Monthly Archives: June 2010

Successful Writing Careers and Intuition

Have you ever wondered if Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Myer, Suzanne Collins (insert whichever wildly successful author here) knew they were on the brink of something before their success erupted? Did they have a feeling that life was about to change?
These questions circulate my mind because I have an inner feeling that my writing career will eventually take off. I am not saying that I will become the next big thing(althtough I do hope to be). I am not delusional. I am not psychic. The feeling I have is not hope (however, I have plenty of that). It is not desire. It’s something else.
I have watched screenwriters, actors and producers accept awards and say something along the lines of “A year ago, I was at home watching this show never dreaming I would be on it a year later.” Their statement would cause me to think, really?
I tend to think people do have an inner knowing. In many interviews you will see the question, “Did you ever imagine you would have this success?” We all want to know if they were feeling something we were or weren’t so we can closer examine exactly what it is that we feel.
I wouldn’t dare claim to be the best writer but my gut tells me I am on the verge of new beginnings.
Have you ever thought about this or am I the only one? Is it a sixth sense?

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, middle grade fiction, novel, query, random, rejections, story writing, Style, superstitions, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

Free Writing Conference-(Pass it on)

If you are a kidlit author, I have exciting news to share with you today. A bunch of talented writers have joined together and arranged to have a free (yes, I said free) writers conference online. Who are these brilliant writers? They are Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger, Jamie Harrington and Lisa and Laura Roeker along with their web designer Jennifer Stayrook. These lovely ladies developed WriteonCon. It is their way of paying it forward. They recognized how difficult it is for many writers to attend conferences because of finances, family obligations and career demands, so they teamed up to bring a conference to us.

When? August 10-12th (Registration begins July 1rst).

Who will be there? An impressive list of industry professionals such as:

Michelle Andelman ( A literary agent for Lynn C. Franklin Associates).
Josh Berk(Author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin and fellow Pennsylvanian).
Catherine Drayton (a well sought after literary agent for Inkwell Management).
Daniel Ehrenhaft (author of more than a dozen books for children and young adults and editor for Harper Collins).
Lindsay Eland (author of the well-talked about Scones and Sensibility).
Author P.J. Hoover.
Mandy Hubbard (Author of Prada and Prejudice and literary agent for D4EO).
Mary Kole ( Literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary).
Author Lyndsey Leavitt.
Steven Malk (Literary agent for Writers House).
Mark McVeigh (founder of The McVeigh agency).
Author Jodi Meadows.
Kathleen Ortiz (Associate Agent and Foreign Rights Manager at Lowenstein Associates).
Anica Rissi (Executive Editor at Simon Pulse).
Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (Full time agent for the Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation).
Suzie Townsend (Literary agent for Fine Print Literary Management).
Daisy Whitney (Media business extraordinaire).
Lisa Schroeder (Author).
This is an event you cannot miss. Further details can be found at WriteonCon.
I love to watch people pay it forward. Together, we can help each other become the best we can be.
Who are you looking forward to meeting?

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Filed under conference, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Giveaway, Inspirational, life, query, random, routine, stories, story writing, Style, superstitions, Uncategorized, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

The People You Meet

I have met many wonderful people since I proclaimed I was a writer. The first person to recommend starting a blog to me was Christina Katz, The Writer Mama. I stumbled upon her blog just before the release of her book The Writer Mama hit shelves. She wrote a blog about blogs and the perks of having one. My interest was piqued so I left a comment. At the time, I didn’t know I was reading a blog. I had typed up writing in my search engine and I was directed to her site. I thought she provided a wealth of information for aspiring writers who also happened to be mothers. She replied to my comment and we exchanged e-mails. She took the time to instruct me how to start my own blog. My first blog Moments to Memories was born and daily writing became part of who I was. I still read Christina’s blog and every time I see her gain more success I cheer her on.

When I decided that I wanted a career in writing for children and teens, I joined the Society of Children’s Books and Illustrators. I loved participating in their contests (I placed runner-up in one) and reading the industry news. It was here that I learned the importance of a critique group. As a new writer, I was naïve and thought my words would stand alone. It wasn’t until I became part of a critique group that I discovered my words could only stand alone if someone else helped me perfect them. I met a wonderful man named Tim Loftus who asked me to become part of the critique group he was forming. Participating in the critique group helped me understand the importance of being acquainted with fellow writers. I also began writing more consistently because of this group. Tim was a monthly contributor for Highlights magazine. He is a dear friend and I value his friendship as well as his critiques. I consider him my writing guru.
It was also on the SCBWI website that I found there were conferences for writers. A place to meet other writers in person, receive critiques from editors and listen to their stories about the publishing world. It was at my first conference that I met a woman who has now become a lifelong friend. I had gone to the conference alone and knew no one that was going to be there. When Joan, an older woman with kind eyes, a long grayish braid and a photo album filled with pictures of her beloved elephant approached me, I knew she was who I was meant to meet. Joan is the author of True Blue (a children’s book that is still in publication). I was blessed to have Joan Elste enter my life and the constructive criticism she gives has been a gift that I treasure.

When I decided to take writing seriously, I had no idea everything that would need to be known before someone else took my writing seriously. The Institute of Children’s Literature provided me with two fabulous instructors who taught me how to format, show not tell, structure a story, and edit.

Once upon a time, I thought becoming a writer was easy. I didn’t think there was much to it. I now know writers travel a great distance before they find success.

The moral of this story is you cannot become a great writer without the help of other great writers. I started this journey solo, but have found interesting, inspiring, and knowledgeable people along the way. There are countless others that I have not mentioned by name. If you are reading this and know you are one of these people, please know you have left and imprint that will never be removed.

I am walking a trail. I cannot wait to see who else I cross paths with. I feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Each person I meet has something to offer me and hopefully in return I have something to offer them.

Do you have a list of people that you are thankful for meeting? How have they helped you get to where you are now?

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Let Your Senses Do the Talking

Today we are taking a field trip. We will be seeing wonderful places, smelling unforgettable scents, hearing rhapsodies, tasting delicious foods and touching objects that we will later describe.
A writer must use all of their senses in order to create something memorable.
Grab a pen and a notebook and follow me. Step outside, find a comfy place and begin taking it all in.
What my senses are showing me:
Sight: I see a lawn that needs to be mowed. Tiny white flowers sprout from the green blades and dance slowly as the wind blows by. A Weeping Willow sways its droopy branches back and forth like swinging pendulums. A dove is perched upon a rooftop calling out to its mate. Children’s toys rest against a fence waiting to be used. A sidewalk decorated with chalk stretches down the middle of the lengthy yard and the sky above is filled with cumulus clouds that look more comfortable than any chair I have ever sat upon.
Hear: I hear the coo from the dove that is perched above. The echo of his call fills the air and takes me back to childhood days where I thought a dove’s coo was a hoot from an owl. A siren rings in the distance and I can’t help but wonder where the emergency is and if everyone is okay. The wind whips past my ears and sounds like waves from an angry sea crashing against the shore. Children’s laughter from a few houses over brings a smile to my face and a trains’ whistle makes me think of the days I spent with friends walking the railroad tracks.
Feel: I could feel wind rushing past me and it reminds me of the breeze a blanket sends when one shakes it out, preparing to fold it back up. The gust of air is a gift given by the wind on a humid day. I could feel the sturdiness of the wood beneath me and I think about the person who crafted the Adirondack chair I relax in. I poke my finger into the potted plant that hangs above my head. The dry dirt alerts me of the plants thirst.
Smell: The air that rushes past me brings the sweet scent of honeysuckle. The fragrance of a dryer sheet perfumed with clean cotton sneaks out of a neighbor’s window freshening the air. A smoky aroma rises above the trees signaling a nearby BBQ.
Taste: Hazelnut flavored coffee soaks my taste buds and leaves a pleasant aftertaste long after it has been consumed. I let the chocolate from my daily protein bar melt inside my mouth savoring the succulent flavor before allowing it to be gone.

When a writer uses their senses they encourage the reader to experience the scene in which they are writing about. If you take the time to close your eyes when you are hearing, touching, tasting and smelling you will learn that when you open your eyes you will see things that were always there but were never looked at.
Leave a comment telling me what you are Seeing, Feeling, Touching, Hearing and Tasting right now and then take those things and incorporate them into something you are writing.
What senses do you use the most when writing scenes?

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Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, novel, random, routine, stories, story writing, Style, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing