Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

Sorry to have not posted for so long! My goal was to post once a week, but it always takes me awhile to get back into the swing of school.

I attended two amazing writing conference. Remember if you haven't attended a writing conference, really find a way to make it work.

I attended the SCBWI conference in Montana. The 320 Ranch hosted the event, and the setting couldn't have been better. Other than the fact that it was nearly eight hours from home.

Next, I attended the Authors Flathead Writing Conference. I am always amazed at the quality of the speakers we draw for a small area. I learned so much and can hardly wait to give it all a try.

If you've never heard of NaNoWriMO, it is National Novel Writing Month. I've always thought participating sounded both fun and daunting. This year I really wanted to give it a shot. As a teacher, I really thought it would be great for my students as well. Over seventy of my students will be taking the challenge in November through the Young Writers Program NaNoWriMo. It even meets Common Core requirements.

I am in the planning stages for November. I am an absolute panster, but I am trying a little outlining this time. I am attempting a reform. We shall see how I do with it. I am completing the Young Writers Workbook of completely non-lame lessons along with my class. I didn't want to ask them to do anything I hadn't tried first. The lessons have been fun and really helped me focus on my character.

Consider challenging a friend to write a new novel in November too! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Write On Con

I strongly recommend attending writing conferences.  

The conferences I attended convinced me to revise my novel, again. Thank goodness I did.

I know it is difficult to get away - trust me. My life is crazy. The price of the conference and travel can be expensive, but it is completely worth it. Really find a way. Look for a local writing group in your area or conferences offered by Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators There are national and state conferences.

If you truly can't attend a conference, attend a free conference online. You can participate in your pj's. The 2012 line up looks great as always. Your time will be well spent. If you can't attend all, choose a couple of events you're interested in. You can also go back and read through afterwards. This is not as much fun!

The conference is August 14th and 15th. There are things to enter in advance and sign up in the forums, so visit soon.

Write On Con

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Photo of the Day

I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful sunset at Swan Lake.

Swan Lake July 2012

Great Contest!

For those of you who don't know me well, I am always on the lookout for contests. I love contests. The why is easy, but multifaceted.

1. Contests are exciting.
2. Huge bonus -You meet and interact with other writers! I learn different things from each writer.
3. Your craft improves.
4. Your work advances.
5. You could win an awesome prize like a critique or book.

YA Highway is having a great contest. Stop on by.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exercise and Writing

Do you like exercise? Really, does anyone? I guess some people do. I have a crazy niece that loves it. I am NOT one of those people.

I've been visiting some other writers' websites, and I noticed a common theme. Many writers are unhappy with their weight. Duh? Right?

As writers, we must sit and type. I don't know of any other way to make writing work. I have tried Dragon Fly, but it drove me crazy. I might have given up too soon, but you still need to be close to your computer with little noise. Another problem is that it's easy to have a snack to fuel your brain. Calories...calories.

I too am the unhappiest I've ever been with my shape. I decided that this summer I AM EXERCISING. I've decided this in the past too, of course, but my bikini has never looked so unappealing before. My motivation is huge.

I made an amazing breakthrough.
If I listen to the same music I listen to while I am writing (I must drown out life), I can run on my Elliptical and plot my book. My unconscious must have been working on problems in my WIP. I am rarely quiet enough for my subconscious to draw much attention. My even better breakthrough is that while I run, all the problems in my story come out. I literally find all the holes in my story. Things I've forgotten - like one of my character's shoulder was sliced, but then I forgot to deal with it. 

Running and plotting, who knew? One of the added benefits is that it makes the running go by so much faster. Maybe by the end of summer, I'll look great and my plot will be all the better for it. Bonus.


This blog may be many things - this is new for me.

My previous website was here

This week I've been having a great time participating in Between the Sheets. Heather Webb offered a contest for help with those evil little query letters. Hop on over and take a peek. There is a wide variety of query letters and lots of advice. Feel free to add your own critique on the query letters too.

My critique advice for the day is this: 

Remember you never know where another writer is coming from. We all have our dark moments when that stupid little voice tells us we can't write, and we are wasting our time.

I ask my students to give their writing partner something they like, something to improve, and one element they wrote well such ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, or conventions.

This isn't a bad idea for a writing community either. Our goal is to help one another and some people's skin is thicker than others. It really just depends on the day, doesn't it?

The next time tell your own little voice to take a flying leap...or improvise with your own word choice. When giving a critique, be kind and honest.