Monday, August 31, 2009

A novel writing course

I stumbled across this the other day by Lydia Netzer. This is a lesson on writing a novel for kids. There are 10 parts to the series. It is actually very good. I love the way she shows how to teach it to children. But I think what she is actually teaching here, is how to read books. Not just read sentences, but really show a child how to jump into the books. Help them to see that for a time they can visit these worlds and become these characters. I hope you'll check this out. Let me know what you think.

And don't forget that Wednesday is the interview with Tess Hilmo. I know you'll enjoy it. Talk to you soon. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, please stop and hang out a spell. Don't go anywhere. That is when the interview with Tess Hilmo will post. And you don't want to miss it. It's really g-o-o-d. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm havin' a problem

I'm having a problem with my WIP. It is a mystery this time around. It's fun writing it too. But I'm having a couple of snags that I need YOUR advice on.

Snag #1: Leaving clues. The mysteries I have been reading all leave clues at the RIGHT time and in the RIGHT place. And the clues the authors leave aren't obvious. They aren't tacked on to help you figure out whodunit early on. As a matter of fact, these clues don't even seem like clues at all. They are dropped in, ever so cleverly. You don't even realize they're clues until later on toward the ending when everything is coming together.

My clues were obvious so I took those out. Now the question to my bloggy buddies is this. Should I go on instinct Scott? Will I just figure all of this out? As I read more mysteries, will it just become easier to think of clues to leave?

Or should I worry that this is not the right thing for me to be writing. I haven't had any writers block with this. The words just come. They come fast and furious. It's just this clue leaving business that has me a little stumped.

Snag #2: Can the chapters be short? Some of them have to be. It is a YA this time around for me. I have some chapters that are only 5 typed pages. Can this work? Some chapters are longer, but so far none are over 10 pages. Does this even matter?

I hope some of you can weigh in on this. I need HELP. :) Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 Muse Online Conference

I wanted to mention that it is time for folks to register for the Muse Online Conference. This conference is totally FREE and it is for all writers. Doesn't matter if you write for adults or children. Everyone should find something they can use and something they can learn.

Lea Schizas connects writers with agents and publishers. Writers from all over the world gather to share ideas in October every year.

The workshops are wonderful. And since it's online, if you miss a workshop, you can always attend the next one or download a transcript onto your computer. There are chat rooms where you can connect with other writers.

It lasts for seven days from October 12-18th. This year you get an opportunity to pitch your story or idea to one of the publishers at the conference.

I recommend Devon Ellington's dialogue workshop. Participants post short scenes for constructive comments from both Devon and fellow students.

I hope to see some of you there. :)

And please don't forget the upcoming interview with Tess Hilmo. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First draft

Yesterday was a looong day at the hospital. It went well. For those who don't know, my boy has been having some health issues and the doctors are trying to find answers. Answers. We need them. Hopefully we'll be getting some soon. And hopefully these answers don't lead to more questions, just solutions. :)

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. They give me so much comfort. I was at the coffee shop down from Chapel Hill hospital, reading your comments. I smiled! There we were, at the hospital for the millionth time (no exaggeration here) and I was smiling. :)

As I was writing yesterday, I found myself revising as I wrote my first draft. YIKES! That is such a big no-no for me. I like to get it down. Just let it gush out of me. Then when the time comes, and come it will, revise.

How do you do it? Do you revise as you write? Does that work for you? I know some writers swear by revising as they go along. I have done it both ways. I prefer to just let the words come. I can edit them later.

Upcoming interview with our own Tess Hilmo. She is going to tell us what the past few agented months has been like. It will be so much fun to hear her talk about it. :) Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why did you start blogging?

I'm at the hospital with my boy today. I will comment on your blogs tomorrow.

I was thinking about this question the other day. For me, I started blogging to meet writers. To be able to learn the craft from those who went before and from those walking by my side. And I have learned so much. It feels like my brain might explode from all the things I have learned. And I learned it from all of you!

This is a BIG THANK YOU to all of my bloggy buds. For answering all of my questions. For giving me advice and to Davin, Scott, and Glam for putting my query on your blog and advising me with that.

Thank you for thinking and praying for my son and even my horse. I wouldn't want to be without any of you.

I love you all! *hugs* all around.

Why did you start blogging? Has it lived up to all you thought it would be? Thanks for reading. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Unplug Week

I hope that everyone had as great an unplug as I did. I got a lot done!*Whew* And I feel caught up. YAY!

During the week I was traveling on a country road near our house. It is a very well traveled country road. Lots of cars flying here and there. As I drove I noticed a turtle (this is the second time this has happened this summer) in the middle of road. Now Myrtle was traveling very slowly. So I pulled the van over and got out. There I stood. Hands out stopping traffic, so I could rescue Myrtle from certain catastrophe. She didn't seem to mind at all. The drivers that were stopped looked at me like I was crazy. I apologized as I waved them on. And it felt good. Myrtle had safely crossed the road and I could feel good about myself.

It got me to thinking that I should the write the picture book in my head. The one that's been lurking in my mind since the first turtle rescue, earlier this summer. Did I tell you about that one Beth?

So do you have any stories hiding out in your head that you feel only you can write?

What are they? Will you write the story? I think I will. :) Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's unplug week.

I hope that everyone has a very productive unplug week. :) See everybody next week. :)

YAY-- another one

I received the Literary Blogger award from a FANTASTIC blogger and mommy to be, Linda Kage. If y'all haven't visited her, head on over. You'll be glad you did. Thank you, thank you for this honor, Linda.

Blogging Award Rules
1) Accept the award and post a link back to the awarding person.
2) Pass the award on (the rules differ here; sometimes you pass on to one person, five, or even more).
3) Notify award winner.

So I have chosen six bloggers for this award.

Michelle, AKA Glam over at The Innocent Blogger
Shelli over at Market My Words
BJ over at bj anderson
Jenna over at As The Plot Thickens
Eric over at Working My Muse
Tess over at Tess Hilmo

I know I always do it backwards. I link the name instead of the blog. It is my way of highlighting these wonderful folks who have such GREAT blogs!!!! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The first one is from Danyelle. Thanks to Danyelle for this award and for her most wonderful blog. And for her absolute loveliness! :)

The Humane Award is to honor certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a regular basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.

I'm giving this to the following bloggers for their fantastic blogging ability and the fact that they always leave wonderful, helpful comments.

T. Anne over at White Platonic Dreams
Tricia over at Talespinning
Lauren over at Book In The Oven
Buttercup over at Buttercup Counts Her Blessings
Amy over at The Virginia Scribe

And from Amy. Thanks Amy for your award the Premios Dardos Award. Thank you for your wonderful writing blog which is always great readin' and for your most gentle kindness and lovely sweetness. :)

Accept and post the award on your blog.
Link to the person from whom you received it.
Pass the award to 5 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
Let them know they've been chosen for this award.
Thanks for all the wonderful bloggers out there in this land we call blogosphere. I love ‘em all!!

Linda over at Linda Kage
Bonnie over at bonnieblogsgreen.
Suzanne over at Suzanne Young
The Journalizer over at Journalize This
Ayesha over at Resilient Lady

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is Pacing?

Am I the only writer that has a hard time with pacing? Pacing is rhythm. It's like the rhythm in a song, only this rhythm is in your book. Things move at a certain speed and hopefully the reader can feel the rhythm or pacing in your book. If things are moving too slow, speed them up. My problem is, I'm always moving things too fast. I need for my characters to slow down a bit. Not too much, mind you. Just enough. I want to master pacing, but how can I master something that I can't even explain? I know it's critical. I understand that it's got to do with anything in your novel. Not just conflict. Am I right?

Every great book has great tension. Every great book is perfectly paced I'm talking about all those books that you just can't put down. I figure if these writers of all the great books learned pacing, then I probably need to understand it too.

When I'm writing, and especially when I'm revising, if I see a particular spot where things don't seem to be moving at all, I know I've got to create some sort of discord or something to get that thing moving faster. Readers long for surprise. They want and need the unexpected. I want to give it to them. So what am I doing about this? I'm trying to read great novels and I am going to search out the moments of tension. Then I'm going to think about how the author plays with that tension to create the perfectly paced book. :)

So am I the only writer that has a hard time with this? :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

What jewels do you have tucked away?

On Miss Snarks First Victim she asks the question, What is your "sekrit project"? I was thinking about this today too. I have some picture books tucked away in my files that I think are really good. I would love to see them published one day soon. I too have a rhyming picture book that I need to work on a little more. I would think it would be in some children's bookcases someday soon. I have looked at picture books in the library and at book stores. There are some very good picture books and some very bad picture books too.

What do you have that you would love to see published one day but you have put it away to work on some other things?

What jewels do you have hiding in your file cabinet or stuffed in a drawer? It might be time to take them out and give 'em the once over. You never know what could happen. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zombie Haiku contest alert

Uh yeah, I said Zombie Haiku contest alert. :) Over at Angela's. So go on and write some zombie poetry. :)

Writing exercises

I never liked writing exercises. I always thought they were a waste of time. But lately, I have been REBORN. A true believer in these little exercises. I think they are especially good for dialogue. Sometimes we try to do too much with dialogue. I've been guilty of puffing my story up using dialogue. You know, thinking lots of talking will fix my problem. We want convincing dialogue. Sometimes it's best to hush up. You can't center your story on conversations. It needs a lot more.

So back to the exercises. They are helping me to see when and how much dialogue I need. Have you ever tried writing a story using nothing but dialogue? And only add detail, scenes or otherwise, through your spoken words. It's hard, but fun. It will help you to see that using dialogue is only one facet of writing a book. And after you have written your scene or even an entire chapter using nothing but dialogue, then cut,cut, and cut some more. You'll be left with the bare bones and the most important dialogue you'll need. Words have meaning. Use all your words wisely. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This is for all my bloggy buds! Apologies and virtual chocolate fudge cookies all around. The hospital trips took the toll on me. I have been minus any energy for a week. So I just have been LAZY. Not really done anything. Which is unlike me. I just got to where it was a job to drag the ol' bod out of bed in the morning. Taking into account I got a new mattress. My dream mattress. A tempur pedic. Woohoo! That thing is just sooo lovely!

Anyway, I'm back at it and please accept my apologies. I love each and every one of you so very much.

I am still taking my son to Chapel Hill, but resting before and after. So I don't get rundown like that ever again. :) After all he needs a mama that is healthy. We still don't have any news on what could be wrong, but we need prayers for him that's for sure.

The horse Zelda has lost a lot of weight. But we're hoping that she won't have to be put down. YAYYAY!

I'm sorry and I'm visiting everyone that I can today. Watch out! Here I come. :)

Thanks. :)