Saturday, March 27, 2021

What Are The Chances?!

 So on Tuesday, March 23rd, my awesome grandson Anthony's 20th birthday, my emotions are all over the place. There's been a shooting in Boulder and one of the grocery workers killed was a 20 year old kid who even looked a bit like Anthony, who also works at a grocery store. Plus, on Sunday I found a lump on the same side as before and on Monday I went to the Cancer Center to see my doctor there, wondering if the cancer had come back after 7 years. He felt it was harder than he'd like, so he set up an appt. the next day for a mammogram, ultrasound, and possibly a biopsy. And on Tuesday, while I'm a wreck there waiting for my results, I get an e-mail from an agent I submitted to 13 months ago wondering if I'm still interested in representation for my bio of glass artist Dale Chihuly! Yes!! She'll call me later this week! THE CALL! And the results came out just fine--the lump is a calcification, definitely not cancer. What an emotional day!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Positive Vibes

     Maybe it's because I got my two Covid shots, or because we have a new President, or because I sold my money pit of a house in New Mexico, or because my dog is on the mend from heartworms, but there seem to be some positive vibes in my life that are extending to my writing life, too. I got a revise and resubmit for my MARJORY STOOD story, an agent who answered my question about PB bios on Twitter invited me to submit my Nathan Sawaya story to him, and I still haven't received a rejection from the publisher interested in my dinosaur boardbooks. I've entered a few contests: 50 Precious Words, #PBParty, and the SCBWI Ann Paul contest, so I'm excited to see how those turn out. 11 rejections so far this year, but I won't give up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Up and Down Day

 Well, it seems I'm struggling with the font at the new address, too. Guess I'll go back to my old one. Today was an up and down day, or maybe down and up--I read a NFest post that said the school and library market is disrupted right now, and that publishers don't want to buy picture book biographies because they were mostly purchased by schools and libraries. So, guess I may have to expand my focus. 

   The hopeful news is--I have three little board book manuscripts about dinosaurs and I sent one off to a publisher yesterday. Got a reply today--he likes the idea and would I send the other two? Sent them off right away, and I'm crossing everything I've got. I've had false alarms before, so I'm not going to get too excited til it goes farther, but it was lovely to receive that e-mail!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

New Year, New E-Mail

 I just couldn't trust Gmail to format my submission letters correctly, and they didn't offer Times New Roman as a font choice, so I opened a new Yahoo e-mail account: deborahholtwilliamswriter@yahoo.com I hope it will bring me good luck! Had a great zoom meeting today with the western slope SCBWI group on diversity in chapter books.  Entered the SCBWI Ann Paul contest today, too, with my Marjory Stoneman Douglas PB bio, MARJORY STOOD. All in all, a good writing day!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Focus, Focus!

   My year submitting manuscripts to Rate Your Story has helped me to focus on my strengths, which seem to be short biographies. MARJORY STOOD, my 400-word biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, won an honorable mention in the non-fic division of the RYS contest, and my biography of LEGO artists Nathan Sawaya, THE BOY WHO BUILT A DOG, received a 2 with some helpful suggestions. (It's a 1-10 scale, with a 1 meaning it's ready to submit.) An agent showed some interest in my 300 word bio of glass artist Dale Chihuly, but then I never heard back. So, for the year 2001, I think I'll concentrate on subbing my bios to agents, and I'll save all my fiction attempts in case I'm asked for more of my work.

    My writing life has divided itself into sections: the early reader phase, where I had five stories published by Continental Press, Seedlings Division; and then the magazine phase, where I sold 12 pieces to the Highlights family of magazines plus Jack and Jill, Appleseeds, Knowonder, Spellbound and others; and then a long drought with no sales at all! Hopefully I'm coming closer to the published book stage with my short bios.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Writers Must Write--Fall Frenzy 2020

 Time once again for the Fall Frenzy writing contest! I'm entering my reflection on picture #10.



     Sometimes, to quote Robert Frost, two roads diverge in a yellow wood. But sometimes there are no choices. The road ahead is clearly marked, and the only way is forward.  

     Writers must write.

     They may move slowly, with hesitant steps, or they may charge recklessly ahead, but they journey forward with their stories, revisions and submissions.

     And when rejections tumble down onto the path like leaves, the writer steps over these autumn obstacles and walks on, down the road, toward publication,

      to let their stories bloom into the world in season.



Monday, September 21, 2020

Honorable Mention!

 Well, what a nice surprise that my Marjory Stoneman Douglas revision, the 400 word version called MARJORY STOOD, received an honorable mention in the Rate Your Story writing contest! I need these little moments of positivity, especially during this time of rising pandemic deaths, death in my own family, and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not to mention the two rejections earlier this month.   Tomorrow, the book on Marjory by Sandra Neil Wallace comes out. Fortunately, mine and hers are quite different. Hers is over 50 pages long and includes details from Marjory's early life, where mine is short and more concerned with her activism once she arrived in Florida. I sent it to a publisher which has two activist stories coming out this year, so it feels like a good fit. I'll keep trying. The only way to guarantee failure is to quit!