Saturday, April 25, 2009

SCBWI Conference in Austin...whew!

So I am home from the SCBWI conference in Austin: a big, long, exhausting, exciting, stimulating day! The publishers and editors at Bloomingtree Press were kind enough to spend their day talking to us about writing for the children's market, which includes picture books through YA. I also had two critiques done by two different people from the publishing house. Both said similar things. On the positive side, both complemented my writing, the actual word choice and sentence structure, etc. One even said my prose was "powerful and strong." !!!

On the other side, apparently, I really need to ditch the whole last half of my novel or, at the very least, insert something exciting, thrilling and otherwise tension-building into the middle of my novel. The "sagging middle" is a common occurence that I have fallen victim to. I knew I found the middle part...less interesting than the rest, but I didn't realize it needed more than cosmetic surgery. It needed an organ transplant. I have an idea and am excited about the possibilities, which is the best thing yet. I want to be so excited about the story as it unfolds that I am not even particularly worried about what may happen when I finish the manuscript.

More later-- I've spent all day focused on writing. Now I'm going to go focus on being a wife and a mother!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nikki gets to stay a girl

After receiving comments from a couple of people reading my manuscript, I have decided to keep Nikki as she is, tone down some of the romantic tension in there to keep it firmly "upper middle grade" and move on to working on the last half of the story, which needs some serious work. Thank you to all of you who listened to me go on and on about the pros and cons of Nikki v. Nick. I thought you deserved to know the outcome!

I probably will be posting even less than before (is that possible?) because of time contraints while work (not on my writing, on assessment writing) is busy. But thanks to Dawn for her lovely Sisterhood Award and for calling me her Writer Friend. :) That just made my day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sisterhood Awards

This is something I should have done weeks ago, but in honor of my receiving one from Sardine Mama at Sardines in a Can, I am supposed to give out my own SisterHood awards to women bloggers we admire. Here are my top five in no particular order:

Of course:

Sardines in a Can-- I've learned more about mothering than you would believe from this woman and it's always fun to read her blog!

Little Owl Learning-- As a fellow homeschooler and attachment parenting mom, I enjoy reading the exploits of their family and admire how much Owl Mama strives to provide the best for her kids.

Grateful for Grace-- Such an honest blogger, willing to open her life to us! I admire this mama for her firm convictions about her faith and her ability to listen to people with this amazing focus. She is also the first person who showed me homeschooling was a real option that created cool kids. :) We don't get to see each other very often at all, but whenever we do, I feel like I just saw her! And she captures the cutest things her kids say.

Sufficient for Today-- SO I just read that Dawn is giving up her blog, at least for a while. BUMMER!!!! But I can admire that. I've been away for a while, too. But I admire her so much and enjoyed her postings that I am going to list her blog here anyway! So there! You can enjoy all the archived posts.

Mami de Paz-- I love that this woman is working so hard on learning to speak clearly and directly in a peaceful manner that respects all around her while still meets her own needs. She has three sons (within 3 years) and her patience is a model for me!

Cynsations-- This woman runs the most amazing site for anyone interested in children's, middle grade, or YA literature. Just amazing. She is a published author herself and knows her stuff. Many excellent interviews with agents and editors! I had the good fortune to meet her at a conference (Author and Editor critique day-- she was the author) and so even though we don't really know each other, I still feel she deserves this award. :)

That was six, huh? Well, hey, I think it was supposed to be 10 originally, but I'm out of time!

ETA: I remembered when I saw Dawn's lovely post (Thank you, Dawn) that I was supposed to post this part, too. I also cannot get the logo loaded and have tried several times. Oh well!

The rules of the “Sisterhood Award” are:1. Put the logo on your blog or post.2. Nominate at least 10 people whose blogs you enjoy.3. Provide a link to your nominees within your post.4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person who has nominated you for the award.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lightning Thief to be made into a movie!

Congratulations to local San Antonio author, Rick Riordan, whose novel The Lightning Thief, the first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, will be made into a movie. It is schedule to be released in 2010 and I saw about it in Entertainment Weekly. Whoot whoot to our local author! I enjoyed Lightning Thief in part because I adore Greek mythology--it's so clever the way he weaves it in into a modern story setting. If I still taught in the classroom, we'd totally read this novel. Check it out-- go get yourself a copy!