Tuesday, November 30, 2010

J.K. Rowling's advice...

"Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have 'essential' and 'long overdue' meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg." --J.K. ROWLING

A much needed laugh

This totally cracked me up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

And the note said...

So I was at the YMCA on Saturday when I sat on a bike and found a folded piece of paper tucked in the monitor in front of me. Of course my imagination ran wild as it usually does, trying to guess what the note said. Could it be a suicide note? A treasure map? A grocery list or love poem? Was it left there on purpose for someone to find or just forgotten? Maybe it was a prayer. Or a dream. Or a child’s drawing. The possibilities are endless. What is it about writers that we see the world as a timeless tale, an endless journey of discovery, rich with textures and vibrant colors and infused with energy? I guess it’s just the way we’re wired.
So let’s have some fun with this. Here’s your creative challenge for today. Finish this:
I picked up the note and opened it. It said

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adventures with Foursquare

So I went to Weis to pick up a few items. I get to checkout and tell the cashier that I don't need to pay for my cup of coffee because I'm the mayor. He looks at me like I'm some kind of weirdo. So I show him my Droid, which clearly states I'm the mayor via Foursquare and that as mayor I get coffee 24/7. Sweet. He had no idea what I was even talking about. Free stuff. That's why I love my mayorships.
When I get home, I tells hubs about the Weis mayorship deal because he thinks I'm crazy always checking in everywhere I go. But now that it's starting to pay off, he doesn't think I'm so crazy. Anyone else get any great perks from their mayorships?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quote of the day

"What we call procrastination might well be incubation, and the importance of prewriting -- sorting things through, assimilating, making connections ..." --Henriette Anne Klauser

I definitely let things incubate. I think ideas through and work problems out so when I sit down to write it just pours out. How about you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving prayers

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy
I would love to read your Thanksgiving prayers. I'm hoping you'll share them in comments.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quote of the day

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." --Harold Whitman
What makes you come alive?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writing challenge

Here's a fun writing challenge. Write a story, no more than 100 words, using these words:
Peanut Butter

Extra points if you can tell me where these words came from.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's your journey?

"It is clearly not the journey for everyone. People succeed in as many ways as there are people. Some can be completely fulfilled with destinations that are much closer to home and more comfortable. But if you long to keep going, then I hope you are able to follow my lead to the places I have gone. To within a whisper of your own personal perfection. To places that are sweeter because you worked so hard to arrive there. To places at the very edge of your dreams." -- Michael Johnson
Writing, like basketball, is not a journey for everyone. But like Johnson says, if you decide the journey that you're on is the one for you, stay the course. When you get to your destination -- whether it's completing your book, getting an agent, landing a publishing contract or seeing someone enjoy your book -- the victory will be so much sweeter because you worked so hard to achieve it. I hope you have a great weekend and that it brings you closer to your literary dreams.

Potter and pals are back!

In honor of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - PART 1, here is an earlier blog post about  my visit to Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: From A to Z

I'm planning on seeing the movie on Thanksgiving with my sons. It's become a tradition that we go to the movies on that day. When are you planning to see it?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writing is...

"Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon." --Ann Patchett
Finish this sentence. Writing is:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character." --T. Alan Armstrong
I think of this quote often because I can relate it to so many areas of life, including writing. Whether it's writing or learning to play a musical instrument or a sport or excelling in school, it takes commitment, hours and hours of practicing and studying and learning. Sometimes, we forget that a champion becomes a champion through hard work and sacrifice. It's not easy and we give up a lot to pursue our dream. But when you cross that finish line, end that musical piece, receive your diploma or see the book you've written on the store shelves you know that it's because of your hard work. It wasn't handed to you. You and only you could make it happen through sheer determination and perseverance. A champion lives in each of you. Have the courage to embrace the challenge and the tenacity to stick with it at its most difficult times.    

Monday, November 15, 2010

A minute list

Use one word to describe the following. Mine is in ()'s. Copy and paste list into comments and add yours. Should only take a minute.
Hat (wool)
Purse (floral)
Nails (sparkly)
Beard (bushy)
Ears (pointy)
Mug (cracked)
Cookie (crumbly)
Car (scratched)
Dog (yappy)
Cat (sneaky)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just have to smile

Calvin : You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes : What mood is that?
Calvin : Last-minute panic.

Gosh, I miss these two!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quote of the day

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." --Winston Churchill
Have courage, my friends, to get up when you fall and try again when you fail.  Have a super weekend:)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Writing exercise

Describe something in your purse or backpack or whatever you carry your stuff in WITHOUT naming the item. Let's see if we can guess the item based on how well you describe it. I'll start.
Faces flutter by as I flip page after page, taking me back to a time of toothless grins and skinned knees. What am I?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quote of the day

"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped." --Lillian Helman

This quote always makes me smile. I'm revising the first book I ever wrote after digging it out and dusting it off. The characters won't leave me alone so I decided to hang out with them for awhile to see where they lead me. When I read what I wrote so many years ago, I feel foolish that I ever thought it was good enough to query. How about you? Do you feel this way when you read something you queried long ago and realize that it wasn't near where it needed to be? Honestly, I think I've made probably every mistake a writer can make: queried too soon, didn't research the market or the agents as well as I should have and the list goes on. Hopefully I've learned and grown a lot since then. What about you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quote of the day

"Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks."
--Dottie Walters
See, this is what I'm talking about, peeps. It's a matter of perspective. Positive always kicks Negative's butt. (Smiles) Have a wonderful week full of wishes and wackiness.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How beautiful ...

(For Shelly, with love)

Dear Ella,
I wish you would have been with me in church today. The choir sang “How Beautiful” and tears pooled in my eyes. My heart fluttered as if it were being carried to heaven by their joyful voices. I caught my breath and reached for your hand, and then I remembered you were working. I hope that when I’m gone, you will find beauty in death, joy in sorrow, hope in despair. That you love with all your heart, even when it’s been broken. And that when you fall, you get back up and when you fail, you try again. Life, Ella, is truly beautiful despite the ugliness that tries to choke it.
Love you bunches and bunches, Grandma

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Where the wired things are

So I’m sitting at my laptop and to the right of me is my Droid and to the left of me is my Ipad and I’m using all three simultaneously. My son comes into the room and comments on all of the gadgets I’m using and it’s then that I realize how wired I am. How wired are you?

Let’s have some fun. You know you’re wired when:
  • You return to a place you just left because you realize you forgot to check in on Foursquare and you totally want the points, not to mention another mayorship.
Now your turn.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quote of the day

"Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning." --Gloria Steinem

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What is your Field of Dreams?

I love the movie Field of Dreams for so many reasons. I love that it's about a guy who hears a voice and listens to that voice despite the naysayers trying to drown it out. And there are so many great quotes. Here are a few of my favs.

Ray Kinsella: Fifty years ago, for five minutes you came within... y-you came this close. It would KILL some men to get so close to their dream and not touch it. God, they'd consider it a tragedy.
Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham: Son, if I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes... now that would have been a tragedy.

Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham: You know we just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, well, there'll be other days. I didn't realize that that was the only day.

Ray Kinsella: I'm 36 years old, I love my family, I love baseball and I'm about to become a farmer. But until I heard the voice, I'd never done a crazy thing in my whole life.

So, do you hear a voice? Does it keep you going even when the dream to which it speaks seems distant and out of reach? Sometimes, in the quiet of the night, when I'm not quite asleep, I hear the voice and it cradles me and rocks me to sleep. It's that voice I remember when the daylight brings challenges and frustrations and the road to publication seems riddled with obstacles too many to overcome. How about you? Do you hear the voice? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Contest alert

Here's an early heads-up on November's Secret Agent Contest.  This month's contest is for adult fiction, all genres (including SFF) and Literary YA. The contest will open Nov. 8. Details here.