Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm So Excited

I'm so excited. I just got my first request for a full manuscript from Stephen Fraser. He is seriously the nicest person in publishing. I would be so lucky if he wanted to be my agent, but I'd settle for any word from him. He is the real deal. He know children's publishing better than anyone I can think of. I don't know how I'm going to stand the 4-8 week wait to hear what he says.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finally Finished My Workbook

I finally finished my Donald Maass workbook. It's so helpful to be out of training and have time to actually work on it.

So now I'm starting on character developement for each of my characters. There are some wonderful resources out there for this. Adventures in Children's Publishing has a great worksheet. I combined that with some others I had put together over time. So now I'm starting on my protagonist. What fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Magic Trunk

I'm going to be reading a story I wrote at the First Annual Story Telling Festival at The Kansas City Zoo. This event is open to Kansas City Zoo Docents only for this year, since it's a first time thing. It's to honor the memory of one of our long time docents who passed away this year.

I think it should be a lot of fun. My story is called "The Magic Trunk" it's about an elephant named Bimini who paints pictures with her trunk. I don't know if I could even call it "fiction" becasue we have real elephants at the zoo who do the exact same thing, but I hope I can bring a bit of humor to the story.

I found a really cool elephant puppet that has a moveable trunk. I attached a paintbursh to it, and I can make the puppet actually paint. This is going to be more a test of my "acting" skills than my writing. But I'm never afraid to make a fool of myself.

***DISCLAIMER: Any opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the Kansas City Zoo

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lord of the Flies

I watched Lord of the Flies last night as way of researching my next book. Now I'm reading the book. I've read it before, but wanted to read it again. What a facinating psychological novel. What would you do if you were stranded on a deserted island? Could you survive? Was it because the boys were so young that they lost their humanity, or could that happen to any group under similar circumstances. Would females have humanized the situation?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And the Answer Is

I finally heard back from one of my queries from two weeks ago. Too bad it was a form rejection. But at least I know that those queries were recieved. I still hope to get some feedback from one of my queries so I'll know if I'm on the right track.

So now I'm sending out more queries. Query is my new best tool. If you're in the query process, this is a great way to keep track of the agents you're querying, what their response rates are, link to their blogs, interviews, etc.

I also met with my critique group tonight. It's so inspirational to see how much progress everyone is making.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Working My Workbook

I'm working my way through The Writing The Breakout Novel workbook in preparation for my next WIP. There's some really good stuff in here.

I'm getting to know things about my characters, plot, backstory, etc. that may never even show up in the book, but it's great fun to write.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rough Outline Complete

Hooray! I finished a very rough outline for my new WIP. Now I'm going to work on character developement. I'm finding this new approach very satisfying. I was afraid it would "inhibit my creativity" if I planned too many things out ahead of time, but really it's just another part of the creative process. Hopefully one that will lead to a more polished first draft, and thus fewer revisions.

Unfortunately, for the next two weeks I'm going to be in all day training at my JOB. One of the good things about my job is that I usually have ample time to work on my CAREER by doing things like, blogging, reading everything I can get my hands on, writing (believe it or not), revising, etc. But the next two weeks are going to be nothing but training, training, training. So somethings going to have to give.

Then there's the querying for Zombie Rabbit. I still haven't heard from my first three submissions, so I really need to submit to three more agents. But that involves a lot of work too.

So I'd better hit it!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Moving On

I've finally started my new WIP. Well I don't know if you could even call it a WIP yet, it's really just a collection of ideas, and a really really loose outline for how I want the story to flow.

My plan is to try to lay some groundwork before I dive head first into writing the MS. I know, what a concept huh? So once I have a rough sketch of how I want my plot to go, I'm going to try to use all the fabulous resouces I've uncovered while revising Zombie Rabbit. Maybe I'll only need to do 50 revision this time instead of 70!

One thing that I'm so excited about it the character developement. has this great character worksheet. I'm also going to do Donald Maass workbook.

This is very fun.

I still haven't heard back on my submissions for Zombie Rabbit. I really expected to hear from one agent yesterday because she blogged about getting through a lot of submissions, but still nothing. I'm taking that as a good sign that she's taking more time to review my request.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Waiting Game

I sent my first three queries out on Wednesday 6/2/10. At first I was pleased that I didn't get instant rejections, because I've had that happen. But now I'm getting worried. I really expected to hear from at least two of the agents I queried, even if it was a rejection. I know that there are agents that never respond if they don't want to look at a partial or full, and I understand why many agents find it necessary to do that. But two of the agents I queried have excellent reputations for providing responses to queries. So now I have to decide how long to wait, and if to query again. I'll keep my eyes on their blogs to see if they mention any glitches that might have caused my e-mails to go astray.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Many Things

Sorry I've been quiet on my blog for the past week and a half. I just wasnt' feelin' it. But since like a spaz I got to work at 6:00 this morning instead of 7:00 when I'm supposed to be here, I really have no excuse for not using this time to blog. I can't start work early, so what to do? So here's what I would have posted if, I'd posted anything.

On Wednesday, I would have talked about my need for PERFECTION and how it's seriously holding me back. Here's a perfect example. There was a contest on Query Tracker, with an amazing deal that the first 100 submissions would hear from the agent where and why they stopped reading their first pages. Pretty cool, so I knew those 100 spots would go fast. I got everything prepared ahead of time. Had a special file for my first pages ready to cut and paste. At exactly 8:00 I jumped to the contest and entered my information. It said that sometimes when cutting and pasting from word, you get formatting errors, so I took five minutes to look over everything, and in the six minutes that passed, 100 people had already signed up. I was locked out. What a bummer. It was like seventh grade when tickets for Shaun Cassidy were up for grabs at the radio station to the 9th caller. I listened to the radio for hours on end and every time they played Da Doo Ron Ron, I ran to the phone and dialed. So now I'll really date myself by pointing out that we had a rotary dial at that time. If you don't know what that is, I can't help you. But let's just say it was slow. My friends mom had to buy the tickets for us. What does this have to do with my need for perfection, who knows, but just another missed opportunity.

I did finally send out three queries on Wednesday night. I'm trying to stay positive.

Oh, and I came up with a brilliant new ending for Zombie Rabbit, so even when I say I'm done for a while, I'm not really done. Afterall, it's not perfect yet.

But I'm writing that ending this weekend, and next week I'm starting on something new, I'll either be doing a major re-write on Sterling and the Trinity, or working on one of my new ideas, I haven't decided yet.