October 27, 2010

What's Your Question?


Every novel, picture book, easy reader, or short story has a question waiting to be answered.

Will she survive to the end?
Will he win her heart?
Will she realize her beauty within?
Will he overcome the villian?
Will she buy that doggy in the window?

I've been editing lately and reminding myself to keep focused on the main question. While there may be many questions throughout the story, there must be one overriding big one to keep the reader reading.  And the more creative the answer is, the more satisfying the read.

So, what's your question (if you feel free to share)?

October 19, 2010

In These Pages...

...is an easy reader story with my name on it!  *big cheesy grin*  It's the November issue.  Just got my copies in the mail yesterday.

October 18, 2010

Closet of my Soul

"I knew I was supposed to be a writer; I had made that declaration in the closet of my soul." -- Padgett Powell

Some writers dream of writing stories from childhood (usually the ones with their noses in books).  And other writers catch the writing bug later in life.

When did you discover what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Years ago?  Months ago?  Yesterday?

For all you book lovers, check out Shannon O'Donnell's blog.  She's having an AWESOME giveaway.  You pick the books!

October 14, 2010

When on Fire...

For the record, I've owned a fire extinguisher almost nineteen years. It's hung in the garage near the kitchen door unused.

Until this week.

First my eldest daughter set an almost-perfect-funnel cake on fire.  And while I ran back and forth squealing (I'm stellar in emergencies), she raced for the fire extinguisher. She sprayed the fire (and most of the kitchen) eliminating it.  We were all relieved.  (Minus the cleaning of powdery goo off every possible surface)

Then last night, I put taco shells in the toaster oven.  Apparently the rack was too high and the shells touched the top.

In a calm manner, my son said, "Mom, the tacos are burning."

He has a dry sense of humor, so I laughed.

"I'm serious," he said, pointing to the oven.

I turned to see flames on the inside.  I unplugged it, but the fire raged on.  My daughter ran for the extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers only work once.  Did you know that?  We opened the oven door (this time with perfect fire extinguisher aim) and--nothing.  Not one poof of powdery substance.  The flame lapped up and out of the oven.

My daughter once again, came to the rescue.  She doused the toaster oven with a bucket load of water.  And me.  And everyone else.  But once again, she saved the kitchen from going up in flames.  We decided she might have a future in firefighting.

The odd thing is, three weeks ago I randomly bought a new toaster oven. Maybe it was a premonition.

Wish I'd bought an extinguisher too.

October 8, 2010

What Messes Are Good For

I'm messy.

I try to be organized, and spit-spot but I'm not.

For many years I've chided myself about this.  Read self-help books.  Watched my amazing organized friends with awe and wondered if I would ever be like them.

But lately, I'm beginning to see some good in my messes.

1.  No one touches my piles (probably because they're afraid of what's under them).  Therefore my special manuscripts and super-secret doodlings are safe. (I'm NOT venturing to show you my writing desk--Yikes!)

2.  Surprisingly, lots of friends hang out at our house.  Despite the mess, they keep coming back.  Which makes me feel loved for exactly who I am.  They don't need my clean house--just me. (And maybe they like being messy too?)

3.  If it gets bad enough, my family will take me seriously when I say they need to pitch in.

4.  Cool stuff grows out of messes. I don't know how it happens but in the midst of puddles of paint, glue and goo, pretty things hatch.  And I like pretty things.

Of course, I will continue my pursuit of the organized/clean life. But in the mean time, I have messes.

Which are you?  A messy or a cleany?  If messy, tell me what beautiful things you've seen grow out of your messses.  If cleany, some tips PLEASE!

October 6, 2010

How Much Did You Write?

I participated in Patti Nielson's blogfest where we kept track of our writing times each day for a week.  I'll be honest--I wanted to have huge numbers. I hoped to find out that I write four hours a day (cuz let's be real, sometimes one hour feels like that!) but nope, I continued to clock out at one mere hour per day.

I am writing.  It may not be as much as I COULD or possibly SHOULD be, but I'm tinkering away at something and getting somewhere with it.  And I suppose after thirty days of thirty hours or after three hundred and sixty-five days of three hundred hours (not sixty-five because I'll be enjoying some of those driving-with-the-windows-down sort of days), I COULD have a sizable book finished.  Or several.

I know, it's no NaNo, but it's something.  Thanks Patti.