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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing and submissions

Poetry


I sent out 3 poems for submissions, 2 came back with a polite rejection. Not sure what's happening with the third. I have enough poems for a chapbook. Should I publish my own chapbook? Do it myself, send out the chapbook to publishers, ebook, bound book? I'd really like to combine my photography with the poems, heck I think I'll do it myself and make it a winter project.


 Novel

Rewrote the first 9 chapters of my kids novel this summer. Really happy with the tone and protagonist's voice. I'm having trouble going into chapter 10, but it's really important because this is where I have to show some developments between my two main characters.




Other writing projects


I've got a couple of how-to book ideas in the works. They would be in French and geared towards kids. They deal with two subjects which are hobbies of mine that my students enjoy. I am the resident expert on these two subjects so I'm well positioned to write about them. I would pitch them to some French language publishers.


 Workshops


There is an upcoming workshop in Montreal which might help me with my submissions. Writing routine I'm getting back into a routine of writing in the morning. I always write a minimum of 3 pages each morning in my journal. I need to also get up early enough to follow up my journal writing with project writing (novel, poems, how-tos) Yes, I realize that to call it a routine or a habit that i have to keep it going for 21 days. No excuses anymore! I need to get into the habit of writing but also of submitting.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chapter 9 ...check!

I'm still writing my middle grade novel. I've done a major rewrite of the first third which is 8 chapters. I put down in my journal that I would love to have the draft of the whole novel done by January 1st. Oh boy!! What a challenge especially since school is starting in a few days.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What is a hook? Notes...

A novel= a quest which starts in 1 place & and ends in another 1 st step: character makes a decision which Will change his or her life the moment that propels the story forward. The hook provides the central Conflict. Of course, there has to be obstacles.

Finally, finding a voice!

I keep journalling everyday, that's never been a problem, writing a novel is so much harder. I've written songs since I was a kid, creative fiction and poertyalso come naturally, but finding a structure, chosing a point of vue with an identifiable voice, a strong enough plot with subplots to carry a story through thousands of words, well, that's like an intellectual marathon. I took 2 weeks from everything afternthe end of the school year. I read like crazy...I could spend my life reading. Would anyone like to hire me to reader. Reader for hire. 40-ish bilingual reader who has a penchant for UK and Irish women authors, like Maeve Binchy and Rosemunde Pilcher, American detective, mystery, and suspense authors like Robert B. Parker, Cecile B. Demille and Rita Mae Brown. Also enjoys YA and kids' lit authors like Jerry Spinelli, Louis Sachar, Louise Rennisson, Catherine Austen, and Zilpha Keatly Snyder. Willing to read for food and shelter. Back to writing. In the last week, I have managed to submerge myself in the setting of my middle age novel. I think that I've found a voice that i enjoy writing. Hopefully, it will make for an enjoyable read. I've also got an idea to write a non-fiction book, a how-to book for kids having to do with onenof my many hobbies. So much to write. I wrote almost 700 words last night before going to bed despite for a day trip along the Rouge River with my partner. Beautiful drive. Back to the novel. I might be finding my voice due to reading See Jane Write, on writing chicklit. Yes, I know that I'm writing for middle-grades, but I'm also keeping my own grade 6 students in mind as I write. If they can get into it, I've won! Word count: closing in on 10 thousand words.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trying to write next chapter in kids' novel

I've written 6290 words over 6 chapters so far in my kids' novel but I'm still struggling with plot and subplot. There is nothing much at stake besides popularity and friendship for my main character which is pretty important for 11 and 12 year olds. But, I'd like to have an event coming up at the end of the summer which somehow would be like a time bomb like Family Fest Pigeon Shooting Day in Jerry Spinelli's Wringer. Or the end of summer in The Penderwicks with the threat of Jeffrey having to go to Pency Military Academy. Or the birthday party in There's a boy in the Girls Bathroom by Louis Sachar.

Other kids' novels that I love are about survival. This is not a book about survival, there is no escape from a prison for bad boys like in Sachar's Holes, no surviving a wreck and life on a unmapped island in the South Pacific like in Gordon Korman's Shipwreck or Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpugo.
I just want to write a quiet novel about life and friendship. Do I have to kill off a beloved character like in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherin Paterson? Or start off with a child being abducted and murdered like in The Egypt Game?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Poem appears in Long Story short poetry page

Yeah. My poem, "I'll tell you who I write for" appears in this month's Long Story Short poetry page. Here is the link.

Wow! As I look at my last entry date, I realize that I've been pretty dormant this winter. I could give loads of excuses for not posting.

Practicing guitar for a concert in late February.
Deflated ego after receiving comments back on book writing assignment
General lethargy ( I only went snowshoeing once, no skiing at all this winter)
Considering dropping my book writing course, but what was left of ego wouldn't let me.
More interested in putting together a chapbook of my poetry than slugging it out writing a novel.
 More fun and less demanding to read a bunch than to write a bunch.

Check out some of the books I've read here on Library Thing.

It's really hard to get back into a place and time or a certain mental space when you're away from writing. I never not write, I just wasn't writing the 2 novels I've started because that requires a lot of mental fortitude on my part.

I didn't even spend any time on the novels during March Break. I needed a break from everything. So this long Easter weekend, I've gotten back into my youth novel. I went over my instructor's comments and the rewrite I'd started in January, the chapter by chapter outline and I started writing the fourth chapter. I was thankful for the detailed character studies I'd made last fall. I couldn't even remember some of the characters' surnames or quirks.

So now, I've dealt with my ego. I'd rather struggle to write a book which may not be great than to not try at all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saw Janet Evanovich on Anderson Cooper yesterday

Janet Evanovich was on the Anderson Cooper show promoting the movie One for The Money. After the show, I went onto Kobo site and bought her book "How I write" and started reading it last night. Ms Evanovich gives solid advice on writing and what works for her. I read a few of the Stephanie Plum books when they first came out. They are laugh out loud funny. My brother, sister-in-law and I used to exchange the books back and forth. Maybe I'll get back into them. I always prefer reading over movies.

I follow a bunch of writers on Twitter including Julie Isaac who write ebooks and a blog on writing so I checked her site, too. It's called WritingSpirit Blog. She gives all kind of tips. It's worth checking out if you're serious about writing.


I also came across Randy Ingermanson's blog and his Snowflake Method for writing fiction which is based on fractal mathematics. This is similar to what I've been asked to do for my novel writing course. The two novels that I've started have been somewhat planned out, although I give myself some wiggle room.

I'm still have trouble with plot and subplots. I'd like to write quiet novels like The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall or Easy Avenue by Brian Doyle, or maybe Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. I really love The Wringer, The Boy in the Girls' Bathroom and Holes. I think Jerry Spinelli and Louis Sachar are fantastic storytellers.

On Sunday, I read Carrie's Crowd by Lesley Choyce. It's a short novel, I guess folks would call it a chapter book. Fifty-eight pages. I thought that it might help me figure out plot. I should graph it out. It was a fun and quick read. I'd like to read some Choyce's adult fiction and poetry.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Got first 3 chapters written

Ok, so I rewrote my first two chapters, which means that I chopped off a lot of stuff and reworked some dialogue and tagging in order to show more and tell less.
I went ahead and wrote the 3rd chapter. I'm pretty pleased with myself. The whole novel is planned out but I got an idea as I walked up the lane in front of the house.
I'm following #writechat on Twitter while listening to Rex on Cross Country check up despite being hungry and wanting nothing more complicated than cold cereal.

Got 3rd assignment back

So I'm explaining too much, some scenes have no point, dialogue is good but I need to let my characters "show" more and I have to stop explaining so much. Check.
I just did a rewrite of the first two chapters of my middle grade kids' novel.
I still get discouraged trying to write this novel. I'm afraid that if I don't complete this course that I won't write a completed novel until I retire in 10 or so years, so I continue to plug away.
I admire authors who wrote their first novels while working full-time and raising kids. What discipline!

I discovered #SilentWriters on Twitter and I think that I will join them and see if that helps. Maybe I won't feel so alone.

 A third swallowtail emerged on January 9th. Still caring for all three of them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Got loads done!

Despite caring for 2 swallowtail butterflies who decided to emerge on December 19 and January 2nd and socializing with friends and family, and reading, reading, reading, I spent a good part of Christmas break working on my middle grade novel.
Found a neat list of kids'lit: http://literarywife.wordpress.com/top-100-challenge-archive/
I managed to write a chapter by chapter outline and I drafted the first two chapters. I also continued fleshing out my character profiles.