small, this was one of the most informative ever! Sara provided us with a plethora of information on ghost writing and Working Partners. She gave tips, advice, and solid information we could use. But, she didn't stop there. She then went into novel revision, and used her work to show concrete examples of how she tackles major problems in the revision process. The abundance of information was so valuable. I can't think of a better way to spend $35 and learn so much.

Plus, I got to eat a fabulous lunch at Ted's Montana Grill. If you've never been there and ever have the chance, you must try it. I had a bison burger that was so juicy and fresh. Everything they serve is made daily and the homemade pickles were out of this world! The best part of the restaurant is the mentality behind it - everything, from the paper straws to the butcher paper tablecloths, is recyclable. This was quite an experience. I dined with my fabulous writer friend, Peggy Archer. She was great company and took many pictures, which I will have her send me. Once I get them, I'll post a few so you can enjoy them too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Writerly Thoughts

I've been editing my manuscript all day, readying it to be passed along to a fellow author who is going to critique the entire story as a whole. I haven't done this yet, since my writing group has critiqued it in bits and pieces. It's exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, sort of like sending your child off to kindergarten her first day (which I just did a few weeks ago!).

Above you'll find a current picture of my writing group. Earlier this month, Peggy Reiff-Miller offered to let us have a writing retreat of sorts at her house. We spent the day enjoying great food, editing compelling stories, and discussing current market info. Thanks to Peggy for opening up her home and showing us such a nice time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

IN SCBWI Schmooze

Obviously, pictures add more interest in a blog (see Cat in the Hat below!). But, since I didn't have my camera with me last Saturday, I don't have any cool pictures to accompany my description of the Schmooze. The event went well; a huge turnout compared to usual Indiana events. Generally, the big Indiana conferences are well-attended, but the smaller events entice only five or six people. This time, about 25 people came. Congrats to Peggy Archer, the assistant RA for our chapter. She did a splendid job passing the news along about the event. Hurrah for Peggy A!

To all of the new Indiana writers I met, what a pleasure it was to hear your backgrounds and stories. Everyone had a tale, and one lady in particular still sticks out in my mind, just because her current situation is so similar to mine (unemployed spouse, scrape money together for kid's tuition, etc.) Actually though, she has four children, so her saga beats ours!

Three members gave small presentations. Peggy A. spoke about trade publishers because she's worked with Dial and Candlewick, Judy Roth discussed small presses because that is who she published with, and Karen Kulinski spoke about the relationship between writer and agent. Afterward, we had a lively Q & A, and returned to the snack area before wrapping it up. It was a delightful afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ALA 2009

Oooh... I returned from the ALA annual conference on Monday night. What a treat! The Cat in the Hat happened to be in attendance, hula dancers swayed to island music, and books greeted my eyes everywhere I looked. I went with a fellow writer from my critique group, and we attended the Poetry Blast in the evening. Eleven different authors read from their books, and Jon Scieszka was absolutely hilarious. It turned out to be a great trip, definitely worth the train ride and the conference fee. If you ever get the chance to go, take it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

IN-SCBWI Summer Schmooze

If you are a children's writer or illustrator living in Northwest Indiana, leave Saturday, July 18 open. Our Indiana SCBWI is having a 'Summer Schmooze' at the Michigan City library. This will be a meet and greet type of get-together, complete with snacks and an informal Q and A discussion about agents, editors, etc. The cost is minimal ($3 for members, $5 for non-members) and it is a great opportunity to meet people in the business. The event runs from 12:00 to 3:30 CST. Try and make it!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Agent Search

Wow...I never knew there were so many agents out there. I've been searching the Association of Author's Representatives lately, and I had no idea that many agents belonged to this. It is certainly alot to weed through, trying to find the agency that fits my work. Hopefully, at least one of these agents will want to represent me!

It's funny how I feel an almost instant connection (or disconnect, for that matter) to a certain agency based on the look and feel of their website. There are some sites that just drone on, with no cohesiveness or personal feel. I don't think I could work with an agency like that, based on the feel of their site.

And then, there are some agency sites that are powerful, succinct, and draw me in from the first moment I see their website. I immediately wish these agencies would offer respresentation, because they seem to have it all together. I bet that's how editors/agents/etc. feel when they first read manuscripts. They either connect and love it, or think the work is just droning on. I get it....

I'll stop droning on for now, and get back to my researching efforts ;)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Coffee Talk with Lara Anderson

Last Saturday I attended a 'Coffee Talk' with Lara Anderson as the speaker. She worked for Curtis Brown and knows about agents, what they want to see in a good query letter, contract issues, etc. The event was held in the upstairs of this cute little coffee shop and we ate sweet treats and drank delicious coffee during a very informative Q & A session. Lara's mother was in the audience, and she did alot of back and forth answers with her daughter to expand on questions. Very good. I love conferences because it leaves me feeling like I can keep going on in the writing world, even after rounds of rejections.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Researching Publishers

Many people that don't know the ins and outs of writing don't understand the importance (and difficulty) of researching publishers for your work. You don't just send out a manuscript to any house and hope for it to be published. You need to research which houses are publishing the type of work you have created, who accepts unsolicited manuscripts, and follow guidelines precisely so your work isn't rejected because you can't read directions.

When I research publishers, I spend hours at the library and home reading the books a house has published to decide if my work is suitable for them. Then, I send my book out into the world and wait, wait, wait for a decision. This is what's been going on with a picture book I wrote three years ago. It has been critiqued again and again, is sellable, but hasn't found the right publisher yet. It's fresh in my mind because I've been researching a new round of publishers for this particular story and I think I have two great possiblities in the mix.

On another note, I didn't receive as much scholarship money as I'd hoped for from Highlights for the Chautauqua workshop. Though their offer was extremely generous, I'm just not able to go this year. There's always next year...

And, I haven't heard from Go! Magazine about an article I subbed for a contest earlier this year. The winners should be announced soon. I can't wait :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Starke County Young Artist's Conference

Last Saturday I spent the morning speaking to groups of students in Starke County, Indiana about what I do as an author. Thanks kids... you were a great audience and I hope you find the websites I gave you useful for your writing projects. The classes did a great job, and the conference was very successful, just as in years past. What a great way to introduce students to all the different arts that are available. And Ms. Lukac did a great job putting everything together and pulling it off flawlessly!

In other writing notes, I sent of my SCBWI wip grant. All you fellow writers know what this is, and for those of you that don't, it's a pretty big deal, that's what it is! No one hears until fall who the winners are. I'm hoping, at the very least, for a letter of merit. That says so much about your work, and this work has been receiving successful rejections (an oxymoron, I know) for quite some time now. It will be hard to keep my fingers crossed for 6 months, but I'll give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Go Big or Go Home...

I keep that saying tucked in my head, and I pull it out when I'm debating doing something rather huge. Well, traveling alone to New York for a week-long writing conference is rather huge for me, but if I can get a scholarship to help fund the trip, I need to do it. Why? Because you either go big or go you home. You get one chance here, and you never know when your chance will end. So, that means I better get busy making copies of this application and sending it out, because the form is due by February 13. Keep your fingers crossed that the committee deems my writing sample and financial aid packet worthy enough to award me the money I would need to fund the trip. I'm worth it... I just hope they think so too!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I've been sending out my novel for a little over a year now, and have received great feedback from various publishers. Most rejections have come with specific personal notes which are helpful and informative. I think, though, it's time to start looking for an agent. So, I sent my manuscript out to one agent today, and I will hear back by February 1st if they are interested. If not, I have another agency targeted, with one agent in particular who I think would connect with my main character and story line. Hopefully, this is the year to find representation for my novel and move forward with publishing!

I also continue to submit work to various magazines, and write for Associated Content. Check out my work there, and I'll earn extra cash (which is great in this down economy!).

Also, I've been invited to speak again at the Starke County Young Artists Conference on March 7, 2009. I had a great time last year talking to the younger children and I can't wait to work with the older kids this year.

Thanks for stopping by,