Saturday, November 3, 2018

Writer's quotes -- Patricia Wrede

Editors don't make house calls.
You've gotta send them out.
               Patricia Wrede

(referring to the fact that you won't get published if your manuscripts just stay in your computer or in drawers/ filing cabinets.)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The President is Missing = a good read

I just finished reading The President is Missing, a Novel by (president) Bill Clinton and James Patterson. For the second time. Yes, it's that good. Also, that's what happens when you live right between two library systems and reserve the book at both of them, letting them race to see which one will get you the book first. And then you go ahead and read it again when the second book is ready for you.
It's a good suspense novel about the possible destruction of the United States by cyber warfare.
But I direct you to especially read the second to last chapter where the president addresses Congress after the bad guys have been captured or killed. It's a terrific speech which directly discusses the problems our country is facing now and how and why we must do better.
So - what are you reading? Picture book. middle grade. YA. adult book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Yesterday things broke down

First world problems:
Driving up to Oceanside to my hairdresser, a 25 minute drive on the freeway, I noticed something weird about the way the car was handling. On the way back, the car began vibrating more, so instead of going home, I traveled on to the car repair place and told them my problems. Hmmm, they said. Vibration seems normal to them. But, I sez, It's not normal for THIS car. Okay, they said, we'll put it up on the rack and look at the suspension.
Surprise (not to me). They discovered it needed new shocks and possibly a few other things. Normal wear and tear for a car with 112,000 miles on it, was my reaction.
Now, I'm at home for a day or two without a car. I probably should use this 'free' time to file all the loose papers lying around my office.
OH, and my printer has suddenly stopped working. Yuck. 
I have a replacement, but don't know if I remove the old one and place this one in its place whether my computer and laptop will recognize it. hmmm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Water Land

Hale, Christy. Water Land: land and water forms around the world. NY: Neal Porter book, Roaring Brook Press, 2018. 

Excellent way to understand land and water forms
Hale uses cut outs in stiff paper so that you can not only see what the land or water form looks like, but you can feel it as well.  Not only that, but she has matched look-alike land and water forms in such a way that you shake your head and say, Wow!  I didn't realize that!

I have only one complaint.  Although I love the triple fold out at the end of the book, showing various land and water forms on a map of our world, the version she uses is the Mercator one that shows North America larger than Africa.  Whereas Africa is really so large that almost all of the countries of the world can fit inside its outline.

After she has tried so hard to show accurate land and water forms, she fails with the map.  Otherwise this is delicious and probably will win a Sibert Award.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A writer's mind

Fell asleep for my nap thinking about a better way to write one scene in my work in progress. 
Forgot it when I woke up. 
Had lunch. 
Read some FaceBook posts. 
Suddenly remembered it just now while brushing my teeth, so am now writing it down. 

Writer's minds are weird.

Update - I've done enough edits on my work in progress.  
Now to begin sending it out to agents or editors.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A place to write

I"ve finally decided that my tiny house might just be a tad bit too small for a writer (me) and a college student (my teen). We won't discuss her snakes and fish -- they're in her room.

There is no longer a place for me to spread out the items I need to refer to when writing.
Teen has taken over the living room to study in and the coffee table is covered with miscellaneous stuff of hers.
The 'dining room table' (in a nook of the kitchen) now only contains two places for us to eat, because the rest of the area is taken up by the sewing machine.  Some day I want the sewing machine to have its very own cabinet, but as for now - this is where is stays.
My 'desk' in my bedroom is covered with bills.  (it's a small portable writing desk)
My office (which the floorplan of our two bedroom/ one level condo says is supposed to be the dining room) has several other projects scattered around, plus three filing cabinets, a bookshelf, and four of those plastic stacks of drawers.  The fourth wall is the sliding door to our patio.

So = where can I go to spread out and focus on writing?

I now go to the teen's community college and use carrols in the library there.  Comfy chairs with small tables for laptop and one small notebook.  But if I have to really spread out, they have comfy chairs at larger (but not too large) tables.  I have used both of these and am in love.  I can really focus there because everyone else there is focusing on studying.  No music. No talking in the background.

So far I've rewritten that picture book that the picture book workshop at LoonSong said was a middle grade short story into actually being a picture book.  YAY!

I've completed one pass through of my young novel, correcting the mistake I learned about at LoonSong.  (It began as a picture book.  Then I attempted to convert it to a Chapter Book, but it ran away from me and grew like Topsy. It's now a young middle grade novel.)
Next I'll do several more pass throughs and see if I can whip it into shape.

Today I brought about 20 email printouts to use as references while I wrote a letter to my ex-agent.  (He's two years behind in sending me my royalties.)

Home is for eating and sleeping.
I've decided to write at the college library.