I'm over at one of my critique group's new blogs, Pens and Brushes! If you want to see my 10 tips about writing from our hamster, come join me there! thanks!
If you didn't see it yet, I was at the Grog Blog on Sept. 3rd, interviewing Nancy I. Sanders on the release of her Get to Know Biography series. Please join me over there to learn more tips from Nancy!
I've enjoyed every bit of summer vacation from two trips to the ocean to my very first mountain climbing experience even to movie making! Every week my 75 year old father-in-law climbs a small mountain less than five minutes away from where we live. So one Saturday morning I was determined our family would give it a try. Probably about 100 or more people around my age and older make the climb each weekend for exercise. I was put to shame as older people passed me! Sometimes the path was somewhat paved but most of it was rocky. Mind you, this wasn't life-threatening, dangerous mountain climbing. But after much endurance, the four of us conquered the challenge. Passing a 3-inch slug and baby snake and beautiful butterflies made our climb interesting. And my 8-year-old son exclaimed to his Sunday school class that he learned that he could get through hard things! Maybe a story idea will even come to me...
This summer I've also been renewing my teaching license online by taking three classes, one of which is using the program Movie Maker + an "iPad in the Classroom" class. I've really enjoyed learning new ideas incorporating technology into my lessons with my kiddos. And I learned how to make videos, which I can also use for my writing career. So it's been a win-win situation.
We started homeschool last Thursday. So now I'm teaching 7th and 4th grades + freelance writing afternoons and evenings.
Are you all ready for Fall, Back-to-School writing?
Summertime means vacations, excursions to the beach, and plenty of playtime with the kids. But in my opinion, writers are never truly off work. We're kind of like professionals "on call."
You never know when some idea will pop into your head or some activity on vacation will start the wheels turning about a new plot.
For example, we drove to the ocean TWICE in the past month. It's three hours to the east coast of Korea where the water is cleaner and prettier. I took my trusty notebook, sat on the beach while my kids and husband played, and I wrote. I composed and sold a rebus to Clubhouse Jr and wrote a picture book draft for the 12x12 challenge I'm in.
One evening we explored the city we were staying in, and on a walk around a lake, I discovered the most beautiful field--a lotus field! I've never seen so many lotuses. The scent was heavenly. The perfect lotus bud reminded me of the children's movie Epic. My "on call writerly" brain made me take lots of pictures. This lotus field will make the perfect setting for a new story!
So you see--we writers are never on break. We're always researching and hunting down the next story.
If you have time, you can join me at Kidlit Summer School, hosted by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Kami Kinard, who run the popular Nerdy Chicks Write Blog. (Registration ends July 25)
Here are my lotus photos. Enjoy your summer!
I'm at the grog blog today talking about "How to Write for the Christian Market." Check it out if you're interested!
Hooray for summer! Just what do writers do in summer? Or better yet, what do stuck-at-home writers do in summer? What if you can't get out to conferences, you're stuck on the other side of the world, what can you do to keep the writer muse?
Here's what I've been doing so far.
I'm catching up listening to some famous authors at the "Let's Get Busy" Podcast. I've already been inspired by Tammi Sauer, Ame Dyckman, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, and Seymour Simon. I may never hear these authors live, but I feel like I'm right there as I listen to their "writerly" wisdom!
I viewed a free video from agent Jill Corcoran and author Martha Alderson on "How to Revise Your Novel/PB." It was fantastic advice from both ladies. If I ever write a novel, I'd want to pay to view the rest of the series. Do take time to watch it!
Reading Children's Books/errr...Research
I'm trying to read children's books each day from picture books to novels, print books and e-books. I like what one author said about reading children's books--it's research! There are a couple web sites that have free picture books online such as Storyline Online and We Give Books. It's been fun to catch up on titles that I've missed.
Studying the "Bug" magazines
Cricket Magazine has free summer issues for all of their magazines. Since my husband gave me an iPad Air for my birthday, I've downloaded all the free issues for the magazines I'd like to study. That's 3 issues of each one so far. Maybe I can come up with a story for them.
I just finished author Katie Davis's How to Promote Your Children's Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to a Bestseller. I'll be doing a book review for it on the grog blog next month. So for now I'll just say that if you plan on writing a book, you must read this! In fact, I need to get busy preparing and following Katie's steps!
I'm revising my WIPs and will write new manuscripts since I'm in the 12x12 picture book challenge to write one manuscript each month. I'd also like to start research for a new nonfiction picture book.
Reviews and GoodReads
I have a goal to write some book reviews for some author friends on Amazon. My social media goal is to learn Goodreads. If you use that site, you can give me tips!
As with every summer, I'll enjoy the family outings we do and find a way to turn them into stories! What are you doing this summer?
This past spring I participated in an online writing contest hosted by Cynthea Liu, called Red Light Green Light. When the light is green, writers can send in the first 125 words of their story. Cynthea gives a tiny critique, and you either pass and continue in the contest or return to the start line. If you pass, you continue sending in next pages until someone wins. If your story doesn't pass, you return to the start line with a new story. It's really fun to play and get some feedback. Well, I happened to be one of the winners for the picture book category. I won a free critique from Cynthea.
Cynthea is amazing! She's represented by Andrea Brown Literary Agency and is the author of the most recent picture book Wooby and Peep, Sterling 2013. She's also written a middle grade novel and young adult book. Her full bio is here.
I had a wonderful 30 minute phone call with her, and she gave me great new advice and suggestions. It was also good to get her multicultural writing advice because Cynthea has written some multicultural books and has experience with editors and marketing. I've already revised my manuscript and can't wait to see what my critique groups say.
So if you want another eye and perspective on your WIP, check out Cynthea's critique service. Her prices are very reasonable, and she's quite knowledgeable of the market.
You can find Cynthea at her web site: Writing for Children and Teens. Below are some books she has written.
My post "How to Write a Rebus Story" is at the grog blog today. Please join me there. :)
I interviewed Corey Rosen Schwartz about how she uses Twitter to promote her books. Her interview is featured on the grog blog. You won't want to miss out on her tips! http://groggorg.blogspot.kr/2014/05/twitter-for-writers-part-2-with-corey.html