One Writer’s Journey

November 30, 2010

Hawaiian Archaeological Info On-line

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 5:03 am
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The Bishop Museum is compiling an online database of information on Hawaiian archaeological sites excavated by this institution.  At this point, Hawaiian Archaeological Sites (HAS) consists largely of tables of information sorted by island and district but there is also bibliographic information and occasional links to a manuscript data base.

Note: This is a brand new site.  Be patient! There are already plans for phase 2 which will include artifact images as well as 500+ PDFs of archaeological research manuscripts.  Keep an eye on this site; it is going to be an amazing resource.

Special thanks for Research Buzz for bringing this to my attention.

–SueBE

 

 

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November 29, 2010

Goals — Moving From November to December

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 3:04 pm
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How many words can you write during a two day work week?  Have enough deadlines and the answer is 9663.  Yay, me!   Ok, I also managed to give myself a 3 1/2 day work week by not going on the hunting trip (not a very tough decision).  I roughed 5 new tutorials, my WOW article and rewrote a whole stack of tutorials.

This week I need to polish the WOW article, finish the 5 new tutorials, rewrite at least one tutorial and blog.

I also did some characterization exercises (more later in the week on that) so I’m about ready to tackle that picture book rewrite.  Which is a good thing since I also got a rejection from Charlesbridge but the editor is willing to take a look at a rewrite.  More on the irony of that particular letter later in the week, too.

Now off to write my blog post for Prayables!

Happy writing all!

–SueBE

November 24, 2010

I’m Thankful for Great Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 4:35 am
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With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, this will be my last post for the week.  Among the many things that I’m thankful for are great books and the people who put book lists together.  Check out the 2010 Best Books lists from School Library Journal. I’m just going to give you authors and titles.  For descriptions, follow the links.

Picture Books:

BARTON, Chris. Shark vs. Train. illus. by Tom Lichtenheld.

BLEXBOLEXSeasons. tr. from French by Claudia Bedrick. illus. by author.

BROWNE, Anthony. Me and You. illus. by author.

FLEMING, Candace. Clever Jack Takes the Cake. illus. by G. Brian Karas.

FRAZEE, Marla. The Boss Baby. illus. by author.

Don't want to go(Original Import)

HUGHES, Shirley. Don’t Want to Go! illus. by author.

Dust Devil(Original Import)

ISAACS, Anne. Dust Devil. illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky.

KAPLAN, Bruce Eric. Monsters Eat Whiny Children. illus. by author.

NELSON, Marilyn. Snook Alone. illus. by Timothy Basil Ering.

KERLEY, Barbara. The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy). illus. by Edwin Fotheringham.

NELSON, Marilyn. Snook Alone. illus. by Timothy Basil Ering.

O’MALLEY, Kevin. Animal Crackers Fly the Coop. illus. by author.

chicken thief(Original Import)

RODRIGUEZ, Béatrice. The Chicken Thief. illus. by author.

SEEGER, Laura Vaccaro. What If? illus. by author.

UNDERWOOD, Deborah. The Quiet Book.

art and max(Original Import)

WIESNER, David. Art & Max. illus. by author.

WILLEMS, Mo. We Are in a Book! illus. by author.


WIVIOTT
, Meg. Benno and the Night of Broken Glass. illus. by Josée Bisaillon.
WINTER
, Jonah. Here Comes the Garbage Barge! illus. by Red Nose Studio.

Fiction:

APPELT, Kathi. Keeper. illus. by August Hall.

BARRETT, Tracy. King of Ithaka.

BLACK, Holly & Justine Larbalestier, eds. Zombies vs. Unicorns. (anthology)

BOYCE, Frank Cottrell. Cosmic.

CUSHMAN, Karen. Alchemy and Meggy Swann.

DOGAR, Sharon.

DONNELLY, Jennifer. Revolution.

EPSTEIN, Adam Jay & Andrew Jacobson. The Familiars.

FISHER, Catherine. Incarceron.

GIDWITZ, Adam. A Tale Dark & Grimm.

GILL, David Macinnis. Black Hole Sun.

GRAY, Keith. Ostrich Boys.

HARRISON, Michelle. 13 Treasures.

HEMPHILL, Stephanie. Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials.

MARCHETTA, Melina. Finnikin of the Rock.

MULLIGAN, Andy. Trash.

NAYLOR, Phyllis Reynolds. Emily’s Fortune.

O’CONNOR, Barbara. The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester.

O’CONNOR, George. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess.

REEVE, Philip. Fever Crumb.

REINHARDT, Dana. The Things a Brother Knows.

RHODES, Jewell Parker. Ninth Ward.

RICHARDS, Jame. Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood.

RIORDAN, Rick. The Red Pyramid.

SHULMAN, Polly. The Grimm Legacy.

sullivan.1(Original Import)

STANDIFORD, Natalie. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters.

STROUD, Jonathan. The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel.

TOMLINSON, Heather. Toads and Diamonds.

TURNER, Megan Whalen. A Conspiracy of Kings.

WARD, Rachel. Numbers.

WILLIAMS-GARCIA, Rita. One Crazy Summer.

Nonfiction:

ADLER, David A. Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life.

ARONSON, Marc & Marina Budhos. Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science.

BARTOLETTI, Susan Campbell. They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group.

WWI(Original Import)

FREEDMAN, Russell. The War to End All Wars: World War I.

GREENBERG, Jan & Sandra Jordan. Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring.

KRULL, Kathleen. Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything. illus. by Robert Byrd.

Pop!(Original Import)

MCCARTHY, Meghan. Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum.

SHEINKIN, Steve. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery.

NYE, Naomi Shihab, sel. Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25.

SIDMAN, Joyce. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. illus. by Beckie Prange. Houghton Harcourt.

SMITH, Charles R., Jr. Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson. illus. by Shane W. Evans.

barbie(Original Import)

STONE, Tanya Lee. The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us.

VOAKE, Steve. Insect Detective. illus. by Charlotte Voake.

Happy Reading!

–SueBE

November 23, 2010

Setting Goals

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 4:18 am

What kinds of goals are you cooking up?

“The only thing you can control is your own effort.”
–Theodora van den Beld

When I listen to writers discuss their goals, I’m always surprised by some of them.

  • I am going to publish a book in the next three years.
  • I am going to sell to five new magazines this year.
  • I plan to win a contest.

Really?  How do you plan to do those things?  You can submit, you can apply and you can hone your craft, but you can’t directly compel these things to happen.

Maybe I’m being defeatist, but I set goals that I can meet.  What can I control?  My own efforts.  So my goals are things like:

  • To submit to two new markets each month.
  • To write 6000 + words per week.
  • To have 6 book manuscripts out by the end of the year.
  • To try at least one new type of writing (script writing, poetry) per year.

See, I’m working toward the same kinds of goals as those mentioned above.  To publish in a new magazine, you have to write and submit so a word count goal alone wouldn’t accomplish it.

When you set goals, and you should be doing this, set long and short term goals.  You want to write a novel.  Check one for long term goals.

Now start setting short term goals.  Chose which novel idea you want to pursue. Outline novel.  Write one chapter a week.  Workshop with Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison.   Rewrite in two months.  Those are short term goals.

What kinds of goals are you setting for your own writing career?

–SueBE

November 22, 2010

Goals — Heading toward the End of November

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 7:52 pm
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My word count for last week wasn’t quite as high as I’ve been managing but still well ahead of my 6000 word goal at 7086 words.   I wrote more tutorials and blog posts and started the article for WOW.

This week, I’m hoping to make 6000 words but only have a two day (with no one else here) week.  We shall see what we shall see.  I do have deadlines so I will be writing.

I have several tutorial to write . . .

and several more to rewrite.

I read a stack of character driven picture books and reread my own manuscript.  I’m ready to start playing with this.

And I want to finish the WOW article.

There’s also a market (Thriving Family) that put out a call and I want to try to pull some things together for them.

Fingers crossed and happy writing!

–SueBE

 

November 19, 2010

Talking Numbers with Preschoolers

Who will have the best grasp of numbers and math?

I read an interesting press release today about an article, “What Counts in the Development of Young Children’s Number Knowledge?” in the current issue of Developmental Psychology, by University of Chicago psychologist Susan Levine and several other scholars.

In this article, Levine reports on the math skills exhibited by young children whose parents engage in “number talk” vs the skills of children whose parents do not.  Number talk doesn’t have to be a ho hum mathematical lecture.  It can be as simple as asking a child “Do you want two cookies?” vs “Do you want some cookies?”

In writing, we often discuss precision of language.  Most often we discuss this in terms of picking the write verb to create an exciting sentence packed with movement.

Just something to noodle over (One noodle, two noodles, three noodles) as we write for toddlers and preschoolers.  How might the specific words we use in our stories effect their understanding of abstracts like numbers?

–SueBE

November 18, 2010

How to deal with a revision request

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 3:32 am
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Yesterday, I blogged about creating your own luck.  One of the best ways to create your own freelance luck is to learn how to revise.  Writing is the easy part.  Really.  You think that’s not true?  Wait until you get your first revision request from an editor or agent.  If you are going to succeed, you’re going to have to learn to do it.

For a really funny take on this, check out 10 Things to Do After Receiving a Revision Letter.

When you’re done laughing, read on for 10 tips on getting read to revise.

  1. Face reality.  Your beloved manuscript is not perfect.  It is beloved.  You love it in spite of its many flaws and all manuscripts have things that will need to be changed to make them publishable.  Seriously.
  2. Do not rant at your editor.  I mean it.  Bitch at the cat.  Tear out a shrub (ahem).  Rake leaves.  Scrub the shower floor.
  3. After you’ve worked off all that bile, reread the letter.  If you simply do not understand what you are being asked to do, ask for clarification IF YOU HAVE CALMED DOWN.  Do not ask for clarification if you are still indignant.  Not even a wee little bit peeved.
  4. Once you understand what your editor is asking you to do, think it over.  Look beyond the actual changes (the what) and look at the rational for these requests (the why). Your character may not be deep enough but that doesn’t mean that the suggested changes are really right for your manuscript.  Go think.
  5. Go think some more.
  6. Reread your manuscript.
  7. Reread the revision request.
  8. Keep thinking.
  9. Save a copy of your manuscript just in case your attempts to fix it goof it up instead.  It can happen.
  10. Reread it again.  Envision the changes you’ve been considering.  Do they work with YOUR manuscript?

If so, you’re ready to revise.  I’m not saying it will be easy but it is 100% essential if your work is going to see print — either paper or electronic.  Lucky writers all know how to rewrite.  I’m just telling you.

–SueBE

November 17, 2010

Making Your Own Luck

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 4:59 am
Tags: ,

Take aim and market yourself.

“People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.”  –Anne Tyler

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart but it is doable.  The trick is learning to make your own luck.

First things first, take advantage of editors and publishers looking for writers.

“Can you do how-to articles about writing?”  No prob.

“Can you write reader’s theater on a famous American?”  Definitely.

“What about prayers?”  I can do that.

“Can you write tutorials for computer programs?”  You bet.

At one time, I had no experience in any of these areas.  Now, I have credits in each.  I didn’t get these credits by shaking my head and passing on the opportunity.  I got the experience because I found a way to link my experience to what the editor wanted.

How to articles?  I’m a writer. I know how to write.  I also know how to interview so I could go after the experiences of other writers to fill in my articles.

Reader’s theater.  I’m a historian so my edge was the history.  I also write nonfiction.  That was a big plus.

Prayers?  I pray and I can write short.

Tutorials?  How-to articles for children.  If I can explain something fairly complicated to a 3rd grader, the publisher was fairly confident I could explain something a bit more complicated to an adult.

Don’t get me wrong.  There is always a bit of luck involved — being in the right place at the right time to find out about the opportunity is essential.  But if you aren’t finding many opportunities to use your writing talents, work on keeping your eyes and ears open.  Network on and off line.  Seriously.  It does work.  I went to a conference a week ago.  I have someone waiting to see my work.  If I can do it, you can do it.  With determination and a can-do attitude, you’ll make your own luck.

–SueBE

 

November 16, 2010

Book Publicity and You, Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 3:41 am
Tags: , , ,

Last week, in the post Publicity and You, I discussed bringing all of your varied talents to the marketing table.  Who better to come up with innovative ways to market your own book?  Ways that match the tone of the book?

One of agent Bree Ogden’s clients, D. M. Cunningham, did their own trailer  and it is awesome (see below).  Creepy, crawly and full of suspense.

What talents do you bring to marketing your book?  If you were to do a trailer, what would you do?

–SueBE

November 15, 2010

Goals — November, Week 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Whew.  Deadlines do amazing things for your ability to meet a word count deadline.  Last week, I logged 8820 words (goal: 6000).  Lots of rewriting and layout or it would have been higher.

I managed to write new tutorials, rewrite tutorials and write a how-to article.  Not much progress on the picture book rewrite; before I tackle this I need to get to know my character a bit better, get some more information on paper so that it is in the forefront of my mind as a rework the manuscript.

This week I am going to:

  • Finish formatting a tricky job.
  • Do my Prayables blog.
  • Write and rewrite more tutorials.
  • Query Writer’s Digest.
  • Work on a WOW article.

That should be enough, plus a bit extra to insure insanity.  Hope you are all writing and illustrating and researching and otherwise making progress towards your goals.

–SueBE

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