Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Year of the Wooden Horse*

With roses that dwarf my fruit trees
in a spring that would tear open summer,
I outline stories for a wooden horse.

He gallops,
heedless of my mistakes--
of my need to perfect

Little green apples swell,
but the horse will not touch them.
Not yet.

*It's National Poetry Month. :o)

I've been outlining a lot for a pantser (no, Autocorrect, I am not a panther) lately. I've outlined and written synopses for two books in a MG space opera series, and I've been outlining some pretty major changes to TBW.

I've also been researching Constantinople and trying to perfect a couple of picture books.

In the world outside my head, I've been gardening, mothering, volunteering at the local fair, and teaching little kiddos to read. I love it when they put things together near the end of the year and get excited about reading.

What have you been up to this month? 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Goldi Rocks Release Giveaway!

Putnam released GOLDI ROCKS AND THE THREE BEARS earlier this month, though I was lucky enough to score a galley in December. Written in limericks, by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton, it tells the story of the Three Bear Band's search for a soprano. I especially enjoyed the nod toward tryouts for shows like American Idol. It's a fun read.

Goldi Rocks & the Three Bears

Corey Rosen Schwartz's THE THREE NINJA PIGS (also written in limericks) ties with Mo Willems's GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS for my favorite picture book retelling. It's hilarious.

The Three Ninja Pigs

I'm excited to read the sequel that's due to release in July, NINJA RED RIDING HOOD.

Ninja Red Riding Hood

So, to celebrate the release of GOLDI ROCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, I'm giving one of the above away. The winner may choose which picture book they'd like, but remember that NINJA RED RIDING HOOD won't ship until July. To enter, tell me which fairy tale character* intrigues you most. I'll throw in a bonus entry if you tell me why. You have until noon on March 15th (the Ides of March) to enter.

*I'm not going to be strict about this. If you want to use Mr. Darcy as your fairy tale character, that's fine by me. ;o)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Backup Plans

Earlier today I finished my twelfth draft (103,718 words) of TBW.

And I would just like to remind you to make sure you have some kind of plan in place to retrieve backup files on your computer. The Mac I'm working from is less than a year old, and I didn't realize that I needed to activate Time Machine if I wanted to be able to access older files. Lesson learned. But I lost my eleventh draft.

There are worse horror stories out there. I still had the tenth draft to work from, and my youngest arranged her Totoro figurines on my desk to cheer me up.

But make sure you have a safety net in place. If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear what you use. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Music and Writing

At 103,644 words, my tenth draft of TBW is finished. Reward: my favorite chocolate and Laini Taylor's latest offering, NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS, await.

But today, I want to discuss finding inspiration in music. There are a lot of people who listen to music while they write. I am not one of those people. However, over the course of writing TBW, I'd occasionally hear a song that would remind me of a character and flood me with insight into who she was, and it was always the same character. She isn't the POV character. In fact, she started out with a minor role, but over the course of many drafts, she's become my favorite of the three main characters.

As I hadn't experienced this musical phenomena while writing any of my other stories, I'd attributed it to the character and let it go at that. Having access to music that drops me into the story has been great for revision.

But then, yesterday, I heard a song and thought, "That's HIM. He doesn't have a name yet, and I'm going to kill him off, but THAT is my character." This character had a minor role in my first draft of Nightingale (so minor that I didn't bother to name him), but now I'm excited to see how his story evolves. :o)

And now I'm curious. Does music play a role in your creative process?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm one picture book idea away from completing PiBoIdMo, and I'm excited to explore my new ideas with Ann Whitford Paul's WRITING PICTURE BOOKS. I've only read the first chapter (which was excellent), but I've been excited to work my way through it since reading this review by Harold Underdown (though maybe not quite as excited as I am for this week's pie and cheesecake).

May your week be delicious!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Picture Book Idea Month

I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but I did jump on the PiBoIdMo wagon. I just finished a rough draft last month and should should have TBW (a much older manuscript) ready to query this month. I don't need that kind of push in the novel department right now.

I'm having so much fun coming up with picture book ideas that I'm ahead. It doesn't demand anywhere near the time commitment that NaNoWriMo does. If you're interested, you have until November 7th to register. Clicking on the icon will take you where you need to go.

Mostly, I'm revising TBW. But where I live, it's also time to put in a winter garden, and I'd like to do a better job of that this year.

What are you working on this month?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Queries and Loglines

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to come up with a better query for TBW. I loathe writing queries, especially queries for fantasy. I've lost track of how many queries I've written for this story.

Like many other blogging writers, I subscribe to Miss Snark's First Victim, and I noticed last week that she was holding another logline critique this week. So, I condensed TBW into a couple of sentences and submitted it. If any of you want to advise me, it'll be up for critique tomorrow as Entry #35.

Working on a logline helped me come up with a new (and hopefully better) query. We'll see.

Do you have any tips on writing queries?