Friday, August 13, 2010

Cure for Clare

The summer has flown by with an early summer trip to Disney World, lots of football practice, and much summer laziness! Things definitely heated up in August, however, and not just the temperature, although that's been ridiculous here in southern Indiana.

My son went back to school this Wednesday and officially entered high school! I return to USI in a couple of weeks, but not before a vacation with my husband and friends to Cabo San Lucas. That should be pretty amazing, as I have never been to Mexico.

I have suddenly become busy with articles, with an interview to do this coming week, and an article in today's Westside. It was the article in last Friday's Westside that is the most noteworthy, however. I have written many fun articles, and even a couple that covered important charities, but the August 6th article was likely the most important I have ever written. Clare Scheller went to grade school and Mater Dei with my niece Jenn and planned to attend IU this fall. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) this summer and has undergone some terrible medical trauma as a result. My article was about Clare, her amazing family, and the incredible support and fundraising from the west side. I have received lovely feedback from it and was really thrilled to write it and be able to help out. Good luck with everything, Clare!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Articles!

Wow, a semester of college went by in a flash--except for all the homework. That took forever! I am ready to enjoy some time off and am looking forward to a summer of relaxing and--finally--more writing! Along with school, I've had several articles in the last months, and some of them have been put online. I have added those links to the side and will continue to do so. Until next time, have a great summer, everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January--A Successful Start to College...and a Month of Articles

I haven't posted since January 11th, when I was stressing about returning to school. I am happy to say that college is going great! I am really enjoying my classes. I love reading things I probably wouldn't read on my own and writing and hearing others' writings. It's all been so cool, and I don't feel weird back among the "college kids" at all. Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed, and Twittered their encouragement!

I have had almost no time for my own writing because, along with homework, I did every cover story for January's Westside Courier. Wow, that was a whirlwind of interviews, picture-taking, picture-sending, and, of course, writing. I had an interesting array of articles, too--a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana; a local woman who self-published a book about her mother; a woman whose sewing and embroidery hobby turned into a booming west-side business; and a west-sider who moved to bush Alaska to teach special education kids! What can I say--that job is never boring.

I have no assigned article this week, so I have been concentrating on homework. I expect I'll receive article work any day now, so I'm just hoping to end my birthday week with a little of my own writing. Yep, Friday is my birthday, which means fun with the family and, of course, a few presents!

Happy writing, everyone!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Tale of Fear--College Life Begins Again!!

As we embark upon the new year, my newest writing venture begins--college! Today I return to school for my undergrad degree. Since it has been--ahem--19 years since I last sat in a college classroom, I am a little nervous. But I'm excited, too. I'm starting with two classes, a "ways of reading" class and a creative writing class. The more I learn, the more I realize I have to learn, so I'm looking forward to any lit or writing class.

But what I am most nervous about today--everything. I will probably be in a classroom of people 20 years younger than me. I am afraid I will feel horribly out of place. Here's an example of what I mean. My 14-year-old son went with me to the college bookstore to purchase my textbooks. At the counter, the clerk asked my son for his student ID. I could hardly keep the laughter down while he finished ringing me up, poor guy. Okay, so being too old, that's one worry. Also, what if I get in a creative writing class and suddenly feel like I can't write and don't know what I'm doing? Even though I have been writing literally since I can remember, I have that fear. Let's just add these other fears while we're at it--I won't be able to find a parking spot, I'll be dashing across campus in the cold, unable to find the right classroom, bumbling into class to take the last unoccupied seat--right in front of the professor, of course! AAAHHH! Time for deep breaths...

Truly, though all of those fears are embarrassingly real, I can hardly wait for it all to begin! I have no doubt I will come out of it all as a better writer and a more open and knowledgeable person.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Life of a Freelance Writer

Hello, dear, long-lost blog! It has been so long since I visited you! Please forgive me. How have you been?

I have been really, really busy. (Hence, our sad lack of communication.)

This year marks my first year of NaNoWriMo. I wouldn't say it was successful, exactly, if successful means reaching that 50,000 mark. I was already behind at about 17,000 words, with about two weeks to go. That's when I was suddenly assigned a blitz of articles that I am still in the midst of. Nevertheless, I would not call this first NaNo unsuccessful. NaNo definitely encouraged me to write more than I normally would have. I look forward to trying again next year.

Two of the articles from that article blitz were published in last Friday's Westside Courier. It was a double cover story on the USI Madrigal and Christmas in New Harmony. The articles were supposed to start going online again on the Courier site. Unfortunately, they have not, so I can not post a link.

I am getting ready to work on another Westside article, this one about a couple of west side families with someone serving overseas through Christmas. It will be out on Christmas Day, so that will be neat. Meanwhile, I have been doing an article every day for a client who needs several online articles on probiotics. For those who don't know probiotics, they are the good bacteria that live in the body and help in all sorts of ways. They have actually been super-interesting to research, and I have learned so much.

Tomorrow--more of the same! I look forward to getting back to fiction, but I am very glad to have so much writing work to do. It's so great to be able to make (a tiny) living as a writer!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Midsouth SCBWI Conference

I was looking SO forward to last weekend's Midsouth SCBWI Conference, and it did not disappoint! It boasted a stellar list of faculty headlined by author Caroline Cooney, who was delightful. As a big fan, I was super-excited to meet her. She was a wonderful speaker and so personable one-on-one. I was lucky enough to have one of my paid critiques assigned to her, and she took such care and went into such detail. The fact that she was really complimentary of my writing didn't hurt either :), but it really was one of the most in-depth critiques I've ever had.

The rest of the faculty, like editors Cheryl Klein and Kaylan Adair, were also great, and the Midsouth "staff" was incredible. Genetta, Sharon, and Susan were all so helpful and really put together a smoothly-run event.

Personally, it was great to see "old" friends like my critique group who all met at this conference last year. We have stayed together ever since, doing monthly critiques and offering advice. That's us in the top picture--David, Beth, Maria, Joyce, Ruta, Grace, and me.

The pictures below feature my roomie, Kristi Valiant. She won the illustrators contest for the second year in a row and was the star of the conference! Her amazing talent is impossible to overlook, and on top of that, she is always willing to spend her time helping out new illustrators, just as she did again this year.

What a great weekend! I can't wait to see what they new next year to try to top this one!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Revision Woes and the Possible Solution

Wow, I am long overdue for a blog post. Why the delay? Good question. Yet, no good answer. I guess I sort of feel like I'm in limbo. I have a completed novel that I really need to revise, and I think that's holding me up. Not that I haven't written anything in the meantime. I finished a short story and it's going in the mail this week. I'm actually really excited about it and proud of it. I also started a brand new story that had been wandering around in my head for a while. Actually, two ideas had been wandering around, and I realized out of the blue last week that they were part of the same story. That was a really fun epiphany, and I got the beginnings on paper right away.

But there I go again, off the subject I should be on--revision. Luckily, I now have a plan, and her name is Darcy Pattison. I had been hearing about Darcy and her novel revision workshops for a while. Then, this past Saturday I attended an SCBWI conference in Indy where Sara Grant was the speaker. Sara works for Working Partners, a book packager in the UK. She was a fabulous speaker with some great advice. Much of her presentation was on revision! Yay! She offered so many great tips, and I was soaking up the ideas. At the end, she held up Darcy Pattison's Novel Metamorphosis and said it was the one revision book we had to have. Well, if that's not a sign, I don't know what is. I'm getting it. I tried to buy it at Barnes and Noble yesterday, but they have to order it. I chose to wait because I'm attending the big Midsouth SCBWI conference this weekend (Yay!) and thought they might have it for sale there. If not, I'm ordering it next week. Finally, the help I need.

As to the Midsouth Conference, I can't wait, of course! Kristi Valiant and I will be taking off early Friday to head south. I'm looking forward to a weekend of writing, fun, old friends, new friends, and inspiration. I'm sure I'll have more to report next week!