Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
1. 12 years (Finally a question that stumped Stephanie!)
2. Jonathan, Patience and Fear
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I'll try to post answers soon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
In other news... my agent sent me two very nice rejection letters from two very big publishing houses yesterday. They were actually very encouraging -- I know this is definitely a strange oxymoron: "encouraging rejection letter." At least they had good things to say about my manuscript. Although, the nicest thing to hear would, of course, have been "YES"!
I keep encouraging myself with the fact that it only takes one "yes" to be published. Right? Right. For example, well-known and loved Dr. Seuss had nearly 30 rejections for one of his stories. I'd hate to be the editors who passed him up! And novelist John Grisham's first manuscript was rejected 45 times (by 30 agents and 15 publishers) before he was published. Whoa -- that's a lot of rejection "wallpaper"! At least I'm in good company.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Four Jobs That You Have Had In Your Life
1. Copy Editor at the Indianapolis Weekly (now defunct--hopefully not because of my editing!)
2. Lifestyles Writer for the Anderson Herald Bulletin
3. Product Editor at Warner Press
4. Assistant Reference Librarian at the Anderson Public Library
Four Movies That You Could Watch Over And Over
1. The Chronicles of Narnia (recent Disney/Walden Media version)
2. Somewhere in Time
3. It's a Wonderful Life
4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Four Shows That You Love to Watch
1. Local news (because I'm a news junkie)
2. Rachael Ray's talk show
3. Joan Steffen's Decorating Cents
4. Word World (a new show on PBS that my son loves and that I think is absolutely ingenious!)
Four Places You've Been On Vacation
1. Edinburgh, Scotland (my favorite place!)
2. Nassau, Bahamas
3. London, England
4. Sanibel Island, Florida
Four Websites That You Visit Daily
1. AOL -- to read my e-mail
2. Anderson Public Library (to check my overdues!)
3. My Bank (to check on my dwindling funds!)
4. Blasted Gourds (my pastor's blog)
Four Favorite Foods
3. Cheesecake Factory's Chicken Madeira
4. Cheesecake Factory's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Four Things you should be doing instead of this:
1. Cleaning the house
2. Doing the mountain of laundry in my laundry chute (out of sight, out of mind!)
3. Reading to my kids
4. Grading papers
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This actually isn't such a random comparison to draw because language and faith are intimately connected in the Christian church: We don’t dance to feel the spirit, and we rarely meditate to make it come. Instead we live in words: studying the Bible, singing the lyrics, and praying—in silence or out loud, but in language. Of course we hope with all these things to get beyond words; but language remains our primary method of approaching God, and often the only way we communicate our experience.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Frederick includes "Fun Facts about Louisa (May Alcott)" throughout the book. Here are some facts that I found particularly interesting:
- Louisa kept a "mood pillow" shaped like a sausage on the parlor sofa. When she was in a good mood, she stood it on end. When she wasn't, she placed it flat, and her family gave her some space.
- In addition to books for young people, Louisa also wrote for adults. Sometimes she wrote under pseudonyms, include Flora Fairfield, Tribulation Periwinkle, and A.M. Barnard, under which alias she published what she called "blood and thunder" thrillers.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
"She likes the book as she told you, and she really "gets" it, loved the newspaper story from which it was developed. She has not however yet read the revision, due to her commitments to get everything ready for BEA itself. We definitely had a great impression of her as a person, both Linda and I liked her very much, she is enthusiastic, pragmatic, sees and understands the story in the marketplace. We wanted you to know all this news which we feel is good."
I like good news just as much as the next girl, but now I'm here, still waiting. I'll let you know when the waiting game is over...
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Here are a few of my favorite recent reads:
- Rules by Cynthia Lord -- This Newbery Honor book is a beautiful, funny, brutally honest portrayal of how autism -- and other disabilities -- change life for everyone. The main character is 12-year-old Catherine, who is torn between her love for her 8-year-old autistic brother, David, and her embarrassment of him. To explain life in terms David understands, Catherine creates a list of "Rules," including "No toys in the fish tank" and "Flush." An interesting sub-plot involving a new neighbor and a new paraplegic friend keep the story moving. I absolutely loved this book! Having grown up with an epileptic brother, I could totally relate to Catherine's conflicting feelings.
- How My Private Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia DeVillers -- Jamie Bartlett is tired of feeling like a nobody. The magazines she reads bombard her with photos of perfect-bodied, beautiful girls, and she's tormented by the "Populars" at school, too. Venting her frustrations in her journal, she invents a story featuring superhero Isabella (IS), who with the flick of her wrist, destroys the "Evil Populars" and restores justice to ordinary girls everywhere. When the journal is accidentally printed out and handed in to her English teacher, Jamie suddenly finds herself on the fast track to publishing fame and teen "idolhood." DeVillers perfectly captures the voice of 14-year-old Jamie, who narrates the book. Hilarious, heart warming, and a great insight into what teenage girls deal with on a daily basis.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Speaking of Book Expo (BEA), I wish, wish, wish I could go this year. (Do you think the wish fairy will take my wish into consideration since I said it 3 times?) It's in NYC -- what better place to hold a huge publishing convention than in the publishing mecca of the world? I went a few years ago when it was in Chicago (where I grew up), and I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Free books around every corner! And best-selling authors signing them! Whoa -- I had to take a serious chill pill to keep the excitement from making me look like a total freak. My friend, Amy, who's a graphic designer, kept making fun of me -- she was excited to be there, too, but not NEARLY as excited as I was. I think I came home with over 200 books as well as a dislocated shoulder from lugging 200 books around the convention center (OK, well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it felt like it at the time)! Crazy! But, alas, no BEA for me this year, because, alas, no money to make the trek to NYC. Anyone want to make a donation? Sigh...
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Would you like to hear (or read, rather) the whole, long, dramatic story? Good, I knew you'd say "yes"! Here it is in a nutshell:
- Last year I went to the Columbus Writers of Literature for Children Conference (what a mouthful!) where I met two really cool agents (literary, not secret service). At every conference I attend, I try to share a table with at least one of the speakers, so I can glean from their vast stores of knowledge (read: shameless schmoozing). So, here I was sitting with Susan Schulman (who is Louis Sachar's agent -- yes THE Newbery-Award winning author of Holes) and Stephen Fraser, an agent who used to be the exec. editor at HarperCollins Children's Books. We had an interesting discussion about YA authors, who's writing what, and so on. At the end of lunch, I asked Susan if I could sent her my manuscript when it was finished. She graciously said "sure" and handed me her card.
- Months later, when I finally got my butt in gear and wrote my story, I sent it to Susan. A few months went by and then finally... an e-mail from her assistant. "Will you please send another copy of Chicken Scratch (that's my story) to us at our CT office?" She also asked me to send along the news article and photo that I had written as a very green newspaper reporter many years ago (Chicken Scratch is loosely based on this article).
- So, of course, I rushed out, made copies of the article, and sent the goods to the CT office. A few days later, I get an e-mail saying, "We think your story is delightful and fun, and we'd like to represent you." Before I passed out, I managed to wake up my husband with the great news, to which he replied, "Ugh.... hmppphhh, good," before he fell back to sleep. No actually, he was a little more excited than that, although I don't think his head ever left the pillow. My kids, on the other hand, were screaming and jumping up and down along with me and planning what they would wear to the movie premiere (because, of course, Mommy, they'll have to make it into a movie)!
- So, now, I have a real live New York City agent representing my work! And guess what, she's sent out my manuscript to 19 different publishers! And guess what else? I went back to the same Columbus writing conference last weekend and met with an editor who seemed very enthusiastic and interested in the manuscript! Whoo-hoo!
- Stay tuned for more exciting news! I'll keep you posted...
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators. -- Olin Miller
What an author likes to write most is his or her signature on the back of a check. -- Brendan Francis
The pen is the tongue of the mind. -- Cervantes
Writing is a profession in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none. -- Jules Renard
The two most beautiful words in the English language are "cheque enclosed." -- Dorothy Parker
The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. -- Agatha Christie
Writing -- the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. -- Mary Heaton Vorse
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler