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!!!!!


  1. Glad you're having a nice summer and good luck with the plumber :) LOVED this exercise you shared. I'm going to try it out! I've done book dummies, but never tried it this way, and I can imagine it's very helpful! Thanks!!!

  2. Thanks! Anxious to know how it works out.
    Hope you're having a nice summer too!