Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hurray for PiBoIdMo! And Tara Lazar!

  I made it, with 31 ideas.  Now to turn those ideas into stories, and rewrite them, and revise them again and again, and submit, after the holidays.  Giving myself a break from submitting this month.  Best wishes to all!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Boy do I need PiBoIdMo!

   Three months since I've blogged.  Three months of rejections!  All the favored pitches came to naught.  Still, I entered another pitch contest and now I'm waiting to hear on two more faves.
    BUT--the bright spot on the horizon is that it's almost time for PiBoIdMo!  A whole month of ideas and support!  I was attended the regional SCBWI schmooze last weekend, and got lots of positive feedback on a story that came from a PiBoIdMo idea from last year, so I'm very ready to be inspired again.
    And actually I had a great moment in September when I visited my kids and grandkids in Seattle.  I walked into my son's house, and heard "Look what came today!" and it was the High Five for my granddaughter, with a poem by me in it!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Twitter Jitters

   BAM!  It seems to happen so fast, unlike every other aspect of this wacky writing/revising/submitting business.  You describe your story in under 140 characters, send it out on Twitter, and that very day, sometimes within the hour, your idea is touched by an agent's fairy wand!  Favorited! Sprinkled with Twitter glitter!
   BAM!  You speedily submit your story to the interested agent, and then...sometimes a conversation begins, and hopes are raised.  Sometimes, there is absolutely. no. word.  I've had both situations happen this summer, and I still remain hopeful.  Somehow the waiting seems harder when the initial contact was faster than a melting mocha milkshake. 
    I've reduced my submissions to a trickle and have been sending poems to magazines while I wait.  And I try to work on my fitness and health--finished my first 5K this summer!  (OK, I came in 310th, but I made it!)
 
   I remember thinking the finish line would never come into view, but it did, and I'm sure I'll eventually hear back from my pitch pickers, too.  How do you handle the post-pitch-favorite blues? 

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Check!

   Being an older writer has its upsides.  I got a check for $125 today for my story on roadrunners which appeared in the March issue of Appleseeds.  I'd completely forgotten that they hadn't yet paid me!  Such a lovely surprise.  Next spring, I can hide my own Easter eggs...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

National Donut Day Just Got Sweeter!

   I take care of a baby girl on Friday mornings, and today little Nettie and her mom had coffee and a donut waiting for me.  Then in the afternoon, I got a contract from Highlights!  It's for a poem I wrote for their baby magazine, Hello.
   That makes one, count it, ONE sale so far this year after 30 submissions--but it's a good one!  I'm always proud to sell a piece to the Highlights family.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Touched by a Fairy Wand?

    Well, that's how I picture it anyway.  One of my PiBoIdMo ideas practically wrote itself into a picture book this month, and I made an illustrated dummy--and it fit!  It's called Tough Toast.  My critique group loved it, but it got a 7 from Rate Your Story.  Bleah! 
     But I'm still really liking this story, so when I read about a pitch event on Twitter, I decided to enter with my tweet "A bagel and a square piece of bread discuss their differences in 132 words in Tough Toast."  And within an hour, I got a notification that it had been "favorited" (here's where I picture the fairy wand) by a lovely agent.  I sent her the manuscript and told her I had also made a dummy.  She wrote back and said to please send that, too   And then I had to go to work before I could get it together--ah, this pesky making-a-living thing--but I drew a smaller version and scanned and sent it when I got home.
     I haven't heard from her since, but I know she's at BEA this week and very busy, so I'll just hope to hear from her soon.  Even if nothing comes of it, it feels very good to have had my tweet chosen, favorited, and touched by a fairy wand.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Treated LIke Royalty!

   Last year, the royalties for my 5 little easy readers with Continental Press totaled $70, for all four quarters. 
    Then on May 4th, the mail brought 1.) a rejection and 2.) a first quarter royalty check for $220!  I have no idea why, but each of the five books sold a LOT of copies between January and March. 
    Rejections are soooo much easier to take when they arrive the same day as a royalty check!  I bought myself a ticket to see my grandkids in Seattle.
    Gotta love the educational market!  These books began appearing in the catalog about 15 years ago.  I've submitted a new story for the John &Lucy series, but so far, no response.  Wonder what the next royalty check will be?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Finally...attended a regional SCBWI workshop!

   It was so good to meet local authors at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI spring workshop!  Got a very encouraging crit from author Wendi Silvano, and also had her sign a book for my grandson Dylan.
Wendi feels my Cowboy Shorty story is ready to hit the trail, and she looks forward to seeing it published!  Me, too!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Marching Up and Down

   March began with a trip to see grandkids in Seattle, which was wonderful,
and going out after the first round in the March Madness poetry tournament, which was disappointing.  (I realize it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but my assigned word "distribution" just didn't inspire me.)
    I got a 6 from Rate Your Story on my Mom Dot Com--may be time to give up on that one.  It involves a child pulling mom away from the computer, and technology has changed to where she probably just uses her tablet or phone.
   I'm waiting to hear from Kathleen Hayes at High Five/Hello about two poems I sent, and I entered Cowboy Shorty in a RYS contest.  I sent Confetti the Yeti to a British publisher looking for diversity. 
   The best writer news in March was my copy of Appleseeds--I love the five illustrations that accompany my three page story!  My "Interview With a Roadrunner"  features Lance Lizard interviewing the New Mexico state bird, and the artwork was both accurate and humorous, just perfect.


   I wrote to find out the name of the in-house artist, John Sandford, and e-mailed him a thank you.  He said he loved my story and he hopes we can collaborate again sometime!  This piece was rejected by Highlights, so it feels good to have it recycled and treated so well.
   So nice to have a little success amid all the disappointment and waiting!
   
   

Sunday, February 22, 2015

WooHoo!  My submission of the month for February, Biscochito Man--

Sunday, February 1, 2015

On to February!

   Last month's story went out to an agent, three publishers and Highlights, so we'll see what happens.  Submitted this month's story, Biscochito Man, to Rate Your Story this morning.  It feels good to be more organized about submitting this year, sort of doing my own version of 12x12 but concentrating on publishers instead of agents.
   You know what else feels good?  Having a Valentine sweetheart!
     
  Who would have guessed that 2014, the year of surgery, chemo, radiation and baldness, would bring me romance?  Robb is a cancer survivor too, and we are so happy to have found each other last October.
   Now, a book contract this year would be frosting on the cake!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feeling Encouraged!

      This has been a good week so far.  On Monday, I got a 2 from Rate Your Story (highest score I've ever received) on my rhyming PB, Trashing Through the Snow.  On Weds. I got a very encouraging critique on another rhymer, Confetti the Yeti from Danielle Davis of fiverr.com, zeroing in on some clunkers I'd missed.  I tried my hand at a mystery for the Highlights contest--so now I have something else to revise during Meg Miller's ReviMo next week!  I also submitted this week--a rebus and Trashing--to Joelle Dujardin at Highlights.  But I'd still love to see it as a picture book.
     My strategy this year is to pick my 12 favorite manuscripts and choose one each month to send out to several publishers.  Trashing is my January centerfold!