Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Contest alert

New Dear Luck Agent Contest. This time it's for Young Adult and Middle Grade. Good luck everyone!

The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of middle grade or young adult fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

 Contest details

What a wonderful world we live in

Gotta love Louis. This song always makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile today. And share in comments what makes your world wonderful.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quote of the day

“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

Mark Victor Hansen

If you haven't started, why? What's holding you back? Or if you have started and are having trouble staying with it, why? Please post in comments and maybe we can help one another. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

A minute list

Looking for three words or phrases to describe a tree. Here's mine. Please add your's in comments.

Gnarly branches scratch the sky

Quote of the day

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
--Orison Swett Marden

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Check out Inkwell

If you haven't checked out Inkwell yet, please do. This online community for writers and artists is really growing. It's awesome to see everyone working together and helping each other. I'm absolutely stunned by the site's growth in just one week, and I'm honored to be a part of this vibrant community. I truly think that together we are going to achieve some amazing things. Please join us on this site, and I hope that you become an active member. The site will only be as successful as we make it. Each of you can make a difference.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Script frenzy

Here's the skinny on Script frenzy. Be sure to check it out. Sounds like a lot of fun!
Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.
What: 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels are all welcome.)
When: April 1 - 30. Every year. Mark your calendars.
Where: Online and in person (if you want!). Hang out in the forums, join your fellow participants at write-ins, and make friends by adding writing buddies online.
Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be disappointed if you missed out on the adventure. Because you need to make time for you.
How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. (US participants: Get your taxes done now!) Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Contest alert

Upcoming Query Tracker Blog Agent Pitch Contest
Jason Yarn of Paradigm Literary Agency will be the judge. Contest opens at noon March 29. Entrants will submit a one-line pitch and the first paragraph of a completed manuscript. The contest is open to all genres except short stories and
romance. Yarn is accepting 100 entries.Good luck to all who enter.
 Details here

A minute list

List six adjectives that describe you. Then tell us why you think these attributes help or hinder you. I'll start. Can't wait to read yours in comments.
I think my biggest demons are being obsessive and a worrier. While these attributes help me succeed in life they can hinder me if I allow them.

New agent alert

Marissa Walsh of Shelf Life, a boutique literary agency specializing in pop culture, humor, narrative non-fiction, memoir, and children's books. Shelf Life

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Learning and growing writing skills

What do you need to work on? Maybe it's making your dialogue sounds more realistic. Or getting better at working backstory into your novel. Or making sure the stakes are high enough for your MC. Or world building or…
I think that a huge part of our growth as writers is recognizing what we need to improve. For me, it's integrating backstory seamlessly into the novel. I think I'm getting better at this. I can see a big improvement in my WIP.
So what do you need to work on? And how will you go about doing it? Let's talk about it. Maybe someone has a suggestion that might help you grow this skill. Please share in comments.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Minute list

Let's have some fun. Pick an adjective for each. Post in comments.

Gotta love Pooh

Some great Pooh quotes.

"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

"Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you."

"My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day."

"You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."

"A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference."

Do you have a quote that motivates you? One that you read when you need an extra push or to simply smile. Please share in comments. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

We all need a hug from time to time

Anyone who knows me knows I love hugs. I couldn't help but share this awesome video. Here's a virtual hug to all of my followers. *HUG*

Also, don't forget to post your encouraging words here. Encourage

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Let's encourage one another

"Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that never miss the opportunity to give encouragement."

--George Adams
Here's your chance to encourage others. In one sentence, what would you tell a struggling writer? I'm looking for your best words of wisdom. If you keep the sentence (including your name) to 140 characters, I will tweet your words. I also want to thank everyone who visits this blog each day. You encourage me to continue just by being a part of it. Blessings....  

Friday, March 19, 2010

Have a super weekend!

I hope you all have a great weekend. And from one of my favorite artists:

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless." --Bill Watterson

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote of the day

    “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

--Oliver Wendell Holmes
Where do you hope to be one year from now? Have an agent? Finished with your WIP? Please share. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New ning community to check out

Hey guys, check out Inkwell. It's a great site for writers, along with Yalitchat.
I started some groups for those of us who write for middle grade that you might like to check out.
Please, become a part of this growing community of awesome writers. Let's help each other do the best work of our lives.
P.S. Please spread the word about our new writing community.
In the spirit of the day, lets come up with a list of words to describe a leprechaun. I'll start and you add in comments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
Twenty six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed."
- Michael Jordan

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keep on climbin'

I love the words in this song. It's a great remember to all of us who are struggling to get up the mountain to keep the faith and continue climbing one step and a time and not give up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day and Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein!
Often writers shy away from math and physics and similar academic areas. How about you? I sometimes enjoy solving a mathematical equation. There is only one right answer. It's black and white. You either solve the problem or you don't. There's a challenge in that. Writing, on the other hand, is very subjective, open to interpretation. Anyway, what are your thoughts?
And I'm sure we all remember that pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle; approximately equal to 3.14159265358979323846.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Short but good video

Need some motivation? Fear failure? Watch this. And have a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Limited time to query YA

Check this link for a limited opportunity to query your YA novel. You can submit from April 1-30. They are looking for realistic, paranormal, dark fantasy, dystopian, etc. No high fantasy or graphic novels. Check link for details. 
Carolrhoda Books

What do you need to work on?

I think part of becoming a better writer is recognizing your weaknesses, areas where you need to improve. Having an editor obviously helps, but not all of us have one -- yet (smiles). What do you need to improve on and how will you go about it? If you don't know how to go about it, tell us and maybe we can offer suggestions or share things that worked for us. I'd love to hear and help each of you if I can.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Memorable characters

Do you love your characters? Are they real to you? Do you like hanging out with them?
I love all of my characters. Ella and Grandma D from ELLA'S DANCE. Frank from FREAKY FRANK. Mags, Toad, A.J., Becca and Micah from LOCKET OF DOOM and HAUNTED BARN.  Alex from BRAIN INVADERS. And Annie and David from my WIP, THE LION AWAKENS.
This is perhaps a scary confession, but sometimes I'd rather hang with my characters than real people. For example, I'm on this wild journey right now with Annie and David and we're having an awesome time. I'm afraid for them and I'm sad for them but I'm also hopeful for them. And I can't wait to see where they take me and how this new book ends. I love this discovery.
So what say you? Do you love your characters? And is there one you love most? I'd love to hear what you have to say.    

Monday, March 8, 2010

Short fiction writing contest

E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Contest under way. Check here for details.
Short fiction writing contest

Quote of the day

"Dreams take time, patience, sustained effort, a willingness to fail, if they are ever to be anything more than dreams."

--Bryan Linkoski

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Write Chinese cookie fortunes

I went to get some change out of my wallet and accidentally grabbed a fortune I have held on to. It said: Good news of a long-awaited event will arrive soon. I've had that fortune for probably four years and I'm still waiting for the good news. *Smiles*
 I found four other fortunes in my wallet. Here they are:
  • (Smiley face) You are never selfish with your advice or your help (Smiley face)
  •  (Smiley face) Good news will come to you from far away (Smiley face)
  • (Smiley face) From now on your kindness will lead you to success (Smiley face)
  • (Smiley face) Executive ability is prominent in your make up (Smiley face)
So let's have some fun. I challenge you to write fortune(s). It will be a great way to practice writing tightly. There is an art to saying a lot in as few words as possible. Can't wait to read yours.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time marches on

Time doesn't stand still, does it?
  • The little boy I rocked is now the young man I stand on my tip-toes to hug.
  • Bubble baths with action figures give way to showers so long my husband freaks when he sees the water bill.
  • Kool-Aid mustaches become real ones. 
  • The days I spent wishing for time to speed up turn into days I wish I could slow time down.
How about you? Let’s come up with a list together. Add in comments.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Check out my posts

Hey gang, I posted some stuff on's writer's forum. Check it out and leave me your thoughts. Thanks so much!
My posts on Teen Fire site

Where do your ideas come from?

Story ideas come from everywhere. One of the best places to find story ideas is in the newspaper. (Cheers)
I recently read a story about a high school senior who is blind. He has been this way since almost being killed by a tiger when he was 3. The cat bit into his face, crushed the front of his skull, exposing his brain.
Tyler is like any other teen. He fishes, shoots pool and plays video games.
He also wrestles.
He became one of the top wrestlers in the region, finishing with more than 80 wins in his four-year career. He learned to use his ears and fingers to anticipate opponents’ moves and to latch onto their wrists to control where they’d go.
Wow! Now there’s conflict and the making of a great YA novel about a teen who overcame a lot to achieve things no one thought possible.
Share a story idea that you found and tell us where you found it. Remember, ideas are everywhere -- on the back of cereal boxes, community bulletin boards, church newsletters, classified ads, etc. Some of my best story ideas have come from reading the classified section. Awesomeness.

Quote of the day

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."
--George Bernard Shaw

What say you? Are you making your circumstances? If so, how?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Share dialogue snippet

Share some dialogue from your WIP that you think reflects a character's personality. Here are a few lines from THE LION AWAKENS. The first is from Petra, a secondary character. The second from Annie and David, the MCs. Can't wait to read yours in comments.
“Jess is off the A-List. Not that I care. I mean, she was the mastermind behind the granny pants incident. Remember that?”
“I never killed anything before. Not even a spider. That’s how much I’m against hurting things.”
“Technically speaking,” David said. “You didn’t kill that dude. He killed himself.”
“Because I made him,” Annie said. “What kind of person does that?”

Monday, March 1, 2010

New contest

Check out this month's Secret Agent Contest under contest tab above. A great opportunity. Good luck everyone!

On my mind...

Being a parent is the most difficult job I’ve ever had. It’s also the most important job and the one I think I fail at the most. But then my son does something or says something and I realize that he has been listening all along. I love these moments.
How about you? Do you have these worries? Do you experience such moments?