Monthly Archives: February 2012

Delenda!

That there up above is my word for the day. Doesn’t it sound lovely? I have a plan for this word. Truly. I just need  a magical wand to complete the plan. I was thinking, wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to shout out “Delenda!” with wand pointed in the air to watch that horrible, very disagreeable, no good sentence (maybe just a single word) disappear from a manuscript that hasn’t outgrown the work- in-progress stages yet?

I’m betting it’s a whole lot more fun than hitting the delete button on the keyboard. Where’s the flare in that? So what is delenda? It makes me think of two words: delete, and delight (all this because  the “enda” portion of the word reminds me of the word Splenda which makes me think of REAL sugar which is, as we all know, a delight to eat)…as in “What a delight to delete you!” but that’s just my version. 🙂

Anyhoo! Here is the original definition:

Delenda: that which needs to be deleted, something that has been deleted.

Delenda, delenda, delenda! Me gusto delenda! 🙂

I’m in love with it. Don’t be surprised if it pops up every now and then!

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Playing With Made Up Words

Alright, alright…I couldn’t help myself. A facebook friend posted a link to a fantabulous (you’ll get this pun later) blog with this outlandish, but wholeheartedly ridiculous chuckle-til-you have-a-stitch-in-the-side fun idea! This blog proposes a made up word every now and then (okay okay, it’s really the last Monday of each month, without fail). Your job is to define it, give its part of speech (adjective, noun, verb, etc), and a sentence with the word in it. Boy, oh boy what fun it was!

This was the word I found there: Huffaloftus. <—-Click the fun word to find the link to the blog  Lessons From Teachers and Twits where you will find out more about this challenge and many more definitions (in the comments section of the blog) for this way cool made up word.

Anyway here is my definition and all the lovley lovies of the dictionary that would follow along any genuine word thereafter:

Huffaloftus: (n) – A woman experiencing a horrible asthma attack with no inhaler in tow, who, after several huffs and puffs along the way, continues to chase her wild children (who are under the influence of sugar), as they romp around The Loft (trying on every garment they come by, as if they are clowns in a circus giving their silliest performance ever to the staff who are either shaking their heads or laughing), and who, finally stops to gawk at the pricing of lovely merchandise which is well over her budget, BUT finally on sale, one day only.

The mother felt like a complete huffaloftus after leaving The Loft, but she came away with a great buy so it was all worth every ounce of hoolabaloo she had do endure for the sake of affordable fashion.

Was that fun or what?

Of course this makes me also think of my question, when do slang words enter the dictionary, and above all when do made up words–if ever– reach slang status, and then dictionary status? Any thoughts? This is going to take some research!

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An Announcment

I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to write any posts for the month of March. I’ll be making piñata’s this month and will also be pretty busy with writing:deadlines, critique group(s), etc. So hang tight. I’ll be back before you know it 🙂

 

 

 

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Looking Down

So I’ve been thinking. Remember how I posted about being a pirate and sailing care-free toward success? I also mentioned something about being an eternal optimist. Well, I’ve been thinking about the best possible way to do that. Yeah it takes goal setting, and will power, but what else does it take? I believe I’ve figured it out….Eureeka! I have to surround myself with positive energy, the energy of an optimist.So where does this energy come from?

Let’s talk about the most important kind of support you can have…YOU. You are the best gift you can give yourself. You have to create your own energy. When nothing else is working for your career, when everything falls through the cracks, when it seems like you can’t take any more rejection…the best thing you can do for yourself is look down. Yes, I said it, look down, down at your hands in your lap (or wherever you have placed them at the moment). Your going to have to pick yourself up and keep going. This attitude  is the fuel you need.

It’s all about DESIRE. So don’t ever doubt the skills of the optimist. It’s your best bet.  It is the one thing you have total control over. It’s just like author Jon Gordon says, “You are the driver of your bus.” He basically says that you need to have a vision for where you want to go and execute that vision with positive energy. And knowing the world is made of energy, I’d like to be on the positive end of things and that includes my thoughts.

So whatever your goals in writing are whatever direction you decide to go in,  please keep in mind that

“Our thoughts are powerful because they are loaded with energy.”–(female bus driver)  from The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

…and energy is fuel. It’s magic. It is the thing that makes me want to get up in the morning. It is the thing that keeps me excited about what I do.

One last thing,  here is a formula from Jon’s book that you can keep in mind so that you can remember to harness only positive energy:

“Events+Perception=Outcome”   They key is to keep your perception of the event(s) in check. In other words, keep your perceptions positive. Accentuate the positive in every way possible. Don’t treat the potholes in your life like a death sentence, treat them like the hiccups they are and don’t waste your energy on them. I’m not going to, and you shouldn’t either.

“…but I am bound to live up to the light that I have.”Abraham Lincoln

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The Somnambulist Sword Fighter

 

 

I feel exactly like a somnambulists sword fighter.

Imagine before you a sword fighter who is swishing his sword, asleep, in mid-step, unaware he is just going through the motions. There you have it. That’s how I feel. I may as well be on auto-pilot. Which is tragic, because something as tedious as revision deserves full attention (respectfully mine), especially for those of us who are scared out of our wits by change. When it comes to writing, revision and editing specifically, that is the last thing I want to be. Let us look at my other (better) options (yes, I’m going to continue the fun comparisons):

The Bungee Jumper: If anything I want to dive right into the process, zone in on the damage that a first draft has done to my ego, change it for the better, and spring back up (Zoing!) when I feel my manuscript is suffocating or about to take a nose dive into the rocks again.

The Rock Climber: Perseverance is key to this one, but so is a life line. Stop now and you will never finish your climb to the top. Ostracize yourself from support groups (critique buddies, kidlit community, family, friends) who believe in your writing and you will be free-falling to your death in no time. Find your way around the huge boulder you are hiding behind and you will be just fine.

The Highwire Funambulist (notice there is F-U-N involved with this one): I want to steady myself throughout the whole revision process with acute precision. “Leave no room for error and keep things balanced,” is this guys motto.

So there you have it. I’m ditching the somnambulist sword fighter for several other professions. After all, it is my personal opinion that the revisionist is a jack-of-all-trades, Renaissance Man kinda thing. All of this requires that I be aware, proactive, and selective when I sit down to revise, but then that leaves me with one more thing to tackle…motivation. Where in the world will that come from? Maybe I just need adrenaline to jump start the process. Oh, wait…I’m already an adrenaline junkie. 🙂

What’s your take on revision?

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And the winners are…

Thank you to all who bestowed  upon me the Liebster Blog Award. I have received two notifications just this week for the award. Many thanks go out to:

Cathy Ballou Mealeyhttp://www.bildebok.wordpress.com

Penny Klostermannpennyklostermann.wordpress.com

What is the Liebster Blog Award?
I found this explanation of it on Penny Klostermann’s blog:
“The Liebster Blog Award has been making its way around the blogosphere. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. WOWZA!”

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Currently, I have 5 followers due moving my blog from blogger to WordPress. I used to have 135 lovely readers/followers, but it seems only 5 have followed over to this new blog. 😦 It maybe that everyone is very busy and has not figured out that I have moved here to WordPress. Either way it is nice to get an award that let’s me know others feel I am deserving of more followers. Thanks!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
  • Pass the award to 3-5 bloggers and reveal your picks.
  • Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, let me get started with this adventure. I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt!

Many, many thanks  for the award.

I am choosing to pass the award to 3 bloggers.

The winners are…

Stephen Cravat –Crave Writing  – I love his playful blog banner and the excitement he writes with in his posts! What a voice!)

Dana Carey – Up in the Attic Lately – for her illustrations of winter and spring. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!

And…

Miranda Paul – Miranda Paul, Children’s Author – for opening the world of children’s literature to awarness of multi-culural books and culture in general.

So congrats to all the winners. It was tough choosing them because there are so many fabulous blogs out there!



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There Is A Pirate In My House

There’s a pirate in my house…or so one would think.

In fact, I wish I was the pirate. Think about it. Are there any pirates you know of in literature or movies that plague themselves with worry like we writers do? No! Of course not!  At least none that I know of. They wouldn’t be any fun anyway if they squandered any amount of energy on it.

Keep in mind we’re clearly not talking about the REAL life ones today so get on board will ya! Besides if I were, I’m only in favor of the passionate, fun-loving, laid back, respectable kind anyhow–the one that’s not going to give me a rough time. LOL.

Let me just toss a tiny list (of two for lack of time) out for ya:

Captain Jack Sparrow: the guy has pure charisma about him and is as smooth as butter,  quite intelligent too. Any writer would kill to have this guys vocabulary.

Captain Hook: Pshhh! Worry, what worry? His only worry is Peter Pan! Which in my opinion is nothing to worry about if he would just get along with the kid ! I mean what’s not to like about Peter Pan? Hook clearly needs to stop playing the victim. Move on man!

As for the rest of them…who wouldn’t want to give up stress for adventure, treasure hunts, mermaids, the tropics, and grand travel all over the world? Someone who doesn’t worry, that’s who. Someone who wants to have fun, that’s who. Someone who values happiness, that’s who. Someone carefree (or practically so), that’s who. Utopia right? No? Oh, but it CAN be done.

Here’s something I realized (thus far) on my journey to accentuate the positive, to be an optimist this year….you don’t need a boat to be a pirate. You don’t need an ocean. You don’t need a hook for a hand, or a patch on your eye.  Blast those stereotypes into the water! You just need to not worry. You need to adapt your thoughts and habits…make them extraordinary. Change them so that you worry less and enjoy the writing process (or life) more. Your mind and your desire is your compass. Use your willpower to form habits. The habits you form become the waves that carry you to bliss, to happiness–that point (North, South, East, West) when you reach your goal(s).

 

 

Okay, so back to the original topic of all those mundane writerly (how I wish that was an official word) things I have to do, well, thinking on such a little task as making backup copies of all my writing (bless my pirate USB drive) just reminds me of the BIGGER things I have to do to maintain my dream of being published. Which overwhelms me…clearly. This I know…the only time I feel inadequate is when I allow doubt to enter the picture. Luckily, I have a quote for you to help blast that nasty little enemy to pieces. So fire up your cannons because this one is worth all the fuse on the ship.

So what I’m trying to tell you is this: worry leads to doubt and…

“Mediority with a dose of doubt can keep you from excellence.”–Dave Ramsey

So don’t let doubt get to you. The thing is, how do we go about accomplishing this. The best way I can put it is this…you need to go into pirate mode. Why, because the things you are worrying about aren’t really as bad as they seem. You need to forget about the obstacles. You need to lay back, hands behind your head and relax. You need to look around you and find calm in the storm. You need to “savor the storm” so to speak. You need to keep your wits and confidence about you. You need to let go of all the worry and just sail forward. Sail forward. Put simply, that’s all a pirate does. He sails forward with the pursuit of happiness in mind. That’s his instruction manual. Sail forward. Don’t torture yourself. Keep things simple.

Last thoughts to remember:

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

I’ve been dreaming so long, sometimes I forget not to get overwhelmed with all the work and dedication it takes to LIVE my dreams. It wears me out on a daily basis. I’m going to forget all that worry. I’m going to bottle it up, cork it,  and toss it into the ocean. I’m going to let the ocean do with it what it will. I’m going hoist a new flag.

This is what the flag will say:

*modified from the Live Your Life manifesto that I came across while reading about someone’s sailing adventures and checking out the cool photos that went with it. You can modify it for personal use if you like:

Many apologies if you can’t read it because of the tiny print. I figure if you are serious about the whole no worries thing, you’ll find a magnifying glass and take a closer look. Just pretend you’re on a tiny treasure hunt will ya? 🙂

Arrrr! Alright, that’s my cue. I’m out. LOL.

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♥Liebster Blog Award ♥

Thank you to all who bestowed  upon me the Liebster Blog Award. I have received two notifications just this week for the award. Many thanks go out to:

Cathy Ballou Mealeyhttp://www.bildebok.wordpress.com

Penny Klostermannpennyklostermann.wordpress.com

What is the Liebster Blog Award?
I found this explanation of it on Penny Klostermann’s blog:
“The Liebster Blog Award has been making its way around the blogosphere. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. WOW!”

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Currently, I have 5 followers due moving my blog from blogger to WordPress. I used to have 135 lovely readers/followers, but it seems only 5 have followed over to this new blog. 😦 It maybe that everyone is very busy and has not figured out that I have moved here to WordPress. Either way it is nice to get an award that let’s me know other’s feel I am deserving of more followers. Thanks!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
  • Pass the award to 3-5 bloggers and reveal your picks.
  • Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, let me get started with this adventure. I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt!

Many, many thanks  for the award.

I am choosing to pass the award to 3 bloggers.

I’ll announce them later this week. So stay tuned…

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Illustrator Interview: Sara Palacios

Remember I told you that I had a new blog banner to reveal? Well it has arrived and after hours of working out the kinks to fit it onto the blog, it is finally up! Many thanks go out to the talented, hard working,  Sara Palacios for working with me to create it. I love, love, love it! Don’t you?

This is Sara! (I love her hair!)


And as promised here is the interview with her:


Me: What did you want to be growing up? What were you like as a child?

Sara: Growing up, I wanted to be either a martial arts expert or a professional ballerina.

Me: Yes! Extra points for wanting to be a ballerina! You’re already on my awesome list. Now I’ve got this picture in my head of a ballerina with mad Kung-fu Panda skills.

Sara: I love illustration but if I could do more than one thing professionally I would already be kicking and dancing on my toes.  I was a very quiet and shy girl, but secretly always wished I was more like my cousins and brother, outgoing and fun!

Me: How did you get started as an illustrator? Did you always know you would be an artist or did it happen gradually over time? Did you always like to draw?

Sara: I always liked to draw, but I never thought that it could become a profession. I only knew I wanted to be an illustrator when I was in college studying Graphic Design.   I was truly blessed because I started working with an illustrator when I was still studying graphic design; I was getting paid to learn!!  And that´s when I realized where my true calling was.

Me: That’s fantastic! It is so rare when opportunities like that come. We have to sieze them when they do. Can you describe your workspace? Cluttered? Organized? Office/Studio?

Sara: I work in a small studio. I don´t need to have everything in perfect order all the time, but I don´t like things to be cluttered either, so I try to keep some organized chaos I guess!

Me: That’s me too. MUST. HAVE. ORGANIZED. CHAOS. Or die. LOL. So what are you working on now? Anything special?

Sara: I am illustrating some textbooks for SEP in Mexico (Secretaria de Educación Pública) it is the branch of the government that takes care of the educational  related issues. The government gives these textbooks to all children in school for free, aside of those the school might ask for.So growing up I always have these textbooks that they would give us and now I am illustrating them, which is really cool. Now my nephews and nieces have these books and I get to see my work in them.

Me: That is great…I love it when things comes full circle! Are there any artists or illustrators (past or present, famous or not) who have influenced your own illustration style?

Sara: I ´m pretty sure it is impossible being a visual artist and not be influenced by somebody else´s images. I think it is actually the best way to improve your own work. You know Picasso said “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal” He was so right!! You have to see in order to learn.

Now, it´s not about copying, it is about making things your own. There will always be artists who are more talented than you, so there´s always something new to learn and somebody to look up to. Every time I stumbled into some illustrator whose work I like I realize how much harder I still need to push myself. I couldn´t name all the amazing artists that have influenced my work because there are so many. It’s a constant challenge and learning process.

Me: If you could sit down and chat with any artist in all the world (past or present), who would it be? What would you ask them?

Sara: I think I would have liked to meet Gustav Klimt and Michelangelo, but I probably wouldn´t dare ask anything to them since I´ve read they were not exactly friendly people!  As for contemporary artists, Rebecca D’autremer I would like to ask her how she works.

Me: Okay, I’ll be Googling those names tonight. This next one’s fun…we all have a favorite color, what’s yours? Maybe you have more than one?

Sara: I like blue and red! But I like to wear pink.

Me: Oh I love blue! Blue and purple, and…Ah hem, excuse me, I could go on forever with the colors. Moving on. Any advice for young budding illustrators just starting out?

Sara: I know it´s kind of cliché, but don´t ever get discouraged and DON´T beat yourself up. If you don´t believe in your work nobody else will. Draw, draw, draw!

Me: That is so true! Did you read that everyone? BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, OR NOBODY ELSE EVER WILL!

*pauses, grabs sticky pad, writes down wise wise words of wisdom, smacks it on forehead*

Me: In your opinion, what is the most important thing for an artist to remember in order to be successful?

Sara: I think as an artist you have to take your craft very seriously, if you don´t believe your work is worthy, who else will? Get up every day and work hard, same as doctors and teachers and the rest of the world do.   Artists might not save lives dramatically or influence the world economy, yet the world existed  for years without accountants and surgeons but art has been a part of human kind since we´ve been in the planet.

Me: *goes to practice very serious writer look in the mirror down the hall* Okay I think I’ve got that one down. One less thing to worry about.

All authors, publishers, agents, and editors debate over this, but what do you have to say about illustration notes in the text of a picture book? Yes, you love them and feel they are helpful…OR no, they just cloud your creative vision/juices.

Sara: I don’t mind having notes or suggestions, sometimes authors have some specific ideas about what they would like to see in their texts.  I think it is only natural since they created it. They probably already pictured they way their characters look like so I think is good to hear what they have to say and take it into consideration. As an illustrator your job is to translate the text into images and having some notes from the author might help to the success of the work. I think is good to be open to all ideas, you know? As long as the suggestions don´t become some kind of instruction manual it´s all good!

Me: Good to know! Is there anything special you do when you finish a project? Celebrate maybe? Go out dancing? Cross your fingers and hope the publisher loves it? LOL.

Sara: Move on to the next project hehe! Actually no, I don´t do anything special I just keep on working and if there´s a chance I might just take one afternoon off. Maybe I should start doing something special, right?

Me: I’d definitely treat myself to a Zumba class, or at east some chocolate/frozen yogurt/smothie/fruit tart at least. LOL. What were your favorite picture books growing up? Why?

Sara: I don´t really have a favorite picture book that I remember from my childhood. I think I have more picture books now as an adult!! But when I was little, me and my brother loved to read comic strips, our favorite was “Archie” my mom liked them so she always bought them. And I remember my dad reading them to us and doing all the different voices it was really cool!

Me: Super! Is there any piece of artwork (any medium) in any museum, that you wish you yourself had created?

Sara: Either “The kiss” or “The virgin” by Gustav Klimt, both are just so beautiful! I love the colors , the faces , the patterns. I wish those were illustrations by sara palacios LOL


Me: Between the two, I like “The virgin” best. And now I must ask…any favorite munchies you must have on hand while working? OR maybe you have a favorite type of music that helps you focus while working on a project?

Sara: I like to listen to the radio; I sort of need to have noise all the time while I work, but, and this is probably weird I don´t listen to music a lot, or ever actually. I need to have people talking. Sometimes I can have the radio and a video at the same time and I´m not necessarily paying attention to what they say I just like the noise, odd right?   And my latest guilty habit are coconut jelly beans 😉

Me: Thanks so much for letting me interview you Sara! You rock! I’m always looking forward to seeing the next picture book you illustrate

So there you have it, you now know more about Sara! I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did!

 

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