Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Remember Me?

Hey everybody!  It has been while since I caught you up on all the goings on around here, so I'm gonna get you up to speed!

What I'm Reading:  Summer is the BEST time for reading, don't you think?  I listened to some awesome audio books while driving to Colorado, sunning on the beach and hanging by the pool.  And since I wasn't doing any drafting, I let myself indulge in some adult reads!  

I read THE HUSBANDS SECRET and loved it!  I especially loved how the author used the epilogue to let the reader in on some secrets that even the characters didn't know!  I also got to meet Laura
McHugh, fellow mid-west writer, this summer at the Woodneath Library.  Her book THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD was a real page turner!

What I'm Writing:  Right now I am about 50% done with the second round of edits on my MG Swiss Family Robinson Retelling.  I hope to have it off to CPs by the end of the week.  The only other writing work I got done over the summer was editing the MG fantasy I wrote back in February.  I'm really having trouble with it, though, so have decided to shelve it until inspiration strikes.  I am also trying to come up with an idea for this year's Nanowrimo.  I'm thinking contemp MG, hopefully something funny.  So wish me luck!

What Else is Going On:  BOTH KIDS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!  My little guy will be in pre-K for three whole days per week, and my daughter is now a big second grader (eeeek!)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fingers A' Flyin'!

Hullo my lovely writer friends!  Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I've been pretty busy being productive over here.

(Not my actual laptop)

What I'm Reading:  Somebody suggested I might like a new series.  Anybody a fan of OUTLANDER?  It's pretty much awesome and quite the departure from the kid lit i usually read.  I just finished book two and I can't wait to start book three!  I also read another adult book this last week (two in a row!) called AFTER I DO by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  The characters in this book reminded me a lot of my husband and I... until they did what they did.  LOL.  

What I'm Writing: So back in February I drafted a MG Fantasy called THRICE STRIKEN, and I have spent this month revising it.  It's a little bit cleaner now, but still need a bunch of work.   Lots of time between rounds of editing is the key.  It helps you read each draft with fresh eyes.

What Else is Going On:  Last night I hosted a SCBWI critique group at the library.  We had seven (!) people show up, and everyone brought stuff to be critiqued!  It was a really good group and we had a fun mix of YA and MG.  Also, there were scones.  

Until next time, may the writing muses smile on you!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Drafting and Vampires

Hello Lovely Readers and Writers!  I hope you have been well in my long, long, looooong absence!  Let me catch you up on what I've been up to!

What I'm Reading: I have just finished THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by one of my favorite authors, Miss Holly Black, and she did not disappoint.  This was a vampire story but kind of post-apocalypse.  Very cool! (See what I did there???). 

Last night I started this little gem...
And wow, what a start!  Sucked me right in!

What I've been writing:

I just finished drafting a MG fantasy that involves a lot of lightning and music and sisterly bonding.  It was really fun to write!  Now I'm letting it rest while I turn my attention to my next project, which will be another retelling.  I'm going to be knocking that one out in April Nano!  And then this summer shall be the summer of editing!

Tonight is my local library's writer's group and I can't wait to talk books and writing with my fellow scribes!  Until next time!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dumplin's and Dark Forests

Ho Ho Ho, reader and writer friends!  Hope this holiday season finds you surrounded by family and friends and, of course, a big pile of books!

What I've Been Reading:  The last two books I read were fantastic.  
DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy was about a Dolly Parton fangirl trying to figure out what kind of person she wants to be.  I thought the character arc in this one was amazing.
And Dear Sweet Holly Black, every time I read one of your books I don't want to ever write anything ever again because it will never be as good as your words.  THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST left me with a book hangover.

What I've Been Writing:  Wait, I'm supposed to be writing???  I am currently suffering from idea paralysis.  I got 30 K into my Nano project before abandoning it.  It was eww.  I have had some wild dreams though, and in the wee hours of the night they seem like brilliant book ideas.  I will wake up in the morning with a text from myself with cryptic reminders such as "Donald duck, but in space and with lemongrass."  *scratches head*  Most of these gems are still in the brainstorming phase...

What Else Has Been Going On:  MANNY is still on submission, but it seems like publishing comes to a grinding halt for the holidays, so nothing new to report.

Hope that you have a Holly Jolly Holiday!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nanowrimo: Middle Grade Style

Happy Fall Y'all from the Fountain City!

What I'm Reading:

I just finished a whole pile of middle grade books to get me in the mood to write my next MG adventure (see below).  AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS was a fun read.  It was a historical that still felt very relavent.

THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER was recommended to me at a conference as an example of great MG voice, and it did not disappoint.  The voice and emotions portrayed by the kids in this book were brilliantly done.

What I'm Writing:  
IT'S NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH!  I love me some Nanowrimo.  In fact, I participated in Nano in 2013 kind of on a whim, and now I am almost a real writer with an agent and everything!  I love the spirit of Nano, and all the in-real-life events.  Our local library has write-ins every Monday night in November and I love hanging out with other writers!  This year, I am writing a middle grade geocaching adventure.  Here's my progress so far:

What Else is Going On:
Tonight kicks off our SCBWI conference weekend!  I can't wait to mingle with other authors, listen to some great sessions, and get some signed books!  Woo Hoo!  November is the best writing month EVER.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How I Got My Agent

It has been an exciting few weeks, and I am happy to announce that I have signed with the talented Kate Testerman of KT Lit!

How I Got My Agent:

This story is not as dramatic as some.  I queried her.  She requested a partial.  She liked the partial and requested the full.  She liked the full and emailed me that she wanted to talk.

Here are the thoughts that ran through my mind when I read that email:  Where's the BUT???  (I really loved your story...BUT....)  And then I thought, "OMG.  I have to talk on the phone."  Because I really am not so good on the phone with the talking and the words.  My next thought was that she was probably going to give me an extensive list of revisions to complete before she offered representation.  I braced myself for the worst.  Would she want me to cut characters?  Add in subplots?  Change the beginning, middle and end????

But the phone call happened, and I managed to speak intelligently and not babble too much and Kate was super nice and told me how much she loved my book (Where's the BUT????).  She had one suggestion for revision that was so easy I almost cried, and when I sent it to her a few days later she said it was "Perfect.  Exactly what I was talking about."  Whew.  And then I had an agent!

Kate is a whiz with YA and MG sales.  Her clients that I spoke to had nothing but awesome things to say about her, so I really feel good about our mutual togetherness.  So here's to The Manny and the Motorcycle going on submission... May the Odds be Ever in our Favor!

(And here is my Fancy-Schmancy really real author head shots taken by the amazing Calle MacGregor)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Frosty Mosquitos

Hey Friends!  What's up with you on this lovely Wednesday?

What I'm Reading:  
Just finished this gem.  Sarah Addison Allen is the master of magical realism.  I love this book so hard.

And now i am diving into MOSQUITOLAND.  The MC in this is so quirky and crazy and man oh man does she have voice.

What I'm Writing:  I am in full blown editing mode.  I have given myself a deadline of having a second draft of BERNICE BUTTMAN'S GUIDE TO HALFWAY by the end of September.  I am enjoying the edits so far. I love taking this formless lump and making it shine!
PS- what do you think of the working title?  I'm still not sure...

What Else is Going On:  My kiddos have been sick, so really not much.  I entered a flash fiction contest and participated in #Pitmad.  I am prepping for SCBWI conference in November!  Can't wait!