Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"And You Are...?" Blog Hop

Swinging into the Blog Hop. Hope I'm not too late for the Par-tay!

hosted by Tammy Theriant  http://tammybr2.blogspot.com/
and Emily R. King http://getbusywriting.blogspot.com/2012/12/and-you-are.html

I'm hoping for some goodies from Santa. Click Dave, over there and read the other participant's Blog interviews. They're hilarious! Eeps--Davis is broken. To read the other Blogs click on Emily R. King's link above--that'll take you to the hub.

1. How many tickets have you gotten?  One, when speeding home from the Catskills in my Robo Cop car that didn't have a catalytic converter. Think I was racing home to my dog. I don't drive very often living in NYC. And when I do, I prefer to watch the scene pass, you never know where an idea may stem from.

2. Can you pitch a tent? Of course, I can read, can't I?

3. What was your worst vacation ever? I don't think I've ever had a "bad" vacation. There have been challenging ones. Like when I traveled the islands of Greece, only expecting good food, and it was Lent and the coldest Spring ever. Even the fishermen weren't out.

4. What was the last thing you ever bought over $100? Um? maybe a pair of boots? But it could of been the electric company? Oh no- it was definitely the grocery.

5. We're handing you the keys to what? A Beach house! Yay! Thank you SO much. Or a solar power Volkswagon Karmann Ghia. I hate choosing!

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?  Sick? I burn everything. I cook a lot of goood food, but I don't eat it if it's been too burned.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like a
backwards Kangaroo.

8. What was your first car?  A 1985 red Nissan Sentra. In college, my dorm buddies and I called it the KIT car, not sure exactly why, though.We had many adventures in this baby, across state lines. 
Almost forgot all about her. Here's what she looked like --spittin' image. 

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?  I'd check my besties condition and how she feels--was it a cool acrobatic descent, or is she crying...

10.  What's the worst song ever?  Dude Looks like a Lady--think I heard that one this morning. That's drop everything and turn the channel kind of song. There are MANY these days.

Dear Santa, I've been a Very good girl, most of the time. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Here is where I am today.

Thanks to Agent Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management for this gem and Yoda, of course. 
Sometimes an arrow shows you, you're pointing in the right direction. 

Yoda on Revisions

On many long journeys have I gone. And waited, too, for others to return from journeys of their own. Some return; some are broken; some come back so different only their names remain.  


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From the Belly of Darkness there is Light.

Last Monday night, downtown New York City went dark.

We clung to our am radio waiting to hear when the storm surge would end, and if our family would need to escape from our west side cellar apt and into our neighbor's third-floor building.

We kept one bag each at the neighbors, in case we lost all everything from the storm surge.
I hand write my WIPs, and I made sure that was included.
My years of Artwork were left behind--and the rest, I didn't care so much for. My family was together and that was all I needed.

It was midnight before the radio informed us that the water was receding. I took an immense breath of relief and eventually went to sleep.

But, when we awoke the next morning to the news--no photographs, yet, my phone wouldn't hold a charge, and the Internet was impossible; my entire being gripped in fear for those still suffering.

My family wandered by day around downtown Manhattan, hunting and gathering food, and came home and cooked it. We were one of the lucky ones, we had a stove to cook with and water.
The days rolled into one. The first couple days the kids had friends over. We would make big oven cooked meals to warm the place and the adults drank wine to ease the night.

 My favorite, and greatest surprise, (but not really), were the people we met along the way, every day--with their giving nature and wanting to help in every possible way--that was beautiful, and heartwarming.

This gave me hope for our collective future--regardless of the outcome of the Elections around the corner. We had each other's backs! The wine helped me feel fuzzy, but the love gave me warmth.

Four days later, the light returned and the work began, and maybe, we could help others feel the same.

My family spent time delivering relief donations with our tween boys, and they got some valuable life experience—in taking nothing for granted. <<< That's what my twelve-year-old said. O.O 
They needed to be without electricity, so they could understand what’s most important in life: family, neighbors, and friends. Not Xbox.

We made many new friends! 
And together we can weather any storm, like the Nor'easter I just trampled through. Here we go again...
That's my lad in training. He begrudgingly came, but soon realized as with most things, it made him feel good to do so.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Writing Therapy

I can tell you first off that writing is my therapy. I knew this at a very early age when I needed to write. And I still do, of course. This little post is for the Writing Therapy Blog Hop http://www.writertherapy.com/blog/2012/10/03/blog-hop/

When I must get into my writer's brain, after spending time promoting my music or singing, etc—I force myself to write any kind of crazy garbage-- anything that dribbles out. I discovered a great exercise, where I set a timer for ten, or twenty minutes, and just lay it out on paper. Yes, writing by hand. When I slow down I can doodle until my subconscious thoughts catch up—or I catch up with them.

But my completely, most favorite, and foolproof way to write, particularly a rough draft, is to go for a 5k run. Oh my god, if I could get all the writers running, they’d see the effortlessness at which their words flow. While this is my most favorite technique for writing flow. I find it a little different for revisions, where I need to be alert, curt, and critical of my work--those are pure coffee days.

It is essential for writers, sitting for long hours, to move before, or after writing. 
Think of yourself as stagnant energy, and moving your body creates movement--right? This works for the entire being—the mind and the imagination in my experience.

So in Michelle Obama’s words: Get Moving!
Or is it Let’s Move? In any case, go and write, or write, and then get moving.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pitch Live

                                  #PITCHLIVE EVENT 

           A Very Special Thank You goes out to Brenda Drake and her band of elves for creating this fun opportunity.


                                            Title: ABEGALE FORCE
                        Genre: Upper MG Magical Realism Adventure
                                        word count: 75k


Thirteen year-old Abegale must discover how a medicine book, magic cards, and a grim old lady are going to help bring a grandmother home she thought was dead.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Writing Contest Season

It sure seems like it. And everybody's winning!

Whether getting a request from an agent, critiques on their work, or making new writing connections--It's happening--everywhere.

I'm trying to keep all organized using my fancy phone--my organizing buddy. After passing through #Pitmad and sending my pitch to an agent, and then another first page/tagline contest, where I was a first page finalist, I can't get enough now, and, well, it just keeps getting better, because the contests keep rolling in. Best part--meeting the writers along the way, who lend their fresh, eyes O.O to  something your working on. Love it! Need it!

Now, there's the Hook, Line and Sinker contest, where you can find more info on Dee Romito's Blog,
I WRITE FOR APPLES and Trick or Treat with Agents contest:
Oh, and she has some inspiring "How I got my agent stories" And today features Jennifer Malone, one of our MG betareaders. YAY!! Jennifer! Can't wait to hear more Marnie adventures.

You may be interested in the PitchLive contest happening on Brenda Drake's Blog,
Something a little different, but familiar--Videotape a 2 min. pitch to an agent and post it! Ahhh! Yeap. Those Pitches go live on Oct. 15th. Get to it. I found it helpful recording the video on my iphone--where I could control the lighting by moving to a bright -light-flattering window. Just need to have the video set to public on the day of. Should be fun. More info on Brenda's Blog.

Oooh. And we will NOT forget The Baker's Dozen Contest on Authoresses Blog, no we won't. Because, I am real excited to participate this year. Here's the low-down:
Fifteen top-notch agents will participate in being hooked.
Check out the YA/MG and Adult submission schedules for Baker's Dozen:

And Good Luck!

Just got word of this one the other day: Spooktacluar Pitch Extravaganza on Jamie Corrigan's beautiful Blog: Oct 13th Folks. Three sentence pitch. No more, no less. Get Busy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Perplexing and over thinking. Yeap, that's me.

My little conundrum.

Last December, I sent a query off to an amazing agent. He reported back that he'd like to see my first fifty pages, snail mailed. I did. Then, just before January of 2012, I got a message back that while, agent liked the story concept, and the characters, he suggested, "making every word count." And he'd be happy to take another look in May. This was last May.

Since then, I started an MGbetareader group--an awesome bunch of very talented writers with eagle eyes. I went through a couple beta reads, and revisions. I'm currently awaiting a last beta read for a final run through.
Now, my question is: How do I resend? Do I simply send a query? Or do I resend the first fifty pages, again, snail mailed, as he prefers? My fear, oh, you know I have some fears...What if the query isn't caught? What if it slips through the emails of very busy agent?

Silly. I know.  So how should I go about this? Anyone? Not exactly an R&R...but?  
Thank you for any helpful suggestions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ink in the Book: GUTGAA Pitch #10 AbeGale Force

Ink in the Book: GUTGAA Pitch #10 AbeGale Force: AbeGale Force Upper MG: Magical Realism Adventure 75,000 Query: Thirteen year-old Abegale finds Grandma’s medicine book. Can she use ...

Here's my entry...getting some Great feedback. Yay!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pitch Fever Reigns

Here I go again.

I can hardly keep organized with the pitch workshops, the #pitmad, #pitchon, and #pitchlive and first page Agent contests all happening. Today the #GUTGAA Small Press Pitch has gone live.

My entry, ABEGALE FORCE: http://inkinthebook.blogspot.com/2012/09/gutgaa-pitch-10-abegale-force.html is in for Upper MG. . . if you want to leave an anonymous comment.

"The judges will leave feedback and place votes under their SECRET NAMES from Monday until Thursday and the winners will be announced no later than Friday." O.o

I'm blown away, most everyday with the generous support of other writers, sharing their experience, and talents in hosting opportunities for other writers. This is my kind of world.

Now, to check where I left my pitch draft for critique.

**I didn't even mention the BLOG TOUR!! A list of blogs participating are at the bottom of this page. Haven't figured how to add the names higher up the blog, without the names scrolling of the edges. ...happy travels, and blog jumping new writer friends!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Entering the Land of Writing Contests!

I missed the first round of  #Gutgaa. I did register, but became overwhelmed in the last #Pitmad twitter fest. I was "favorited" over my pitch and asked to query a most AWESOME Agent. My fingers are still crossed. She is a dream agent. Here's the twitter pitch that snagged her request for ten pages:

Abegale finds grandmother's medicine book, but can she use it to bring her home before she's trapped for eternity on the solstice? MG

But to make it even better: 13 yo Abegale finds grandma's medicine book. Can she use it to bring  grandma home before she's trapped between the fabric of space for eternity? MG

I also became a FINALIST over at the WriterlyRejects with my first page and pitch!! with another awesome agent. http://www.writerlyrejects.blogspot.com/2012/09/and-winner-is.html  YAY!! So I had to send that baby in. And being someone who can only really focus on so much at a time, I had to say, woah pony, don't be gettin' greedy.

I entered the #DefytheDark Anthology contest last month--and waiting to hear later in October from  editor & author, Saundra Mitchell, who is judging--reading millions upon millions of words. My kind of super hero!
If you'd like to read my entry on Figment--have a peek:http://figment.com/books/416487-You-re-Always-There

I still have another dream agent waiting for revised pages. He said he'd be happy to take another look after May, or there about....uhm, that was last May. But hey, I think agents prefer you take the time to revise well, right? I'm just waiting on last beta read (hopefully-for now) from our MGbetareaders group. A few of use are getting lots of full/partial requests. Go Team!
If you need a betareader, we wouldn't mind a few more in our group. There are about ten of us now, some are more active with needing readers than others. We LOVE company. Join us, if you want more eyes on your manuscript. I'm the moderator--send me a message with your email, and I will send the invite. 

Busy days--love it! Especially since I was able to squeeze in some WIP writing over last weekend. Writing rough drafts is SO MUCH FUN!  Non judgmental, anything goes, dream time, and I'm lead around by a muse that likes surprising me. Salute!

Happy rewriting! And get in on those contests.

Twitter is a gold mine in resources for writers helping each other. Check out #MGlitchat on Thursday nights beginning at 9:00pm. Eastern time. ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Keeping Busy Before the Busy Season

Yep. Juggler, coach, and prison warden is what I've felt like over the last couple of months with my tween boys out of school--and not in camp, like most of their friends.

But we've made do with weekly jump-in-the-lake trips upstate. And with them now fourteen, and twelve, I've been able to thrust them out the door toward the YMCA, following my desperate cries for writing time.  It was minimal, but good. It was short lived, but productive.

Since organizing our MGbetareaders group, all of us in the group have made great strides in our WIPs.
We coach each other with our queries, and pitches--very useful for the Pitch Contests that are everywhere right now. I wasn't picked for one, but then another came streaming through twitter, and with seconds to spare, I copy and pasted my pitch, etc. into the next: http://www.writerlyrejects.blogspot.com/

Swing by Monday and check us all out. Turns out there are three of us from our beta reader group.
In any case, you learn by reading other's fine work or churning out your own.

So here's to All of you pitching and keeping on.

And here's an extra toast for the return of mandatory schooling!
Let the writing Commence--Full Force.

Oh--and we have room for more  CPs and beta readers in our MG/YA group. Just message me and I'll send you an invite.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Looking for MG Beta Readers?

I was lost, and now I’ve found -- a few beta readers. Necessity breeds, what it needs to get through, at least the real important stuff, and for me--writing. 

It wasn’t easy, even living in New York City, maybe, because everyone’s so busy? More people sure, but everyone only has so much time, and many were overloaded, in a critique group, or non-responsive through writer’s resources, some friends wrote in different genres. Many reasons—not.

I was inspired after reading Krista Van Dolzer’s Beta Reader Browse on her blog: Mother, Write, Repeat. Where she mentioned a shout out to those looking for beta readers and critique partner, and 
--eureka! MG beta reader’s yahoo group was materialized.

This is probably done all the time, right? But after someone on the thread contacted me for a beta reader, I figured, maybe this is an efficient way to help others, and myself, get the extra eyes we need on our work before submitting to agents, or publishers.
And create a space for beta readers of MG, and ‘upper’ MG—or lower YA—still unsure, to also share our tips, and resources.

So come along… those searching for MG beta readers…leave a comment and I’ll see you get an invite.

There are a few of us, up and reading now. A few polishing still, and we’ve only just begun -- last week in fact. Later on we may move into all types of YA -- upper, lower, in-between. But for now, we’re just getting acquainted.

Happy Inventive Writing!

link to the blog: Mother, Write, Repeat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tree and Fence Seam . . .

I found this tree in a neighborhood I pass through often in the West Village. 
But today was the first time I SAW this tree, still flourishing, and appearing fine, and strong. This is the journey of writing, after all, and everywhere I journey, I find inspiration -- on a good day. 

I thought I might write a poem for this image. Then wondered, if someone else wanted to write, say, a haiku?
The image is the juxtaposition of two.
Explained on website Giggle Poetry: 
Traditional Japanese haiku had a total of seventeen syllables divided into three clumps (or lines):
Five syllables
Seven syllables
Five syllables
"Some teachers think children should be taught to write haiku that conform to these rigid specifications. I disagree. The essence of haiku is the way it describes natural phenomena in the fewest number of words, making an indelible impression on the reader. The artistic effect, to me, is much more important than the number of syllables."
To read more: the site is filled with Fun Poetry for kids.
If your Game, leave your Haiku in the comments. 
I'll come back with mine in the comments. Happy Trails! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Too Busy Writing?

      I told myself that I'm going to stare at this box, and type something--anything of interest, because I must.

 I read a post last week about why fiction writers have trouble writing in their blog journals, me being one of them, and now I understood why--I'd rather write made-up stories.
The other reason being, my book is not out--not sold--not self-published, nada. I wait...but I've been writing, doesn't this count?

My middle-grade supernatural mystery adventure is with my friend, an editor. While I wait for her edits, and instead of continuing the second book in AF, which is a composition book full. I thought I should use my energy/time wisely writing another story, if say, AbeGale Force, is never picked up by an agent. (Yes, I write longhand into composition books--didn't Bill Clinton do this). And I so DO want an agent. I’m not against promoting, I know I’d have to do this anyway, even with an agent—I promote my weekly singing gig—I don’t mind the hustle. I just like direction, especially in unfamiliar waters.

So I began another adventure WIP, where the MC is a fifteen-year-old boy. It's in first person.  

The story is a little darker than AbeGale Force... it's an adventure, and also an adventure for me, because it's something different from what I've done before, it's fun.

Also, real different, was entering a Romance Short Story contest, though I didn't win--I learned that I could write 5,000 words in four days, even after coming down with bronchitis--managed the last 250 words from my sick bed. I'm certain the quality faltered at that point. But I did it! 

This reminds me of another post I saw this week from the Blog: Miss Snark’s First Victim, about writers writing from the Heart or for the Market. Whether writing for market, or from the heart, it must be good to be challenged, writing in genres you aren’t use to. Or is it better to stick with what you're good at? 

Until you find out: experiment, experiment. That's why I love writing prompts, because they throw you somewhere unfamiliar, and you get to it with a fresh perspective.
As an aspiring author—who’s been aspiring since first grade, when I’d bring my diary to class with it’s made up stories, and read out loud. (Yes-my teacher allowed this)
I’d think experimenting in different genres would keep the mind flexible.

I have an Historical Romance, weighing in my mind now, waiting in line—A Victorian Romance—for adults—not as adult as the Romance story was. Hint: It has to do with Alfred Lord Tennyson, and a far-reaching ancestor of mine….shhh. It’s still in the imagination station.

Affirmation for today: May I write a weekly blog post.  Enjoy the week. 

Here's the Blog & post mentioned above. Miss Snark rules on the Blog Waves for writers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Revisions are off for Critique.

All right, all right. Now, I know it isn't the end of Revisions (yes, must capitalize) I did send them off to my critique partner, with trembling fingers.  It was sent without a hitch. Yeah. But, but...gone.

While waiting, the possibility of working on WIP #3 comes into play—yeah!

The rough draft is so experimental, so exciting, anything can happen.

I've got two brothers, fifteen, and thirteen, lost in the woods, an alcoholic father, who doesn't yet know they're missing.
But who's protecting whom, when they come across a giant hermit living in a cave.
That’s as far as I got. It’s only about thirty pages.  Ha ha.

This is my 'love letter' to my reluctant reader boys, eleven, and fourteen.
Thank goodness they're tough, but not because their avid readers, more like they aren't going for it unless it's thick with intrigue.

The working title is Brothers on the Rim. I like amusing myself. My 11 year-old was holding me to task while I wrote a good chunk of it, awaiting revision comments, before.
He wants to know (this is a good sign).  Guess, I should move along now, got some organizing, and plot tampering to figure.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Been Too Long

I've been buried in revisions for a couple months, and maybe, just maybe, I'll close in on these within a week or two. I'm working with a critique partner/editor/fellow writer, and it's good; the process, I mean. The story is moving forward.

My blog has been neglected, and my WIPs are on hold.
This can be tough for those of us eager to get works out in the world and read.
I’m hanging tight, and try recognizing the importance of this journey, especially for a spaz, like me, for whom enthusiasm has never been a problem.
So I eke away, day by day.

I’m off now, to command my muse, 

“Sit Down and Write!”  
But is my muse talking to me, or I to she?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Progress is flowing nicely.

I'm still in the process of finding a critique group through SCBWI. So far only two responded to the email and they're out of town. Must keep inquiring.
A very good writing friend is assisting with the fine-tuning, and over-all critiquing of ABEGALE FORCE  number 1. Super YEAH!
I've put WIP #2 on hold after handwriting over one hundred pages, until ABEGALE #1 is finished, as I'm not sure if I'll need to adjust the story from any changes within the first story. Trying to be cautious--not exactly my forte.

Monday came and I needed something to write. I've had a singular scene in my head for several months; two brothers, in the woods, trying to survive; in a sense, a love story for my two boys, eleven and thirteen. 
My boys are wild, adventurous, creative, and Reluctant Readers. But I know what they like to read. I hope I can nab that.

Both are Big Fans of Gary Paulsen. My older son says, “Gary Paulsen doesn’t talk down to you in his writing.” Hmm. He was reading SOLDER’S HEART for school, about a young boy of fifteen enlisting in the Civil WAR.
We all became huge fans after reading HATCHET, about a thirteen-year-old who goes down in an airplane, and has to survive in the woods, with only his hatchet. Of course, it is a three-time Newbery Honor Winner. Get it if you haven’t read it yet.
Where was I? Yes, Monday came and I needed to write--something. After having that original scene and holding it to my heart for months, I finally wrote, on and on. I got over fifteen pages into that composition book. I was excited to show my eleven-year-old when he got home.
He loved it and wanted to read more. Of course now, he’s my taskmaster, demanding I write even more. Last night he asked if I had anything new to read to him. Ah. No.
I’m giving an hour toward this progress today. It’s about all I can afford. But I’m getting excited. 
I think the flavor and the characters are already getting under my skin.
It started bleak, and sad, in a way. It was that kind of day.
I felt very much in the mix of the universe, and in sync. And now I must go and write.
I have my orders. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Quick Update: I've got some work ahead.

I got two wonderful partial requests, just as the Holiday's came upon us. I knew even with those, I couldn't get my hopes up--too much.  

The first day back from the kid's school break I got some very good editorial advice from Agent #1. Already having read my ms, said he really enjoyed the characters and the story idea--but I need to tighten up and make every word count.
I wasn't very careful putting my chapters in--at all. This I knew, I mean, there weren’t chapters until I finished, (strange right?) Then it was, "Oh...guess I should make chapters,” but no, I didn't need to make a new chapter at every scene change, poor newbie me. 

Mr. Agent #1 said he be willing to take another look at it later in the year...Hum. He actually wants to take another look. I suppose that is a very good thing. He likes something. He did say, "I'm sure with additional work and polish you can really make this a much more compelling novel."
And send it back...to him!

Now, I'm sure Ms. Agent #2 will say the same or similar. Or worse.
This last week I took some days to digest the information and start writing/thinking/planning my MG boys adventure story. I'm putting Book #2 in the Abegale series on the side. I'm well into it with over 100 pages. But the focus must be on this baby, ABEGALE FORCE.

The editor search is on.
I’ve put in my calls to writer friends, but most do not write or edit this genre (upper MG).
The SCBWI website has extensive resources. Though, so far, they seem really expensive. I’m thinking of playing the lottery…buy me one of those fabulous children’s editors.
Wish me luck!! Lolly. That lol –in goofy form.

Water Color Still Life..A symbolic wedding gift by me.