Saturday, December 20, 2008

Donations

I'd like to find more organizations that are in need of book donations. There's an African program I'm investigating, I know that many schools in Nicaragua would appreciate book donations, and there's Cubberly Used Book Sale in northern CA.that help support the Palo Alto library. Every community must have a "Friends of the Library" group that sell donated books to benefit their libraries.

I think it would be a good way to clear the shelves of already read and not needed books. At the same time donations would help others. This is the year for helping if you can. I'm giving it a shot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cybils Rock

Jim Averbeck's book, "In a Blue Room" was one of
the nominations for the 2008 Cybil's award. Nothing could make me happier. He's a super guy with talent that these awards has certainly validated.

Yeah, Jim.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

ARCs Cometh

When I opened the box it was kind of a head rush; then it didn't seem real, like if I opened the cover nothing would be inside. It took a little getting used to seeing my words in such a different format--not scribbled notes on lined paper, not on a computer screen, not on loose manuscript pages.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Divas

Well, I've spent the day scratching my head and wondering where I am in all of this writing, publishing, marketing business. Then I landed on a site called Book Divas and had some fun. Great site for connecting with your YA readers and enjoying their take on what is hot and what is not. Have to say the reviews I read are spot on.

ARCs

My ARCs will arrive at my doorstep soon--all 20! I will actually be able to hold onto my "almost-final" book, and guess what? I get to read it again. This has to be the last time. I wonder if F. Scott Fitzgerald read Gatsby as many times as I've read Sliding on the Edge? Wish I could ask him.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Marketing

I now realize all those English classes might have been good, but what I really needed was a course in marketing. Little did I suspect there was so much involved in post-writing a novel and post-selling a novel. Learning all the vocabulary alone is killing me!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dream

So last night this dream happened. The reason it's sticking with me is that I've never dreamed this kind of dream before. I have some regulars: flying, getting stuck so I can't move even when I try, searching for something in the dark. This one is waaay odd.
I've just shopped. That alone is weird for me. I'm not a shopper. So I have these packages and they are inside slick plastic and they slide around. I put them down on a fence, try to climb over the fence, knock the packages off into a . . . canal (where that came from I'll never know.) filled with passing open boats. These packages land in a boat. I race to another boat and beg the guy to take me back to the boat with my packages. He can't understand me. Why? He's Chinese and doesn't speak English. Still I wave my arms a lot and he gets the idea, so off we go to find my packages. We pull up alongside a boat, but it's the wrong one. In fact, (wait for it) it's a funeral boat. There's a body laid out with beautiful flowers, lots of people standing along the canal crying. Now this is interesting, right? I may have a plot going here. So what does my brain do? It wakes up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

NCTE San Antonio


WestSide Books had a great display of its debut authors this week at NCTE San Antonio. Here's a picture of the soon-to-be-available books.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Books

Before I don my chef's hat and pull out the mixer from the back of the cupboard I have to share a couple of things in an about the world of writing for young readers.

Jen Robinson has a great post about The True Story of Thanksgiving, an upper middle grade non-fiction book that would be a wonderful addition to anyone's T'day celebration. Just from the description you can tell how much richer the history of our special day really is. I'm off to the bookstore this afternoon, so I can share this around our table tomorrow.

Laurie Halse Anderson's book, "Thank you Sarah:The Woman who Saved Thanksgiving," is another source to begin reading about the true background to our national holiday. It made me want to know more about this woman, so after the holiday flurry I plan to do a bit more digging into Sarah Hale.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

SCBWISF Asilomar

I'm heading to Asilomar in February to actually "talk" to people who write. In preparation for socializing I've begun leaving the safety of my writing environment and going to events that require face-to-face verbal exchanges.

Note to self: articulate slowly so as to give your brain sufficient time to "edit" or just listen and nod. Always look interesting and interested.:)

Part of good socializing often involves food--tiny pieces that have a tendency to slip through fingers or off plates.

Note to self: eat before event, avoid rumaki, avoid accidental spitting, especially when talking to an editor.

I'm sure there are more skills I should polish, but I'm taking this challenge on in manageable bytes.

More later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Photo

Back in October I blogged about this:
"Since I'm still in twist about this picture on my book thing, I was trying to remember how I used to look at pictures of writers on books when I was young. Did their age or lack of it have any bearing on my choosing to read their writing? I can't remember.

Then I went to my book shelves and studied the pictures of authors. Stephen King always looks eerie, so that fits. Wallace Stegner looks old and authorly. Robert Penn Warren looks like he just came out of a cave. Carl Sagan looks international which is good even though he probably should look more universal. And I loved Nora Ephron's picture on the back of her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck. She has pulled up a turtle neck to just below her eyes!! I'm wondering if I can do that? It would certainly save on air-brushing!"

Now I've actually found a photographer who will work on making me look unlike Stephen King or Wallace Stegner . . . even Robert Penn Warren. He says that's easy. But when I pushed a bit and asked if maybe I could have more of an Anglie Jolie smile, he raised the price. I immediately screamed, "Joking!"

By the end of December I will have a photo. I will no longer be twisting in the wind over this part of the journey. I will either be very happy and broke or very unhappy and broke. I'm praying for the former.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and for Nan, I am planning on using make-up. Maybe even a lot of it. I'm pulling all the stops.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why Do You Write ?

I asked myself that question today while I was thumping my head on my desktop, trying to wake up my writing-brain. Here's what I came up with:
I love it.
No.
I hate it.
No.
It keeps me sane.
No.
It drives me crazy.
No.
I do it for the big bucks :) Ah! Of course.
But you write a lot of stuff for free.
Well, that's because I like the people who publish what I write even if they don't pay me?
Ah! Of course.
I mean it's important to keep kids reading and if small presses and e-zines can do that . . .
Ah! Of course.
Oh, stop with the Ah! business.
You haven't really answered your question, have you?
No.
Well, it's complicated.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Look

When I'm not writing I'm fiddling with something, like this blog AKA glob (see my old post: My Blog is a Glob). So now by making a change I appear to have made progress. I hope President Obama's "change" means something very different.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ARCs

So you get these things called ARCs; then what? Carry them under your arm like you're going door-to-door selling encyclopedias? Stand on the corner and hope someone will stop and ask, "What are those?"

I should have taken Marketing 101 instead of Intro to Shakespeare.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Photo

Since I'm still in twist about this picture on my book thing, I was trying to remember how I used to look at pictures of writers on books when I was young. Did their age or lack of it have any bearing on my choosing to read their writing? I can't remember.

Then I went to my book shelves and studied the pictures of authors. Stephen King always looks eerie, so that fits. Wallace Stegner looks old and authorly. Robert Penn Warren looks like he just came out of a cave. Carl Sagan looks international which is good even though he probably should look more universal. And I loved Nora Ephron's picture on the back of her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck. She has pulled up a turtle neck to just below her eyes!! I'm wondering if I can do that? It would certainly save on air-brushing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Debutantes 2009 Halloween


You gotta take advantage of the great Halloween give-away at the Deb's Cafe Shop. There's even chocolates from L.K.Madigan (Flash Burnout, 2009).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update

Today is update day. I'm updating my blogs. I'm updating my website. I'm updating my muse to tell her vacation is over and she'd better book a flight home.

Sliding on the Edge is to be published March 24th, 2009. I have an ISBN. I have a publicist. I have the large economy sized Excedrine So I'm all set. And I'd better be because my galleys arrive today and I have to do a careful read. This is my last chance to make sure this book is as good as it can be.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Cybils

I'm passing this on to support these literary awards. It's exciting to discover great new books for young readers.

Nominations for the third annual Children's and Young Adult Bloggers'Literary Awards (the Cybils) are open now through Wednesday, October 15th. The goal of the Cybils team (some 100 bloggers) is to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories(one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog (http://www.cybils.com/) between now and 15th. A separate post is available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children's and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

The Cybils' lists, from long lists to short lists (http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/finalists/index.html) to the lists of winners (http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/2007/02/the_2006_cybils.html), offer a wonderful resource to anyone looking for high-quality, kid-friendly books. The Cybils team has worked hard to balance democracy (anyone can nominate titles) with quality control (two rounds of panel judging by people who focus on children's books every day). They do this work because they consider it vital to get great books into the hands of children and young adults.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Glob

Yes, it is true. My blog is a glob. I am not cut out to be a blogette. Every time I start to write here, I think, "Who cares that I have writer's cramp this morning?" I need blogspiration, so where do I find that in the blogosphere? What makes some bloggers blog masters and others blog flops? It must have to do with blogattitude. So I'm sending my glob out for a blogadjustment and when I've been unglobbed, I know TheWriteGame will sparkle with true bloginess.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where I Live

is so important. It's a rural area, one of the few here with lots of trees, beaver dams and quiet, so I'm always distressed when anything threatens its survival.

Last year our water company became determined to log the watershed our small community abuts. We came together to fight and, thank heaven, we won. I love it when that happens. It reminds me of those old westerns when the good guys in the white hats ride off into the sunset.

We saved our habitat from ground skidding (aka drag trees down a steep ravine, increase erosion and destroy everything along the way) helicopter logging (large, noisy blade whirring overhead day after day), and the destruction of one of the last large stands of old growth redwoods (over a hundred years old).

Unfortunately, they're back, so we have to once again fight for something that is important and precious to us and to others who enjoy the peace of the forest.

Mountain Resources is doing a great job and needs support. I hope it gets it.

Thinking about Writing and

not doing a darned thing about it. I've spent this entire day darting around the web, trying to figure out if I'm doing enough to show that I'm a soon-to-be published person . . . with a book that has been bumped up to come out sooner than expected . . . with an editor that says my book's good enough that she wants it out NOW, that I'm a good writer (how often have I had that experience?). Up to this year it's been "Thank you, but no thank you." Fellow writers, I hate that, don't you?

This marketing stuff is very frustrating because when I'm clicking on websites, my brain is on freeze as far as creative energy goes. My characters might as well have R.I.P. over their heads and the plot, well where did that go? I won't even address dialog.

So I'm contenting myself with a journal entry, looking at the advertising column at my right with Angelina Jolie's stupendous lips and thinking about, hmmmm, lips.

An amazing synergy


It's all about working together and getting the job done at the Feast of Awesome. So many great ideas are being generated to promote the debut YA novels. The group is making even me enjoy marketing.

What to Read?

That is a very interesting question. First, I feel I have to (lots of times want to) read what's new and hot. Then I started thinking about my book that's coming out in spring '09, and where it would be in spring '10 or '20. I would like to think someone would still pick it up and read it several years after the publication.

With that idea circulating in my head, I went to the library and picked up three books that I had never heard of by first time authors who debuted in 2004, 2007 and early 2008.

I'm planning a read-fest this weekend and maybe even a note to the authors. You can never deny karma or at least you shouldn't

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Feast of Awesome

It's a Feast of Awesome for sure. And to share with you who we are and what books to look for in '09, there's a give away of fun stuff about to happen. To find out more visit the Debs at 2009 Debutantes

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Titles etc.


It's done. The title is now Sliding on the Edge. The cover is finished and I really love it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cover

I'm rounding the next bend and almost have a cover. I'm really happy about the choices they are giving me, and I love the art. That means I can exhale now. I was truly worried I'd see something I didn't like. Whew!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blurb-begging

I'm rounding the corner on this effort, and I'm writing this to my blog to remember this process later.

If I ever gain any recognition for my writing and do receive some kind of "award" and then some new author asks me to write a blurb for their book jacket, I'm going to read this entry and recall just how difficult it is to find authors who've "arrived" who are willing to give a leg up to someone starting out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Book

I now have a title that I can live with and that seems to satisfy my publisher. We've decided On the Edge is the best. Still love Bad Ass Attitude, but win some lose some.
The good news is it's coming out sooner than expected (spring '09). More good news is I have a great illustrator for the cover. He's the same one as designed Speak's cover.

Now back to writing that second thing. What's it called?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fire Season

Californians live with fire and some live up close to it. Last week the Santa Cruz mountains had an early look at the summer fire season and, unfortunately, many homes were lost. This time our area escaped with nothing more than heavy smoke. So one more time we have a lot to be grateful for and are reminded to review our emergency plan and be prepared.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Web Presence

Making a web page is yet another step in this process of publishing. First you write the book, then you sell the book, then you market the book. Each step seems very big, but it isn't until you look behind that you realize how big. Quite dizzying actually. Then you start the process all over again. Wasn't there a Greek guy in this situation?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Line Edits

Almost done with my line edits. Nobody told me writing could be boring. They just warned me it might be stressful, rewarding, depressing, exhilarating, damage my ego, boost my ego, send me over the edge, save my sanity, exhaust me, pep me up, and in general fill up every waking moment of my life. Then the line edits arrived: Approve/Disapprove the space, the comma, the word change, the paragraph change, the font. HELP!

Actually, I am only complaining to have something to do while my mind goes out for walk around the block. I'm really pleased with how my editor comments. I like her suggestions and I like seeing the results. So far I've agreed with 99% of what she's done--which is mostly about my paragraphing and punctuation with a smattering of word/phrase changes.

Now that I'm done, the job does not seem as tedious as at the beginning.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Integration

Love Blog It! Now I can post to one place and all my blogs are updated.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nicaragua

A country of poverty and wealth--monkeys and nearly empty beaches Californians living today have no memory of. A place to take off your shoes and slip out of as many clothes as possible. A place to lose your lists, forget your online contacts, watch sunsets while you eat papayas.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January

Okay, who took January? It can't be February next week. It's too soon. The Christmas tree is still on the deck waiting for someone to notice it died, I still have cranberry sauce, but ran out of turkey (thank heaven), daffodils are nodding at me from the garden, and I'm thinking, "Didn't this same thing happen last year? Like, so recently."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Champagne

I need a few magnums to share with all of my friends who have been so supportive in this book writing effort.

I've got a contract. I've got a wonderful editor who likes what I write and is efficient as well as understanding.

Life is good.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blaaag

Guess it's time to write something here--anything is better than nothing, isn't it? I may have an offer from a publishing house for one of my YA novels, and I'm excited while at the same time a bit apprehensive. I'm leaving one very comfortable niche in this writing business and entering another that is not familiar. That's okay, I suppose because pushing the envelope is always a learning experience.

Excuse me while I go learn something.