Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fodder Gathering Season

Summer is almost upon us, and we are on somewhat of a vacation. I will still write a weekly blog post, but at times it will be shorter.

Visiting, is our granddaughter, Carley, whom I am home schooling, and my husband's mom. I am grateful, as we create wonderful memories, but my writing comes in quick snatches.

I carve out time to work on my chapters in the early morning and during moments when Carley works independently by my side. But, before I could get into that new writing routine, I had to learn HOW to home school twelve-year-old Carley. With help from her mother, we finished the second week just fine. And guess what? Carley taught me surface areas in pre-algebra. Sooooo . . . this old Nana can learn past her fractions, after all.

Most of us writers take blocks of time to live life. It's a requirement, really, not only our responsibility to our loved ones, but to gain fodder for writing.

Presently, I'm in a fodder gathering season. I must not get in a knot, because I've cut back on my writing. No! When fodder gathering passes, I'll have much more to use in my stories.

With Carley and her great-granny here, how could I not?

Carley and I took Granny for a wheelchair walk down to the creek. For one of her school assignments, Carley reads "Walk Two Moons" to Granny and Granny loves the story (Carley reads better as she nears the end of the book). Yesterday, we visited a drive-through wild life animal park. Carley took a bunch of photos, and we all felt small as the giraffe sauntered by.

Living life, the good and the hard, is truly an amazing accomplishment. Then, we dissect what we choose by writing and reliving it all over again.

Until next time . . . live life and then sit down and write.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

When Someone You Know Publishes A First Book

Recently, an acquaintance of mine announced her first book to be published in 2012. When I read that my eyes nearly popped, and I walked around for an hour with a big smile.

I am truly excited for her.

It is good to be happy for those who publish their first books. In the past, I've felt jealousy many times, but as I grow as a writer . . . as I become more confident and spend time to make my story its best, that all too familiar feeling of the ugly green monster fads. He's a pale, pale green.

I am glad.

I want only the best for fellow writers and feel ashamed at my bouts of jealousy. I am certain if I live long enough, my time will come. It came when I published over three dozen articles, short stories, and puzzles. Didn't it? Well, sure. Even though I am creeping toward the age of the big 6 0, I am no longer worried. Why? I read about the eighty-year-old who published her first book.

So there!

Back to the author who is about to see her first book in print, I salute you!

Until next time . . . keep thy seat into thy chair and write.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chrisitan Writers Fellowship International, After 35 Years

I joined Christian Writers Fellowship International over ten years ago. A group of Christian writers that help one another, I most certainly benefited along the path to publishing and beyond. Beyond that? CWFI list serve members are prayer warriors. I have prayed for others and they have prayed for me. We are still praying. I love the writing support, but in all honesty, I've gained much more from their prayers.

After 35 years of serving writers, CWFI is closing its doors. At first I thought, "No more CWFI?" Well, not so. It's true the newsletter will stop. But, CWFI is already on FaceBook. Sandy Brooks, our wonderful director of CWFI plans to add a blog in the near future.

Now I'm thinking, "This won't be so bad. Just different."

What about Sandy? She will go through adjustments after serving writers through CWFI, since 1981. She gave her time, as a labor of love, so the changes for her will prove heart wrenching.

Sandy, thank you, God bless you, and I'm sure the next job God gives to you will bless others, once again.

All the best . . . for there is a time for every season.

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Colorado Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest

Last November, I entered the first few pages and the synopsis of my upper middle grade novel in the Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Contest. I paid the fee for one critique and hoped for the best.

In April, I received an e-mail saying I did not place, and the judges comments and critique were enclosed. What I found pleased me. Two judges gave honest and helpful feedback. I am grateful to them and wrote a thank you note as my response to their meaty suggestions.

As I read the paperwork, I could see right off that Pikes Peak's point system and format was simple and organized. The points I earned for my story, CLAIRELEE A.D. (AFTER DISASTER), were the middle end of the grading system. I lacked fourteen points to get into the final judging of the contest.

Before I received the contest outcome, I read an article about how important judges comments can be to your story. I agreed, because the judges suggestions had a familiar ring. When I receive comments from agents, they're saying much of the same thing. With that many folks agreeing with what's not working, I have a clearer understanding of how to rework the plot and make this story worthy for young readers.

Next year I'll enter another story I am working on in the Pikes Peak Fiction Writers Contest. On second thought, CLAIRELEE A.D. (AFTER DISASTER) should be ready by then. I should re-enter CLAD and see what happens.

Until next time . . .