Saturday, March 31, 2007

What's New

Well, I'm giving Nip a rest for a while. I'm sure when I come back to him, the story will come along just fine. It is very close, but I don't want to rush it. Can't rush things in this business. Sometimes I get a great story idea, and a great beginning, but the whole story doesn't come to me until months later. Frustrating sometimes, but that's life.

So, I'm working on something new--a rhyming bedtime story. It's a story that I have been wanting to write for years, but couldn't. I started writing it a long time ago as a prose story, but it didn't work. I was thinking about the story the other day and I suddenly knew it had to be written in rhyme. I was surprised how easily the story came to me as I started writing. Will it be the way until it is finished? Probably not, but at least now I have direction.

Corey and I recently started another story too. It started out as a rhyming easy reader, but may end up simply as a rhyming picture book. We kinda put it on hold while we work on Over the Top a bit more, though. Corey sent Over the Top to her agent, so now we are working to address the agent's concerns with the story. The fixes are fairly simple as it relates to the storyline, but not so easy since the story has a very strict meter and rhyme pattern. It's worth it though.

Speaking of agents...I'm getting ready to send one of my own stories to the agent that represents Corey. It makes sense to submit my own work to her, since she will probably end up representing some of the stories Corey and I write together. Hopefully, she'll take me on as a client.

I guess that's all the news for now. I'm still waiting on Highlights and Pockets regarding some poems they are holding. I'm supposed to hear back from Pockets in March, and here it is March 31. Oh, I did get a reply from them for an article I sent. They are considering it, and will let me know for sure in September. More waiting, but that's life as a writer.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Nip is turning out to be one of the hardest picture books I've ever written, so far. Not that picture books are ever easy. You gotta get so much good stuff into a relatively tiny story. But this one is just not working out the way I want it to.

For one, I've been writing it in prose. But all of a sudden, today when I was working on it, all these rhyming lines kept popping into my head. I've been resisting, but I will probably end up giving it a shot in rhyme. It worked with other stories, maybe it'll work with this one.

The truth is, sometimes stories come to me easier when they're in verse. Why is that? I guess I am just a poet at heart.

Which brings up a question. Is that why I've had more success selling poetry than stories? "They" say it is usually the other way around. What do "they" know, anyway?

So, I'm not gonna force Nip any more. I'm just going to let him slither his way through his own story, and I'll follow along.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

more on Fun for Kidz

I received my first payment from the Fun for Kidz magazines this week. Yay! My "how-to" article on making a simple flip book will be in the May/June issue of Fun for Kidz. I had forgotten about that one, so it was a pleasant surprise to get that check in the mail.

It was a much needed pleasant surprise, since I've been suffering with the flu the past few days. I'm finally to the point where I think I can work on something. I tried working on Nip the other day and the most I could do was stare at the screen. Then I gave up and went to lie on the couch and watch TV. That's a big deal for me because the TV is usually a sad, lonely piece of electronics when I'm home during the day.

Tomorrow I will have a normal writing day, even if the box of tissues has to live on my lap!

Friday, March 16, 2007

hummingbird acceptance

Finally! An acceptance in the mail today. Fun for Kidz accepted my hummingbird article for their March 2010 "fun with flight" issue. And a photograph too. I took the photo in my own back yard when a hummingbird came to our feeder.

They actually only accepted part of the article, probably due to space issues. But I'm happy. The other part is mostly a "how-to" on creating a hummingbird garden, so I'll send that somewhere else.

You know what would be cool? If I got as many acceptances as I do rejections. Ha! Maybe some day.

Here's something cool. This is a picture of a hummingbird that I took at the zoo. This picture isn't quite as cool as the one from my back yard, but it's closer up. They are amazing little critters!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

week of rejections

It has been a week of rejections for me. I know I'm always waiting for replies to come in the mail, but sheesh! Four rejections in two days is tough to take. Oh well.

Two of those rejection letters were from agents. But it is not all bad news. One of those agents said she would be happy to read more of my writing. So now I just have to decide what to send her, and send it before my name vanishes completely from her memory.

An acceptance letter (or maybe some hot cocoa) would really hit the spot right now. I'm trying to stay positive, still holding out for those poems under review at Highlights and Pockets.

Pressing on.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Puzzle madness

I love solving puzzles. And I love it when I can come up with really good ones. Word puzzles, picture puzzles, logic puzzles (not too easy), mazes. I love 'em all! I tried this online "intelligence quiz" today and that spurred a couple of puzzle ideas. So I whipped out two of them. I want to do one more and then send them off to Highlights, since they've purchased several of my puzzles in the past. I usually send puzzles and poems to them in groups of three. Anyway, I thought I would post one of my mazes, just for fun. Feel free to print it out and try it. It's not too hard.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Corey and I have been working on a story called "Over the Top" for quite a while. We finally got to the point--just today!--where we both feel like we love it! This story has gone through so many versions! First prose. Then rhyme. Then prose/rhyme mix. Now it is back to rhyme and it is adorable! Short, simple, and very cute!

The neat thing about collaborating with Corey is that it is kinda like having a really tough critique partner. We push each other--and that brings out our best. We don't always agree, but we do always keep working on something until we both love it.

Meanwhile, I have been working on that snake story. I titled it "Nip, the Rattling Rattler." My critique group has helped me work out a few of the kinks in it and I'll be sending the revision to them again soon.

A word of advice to any writer who may be reading this: Join a critique group. The right critique group can do wonders for you! Not only are they great for helping you polish your work, but they are inspiring. My wonderful group gets a lot of the credit for at least half of what I write, and most of what I've sold.

Friday, March 02, 2007

surprise laughs

"Woo-hoo!" My oldest daughter and I were celebrating when we heard the news that there would be a second snow day. We made quite a ruckus and soon I wondered why my younger daughter hadn't come down to see what all the fuss was about.

So I called her downstairs. "Aren't you wondering why we're so excited?" I asked her.

She looked at me and said, "What? Are you getting published?"

Got a good laugh from that one.

I love having kids. They are always good for surprise laughs. Here's another example.

When my little boy was in the bathroom drying his hands, the towel was dangling precariously over the toilette bowl. I said, "Don't drop it in the toilette."

"Yeah, 'cause if it falls in and you flush it, it will get flushed."

"Yep," I nodded, "and then it would get stuck."

He gave me this knowing grin and said, "And then the 'plumper' would have to come get it out for us."

I laughed and said, "Yes he would!"

Thursday, March 01, 2007


It's a snow day today! I looked out the window to see snow plastered against every verticle surface in sight. There's so much snow piled up against the patio door that it's gonna be tricky letting to dog out to do her business. But other than that, I can't complain. I love the snow.

Good thing they cancelled school today because my little boy is sick--still. He missed three days of school this week and I would have kept him home again today even if there were school. Better go check on him. He's still asleep.

It's March, and you know what they say. "In like a lion, out like a lamb." Well, the first part is certainly true for us. Maybe by the end of this month, spring will be in full swing. I'm ready for some warmer weather.