Monthly Archives: October 2010

“I was sure that I was going to write stories myself when I grew up. It’s important to put it like that: not ‘I am a writer,’ but rather ‘I write stories.’ If you put the emphasis on yourself rather than your work, you’re in danger of thinking that you’re the most important thing. But you’re not. The story is what matters, and you’re only the servant, and your job is to get it out on time and in good order.” –Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy

Ehhh!  So I couldn’t help myself! I had to post this quote for you! I figure this is pretty good stuff to read just before you sit down to write. 

Also don’t forget Query Tracker is hosting a pitch contest for PB/MG/YA only. Here is the link. It ends tomorrow morning! Today is the last day to enter! 


Filed under Uncategorized

A Wee Little Notice

Wow! Thanks to all who read the blog! I’ve reached 100!

I have to take a break. I can’t seem to get out from under the weather! The medicine I took for a respiratory infection had some side effects (which I won’t mention here). So hopefully it will all be over this week and I can get back to blogging next week.

I’m going to have to do something a bit different once PiBoIdMo starts. I’m thinking my posts will be centered around that event and less around my agenda or usual topics/themed posts.

I have two awards I still need to give away and I’ve been thinking long and hard about who they will go to. I’ll reveal that when I get back.

Also, please do comment on what kind of fun prizes you would like here. I really would love to know what gets you excited. I have something fun in store for you–a little surprise.

So do enjoy your Halloween or maybe even Dia de los Muertos!

Here is a fun draw your own Jack-o-Lantern website to keep you busy.


Filed under Uncategorized

Fanatic Friday

Here are some of my great finds from all over the web–things I’ve been focusing on learning and mastering:

Cynthia Leitich Smith put out an interview with Gayle Brandeis who is the author of My Life With The Lincolns. You can read the interview at her blog Cynsations. Brandeis answers questions about being an author and a mother. She also speaks about her research process, etc.


Now this is the kind of librarian we all need! This is one determined librarian! I certainly wish all libraries had enough dinero for all the wonderful programs that they provide the public, especially those that are for children.

I sometimes still have a bit of trouble classifying my WIP. Do you? Well, have no fear! The Big Ol’ Genre Glossary is here to help–brought to you by Jennifer Laughran, a literary agent specializing in children’s and YA fiction. This is a moment you should have full clarity on–a defining moment for any author as they realize what it is they truly love to write!

Ever wonder about those confusing paragraph/chapter breaks? Sometimes they can be a kick in the rear…unless you understand them. Not Enough Words certainly cleared it up for me!

I’ve been watching the SF Giants baseball games with my DH and I have to say that not only is their pitcher Tim Lincecum quite handsome, but he is also extremely talented! I’d like to be able to say I’m just as good a pitcher myself. I’m hoping you feel the same. So here’s a head start on that. Here and here are some more wonderful links to help out. I hope it helps!

Also, If you haven’t checked out who my wonderful fellow crusaders are, please do so by clicking the badge to the right!

What aspect(s) of the craft have you been focusing on in your writing? Post the link if you have it!


Filed under Fanatic Friday, Writing Craft

Tinker with Tools Tuesday: Ka Boom!

I’m so excited! Tonight I will be at the Charlotte Motor Speedway observing a Zambelli Fireworks show! I’ve been anticipating this for quite a while now and finally this is the night it will happen. I know I have said it before but here it is again: sometimes the best tool an author can have in his/her pocket is…

*drum roll and colorful confetti*

RESEARCH…plenty of it!

I can’t stress that enough. It is important to know what you are writing about. It is important to get it right. I like to get it right! Don’t you?

I’d like to think an author should be precisely like Curious George. Yup! That clever monkey knows what he is doing! Can anyone really ever be too curious? I don’t know about that one.

I plan to take the kids at a later time in the future.

Hopefully I’ll get a picture or two to share with you guys, if they allow it. I feel like I’m going undercover. In a way I am. I’ll be under cover by the darkness just before I hear that first Ka-Boom!  Bad joke? No? I’m laughing anyway.

Have you had any fun research adventures lately? Any that got you deep in trouble like Curious George? I’ve heard of some authors who actually go undercover for research. Have you? 

Sidenote: We just got a puppy and I need a few suggestions. I was thinking of naming the dog after literary figures or after an animal from a kidlit story? Any ideas? Anyone ever named pets this way? 


Filed under Research, Tinker with Tools Tuesday, Zambelli Fireworks

Masterpiece Monday

I’m currently making a Piñata so this post will have to be short, but read through to the end for clues as to what is in store for all of you as I near 100 followers!

Here are a few books that have caught my eye…

Keeping with the Latina/Hispanic theme…

Here are some books by Julia Alvarez. I love how she covers many controversial topics that children may have a hard time understanding. What better way to help children understand change, different cultures, adoption issues, and political issues, than to write a story about them. 

An adopted girl finally searches for her past. 

A Picture book story about “a secret tribe of beautiful people who live underwater in ‘cool blue caves hung with seashells and seaweed.’ Avoiding humans at all costs, they come out to hunt for food only at night. But the most remarkable thing about theciguapas is that their feet are on backward.”
The story about a girl from the Dominican Republic. When Anita’s “father gets taken away by the secret police, Anita and her mother go into hiding in order to avoid capture. Anita, of course, keeps a diary.”
 A story about Mexican immigrant workers and the challenges their children/families encounter in the face of deportation as a result of  being undocumented. 
One last book that sounds like a fun read but is not from the multicultural genre:
Here is a prologue from the book. It held me at the edge of my seat. I better go buy this one soon!
I have to say a BIG thank you to all my Lost Boys and Girls and those following through Facebook Networked Blogs! You guys are awesome! I’m nearing 100 followers and I keep thinking, “Oh no what to do! What will I do when I reach 100 followers (through blogger not FB)?” So I’ll let you know now–I do have something planned for you. What I need to know is what kind of prizes would you like? PB, MG, YA Books? Critiques? Fabulous notebooks to store those amazing story ideas in? Pens that shine on the page as you write about your amazing adventures in Neverland, or maybe just your journal? An LED booklight?Anything else that comes to mind? Spit it out while you can! I can’t wait for the fun to begin! 


Filed under Masterpiece Monday

The Facts of Life

Children say some of the strangest, (but funny) things. Sometimes they spew out the greatest common sense that ever existed! 
Mommy: “Mommy’s eye is all red.” 
Saturday: “You need a shot in your eye.” 
Mommy: “Can I just put some drops in it?” 
Saturday: “Yes, first you have to put in one eye drop, then eat 4 cookies, and then go poop 2 times and your eye will feel all better!” 
Mommy: “Sounds good.” 
Saturday: “Mommy, you should not eat poop. It tastes yucky and it will make you very sick. Don’t ever, ever eat poopy! 
Mommy: “Okay, okay! Thank you. I won’t eat poop!” 
Saturday: “Good job Mommy.”

So unless you are one of those parents who feels this is the way to handle gross things…
“You are forbidden to talk about such things!”

here are a few books for the scientist who is much too curious about poo and other seemingly disgusting  things…


For the kid who always knows what to do:
 What is the funniest thing a child you know has concluded about bodily function(s)? Any funny (and obviously sincere/innocent) “know it all” situations? Tell me your favorites. 


Filed under Splendiferously Superb Saturday, The Facts Of Life

Doolittle About It

The pain in my head stays mainly in the brain. The pain, the pain, stays mainly in the brain.

Headaches Hardly Happen Here. However, Horrible Happenstance Helps this one Happen.

Aawuuuu! Awuuu!

Heaven help her!

Okay, I was just having a wee bit of fun. I might as well, since I have no control whatsoever over when this respiratory infection will go away. Cease to exist! Aww, see how powerful I think I am.


IF there is anything to know about Eliza Doolittle, it is that she bloomed (into a proper lady) quite well. The point is, she bloomed. As authors we’d like to think we can do the same (into proper authors obviously). And while doing little about it will get us nowhere, Doolittle about it will absolutely take us many places or at lease it will make us realize what we are doing wrong.

For example:

1. Doolittle with your vowels, they should stand alone or at least fit in.

A    E   I    O    U


Auuuewww,  Eeeeew, Iow, Ohhh, Ewww

One of the mistakes I constantly make in typos is typing soembody instead of somebody or soemthing instead of something. Gosh it drievs me nuts! I cna’t stnad it. LOL.  BUT as an author I must Doolittle about it and fix the problem EVERY SINGLE TIME! I would hate to think “soembody”  found its way into my query letter or manuscript! Proofread. Keep it constant. (Yes, I’m making typos in my own post…the one time I can, sheesh! Let me enjoy it while I can!)

2. Doolittle with your manuscript. Don’t mind it at all…only

“Move your bloomin’ (notice I said bloomin’) arse.”

See how nicely she put it! Edit. Make changes. Take note of (BAIC) “bloomin’ arse” in chair. Make it bloom. Own it.


3. Doolittle to fool everyone. No point in putting on an act. Higgins might disagree. Never mind that though.

Make your characters worthwhile and  believable. Pin point that dialogue. Show us things about your characters, don’t tell us everything about them. Let us figure some of it out for ourselves. No point to tricking anyone after all that hard work! Be yourself in your writing—a good voice is the best kind to use in this instance, so use your own. You may find a few things on all this here.

4. Doolittle to disagree, until it is worth the time and effort.

No point in pulling your hair out over every word. No point in changing that sentence unless maybe the whole lot of your critique group despises it for the most brilliant reasons. Don’t let anyone take a stroll all over your MS unless you are willing to wipe up the muddy footprints and ready for a possible BIG CHANGE. Leave all your reservations behind. Make good with what you have and aim for perfection but only if it fits.You have to, after all, live with what you have written. So here and here and here are a few things you could do to be sure your aim actually is set on perfection.

5. When there is absolutely nothing left to do there is always PiBoIdMo 2010! Doolittle about picture book ideas!  Here’s the link! Don’t miss out!

Anyone  else have a Doolittle moment? I’d really like to know what yours are.  


Filed under Bloomability Thursday, Doolittle