Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Penultimate Day of 2006

2006 is winding down. Here are some of my greatest writing lessons for this year,

1. Listen to your editors and revise your manuscript accordingly.

2. Sprinkle vibrant language throughout your manuscripts like fairy dust.

3. Think of grammar as an art form and use it to subtly shade your work.

4. For me, I should avoid writing lesson plans at all costs!

5. Helping others create has inherent energy that spills into your own projects.

6. Sometimes the stress that you hate is the catalyst that is moving you forward in a project.

7. Focus on the writing and don't worry about the rejection slips.

8. The real achievement is the writing.

9. In the end, our goal should be connecting with our readers.

10. Meaningful stories are created in thousands of little moments.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

About Stuff and Hanging with the Peeps

I'm scoring "the not to be named test". Oh, how it sucks all creative power out of me. I'm also emailing out for permission info for my current working project. This is certainly another creative drain.

On the new project front: I have a good idea for a new picture book floating around in my head. Perhaps I will begin to research it.

On the Novel Push 2007: I'm mulling about what project to write next year. I might finish writing Profit. This book has vast scope and I predict will take up 3 novel writing years. Ouch.

On another note: Hey, post your novel project with me when I officially post my Novel Push 2007. It's fun. You can brag about all your awesome work and drafts get written slowly over months.

On the paying project front: I have rewrites for my easy readers coming up. The permissions are also in response to an upcoming project. I'm hoping for a decent amount of work next year.

Writing is about the long term. I'm much better at writing than dieting. This is a mystery to me. I hope you have had time to hang out with the peeps this holiday week.I come from generations of folks that march to the beat of their own drum.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Santa, Thanks!

Dear Santa,

I would like to thank you for turning back on the electricity. I saw your elves (PSE repair guys, YOU ROCK!). Wow, they put in some awesome power lines. The old ones were pretty much a pile of matchsticks, as you know. You have made me a very happy gal! I am really not a Little House on the Prairie type. I need my heat, lights and reliable Internet. Tell Rudolph (I bet he helped too, with his electric nose so bright) thanks and let all the reindeer know I say, "Hi!" I'm putting out See's chocolates on Christmas Eve and Smith Brothers Milk. You are the best!

May your days be merry and bright!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

All I Want For Christmas...

Electricity! Power has now been out in the Wilds of Woodinville for 48 hours with no change in sight. The local energy company indicates that it will be many days before we have power.

So, how do I write this email? I'm in Colorado with my fab sister Lee Ann Kuruganti. I have heat and light. It's just peachy here. My husband is camping out in freezing conditions in our house with the Js (I believe a few extra teens have also showed up.)

My order is in.

Dear Santa, Please send electricity.

I'm scoring the "not to be named test", and as usual it is sucking the creative energy right out of me. I went to an exhibition at the Museum of Outdoor Art to get an extra boost of creative oomph. I want to go to the DAM too, to get a DAM t-shirt for my oldest son.

Well, if you have power, yea! If not, stay warm!

Anywho, for all, I hope that you are finding creative power during this busy season!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Golden Coffee Cuppers! Take note.

If you're out there and had to revise your Golden Coffee Cup goal and are moping because you did not get your GCC; perhaps you feel like Brimstone Soup author Holly, send me an email ( and let me know. I will happily send you Golden Coffee Cup. We are really about substance, not quantity. Enjoy the journey of writing. Enjoy every last drop of it.

I'm not bothered one bit by revised goals. Most of life is about revision anyway. Did you make a goal? If the goal was too ambitious, did you adjust the goal and keep on working? Well, that awesome to me!!! So Golden Coffee Cup worthy.

Write from your heart each day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Egg Update and Good Books.

Egg Update. The egg is about to sprout wings and fly. Read about eggs here.

I went to the SCBWI meeting in Seattle last night; a big yahoo to Deb Lund for her insight in how to get a "master plan" going as a writer. I did run into the unfortunate truth that most of my goals fall squarely on my shoulder sand no one can really help me achieve those goals. BTW, no one has an ear for verse like Deb. Check out her books.
Thanks to the fab, fab authors and illustrators who have made a certain elementary school very happy. Kirby Larson, Michelle Torrey, Erik Brooks, Meg Lippert, Won-Ldy Paye, Julie Paschikis and Bonny Becker. You folks create awesome stories.
Hey, Mid-Winter ALA conference is in Seattle this year. I have a sealed list of my Newbery favorites. Let's see if I'm right this year! HBS (yes), F, W, A, and E are all on that list.
Gayle Richardson, a former librarian, shared her favorite books of the year. I appreciated the perspective. And let's hear it for the cookies! A little known fact about children's book authors and illustrators, manynot forgott love to bake cookies and this year's competition was a testimony to the competitive spirit.
Allyson, Valentine Schrier, if I had remembered to bring my Mississippi Mud I would have taken down those Angel Bars! Wait till next year!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sighting on Amazon

I hope you enjoyed the Golden Coffee Cup. If you need your award, go to the Golden Coffee Cup link and look at the last post. There you will find instructions on how to receive the coveted award.

My work-for-hire book is available on Amazon! Rocks and Minerals by Molly Blaisdell, well, rocks. It's just an amazingly beautiful book. Go check it out.

According to Christina Wildson in her article "Will Write for Food: Scribbling for Hire" in Fall 2006 Chinook, some consider our work-for-hire work to be like living in a ghetto." I learned also that I'm a hack -- "one who forfeits individual freedom and action or professional integrity in exchange for wages or other assured reward; esp: a writer who works mainly for hire." Really, teenagers need many pairs of blue jeans and being a hack provides for such needed things. And, I'm with Christina, it's a joy to write these books and a thrill to know that children will read them.

For the record, I've been from the wrong side of tracks my whole life and arrogant folks who publicly look down their noses at the honest work of others need to visit Miss Manners and keep their comments to observations about the weather (Thank you, Miss Austen).

Now, on to news. That rocking egg was bouncing up and down this week and (top secret, shhhhh, editor emails and calls, not saying a word until ink slides against paper, no dancing in the streets, yet) I predict EXCITING news is ahead; furthermore, signs and portents indicate that I will be a hack (nothing wrong with that) no longer.