Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Madness Day 28

Congratulations!!! We've been hanging out together for four fun weeks already!!! We've got a great group of cheerleaders, I mean WRITERS here and I appreciate every single one of you. If you've joined us late in the race, welcome. It's been fun sharing this time together and I hope you've formed some relationships that will last throughout your professional careers.

And we have another winner:
Kim Baccellia!

Congratulations Kim! Please email Denise your choice of prizes at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com. And for the rest of you...don't stop checking in! She'll be drawing more names this week and it's not too late to win.
Advance copy of ARTICLE FIVE by Kristen Simmons (Courtesy of Jaye Robin Brown)
UNRAVELING ISOBEL by Eileen Cook (Courtesy of Shari Green)
OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL by K.M. Weiland (2 e-copies up for grabs!) (Courtesy of Deb Marshall)
DARWEN ARKWRIGHT AND THE PEREGRINE PACT by A.J. Hartley (Courtesy of Laura Taylor - Laura kindly offered to get this one signed if you're willing to wait for it!)

This has been one of my most productive months ever and I'm feeling good about what I've accomplished. But I'm a bit exhausted. April will have to be a month dedicated to refilling my creative well. 

How about you? As we approach the end of this March Madness, do you find yourself growing tired and weary? Or have you found your second wind as you stretch out to reach that finish line? What are your thoughts as you look toward April?

I do hope you'll still stop by this blog to say hello from time to time. I've got some great interviews and book giveaways coming up next month. ^_^

See you tomorrow over at Anne Hale's.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness--Day 21

Back on February 29th, I stated that my March Madness goal was to revise the humorous MG I drafted during March Madness 2010. With all your encouraging words and cheers, I reached that goal on Monday. Yay!  So yesterday I set a new goal: to revise 10 pages per day in my YA historical.

Today is for reevaluating and revising our goals. We're three weeks in with 10 days left. If you're struggling, don't be discouraged. We're here to help. Life happens. Do you need to readjust your goals? Go ahead!

And if you're right on target, give yourself a pat on the back. Then give a (((cyber hug))) to someone who could use one. Please feel free to reply to each others comments. ^_^

Either way, please celebrate what you've done so far and tell us something you're proud of. And don't forget to stop by and check- in with Anne Hale tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness Day 14 Check-In

Last night I had the privilege of supporting our lovely March Madness creator, Denise Jaden, as she spoke to a big group at the SCBWI Professional Series meeting in Seattle. Her presentation, WITH A HEAVY HEART: WRITING GRIEF IN FICTION, showed how grief can be used to help create more tension and conflict in our stories. Ironically, she followed SCBWI Regional Advisor, Kim Baker, who presented on using humor in fiction. Both talks got me thinking about my own WIPs--one that has a lot of grief and the other that has a lot of humor (hopefully.) What about you? Do your stories contain either grief or humor or a little of both? Do you find these elements difficult to incorporate? How's your week going so far? Humor or grief? For me there's been a little of both. ^_^

Please forgive Denise for her tardiness in replying to comments yesterday since we were on the road and at the meeting for a large part of the day. And don't forget to check-in tomorrow with Anne Hale.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Madness--Day 7 Check-In #wipmadness

In light of Denise's post yesterday, I've been thinking about song lyrics. When I was 10, my best friend and I sang the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends for our school's talent show. We didn't win any prizes, but I took that song to heart and am thinking about some of those lyrics right now--how they relate to the writing journey and #wipmadness and the awesome help I've received from people I've met right here during March Madness. Many of us have raised our hands and stepped up to critique each other's work on a moment's notice. We've cheered each other on. We've made each other laugh. This is golden. So sing along with me:

What do I do when my love is away
(Does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from my friends

We've made it through a week together and I officially declare today March Madness Gratitude Day.
I am grateful that at the end of the day I feel encouraged and supported and because of your help, I've already revised almost 40% of my novel! THANK  YOU ALL!
How has being part of March Madness made you feel at the end of the day? What have you accomplished?
Speaking of support, don't forget to stop by Anne Hale's blog tomorrow for Thursdays check-in.

Monday, March 5, 2012

FLYAWAY author Helen Landalf

A few months ago while attending a YA book event at Third Place Books in Seattle, a lovely woman sat next to me. Turns out we knew each other from Twitter and that her debut YA Contemporary was getting ready to take flight into the world. I couldn't wait to read it.

Fast forward to last month and this same lovely author made the trek up to Bellingham for her own event at Village Books. Happy to attend, I got myself an autographed copy.

From the bit that Helen read, I knew I'd enjoy the story. And there was so much more to love. I read it in one gulp.

I hope you'll go find yourself a copy.

Helen's Author Website
On Writing:
Favorite thing about writing a first draft:
I love it when I surprise myself and come up with a plot twist I didn’t expect. Those are the moments I live for!
Best thing about writing for kids and/or teens:
Teens have such a rich emotional life, and I love having the chance to go back there and experience it all again.
Favorite word?:
Yearning. It sounds exactly the way it feels.
One word that describes your path to publication:
If I could have two dream careers, I’d be an author and:
An actress
On Life:
If I could snap my fingers and solve one of the problems here on earth, it would be:
No more war
One question I wish I had a definitive answer to:
Why am I here?
Best thing about being a child:
The total lack of responsibility
Worst thing about being a child:
The complete lack of power
Best thing about being a teenager:
The intensity of the emotions
Worst thing about being a teenager:
The intensity of the emotions
Most memorable teen moment:
Being told I had cancer at age 15
One thing I’d like to say to my teen self:
“You’re going to be a writer, so pay attention to everything!”
A quote I live by:
“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”
My dream vacation:
I’ve always wanted to see Paris. Hopefully someday I will.
In My Perfect World…
Everyone would get home-baked bread and fresh produce at least once a week.
There would be an abundance of food and water.
No one would be deprived of love.
Every child would have a family. 
No one would ever be homeless.
Medical care would be free for everyone.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: The Importance of Rewarding Yourself

"The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay, sure, I agree with Mr. Emerson on a certain level, but I'm a firm believer in external rewards.

My reward for a good day of writing? Reading

Finishing a draft? A full day of binge reading

Completing a revision? Reading a book I've been dying to read and saving for this particular moment.

I think I may be seeing a pattern here.

Speaking of goals and rewards, if you haven't signed up for March Madness, it isn't too late! Hop on over to Denise Jaden's Blog and at the end of the month, you may find yourself rewarded with any one of a number of fabulous prizes. If you've already signed up, don't forget to update us on your progress. Today's check-in is over at Deb Marshall's.

What about you? Do you reward yourself for meeting your writing goals? How?