Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Um...Hi !

It's me!  Remember me?  I'm embarrassed at how long it's been since I gave this blog any attention.  But my life has been crazy in the past twelve months.  Big life changes happened and I found myself dealing with a lot of things.  I also moved twice, bought a house, bought a car.  Bought lots of new things for said house and car, most recently a black kitty from the pound named Nightmare. 

I've also been working a LOT more hours to keep the ends meeting, which means I don't have time to blog.  Not on my own. 


I joined my Turbo Monkey Crit Crew friends to create a group blog.  Some of you might have visited Turbo Monkey Tales already.  If not, check us out here.  We have writer, illustrator and film maker monkeys blogging twice a week, sharing tips and stories, encouragement and laughs.  I hope to see you there, because I really do miss my bloggy peeps. 

Hugs to you all!  Thanks for sticking around through my slackness.  xo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Post: Shit My Brothers Told Me #1

We somehow got to reminiscing about our childhoods last night and I realized -- my four brothers were really mean to me!!  So I'm starting this regular Sunday Series of blog posts to immortalize the abuse.  Today's post comes from brother #3, Nick, and I can tell you -- this caused me many a sleepless night as I started to lose teeth.

"When an eye tooth falls out, you go blind until it grows back in.  It takes like a year."

Friday, August 12, 2011


I expect by now you've heard, from myriad sources, how fantastic the LA11SCBWI conference was.  Facebook, Twitter and the Blogsphere are F-U-L-L of posts proclaiming it's awesomeness.  (However, if you haven't had your fill, there's a great post about conference survival by my mentorship-brother Bret Ballou here, and an inspiring post about tackling your fears by my mentorhip-monkey-sister Sarah McGuire here.) 

So-- I'm not going to regale you with a conference recap.  Instead, I want to talk about the things you take away from a conference that aren't on the program.  Namely, writer friends.  As Katy Longshore (GIRL IN A DIAMOND COLLAR, Viking/Penguin, Fall 2012) writes in this post, writing is a team sport.  It has to be.  It takes years, on the average, to get from a first first-draft to a publishing contract.  And in between lie a whole lot of rejections.  A LOT.  Because writers tend to be an introverted bunch, we think too long and too hard about those rejections.  We take them to heart, we decide we suck and, too often, we give up. 

That's where our writing buddies come in.  They're our team.  (I used derby girls for the photo because they're super tough, just like writers.)  They remind us to look for the positive in those rejection letters.  They tell us how much they love our book.  They share their own failures and commiserate over ours.  And they're not afraid to kick us in the ass when we get too mopey and start talking about crazy stuff, like giving up and never writing again.  I know; I've been on both sides of that conversation and I can tell you it's a whole lot harder to give up when people are watching. 

I came away from LA with new writer friends, stronger ties with old writer friends and a new critique group.  And while I credit Judy Blume, Gary Paulsen, Libba Bray, Laurie Halse Anderson and a dozen other presenters with the burning inspiration I came home with, it will be my writer friends who are there for me in December and January and February, when I decide I totally suck and I'll never write again. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nine Things From LA

    Great writer friends -- Namoi Canale, Craig Lew & Sarah McGuire
  1. Judy Blume is "sucky" at plot.
  2. Jon Scieszka wore a lot of hand-me-downs. 
  3. He also broke his little brother several times.
  4. Donna Jo Napoli's desk is in her laundry room, next to the washer & dryer.
  5. It's not so much talent as determination that gets you there.
  6. Gary Paulsen was cheated by a crooked publishing company.
  7. He believes you should be able to hunt lawyers.
  8. Every writer -- every.  single.  writer -- gets rejections. 
  9. According to Laurie Halse Anderson, we're all going to die.  Keep things in perspective.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's all about the Writing

I shamelessly stole this meme from Corey Schwartz over at Thing One and Thing Two.  I did ask permission, though, so that makes it okay.  :)  I was kind of surprised to see all my answers turned out writing related.  Maybe I'm just in 'writer mode' because the LA conference is right around the corner.

Biggest Dream- A book contract (How un-unique, I know, but it's the truth.)
Biggest Regret- That I didn't work harder on my craft when I first started writing.
Biggest Hurdle- First Drafts.  Once I have them, I love them.  But I can't seem to get excited enough to stick with one.

Biggest Accomplishment- Not giving up.  And then, not giving up again.  Then again.  And...
Biggest Mistake- Too many to choose from.
Biggest Sacrifice- All the things I don't do because writing takes up all my free time:  painting, community theater, more sports, foreign language classes, yoga...
Biggest Weakness- CHECKING MY EMAIL!
Biggest Goal- (See Biggest Dream above)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Advice from the Nevada SCBWI Mentorship Program

Fellow mentee Lee Wind put together this fantastic post, featuring nuggets of wisdom from the 2010-2011 Nevada SCBWI Mentors and Mentees.  Visit his blog, I'm Here, I'm Queer, What Do I Read to poke through some great pieces of advice.  And if you're not already a follower of Lee's, add him fast!  He's one of the official SCBWI Team Bloggers for the LA Conference!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Musings

This is how I feel about rejection letters.  Let's all say it together:  Blaahhhhhh!
  1. Just seventeen days until the SCBWI Conference in LA! 
  2. I've put aside revisions for a while and am focusing on the WIP I researched and plotted last year.  I'm about 4,500 words in (about 10% done) and am loving the relationship that's developing between this girl and her grandmother.
  3. I just found out my XXth High School Reunion is coming up in October.  I.  Feel.  Old.
  4. The Boy and I saw The Deathly Hallows Part 2 on Friday.  I was blown away.  By far (IMO) the BEST movie of the series.  The Boy, however, still likes The Sorcerer's Stone best.  (I'm thinking it's because he's about the same age as Harry in that movie.)
  5. I'm trying to decide whether to read The Warrior Heir or The Emerald Atlas next.  Thoughts?