Monday, May 25, 2009

The Story That Has to be Told

I've been reading Alan Gratz's Twitter comments about how many chapters/words he's gotten done on recent days, and it made me yearn for those days! I miss that. It was so exciting when I was working on my novel, adding word count. What a sense of accomplishment when I'd had a good day or a good week. There's nothing more tangible than that word count building and that feeling of building a story towards a culmination.

Now, though I need to do a lot on that same story, I yearn for that feeling of working towards something like word count. I've had several different story ideas, but I can't decided which one to work on, or even if I want to work on one of them. When I had the Everett on Everest idea, there was no doubt. I knew that would be a story that I would follow through till the end. I long for another of those ideas. I have never felt such accomplishment as when I was working on that book. That makes me think it will be someday be a big success. I have never worked so hard on something that I have written. There's a lot of work still do, and I have to get into that 'editing' mode, but I think it will be a really good book someday. Meanwhile, I'll be on the lookout for another one of those stories, one of those you just can't say no to, one of those that just has to be told.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Poem!

I just wrote a new poem that I'm really pleased with. I guess it's a simplified form of a cadae. A cadae is based on the first five numbers in pi (3.1415). I think in a real cadae of five stanzas, the first stanza has 3 lines, the second 1 line, etc. Then they also have a set amount of syllables per line. Mine is simpler--five stanzas of five lines each with a syllable count per line of 3,1,4,1,5. I might have to submit this one--somewhere!


Leaves beckon.
Into the breeze.
Deep this summer sun.

Blocked by time
This window pane.
Instead cycled air.

Those leaves dance.
They undulate.
Do they call or mock?

Yes, of course!
Want to join you!
Yearn and dream and need.

Or so I think,
More there to hear it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some more Fibs

A Day in the Life

How can I
Make them start again?
Repeat scene over and over.

How You Know You're Really a Writer

Or readers.
No publication.
Would you still have to write it down?

Friday, May 15, 2009

My latest article came out last Friday in the Westside Courier, but I can't post the link because the new editor hasn't had a chance to learn how to put the articles online yet! Hopefully soon. I did get some great feedback on it, though. Kristi Scott, the subject, emailed me to say how thrilled she was with it, and several people stopped me at the gym to say how nice it was. That's always pleasant.

Last Saturday, I attended the Indiana SCBWI event in Carmel, Coffee Talk with Lara Anderson. Lara, who sent several years at Curtis Brown, was full of great information. In a relaxed and informal setting, Lara answered questions from the group of attendees. Her mother and successful author Rebecca Kai Dotlich also added her experience on some of the subjects. I received a paid critique from Lara on the first 50 pages of my YA book, and it was well-worth the $40 cost. I did not receive the glowing feedback that I had hoped, but what I did receive was a very detailed critique. She pointed out specific problems and offered suggestions and examples on what to do about them. I feel like she closely read my manuscript and definitely got my money's worth. It's the best critique I've ever received as far as content. Thank you, Lara!! It was also great to meet and see so many of the other IN-SCBWI members!

I sent out a new query this week (to Cricket) but have mostly been doing research on book packagers. It sounds like freelancing for a packager could have some benefits--experience and credentials, not to mention a little bit of money.

I also finished another of Margaret McMullan's Ya books, When I Crossed No-Bob. Just as in Cashay, I really cared for the main character, Addy in this case, and many of the supporting characters. Though a completely different story than Cashay, it was also similar in that she took another story which could have been so depressing and made it heart-warming and not at all depressing. I would recommend to anyone!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feeling Piggy--or Poetic

After adding author Alan Gratz as someone I am following on Twitter, I was inspired by his posts. He posts a morning haiku, always something clever or funny, which I thought was a cool idea. I didn't want to be a total copycat, so I researched other short forms of poetry and found the Fib, a Western form of poetry that has 6 lines, with 20 syllables, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8--each line has the amount of syllables of the two previous lines added together. (It's based on a math principal called the Fibronacci sequence.)

Anyway, I decided to give it a try. I was inspired by my recent bout of illness, which my husband kept joking was the swine flu. (He would call and snort instead of saying hello, etc.!)

Feeling Piggy

No wonder
Everyone thinks
They have the symptoms of swine flu.