Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Sad Farewell to WUW

Hello, friends!  Let's play another round of What's Up Wednesday!  WUW is a writerly blog hop started by Erin Funk and Jaime Morrow.  And sadly, this week's is the last one!  You can find out more here.  I will still be posting every week though, if I can remember!
What I'm Reading:
 WHEN YOU REACH ME, a super fun MG time travel book.
 JAKE AND LILY, Twins with a special connection have to learn to have lives apart from each other. LOVE Jerry Spinelli, and this book didn't disappoint.
WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE, First daughter Audrey is inspired when she finds an old journal of Alice Roosevelts.  I liked the concept of this one (and I love anything that makes me feel like I learned something about history) but I just didn't feel like the voice was very authentic.

What I'm Writing:  Query letters and an Editing Plan for Nano in April.

What Works for Me:  I have seriously loved being a part of What's Up Wednesday and I really want to stay connected to you all through writing challenges and Twitter!  Thanks for all the encouragement and advice!

What Else is Going On:  Spring break is next week, and I could not be more excited.  I love having a week wide open with just me and the kiddos and nothing  on our schedules.

I am going to be attempting to follow your blogs by email or subscription so that we can stay in touch.  Would you mind doing the same?  I have had this blog for over a year and I believe I have one follower... LOL.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunshine and SCBWI

Hello there, Wednesday Warriors.  Welcome to another installment of What's Up Wednesday, a writerly blog hop created by Erin Fun and Jamie Marrow.  Click here to learn how you can play along.
We need a springy-er button...

What I've Been Reading:  This week I read two terrific MG books.  First, The Magician's Elephant, by Kate Dicamillo.  This story is told from a whole bunch of different character's perspectives and all the different story lines tie together neatly.  I was going to give it three stars because I kept getting tripped up by the flowery language, but then one scene totally made me cry, so I bumped it up to four!

Next, I read Freaky Fast Franky Joe by Lutricia Clifton.  I loved this book.  The story was so heartwarming, and the pacing was great.  It's about a trailer park kid who moves to the country with his dad and half sibs.  A really fun contemp MG.

What I'm Writing:  All I've really been writing this week are pitches for #pitmad, which is today, and so far no love for Braya (UNDER THE BLUE, MG Sci-fi).  I guess the day is not over yet, so I should keep my chin up.  

What Works for Me: I love going to my local SCBWI conference in the fall.  The speakers and classes are so helpful, and you get to meet some agents and editors in person.  I highly recommend if you have never gone before.  It is also a great place to meet other writers and potential CPs.

What Else I've Been Up To:  SUNSHINE ON MY FACE.  Yay for no more snow drifts.  At least not this week.  In Missouri, you are not really safe until June. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pickles and Barf

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop for writers created by Jamie Marrow and Erin Funk.  Click here for more information or to find out how you can play along.

What I've Been Reading:

This week I read PICKLE by Kim Baker.  What an amazing example of middle grade voice.  And it is super funny and cute.  This is the tone that I am going for in basically all of my MG books.

What I'm Writing:  I have been using the amazing website Fiction University to help edit my Mary Poppins re-imagined MG.  This site is awesome, you guys.  I gives you step-by-step, day-by-day ideas for editing, and lots of information if you are a newbie like me.

I have also been working on my outline for my April WIP, which is currently titled SMALL TOWN HERO, which will be a contempt MG.

What Works for Me:  I would like to preface this section by saying that really none of this works for me yet, or I would have an agent and a book deal.  So lets call this section "Stuff Niki has tried".  I was struggling this week to get all the points on my outline.  I usually try using beat sheets, but for whatever reason, I was having a hard time getting the scenes to flow.  Soooo....  I watched a comp movie.  Granted, reading a comp book and taking notes would have been better, but I can watch an entire disney movie during my kiddos nap time.  All I needed was a middle grade, fish-out-of-water story.  It didn't have to be too close to what I plan to write, I just wanted to analze the story structure.  So I watched the cult classic (don't judge me) CADET KELLY staring Hillary Duff.

While this movie was by no means a literary classic, it did the trick.  I now have an outline with all the scenes scribbled out.  What I need to do now is to go back and make sure that they are all good, move the plot along, tie together, blah blah blah.  But just like writing the actual novel, the outline comes in several different drafts.  At least for me.  So I have a good idea where that one is going now.

What Else is Going On:  We have the pukes here.  Specifically my children have, and my husband and I have been under the weather as well, so NO BUENO.