Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Behold my lovelies: The new Frank Lloyd Wright Lego Collection. *squee* and a half!! Above, the Guggenheim. Falling Water also available.
The boy and I might start fighting over the legos. ;)
Second, today is the last day of the 826 Valencia Fundraiser! Click away...we're way behind our goal!
ALSO, TODAY IS TIARA DAY!! DO NOT FORGET YOUR TIARAS!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wow. Cool!! :) I got a superior scribbler award! Thanks to Miriam over at Dancing with Dragons Is Hard On Your Shoes.
Here are the rules to this award:
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Second, thanks to Cindy, Scott, Dr. Mosetta and Miriam who posted links to my contest on their blogs. Except for Dr. Mosetta, you'll all be entered into another drawing for a gift certificate to Restaurant.com. Dr. Mosetta has kindly offered to wave her entry chance to anyone who becomes a Facebook fan of her dog, Rajah, from Rajah and the Big, Blue Ball. Also note that $1 from every book sold goes to the Cleveland Animal Shelter. You can buy the book here.
Third, I hope some of you visited #kidlitchat last night. I could only stay for a short while, then mommy-duty called.
It was a strange night. As I was tucking my son in, I noticed the receptacle plate and wall around his nightlight was charred black. Of course, my blood ran cold. The stupid thing must have arced, and that's what caused the breaker to flip a few days ago. And to think he's been sleeping in that bed all week, with his nightlight on! Thank heavens for breakers.
I told him to sleep downstairs for the night, and I'd check the wiring tomorrow to make sure none of it was bare. I think he no sooner got to sleep when my husband called from the airport. Dead battery. So at 11 pm, the boy and I drove to the airport to pick up the man.
I was late getting up this morning. Now that I've looked at my email, I wish I'd stayed in bed longer. :[ A response that's been nine months in the making (from partial, to full, to revisions) came in as a rejection. It hurts so much less to be rejected at the query stage, lol. Now, I'm off to spend the day architecting and wondering why I spend so much time and effort writing. No matter how nicely written and encouraging, rejection letters are still demoralizing.
Rest in Peace, Ted Kennedy.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The 826 Valencia Fundraiser is going strong. Just click to 'follow' my blog and ensure $1 gets donated in your honor to this great group that provides writing classes and workshops for children 8-18. (See post below for more info.) Followers who are posting a link to the fundraiser, please leave me a comment so I know to enter your name in the drawing. (Cindy, I saw yours. Thanks!!)
Also, tonight at 9 Eastern time, join agents, editors and other children's book writers on Twitter for #kidlitchat. Have questions? Get answers, real time.
Techie tip: I found Twitter was too slow to handle the speed at which people post. Try http://www.tweetchat.com/. Sign in with your twitter ID, then enter #kidlitchat into the search bar. Tweetchat is much easier to navigate and handles the speed better. If you drop in, say hi @ me! I'm amy7a.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
First, I'm rerunning my fundraiser for 826 Valencia. Same fundraiser, sparkly new details.
**Like last time, for every new follower who signs up between now and Friday, I'll donate $1 to 826 Valencia (up to $60--which added to the $40 before will make...you can do it! C'mon, school's just around the corner!!) Just click the 'follow' button to the right above my list of followers (wonderful people, them.)
**AND (here's the sparkle) every new follower will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com.
**Also, for my current followers...('cause the peeps need sparkle too!) Post a link to my contest on your blog and I'll enter your name in a drawing for another $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com. Check your zip code at the website to see which restaurants near you participate. There are almost 30 in Boise. Some of them even serve things other than potatoes.
A bit of background for those who don't know, 826 Valencia is an organization devoted to helping children learn and embrace the fine art of creative writing. For more info--see their website or my original post on them.
Second, a CORRECTION! I listed the wrong evening in my Friday Favorite for #kidlitchat. The wonderful event happens on TUESDAY nights!! Be sure to join in tomorrow evening, 9pm eastern time. I know it's hard to believe I made a mistake. The last time that happened was last night, when I went to the grocery store for milk and came home with $47 worth of stuff, but no milk. My tea is so sad this morning.
AGAIN, #kidlitchat is TUESDAY NIGHT--not Wednesday.
Third, the books I won at #kidlitchat last week arrived on Saturday. I got Goddess Boot Camp, by Tera Lynn Childs (which looks so good, I might have to go buy the first book in the series to read before this one) and Secret Society by Tom Dolby. Do you think it's the same Thomas Dolby who sang Blinded Me with Science? If so, I wonder if he put that song on the book's play list. Book play lists were also hotly discussed at #kidlitchat.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Got questions? I know where to find the folks with answers...at least on Wednesday nights at 9 pm EST.
#kidlitchat is an amazing 'chat room' filled with all brands of children's literature folks. Publishers, agents, writers new & old. And they're all hanging out for a couple hours every Wednesday night talking about all things kidlit.
I stumbled onto it from Sarah Shumway's tweet and ....wow. There were reps from Penguin, Egmont, Harper Collins and at least one agent--plus many others I didn't recognize. And they're happy to answer questions--any and all questions--related to children's literature and publishing.
The pace is blistering. Basically, you'll want to pick one thread and stick to it in order to participate. But don't worry about missing anything. The awesome folks who organize it post a transcript afterward, which you can find here. I'm not sure if you can see this if you're not signed in to Twitter, so you twitter-bashers might miss out. :(
Plus!! I won a book from Sarah Shumway just for asking a question! Can't wait to see what it is! :)
Check it out next Wednesday. I'll try to post a reminder that day. You have plenty of time to sign up for Twitter before then. See you there!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
- Postcards announcing a speaking engagement, which I have to send to all the bookstores in Idaho.
- A big plastic sign to put behind me at said speaking engagement.
- Flyers announcing the speaking thingee, which I'm supposed to put up at the college where I'll be speaking. (I'll have to hire somebody to do this. I just think people who put up signs about themselves are kind of sad.)
- Giant banner with my giant face (ugh!). My publisher says the banner looks great from fifty feet away. That makes sense, since I also look my best from fifty feet away.
- The things on the right with blue borders are trifold mailers announcing all of PM Moon's deput authors. I will mail them to all the bookstores in Idaho.
- Postcards with a sort of 'Invisible Sister letterhead'. I'm to send these to all my friends and family to let them know my book is being published. As if I haven't already told everyone I've ever met. ;) Still, it's nice to send reminders every few weeks, don't you think?
- Those things at the bottom center--those are called RACK CARDS. Whenever I speak somewhere, I can set up a little plastic holder and put these rack cards in. They have all the info about my book and an excerpt for a teaser. They're blank on the back so (my publisher says) I can autograph them. ;) Think: Professor Lockhart in Harry Potter signing his photos in the insane asylum.
- And in the bottom left are my business cards and my return address labels.
"And that, Mr. Bird," said the mouse. "That's what you'll find in a people house."
Here's a better view of the five foot banner with my huge face on it. If the marketing materials keep getting bigger and bigger, the necessary cosmetic surgery is going to far outpace my royalties.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Here is the link:
Sorry Maggie--I tried to embed the video, but I'm a techie loser.
Friday, August 14, 2009
On-line Printing & Business Image Company
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I suggested an online kids' magazine.
Her response: "But they don't pay, do they?"
My fingers stopped dead in their tracks. Pay? Well, no, but...but...
But if they publish it, you'll see your name in print. You'll be able to blog about your article just like this. You'll have clips to send, credits to mention. In short, lots of bragging to do. Seeing my name in print means everything to me.
But not, apparently, to several people in my (I sooo love you guys) phenomenal critique group. The crux of the issue seems to be this:
If you don't get paid for a piece of writing, is it still a validation of you as a writer?
If you don't get paid for a piece, does it demean the piece itself?
Few magazines can pay big bucks for articles or stories. Outside the Highlights / Bug Mags market, the potential payment lies in double digits. Is $10 that much different than $0?
What are your thoughts? What makes you feel validated as a writer?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I want to know...
How do you read your favorite blogs?
I use the blogger dashboard, and all the blogs I follow pop up with recent updates so I don't miss any of your posts. But I've heard there are ways to check blogger and facebook (and twitter etc) in the same place.
How is that done??
Also, is there anyway to be alerted when a post you've commented on receives further comments? What kinds of techie tips can you guys share?
Monday, August 10, 2009
Yesterday afternoon, I was taking the recycling out and I noticed a woman flattening cardboard in the alley outside the chair house. Immediately, I thought, "Ooooo!!" I took about five steps toward her, intending to ask about the chairs...
"Scott!" I hissed to my hubby who was sitting on the back deck doing some paperwork. "The woman who owns my chairs is in the alley!!"
...then I chickened out. Instead, I wrung my hands (I literally did this. I've never seen anyone do it before) and went back into our yard.
He put his papers down. "Well, go talk to her!"
"Of what, for Pete's sake?"
I shrugged. In case you don't know, I'm the most painfully introverted person on the face of the earth. I make an innie-belly button look like a party animal. But my husband knows me, and he understood. He smiled and said --
"Amy, that is so stupid. Go down there and ask that woman if she's throwing away those chairs."
I wrung my hands again.
"Go! Now!! Before she goes inside!!"
And so...I did!! It was the sixth or seventh hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But I am now the proud owner of a pair of vintage 1950's metal chaise lounges.
I drug them down the alley by myself and immediately painted them. Then I went and bought cushions. I'm not happy with the paint color. I think an avocado green would be better. I'll try that next weekend.
Don't they look fun!??
Thursday, August 6, 2009
- The cat is still a freak. The fish is still alive. The chickens and ducks still aren't laying.
- Deiter (the dirt eating duck) turned out to be a boy. We no longer expect eggs from him.
- For Thanksgiving, we will be having duck.
- I've been coveting a pair of beat-up metal lounge chairs leaning against the fence up the alley.
- I've called in several experts (regular alley-scavengers and my husband). All agree the chairs are still not far enough into the alley to constitute trash.
- I've been driving by every day to see if they're any closer...
- ...for three weeks.
- At my usual billing rate, I could have paid for a pair of new outdoor lounges in the time I've spent checking on them.
- But I already bought spray paint for those.
- I had a great crit on my WIP from my critique group last night. Super big thanks!
- We're on Chapter 7 Edits for The Invisible Sister--almost halfway through Round 1.
- It's getting easier now that I have an idea of what my editor will comment on.
Which is the better title?
- Gods & Vultures: Life with Mom
- Gods & Vultures
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
- What is the MC's goal?
- What is the crisis at the beginning?
- What keeps your protagonist from achieving her goal?
- What's the climax?
- What's the ending?
I plan to go back and make sure all my synopses answer these questions...and only these questions. It definitely helps me understand what should be in the synopsis, and what (hard as it might be) needs to be cut.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Design your cake? (three tiers with candy columns and a water fall of cream soda)
Write your vows? (if I related these, no editor on earth would accept my subs)
Pick out names for your children? (Chambliss, Ticks and Digger.) (yes, seriously. I went through a Faulkner phase)
I certainly planned mine, and while things didn't turn out at ALL like I planned, (silk sheath, two tiers with fresh flowers, straight from the good-book, Alexander) it was still a lot of fun to imagine it all.
Here's your chance to do the same for your first born book!
Pick out your theme. Design the invites. Make your guest list. Chose your locale.
Go on! You know you want to. What would your launch party look like?