Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Good News!!!

  ****  news- I swiped the SASE out of my husbands hand and tore it open thinking that my check would fall out, as it did last year. It didn't happen, so I tipped the envelope and it didn't happen but my heard started to thump, Thump, THUMP! My hands shook while I looked at the letter-my acceptance to RUCCL!!! (Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature). ...Am I excited?!?!?! YES!
 I had my sister-in-law Sherry on call, just in case I got in, to drive me to New Brunswick, NJ in October. I'm such a whimp about driving. I let Sherry off the hook when I found out that one of my writer friends, Joyce Shur Johnson, made it in too. And, one of my online friends will be there too. Can't wait to meet Sheri Dillard, and speaker/author, Tara Lazar, and "everyone" else. I'm doing the happy happy dance again.
                       (grabbed this out of my photos!-We dance in the streets too, rain or shine!)

My writing thoughts have been going back to last year's mid grade that I didn't finish. I'm nearly finished with the boy one that I will complete, but Amethyst keeps calling. So, my friend Molly and I took a little ride to Avena Botanicals in Rockport, ME ( and leisurely strolled the garden paths, rubbing, sniffing, identifying the easy plants and flowers, and trying to identify others. When we were walked out, we spent a longer time in the store, looking at products and reading their goodness in the free catalog. Lovely names like Moon Ease and Wise Woman's Tonic.  And I learned that Sacred Basil is not the same thing as pesto basil, and I love African sunflower.
**** news- Two of my other writing friends, Tamra Wight and Brenda Reeves Sturgis met with their new editor, Melissa Kim from Islandport Press, right here in Maine. I love love love that they have contracts with a "home town" publishing company. Makes my heart sing for them.

    Now for other kind of  ***news. Our house is being painted for the first time ever-for us. It's an old old farm house with lots of cracks and holes and the original wood doors and brass door knobs. The kids gave us gift certificates for paint and painter man and his painter girl have been here scraping, caulking and filling in clapboards. I can't say the word excited again so I'll try and hold back and tell you what my week-end job was. I painted the (farmer) porch ceiling.  What was I thinking when I said I'd get it done?!?!? I did, but or Lordy!!!! Matchboard jigging and jagging with the paint brush-finished, hallelujah!  With all this house fixer upper stuff, I've given up 2 kayaking trips and Saturday Zumba event. I'm loyal, huh!

       What will this new week bring to my corner of the world? I don't know, but I wish that you each have a week full of joy and adventure.  


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Good News - Other Things To Share!

I'm still singing and dancing for my friend dear friend   TamraWight  
who sold her first middle grade novel, 
"Cooper and Packrat: Mystery on Pine Lake" to Islandport Press right here in our home state of Maine. 

Tami and her family own Poland Spring Campground where she hosts a writer's schmooze both spring and fall. I'm fortunate to be one of the participants of this "working" schmooze, so I've read, seen and done a bit of critiquing on this (baby) manuscript of Tam's. You're going to love it. It's due to debut in August, 2013.

Yay Yay Yay Yay Yay Yay Yay!!!!!!

She's one happy camper!!!!

**** Here's another note for my writer friends. It may be a bit helpful when plotting out your picture book.
The first part of this was posted by another writer, critiquer, friend, Elliah Terry on her blog
 The Itsy Bitsy Writer   I will add my tips at the end because they seem to follow in line with hers.
1. Grab a picture book off your shelf.
2. Flip past the end pages and title page until you come to the first page of story text.
3. Begin reading aloud from YOUR pb manuscript. (As if you are reading it to a group of children).
4. When you get to a pause in your manuscript, turn the page in the book you are holding. Although editors ultimately have the say on when page turn occur, this is a great exercise.
5. Keep reading and keep turning the pages until you have finished reading your manuscript.
6. Analyze your findings. Do you need more scenes? Do you have too many? Does the story flow well?
By pretending my manuscripts are actual books, ie, turning real pages between my fingers, I see things in a whole new light. And sometimes, I even discover new words or scenes that find their way out of my mouth while I am doing it.

Okay, so here's my two cents to add to Elliah's. 

What you need is a pad of sticky notes and a pencil.(with an eraser, just in case!)
Read as she suggested, but when you pause, and it comes time to turn the page- Stop!
Grab a sticky note and write down every word that you just read from your manuscript. Stick it on that page.
Continue reading the book. Each time you pause, write that portion of your manuscript on a sticky.
Then go back and read "your" whole book. How's the pacing? Do the page turns seem to be in a good place? 
Good thing about stickies and pencil is that you can work them around and make changes to your own manuscript along the way.
Try it. See how it comes out.
I usually do this with a similarly written kind of book. (action, quiet, poetic, funny, non-fiction etc)

That's it for writing stuff, for now....what else?
My little kitchen garden is providing us with fresh food daily. My friends are reaping too. Most of the girls grab at least one ripe tomato on their way in. Some eat 3 or 4, I kid you not!!!!! But the real bad guys have come to visit too. They want my tomatoes.

 I'm not willing to share with them. Even as big as they are, they manage to stay camouflaged and hidden. They do leave lots of evidence.  My friends tell me that their stripes glow in the dark if a black light is shone on them. I don't have one so I hunt! When I find them....well, don't ask!

I show favoritism with my garden thieves because these three creatures are devouring all of my parsley and I'm letting them. They're the Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. We've had lots of the butterflies hanging out, but these guys came in the night! This photo was taken the other day and you wouldn't believe how few leaves there are left for them to munch on. I'm curious if they'll hang around or move on before they turn into their chrysalis. (on a side note, the monarch caterpillars I gave the twin nephews became butterflies. They were happy to show me.)

I did something yesterday that I hope is as clever as I think it's going to be. Called the neighbor plumber 
guy and had him turn the hot water temp down. While he was here he told us that he turns his furnace off every day, then turns it back on in the morning to heat the water. My husband didn't "hear" me when I suggested this a few months ago, but he heard plumber man when he said how few gallons of oil he uses in the summer....done-trying it-will see!!!!(hot water baseboard)
Been doing the same usual things here in the 'ville, kayaking, writing, herbal wellness clinic, walking, zumbaing, playing baby girl, listening to grandkids backyard band concert.
Life is not boring!!!!!