Monday, March 28, 2011

Life as a Writer

Today, I finished the oft quoted WALKING ON ALLIGATORS. If you've followed this blog at all, you know I've enjoyed many of the quotes and passages very much. This last passage, however, speaks volumes. It is a nod to grabbing the writing life NOW. It reminded me of something my aunt told me long ago..."Life is not a dress rehearsal."

In today's passage, Susan Shaughnessy says the same thing. "The curtain is up. We get no second chance to write what might have been written today...If writing is to be part of your life, the time to write is now."

Take your chance; live your life as a writer. Make it your destiny. I plan to do the same.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Please Stand Up

This morning, I read a passage in WALKING ON ALLIGATORS that discussed having a vision as well as the importance of the person with the vision standing up and having faith in that vision. Susan Shaughnessy discussed the importance of standing up for your vision despite sometimes being surrounded by people that don't support or understand your vision. Standing up can mean opening yourself up to criticism and discomfort, but, as writers, this is what we must do. She goes on to say, "In a vision, you visualize yourself as the person you want to steadily become. If that person is a writer, standing up means writing. It means writing every day."

So, I charge the writer you visualize yourself to be. Stand up (or sit down!) and write. Write despite any criticism or lack of understanding directed at you. Just write! Today, tomorrow and each day thereafter. I plan to do so.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Save the Date

The Spring SCBWI Dakotas conference has been set for Saturday, May 14, 2011. More info to come, but, for those of you in the vicinity, it is always a great conference.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Way to go, Chris!

Chris Rylander is the Regional Advisor for our SCBWI Dakotas group. I had the privilege of meeting him at last year's Spring Conference. His book, THE FOURTH STALL, is now available. Below is what I read in the EXPRESSION ONLINE SCBWI International Newsletter this morning. Way to go, Chris!

. Bravo!! Chris, Kristy, Bridget

* Chris Rylander (SCBWI Dakotas) - New spin on an Old Story - "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" meets "The Sopranos"---that's how publisher Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins, bills Chris' first children's book THE FOURTH STALL. According to Andrea Johnson in the Minot Daily News, Minot native Chris said his idea for his book came from a lot of different places. "Part of it was that I just thought it might be kind of cool and fun to put a kid-friendly spin on organized crime, and that it had a lot of potential for action and humor, two things I never could get enough of as a reader," said Rylander, who now lives in Grand Forks and works for Noridian. <>

Chris has been an SCBWI member since 2008. Here's an excerpt of Paul Michael Murphy's interview of Chris in Murphblog:

Murphblog: I’ve seen the book described as "The Godfather for kids". . . What made you think of it and did you run into any problems that might explain why less courageous writers . . . have been reluctant to bring the world of organized crime into children’s fiction?

Rylander: . . . I thought to myself how fun it might be to take organized crime and put a kid-friendly spin on it. There were some challenges, sure, like trying to walk the line between the right amount of violence and having the kids use severed horse heads as pillows and everything. But in the end, I always just asked myself this question: "Is there enough blood and gratuitous violence in this scene?" And if the answer was "no," then I simply added more. And I think it turned out pretty well. One dead body per page is usually a pretty good rule for children’s books. No, but seriously it was a challenge to get that part just right---because I didn't want to soften it to the point where it was cheesy. But I also didn't want to glorify grade-school gang wars. <>