Monday, November 30, 2009

Pushing Past the Limits

Do you experience limits, or hesitations, that make your writing difficult? I've a particular story I am working on that has been difficult to really sink my teeth into and to delve into the nitty gritty of it. This morning, I read the following in Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations for Writers.

"Stay with the line you can't finish. That's where the shame is that's blocking the revelation." David Whyte

I really hadn't thought about this story in those specific terms and just felt I couldn't quite get into it. After reading the above quote, I see how I've been preventing myself from really pushing past those hesitations and "staying with the line" that is tough. I'm going to press on and see where it takes me. I'm sure it will be a much better place, both on the paper and off.

Do any of you experience similar difficulties and want to share your tricks for pressing on? I'd love to have your input.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Do you have a unique tool of the trade? A special pen or notebook you MUST use to write? I read the following quote from Robert Ludlum this morning, and it made me wonder if it is the same for most of us.

"I always write with a Ticonderoga #2 pencil. I started out with it, and I'll go to that Great Bookstore in the Sky with one of those in my hand."

I've been on a perpetual search for just the right pen and, thus far, no luck. I've tried many, and I just can't seem to find "the one." I'll keep looking, or maybe I'll try a Ticonderoga #2 pencil! We'll see...How about you? Do you have the "perfect" writing tool that works for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you all the joys and blessings of the upcoming holiday season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Editor & Agent Search

I was reading the Stories for Children Newsletter for Writers this morning and came across a piece of advice from Jennifer Carson in "How to Find Yourself a Book Agent." She highly recommeded Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents. Before purchasing the book, I wanted to ask if any of you have it and, if so, whether it has helped gain access to editors and/or agents. I do not have an agent but am thinking I may need to pursue one for my picture book, Bedtime Kisses. Would this be a helpful book for someone that does not yet have an agent or a published book? I have numerous publishing credits in various magazine markets, but this is my first foray into the picture book arena.

If you want to read Jennifer Carson's article or the SFC Newsletter, you can find them at

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Self-Publishing Question

I recently had a friend contact me for advice on how to go about self-publishing her rhyming picture book about life on the farm. A former student is illustrating it for her and is, reportedly, doing a fabulous job. I've not pursued the self-publishing route before and wasn't sure what to tell her. She really wants to retain rights to the manuscript which is why she does not want to pursue a traditional publishing house. Does anyone have any advice I can pass her or idea of a good source of information on self-publishing? I'd be grateful as would she. Thanks, in advance, for any info you can provide.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Good luck to all you NaNoWriMos out there! I hope you are off to a good start and have a very successful month.

Are any of you harboring wishes of having started this month? I know I am. It is my goal for next year. I really wanted to take a stab at it this year but knew I was setting myself up for failure. I didn't have a solid outline and was not at all organized to kick off on November 1--not to mention a trip with kids and numerous other things going on in November. I've been following Kristi Holl's blog ( all should if you don't as she is wonderful and offers fabulous support and advice--and wanted to give it shot anyway. I knew it would have been a half-baked effort at best and read the following this morning:

"Failure: Is it a limitation? Bad timing? It's a lot of things. It's something you can't be afraid of, because you'll stop growing. The next step beyond failure could be your biggest success in life." Debbie Allen

So, I am going to commit to being prepared for and completing next year's NaNoWriMo in hopes that it will be a big success. Anyone out there of similar mind? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And, again, good luck to all of you out there who've taken the leap this year. Way to go!