Monday, June 28, 2010
Welcome to Monday! (Please say that in that overly cheerful voice that you just know is faked, but has just enough hope left to not pull someones hair out) Every time I touch the keyboard today something comes up, so updates are late and no progress has really been made... but it is a Monday after all. I will cut it some slack and hope that tomorrow brings a little more co-ordination to my forward momentum. I do, after all, TRY not to fall on my face where goals are concerned all that often.
So this week I only have two goals and they are tied together. They are a really big set to me though. I am going to fine tune Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny so that she can be on her way to Candlewick Press by Friday when I update again. That's all I'm On My Way To, but it's an awfully big step, so here's hoping I don't trip over my own feet with typos or over-revising.
I'm posting some roses from the circular flower bed in the side yard. They are gorgeous, and cheerful and bright, but require a delicate touch because of the thorns... Sort of like revisions. Handle roses wrong and the thorns will make you forget how wonderful the flowers are, handle revisions wrong and the mistakes will make you forget how great the story is!
Have a great week, and I'll see you Friday!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I spent Friday finishing a paper making project because the repetition of the process left my brain wide open to think while I still managed to get something I've been planning on doing for a Long time done. I had gotten everything except the decision on Clyde done - the new critique group looks like it's going to be wonderful and my office is more organized than it has been in ages - and really needed to spend some focused time weighing my options there. In the end, two things tipped the balance in favor of sending Clyde to Candlewick for review. The first one is curiosity, I just can't stand NOT knowing if they would have said yes. The second is optimism. I will be out nothing but a little time with a "no" and, since I'm confident in the story, I feel that Clyde stands at least as much chance as anything else of getting a "Yes". Plus, I'm hoping to have a little bit of fun with this on my website. Flexibility is important, and so is a little risk taking, so I'm going to bend my plan and be brave with this choice. I've got a few more minor revisions I want to make, but with luck I'll have that done next week and Clyde will be off to her adventure with the publishers. With luck I'll know something on both the Clyde story and the Bart story (which is currently in the very capable hands of Cathy Teets with Headline Books) sometime before October. Keep your fingers crossed for me! (Toes too!)While I'm waiting, maybe I can catch up on some weeding and actual writing *laughing* See you on Monday with some new goals - until then, here is a picture of my favorite lily in the flower bed, some more of these are on my list for the store when I get out next. Enjoy your weekend!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Happy Summer! Although this is the longest day of the year, I've been rushing around more than usual trying to keep up with it. Then again, I am dealing with Universal Giggling of the good kind, so a little adrenaline is expected. Here's what happened:
My friend and fellow writer, Theresa Flerx (www.tflerxanecdotalist.com), convinced me that going up to Charleston last Saturday was definitely a good idea since they were having a publishing panel in at Taylor Books. She also convinced me that I should pitch a manuscript to Cathy Teets, President of Headline Books in Terra Alta, WV. I had planned to pitch Clyde, but at the very last second decided that Bart and the Amber Bee Award just felt like a better fit for Ms. Teets publishing house. I must have made the right decision because I was asked to send the entire manuscript and a copy of Fiddlebug so that she could see my illustrations! While this is not a promise of publication and the dreaded and dreary "No" is still hovering like a shadow, this is the first time that I have a bright and sparkly "Yes" hovering too! Since I got the manuscript and the book sent today, I've only got to wait to see which lands. Keep your fingers crossed for the "Yes" if you would - your well wishes will add into the ones sent by the wonderful people at my post office and hopefully convince that "Yes" to kick the "No" out! So it's been a really busy and rather emotional day already and I haven't even got all of my updates posted yet LOL Many thanks to Theresa for talking me into going and to Cathy for wanting to read my words and see if they will fit into one of her books!
Now on to what I need to be On My Way To this week: First things first is to finish with the organization that I started last week. I also have to print out 8 copies of something I've written for my first meeting with the writer's group in Lewisburg - nothing like trial by fire *laughing*! I'm going to take Dragonpox since I've been stuck quite long enough there I think. I also want to work on some honeybee research and an illustration for Ms. Teets because she publishes educational books and believes that the bee information would definitely add to that theme. Most difficult, I have a decision to make on Clyde. While I do not believe Headline Books would be interested in her without a rewrite (educational theme) I do believe she should be in a book, and I have that one manuscript I can send to Candlewick still waiting to be sent... By Friday I will have decided whether to potentially mess up my self-publishing schedule and take the chance on Candlewick picking my little undead dust-bunny to be one of their books or not. Ah, possibilities are so confusing sometimes - and in such wonderful ways too! So there you have my list for the week. I'll work on my part and let you know what is on the other side of the tunnel when I get to the end of it!
p.s. I thought you could use some happy daisies from the front garden to cheer your week on. I hope you enjoy them!
Friday, June 18, 2010
I... am a lousy liar or I would SAY that I got my list done and I would pick up flowers when I go out to run errands today. I did get a solid start on my list and I hacked it down about 80%, and I came up with a pretty good list of excuses... I mean REASONS... to not quite have made it through all of my e-mails and getting my notes from the conference typed up. Mostly, though, I'll admit that I severely under-estimated the week, and over-estimated my invisible superwoman cape and its ability to let me keep up with everything. Ah well, I shall live without new additions to the flower beds... which need weeded anyway... until next week. For now, me and that cape are going to go try to keep up with the wonderful weekend ahead! I hope yours keeps you smiling too!
(Note on the art: I painted that quite a while ago - now it reminds me of the meadow pond in Fiddlebug. Sometimes I wonder if that particular fictitious forest has always been floating around in my head)
Monday, June 14, 2010
Ah, the Monday after a great weekend of "something different". I'm both glad to be home and wish that I was still drinking down all the information at the conference. I had an absolutely wonderful time, and am already planning on attending next year - better prepared even! Just a quick rundown of the weekend, and then I'll move forward into this weeks goals:
I went up to Ripley on Thursday and snuck in a "vacation day" so I wouldn't have to drive the whole way at O'dark-thirty Friday morning. I'm REALLY glad I did too - not only because highway driving is on my top 5 list of least favorite things either. So after a relaxing and (overly) quiet night, I headed over to Cedar Lakes Conference Center and moved in there from Friday until Sunday. Gorgeous park, and for camp type rooms, the accommodations were actually more than I was expecting. Everything was within walking distance which meant I didn't even have to deal with moving the car all weekend so it felt even more like a vacation in that way. The schedule of workshops kept me hopping all three days, and the presenters were great! I learned a lot, and have a feeling that once I go back through my notes and handouts I'll find that I learned even more than I think I did. The entertainment each night was great, and I only regret that I was so tired Saturday that I didn't stay for the after performance acoustic session. The banquet was wonderful with inspirational and touching moments and I have a goal to hear my name on the prize list next year (better start writing hu LOL). The only odd point about going is that now I'm not quite as sure of my plan for Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny as I was before... my dream publisher, Candlewick Press, had a representative there. Normally they do not accept unagented manuscripts, but anyone attending the conference can send them one for consideration... It's actually a tough decision. I'm proud of myself for sticking to my schedule and Clyde is ready for the printer just as soon as I file for copyright and save up just a tiny bit more money... I could have the book in my hand in August as planned. OR I could take the chance that Candlewick will pick her up. I'd want the last read through and check for revisions that I've already got planned, so I'd send her out at the end of this month, then the publisher would have 3 months to look her over, if they say Yes it would be at least a year and a half before she would be in print, and she would have a different illustrator (which actually doesn't bother me that much). I would still have to do a lot of the marketing especially after the initial push. I'm just not sure how much farther ahead that would actually put me... I'm welcoming opinions. You can either post them in the comments section or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch me on facebook.
So aside from that quandary which is actually a good thing, the whole weekend went terrifically! I'd recommend the WV Writer's Conference to anyone who is interesting in writing.
So now for what I'm On My Way To this week. ORGANIZATION!!! I've got a LOT of info from the conference to go through (as you can see in the picture) and e-mail to catch up on, and it would seem my desk has been lost once again under everything from stray coupons to a bottle of Foot Soak. I also have some new friendships to build so that means e-mails have to happen. It should be a busy week! As for writing, I'm wanting to start something new that I can fit into another blog, so I think I'll use this week to start brainstorming how I want it to turn out. I'll add more about that another day, but for now, I need to start with the stepping. I'll check in on Friday to let you know how it goes!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Day one of the conference! I've been up here in Ripley since yesterday afternoon, now I'm getting ready to relocate over to Cedar Lakes Conference Center where I'll be learning all sorts of things that I didn't know I needed to know for the next 3 days - I'm really excited! My brain has needed some food for thought lately to add some new flavor to the synapses sparking up there. The only downside I can see right now is that I'm going to have to get some allergy medicine - I don't' know what pollen is out up here, but it's evil stuff!
Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend! I'll be back to babble on Monday!
(p.s. The picture is a Luna Moth - has absolutely nothing to do with anything here, but I thought you might like it - it was taken at our house)
Monday, June 7, 2010
Yay! Finally technology has decided to play nice (keeping fingers crossed since it's not official until the post is up!) I hate it when Monday's are typically Monday-ish, but I guess that's just the nature of the beast sometimes.
So, this week is not going to be a flower week - sorry to anyone who may have been hoping for the variegated twisted reeds, or something bright to fill in the whole by the orange and yellow lilies in the fairy bed. This week is all about the Writer's Digest Summer Conference up in Ripley, WV. I've had my reservations made for a while now, but still the weekend seems to be coming up fast and the 'what should I take' question is looming. Thankfully it's a casual conference, so I don't have to worry about walking in heels along with remembering names and introducing my writing self positively (two current biggest fears right at the moment!) This will be my first ever writer's conference, so I'm planning on being as sponge like as possible and soaking up all the information I possibly can. I've picked my top 2 choices for workshops in each time slot (just in case my top one is too full). I've printed out my directions. I've got a general idea of what I'm packing as far as clothes go. All that is really left is the important part of what writing examples I should take. This week, payoff will be having a wonderful time among other's who share my interest in words, so I'm On My Way To getting ready for the adventure!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Really late post this week, but I've got a good excuse! Two birthdays in one week means twice the cake... it took me a little longer to actually reach the end of the list due to all the waddling =). Seriously though, mission complete for the week and I even threw in weeding the fairy bed so I could update some flowerbed pictures on my facebook page. Feel free to wander over and check them out! Truthfully it was a wonderful week! I hope you enjoyed yours too.