Category Archives: Bloomability Thursday

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

It’s All About the Shoe and Pippi

You know that saying “If the shoe fits…” well I’m gonna say, boy were they ever right! Only, mine may have been a little tight, or a bit too flexible….did anyone mention the arch of my foot? I’m on foreign ground here. All I know is that I’m off to the doctors tomorrow despite my enthusiasm, effort, will, and desire to run that relay. So here are the stats:

Desire to run a super difficult relay: tons of it
Skill level: experienced enough
Accomplishment of 6 miles average at climax of training: 100%
Gear bought specifically for the race: 50% (thank goodness I can use it for cycling)
Bloomability: Screeched to a halt. 😦  For now 🙂

I could say the same thing for a writer, minus the shoe part. If the agent/publisher/editor/plot fits…you get the idea. Only…

Thankfully (and with much appreciation) writing is a bit different if you can avoid the physical strain that surfaces, and I mean you must avoid it like the plague. If left unattended it’s quite a disaster, quite like Pippi’s hair and attire. She’s a bit of a masterpiece though–a crazy-quilt, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, spunkyiness all wrapped up together kinda masterpiece, but somehow she works out just fine because the writer made her fit into our little reader minds despite Pippi not being cookie-cutter. So how do I make this happen and how will it work for you?

As long as I don’t let my ego get carried away, or the horror of constant rejection slip past my (I hope) thick skin, I’ll be okay. As long as I don’t give up. (while I’m pondering this, I’ll need Twizzlers and maybe chocolate).

So while I had to abort “Operation Blue Ridge Relay” due to foot injuries (note: my feet won’t be taking me taking me any great distances anytime soon Dr. Seuss, but at least I’ll still be going quite a few places).

I’m still here to say:

  • If failure fits, wear it. Only don’t let it drag you too far down.
  • If the title “aspiring author” fits snuggly, wear it. Only hurry along and BLOOM soon because it will be much too snug before you know it. No one enjoys the company of a suffocating author.
  • If “Too busy for my WIP.” fits inside your head, then well, wear it, but only for less than a second. Seriously, MAKE TIME!
  • If confuzzled fits, wear it. BUT please, please, do sincerely try to discover the answers. Find solutions to your writing predicaments. Ask questions. Seek advice. Play around with your options and make changes.Do a nose dive into intuition and mere chance and spare yourself the pity party.
And when you are done, remember I’m the one who told you: the shoe will eventually fit, with a little bit of pain, and a bit of frequented trial and error. Just don’t forget you might encounter a look-alike Pippi every once in a while as you glance in the mirror. If so, it might be wise to adopt her mantra:
“bother all this learning. I can’t study anymore because I must climb the mast to see what kind of weather we’re going to have tomorrow.” —Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking)
but adopt it only for a little while because…
tomorrow  the “weather” just might be perfect. What do you say?

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Filed under Bloomability Thursday, If the Shoe Fits, Pippi Longstocking

Walk, Talk, and Sleep Like a Writer If You Can Find the Holy Grail of Maps.

**humming to myself**

Walk like a writer…talk like a writer…eat like a writer…sleep like a writer…wait we don’t do that. Do we?

To the ends of the Earth we go towards bloomability. Hey ho! Onward to publication…If only there were a better map! 

I’m somewhere between Slush Pile Gulch and Agent Lagoon. Hey Ho! It’s a writer’s life for me. Where are you? What got you there and what are your current goals? Here are a few of my maps listed under “must read”. 

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Bloomability Thursday

Below is a paragraph that needs to bloom. I’ve been agonizing over it for days now. It’s starting to fester. A teen type of angst is moving in on me. I want that one and only opening line to really hook onto the reader pulling them along to the finish. The commas are really torturing me! What kind of an author would I be if I didn’t agonize over it, lose sleep over it? After all I’m still up, am I not? Last night I smoothly cruised into 2 am without denting it. Finally, self preservation kicked in and I appropriately dived into bed. Regret entered my bones just as morning crept its way past the covers onward toward the head of the bed. As if opening a curtain, it peeled my eyes wide open. Sunshine and all that. Okay not really. Let’s just say a repeat of last night will not be happening again, I assure you. Bloomability does not come without rest. So why am I up again? Have a look. Plan a party around it, but I beg of you, this paragraph needs a bestie today, someone to hold its hand and cry with it until little me figures out how to whip it up and turn it into the delectable definition of fabuloso! But for now, I take five.  So here it is, double spaced, ready for your reading pleasure and  wonderfully easy on the eyes.

*Cough. Cough*

  Love and death never take much effort when you’ve invested in them, but then go right on ahead, toss in a few unlikely variables of proportionate size, and if you’re lucky, they surface as loose ends—jittery little things—enough to make anyone go mad. Loose ends always result in a train wreck, with a noose at the end of them and a one way ticket to death—of the soul, of the body, of the mind. Tie them up and you solve the whole problem. As luck would have it, Tristan knew this better than anyone. Of course he was never sure it would kick him directly in the gut, but it did.   
What first lines are you agonizing over? Don’t be afraid. We don’t bite. 


Filed under Bloomability Thursday

Blooming Thursday: Fans Everywhere. Okay, Maybe Not Everywhere

     This blog makes me very dizzy at times, but that is nothing compared to the feeling I experienced when my niece told me that she was “honored to meet” me,  “an author.” The first thoughts in my head were, “Oh no, I’m blushing. I can’t blush.” Then it hit me. What happens when I actually get published? How will I answer a child’s/teen’s questions about writing, and not say the wrong thing? How will I encourage them? Right then I knew that I had to start thinking about it, because I don’t want to be caught off guard with nothing to say, a speechless phenomenon. I want to be sure they know I am passionate about what I do. How can they know I am passionate about it if I have no response for them when they ask for advice? You can only imagine the thoughts going through my head when my niece shared with me that she is uber excited about writing, that she loves it! Wow! It felt great and if she is reading this I want her to know that she is already on one wild adventure sure to be full of surprises.
     Then it occurred to me that I have no publishing credits to my name, other than a poem in an anthology, something I never take credit for because it was, I am embarrassed to say, it was probably a scam.  Nonetheless it made me feel like I could do better than that. It made me seek out real resources and this was ages ago it seems. It is a rough road, but I’m still on it. So don’t be afraid of your mistakes, they breed success, but only if you don’t give in to fear first. In order to move forward I had to tell myself, you’re not a writer, you are an author, you may be unpublished today, but tomorrow has possibilities. So this is what I would tell any young budding author now that I’ve simmered down with the possibilities of what to say:

1. Read, a lot, especially the genre you want to write. It should be a meal of delicious batter and icing with a few extra licks of the spoon and nothing left to pop into the oven. Not one chocolate morsel should be left lying around.
2. “Impossible only means I’m possible”– Can’t remember who’s blog that came from but it’s anonymous anyhow.
3. Atonement is important to the writing process if you ever want to be published. You have to forgive yourself for your mistakes.
4. All that matters is that it is FUN! If it is not fun, you are kidding yourself. Your reader will see the red flag and run!
5. You can have your cake and eat it too, just not at the same time so write when you can, LIVE life when you need to. Never let the writing that needs to get done get in the way of someone you love–make time for both or you are not really living. Indulge in life, invest in it, because it is a delicacy you should savor; you should partake every chance you get. “HOW VAIN IT IS TO SIT DOWN TO WRITE WHEN YOU HAVE NOT YET STOOD UP TO LIVE.” ~HENRY DAVID THOREAU
6. Make time for research even if it is your least favorite thing to do. Muster enthusiasm for it! Feast on it. Pretend to like it and eventually you will. Read the boring stuff too, but make it fun. Explore life by testing it out. Have a food fight once in a while, but with permission from mom or dad first. Do silly things and write about them.
7. Invite others to get to know you, you are your own wonder emporium and your life is a story  in itself– share it, and you will meet others with the same lofty aspirations as yourself; only then can you encourage each other.  Include your teachers, your parents, your leaders/role models/counselors, and your friends in your writing plans. Network until you run on empty. Refuel. Repeat. You will need a support group. Join a critique group when you are ready, but find a good, reliable one.
8. Imagination is paramount. It is the glue that keeps your ideas in place. Never abandon it. Feed it. Care for it, Tuck it in, especially at night just before you dream.
9. Keep a pen and notebook with you at all times and in each room in the house. You never know when an idea will pop into your head.
10. Eavesdrop, a lot. Try not to be rude about it or you’ll never pull it off. People watch. Write down your observations. Do a “sit in” on the location of your book or some similar setting to that of your book, (that is unless it is such a dreadful or faraway place you can only, or should only imagine it) until you have no more questions about it and it feels like home.
11. Your characters will become your BFF’s so don’t put them off or ignore them. Words will become your enemy if you do not get to know them. Learn as many as you can. One a day is an admirable goal but more is always better.
12. WRITE, A LOT. Type until your fingers burn. Stop before they fall off. You need your fingers, trust me.
13. Read your own writing. OUT LOUD. Read it with enthusiasm, in an accent, or any other way you can think of. Role play with your characters. It’s fun really! The whole family can join in.
14. REVISE! A good book is a horribly written thing. A great book goes through a marathon of revisions. Be open to change. It is one of the few constant things in this world.
15. Still Hungry? Here’s some more advice and know how.

What’s your fan phobia? What would you tell them if they asked for your advice? 

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Filed under advice, Bloomability Thursday, Fans

Bloomability: Swords, Daggers and Such

Almost every adventure–and not just in children’s literature–has them: Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, Tolkiens well known “sting”, Sasha–a story about a young woman warrior. Arrrrrr! Yes, pirates have swords, so any wiry pirate adventure will do. Yes, that includes The Princess Bride. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is full of them. Then there is Don Juan, Ryann Watter’s and the Kings Sword, Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone, King Arthur, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Percy Jackson and the Olympian series, The Sunflower Sword, The Perfect Sword, Aladdin, Sinbad…the list is never ending! 

     Let us examine why swords are so wonderfully enchanting and dangerous. Is it the sharp pointy tip? No. Is it the arm of the wielder that makes it so powerful? Partly, I’d say. Really though, what is the strongest part of the sword? You will laugh when you learn this because it is a bit ironic. Forte! 

1: the part of a sword or foil blade that is between the middle and the hilt and that is the strongest part of the blade
2: one’s strong point

En Garde! 

I always thought fencing was this super hot sport….tight butts and all. Okay, but my point is….hee hee, see the irony? MY POINT is that swords are powerful. Swords wield power. They symbolize something of greatness. Anyone, anywhere who holds a sword is a force to be reckoned with, they should be feared. The sword is the gun of the wild west, the light saber of the Jedi….pure power in ones hand. So my next thought was, “Okay as a writer, what is my strong point, my forte?” How is my pen mightier than the sword? Does my pen have a forte so to speak? Tough questions? Yes. Easy answers? No. 

There is no science to it. It is in the words on the page, and the anticipation to turn the page. It is in the laughter and the tears of the reader. It is the image of a child staying up late past bedtime under the covers with a flashlight trying to storm to the end before mom or dad tell them “Lights out!”. Yes, a sword, like any pen is a mighty adventure and force to be reckoned with. When done well, it is like honey dripping from tip of pen to tip of page which becomes a flood never to be encountered but by the reader who has no idea their head is only just above the water.

What is your forte? Picture books, character-driven/plot-driven stories, boy adventures/girl adventures, poetry/rhyme, quirky books, dystopian, historical fiction, research, sci-fi, graphic novel, comic, coming of age story, fairytale/folklore? 

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Filed under Bloomability Thursday, Forte

Bloomability Thursday

Onward Towards Bloomability: A Few Tips From the Masters

“There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed.”
Sophy Burnham

“Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal.”
Jeffrey A. Carver

“One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment.”
Hart Crane, American Poet (1899-1932)

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”
Franz Kafka

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London


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Bloomability Thursday

“Like a map maker a writer must select and omit details, orient and move a reader, and navigate their own biases when writing.”–Bryan Winzer commenting on the book, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer As Cartographer.

If that is true then this book is next on my reading list right along with,  Anatomy of Criticscism by Hermon Northrop Frye.

This quote could easily be about literature, writing and art:

“The place where our imaginations find the ideal that they try to pass on to belief and action, where they find the vision which is the source of both the dignity and the joy of life.

But you’ll have to read the book to find out. 🙂

I figure if I want to bloom as a writer I might as well unlock the “why and how” and the “what tickles my audiences imagination and mind” doors.

This simple quote sums up every writer’s dilemna. It puts all the rest of these quotes down the drain because it involves the struggle of passion and drive to the test:

Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.–Jesse Stuart

Don’t miss it! Don’t whimper. Don’t sulk; avoid petulance with your own writing–there is no room for it. Seek your aspirations and endeavor to do well.

Bloomability is just around the corner!

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Filed under Anatomy of Criticism, Bloomability Thursday, Maps of the Imagination

Bloomability Thursday

Every author has the opportunity for bloomability, because writing always creates many possibilities. Thursdays post is dedicated to all those who felt at one time or another that they just couldn’t figure the writing out, or the mysterious and daunting publishing world. It is for those who seek improvement continually. Here is a wonderful children’s book that might motivate you in the process. Even when we think something has already been done or there is no use for something….think again. Pull that rusty dusty element out and use it, because it is the best kind of surprise, the best twist we will ever encounter. So if you are hopelessly depressed and in the writing slums, this book is for you. Motivation is just around the corner, so hang on to your pen!

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Filed under Bloomability Thursday, Otis, writing slums

"Bloomability" Thursday

We all need reminders of where beautiful writing stems from, of how to endure and hone the craft and how to “accentuate the positive” when we find it impossible to do so. The possibilities to bloom as an author are as endless as the mind itself.

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”–Lord Byron

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”–Isaac Asimov

“Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.”–Ernest Hemingway

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”–Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)

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Filed under Bloomability Thursday, quotes