Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year - New Goal

There are 14 minutes left in the year 2010. Sadly, I do not feel as if I accomplished all that I desired in terms of writing. As I sit here evaluating the old and looking to the new, I ask myself; what main goal do I wish to achieve when I look to the end of 2011? The answer, I want to finish editing that YA novel I wrote in 2009! So this is my goal.

What are your writing goals for 2011?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you!

My guess is that there will be a lot of holiday wishes on the blogs this week, since most of us are spending extra time with family and friends, so this just a post to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you who have stopped by the blog this year. I appreciate your comments and insights, and it is my prayer for each of you that you have a very blessed 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

If no one mentioned it yet today, you're awesome!

I've been shooting through the usual slew of writer and agent blogs, all with awesome info freely shared and loaded with comments from authors. It made me realize that I am so grateful for the writing community. I don't think there is any other group of professionals (or those on the track to becoming professionals) that are so sharing and supportive.

So if you're a writer, agent, or editor, and no one has said this to you lately, I just want to tell you that you're awesome, and that I appreciate all the long hours spent doing what you do!

Have a great Christmas and New Year!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Now that Nano is over, now what?

You may be saying this to yourself right now. I know I am. I realized last week that thanks to Nanowrimo, I have almost completed three rough drafts for novels in the last year. Wow. For a picture book writer, that's a ton. But now it's time to give each of these projects a good hard look and begin the rewrite process if they are worthy of it. Let's assess.

Deep Secrets—This was last year's Nanonovel, a dystopian thriller. I finally printed it out so I'd have a hard copy of the rough draft, and my kids immediately picked it up and read it. I was surprised at their reactions. They said it had them on the edge of their seats. It didn't have me on the edge of my seat while I was writing it, but maybe that's just the way it is for authors. You know too much about what's going on for it to be a surprise. Also, made it to the 50k mark for Nano, but too bad I didn't write an ending for it. There was a little grumbling on that score.

Assignment for 2011—Finish Deep Secrets and do a rewrite to see how it comes out. I think it's worth it, and my kids are going to nag me to provide an ending if I don't.

Pirates of Time and the Navigator's Watch—Still in progress, but hubby is bugging me to get it done. Started it in March and took off November for Nano, but I've been working on it steadily, so we're past the midpoint, I think. Time to get back to it and finish it. Think I'll try to make 1k a day my goal, because I'll do it better if I work faster. The problem is, my mind keeps on mulling over the plot line of a possible sequel, which sounds like a nail-biting winner to the critique group.

Assignment for 2011—Finish Pirates of Time in a timely fashion. (Pun intended.) Work on the next draft.

The Girl from Left Foot Lake—This year's Nanonovel. Working on the next draft, believe it or not. It's a Christmas gift for someone, and I'd like to work out some of the main problems before I put a bow on it. May never go all the way with it, but it was worth it anyway.

Assignment for 2010—DEADLINE DECEMBER 24TH!!!!

Also, I've joined an online critique group for picture book writers. So far getting helpful feedback on ms that got interest of at least one publisher. Hope to sell it this year.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Do you ever feel like you are the only one writing for a blog that is supposed to be written by four people. Do you ever feel as if you want to take certain members of your writing group and shake them until they agree to be more committed to the cause of writing meaningful words that the world is waiting with unflinching anticipation to consume. Do you ever feel like you have just read a run-on sentence that you wish would have ended sooner. Do you ever feel that a writer should put a question mark at the end of a sentence with a question in it. You are not alone!!!

Elizabeth MacKinney, you are a shining example to us all. You are practically one-handedly maintaining this blog. A blog that I confess I haven't read in weeks. A blog which at one point others were more committed to contributing to in a meaningful way. Please forgive these blameworthy comrades and know they still love you and have not abandoned you forever!

THE END, or is this a BEGINNING.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The calm after the storm

December might not feel like that to you, but it does to me. For the most part, this is because Nanowrimo is over, and I put in my 50k like thousands of other writers all over the world. We did it, and now we can sit back, put up our feet, and relax, right?


In fact, that's oh, so wrong. Kicking back is exactly what I did last year. I didn't start another novel until March, because I normally dedicate the end of December and all of January to a thorough market research to find matches for the manuscripts I currently have finished. (These are all picture books, which are tough though not impossible to sell right now.) Then I spent February making scene cards for my 2010 novel and the rest of the year writing the book.

The thing is, this year's Nanonovel was written for someone as a Christmas gift, and Christmas comes on December 25th. Therefore, I can't kick back, because I don't plan to give them an entirely rough draft. It won't be the best it can be, of course, but a few of the glaring problems will be addressed. This year, the only kicking back I did was to take a couple of days off to read two of John Flanagan's books, Erak's Ransom and The Kings of Clonmel, because I wanted to put some mental distance between me and the manuscript. That was all I could spare.

So now to rewrite. I'm guessing that if I can polish up a couple of chapters a day, I should finish in time to print, wrap, and hide it under the tree. I didn't have a good ending, so after praying about it for awhile, I came up with a happy solution. (Well, gee, if God could get the entire Bible written, helping me with my books ought to be a piece of cake.) This was good news to the first of the beta readers, who plowed through the manuscript and was none to pleased to find out there were several possible and unfinished endings. This is my bad habit for Nanonovels. I tend to complete the word count but not the story. Very frustrating to readers. Sorry.