Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tip #27: Elementary School Employee Survival Tips

1. Don't sit too close to an excited fourth-grader who seems to never swallow his saliva.

2. Drink water from your own private water bottle, not a community water fountain.

3. If you see a kid with "that look" on his face, get BEHIND him and direct him to the nearest garbage can.

4. Practice not laughing (or gagging) when you witness a second-grader eating her boogers.

5. Always keep a box of tissues handy.

6. A big pack of stickers, to a kindergartener, is as magical as a wad of cash!

7. Be prepared to receive drawings of one-legged, twelve-fingered, bulging-eyed children as gifts from adoring youngsters.

8. And dandelions!

9. Little kids are blunt! Example: "Hey! You got a crooked toof." (smile, nod, and then move on)

10. Have fun! Grouchy people don't do well with kids.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Miscellaneous (possibly boring) writing-related updates

  • Queried an agent regarding Sharra's War. It intrigued her enough to consider it for a while, but in the end she turned it down. She did say she liked the premise, though, so that's something!
  • I tried Highlights with a short story (it's been a while) and received a hand-written note in response. The theme of my story wasn't fresh enough, but they liked my writing and told me to try them again. No problem! I've got just the story idea for them. Now to get it written!
  • Had my daughter proof-read Sharra's War and I'm more than half-way through getting all those hard-copy edits onto the Word version on the computer.
  • Sent a quiz to Pockets and got a reply this weekend that they are holding it for consideration. Yay!
  • Can't wait for NaNoWriMo so I can start writing the novel idea banging around in my head!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Tip #26: Children's Magazine Themes

Do you need something to write about AND hoping to make a buck or two doing it? Check out magazine theme lists for a little writing prompt that could lead to publication and a fun little paycheck!

To get you started, here are a few magazines that work with set themes, some of which have helped me aim right and get my work in print:

Those are just a few, and I'm sure if you dig just a little you'll find plenty more. Remember, almost all children's magazines will accept seasonal material, so those are themes to keep in mind too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Tip #25: Creativity--Live a Little!

As a writer, it is sometimes easy for me to forget that there are other things I like to do. Other skills I like to pursue.

Like crocheting, scrapbooking, drawing and painting.

I have never really walked away from drawing. As I've mentioned before, I will often draw pictures to go with my poetry submissions. But it's been a long time since I've had an art project in the works. That changed recently when a friend asked me to paint something for him as a gift for his wife. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly, because it had been so long since I had painted anything. But the project (painting flowers onto a set of watering cans) got me craving art again. And I am realizing how good it is to have more than one creative interest in my life.

So, my tip is this: Don't stop pursuing your other interests, even if they're just hobbies for fun. It's healthy to direct your creative energy in a fresh direction once in a while.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A Gift from Far Away

This afternoon I received a package in the mail. Yay! Who doesn't love to get a package in the mail, especially when it's an anticipated birthday gift from a far away (but still near and dear) friend?

What was in the package? I'll tell you, but first, lemme give you some back story.

The first middle grade novel I wrote was about a dragon. I worked long and hard on this much loved (by me, anyway) manuscript. It being my first novel, the initial draft was terrible, but I learned a lot while writing it. I rewrote and revised and got it into decent shape. I had a critique group that helped me along the way.

Then I sent it to my friend Angie. She read it, and read it to her kids. She gave me lots of great feedback and her kids drew illustrations for each chapter. It was super cool to see how those kiddos interpreted the different scenes in my book--what a treat!

I don't know if that dragon book, titled Glint: The Dragon of Fire Mountain, will ever get published. But writing it helped me grow and develop as a writer. I think I will always have a special place in my writerly heart for dragons because of that book.

Skip to this week when I mentioned to Angie the birthday gift I had received from my hubby. He gave me a wax sealing kit, so that I could add nifty, old-fashioned touches to hand-written letters, cards, etc.

When Angie informed me later that day that she had sent me a gift, I thought she probably sent something to go along with hubby's gift. Maybe some stationary or another wax seal stamp--an "R" maybe?

Well, I wasn't that far off. She DID sent me a wax seal stamp. But it wasn't an "R."

It was a dragon!

Thank you, Angie. You rock!