Friday, June 29, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Twitter Tips for the Twitterpated

Tips for beginners:

How to get started: go here to create an account

Bio: Here's an article to help you with your bio

Avatar: Choose a photo or an image to represent you. No one seems to want to follow an egg. ^_^

Don't know who to follow? Here are a couple of lists of children's writer peeps you could peruse:
Wipmadness Peeps
Peeps from Verla Kay's Blueboards
Agents and Editors

You can follow a list or follow individuals. You can create lists of your own. I use my lists when I don't have much time and I want to see the latest from the peeps I interact with the most.

Tips for the twitterpated:

#1 Before following someone, peruse their tweets to see if they're just marketing themselves or whether they're interacting with others.

#2 Use the Block button. It is your friend.

#3 Don't be afraid to reach out and @ someone. Join the conversation.

#4  Keep private information private. Use direct messages when warranted.

#5 If someone tweets something hilarious, helpful, or has good news to share, by all means, hit the retweet button.

Tips for everyone:

Be yourself
Be polite
Be helpful
Have fun!

Do you have any Twitter questions or tips? Please share and please feel free to jump in and reply to any questions or comments. ^_^

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Are You Twitterpated?

"On Twitter we get excited if someone follows us. In real life we get really scared and run away." ~Unknown
Read author Janice Hardy's excellent post about the relationship between tweets and blog posts here.

Twitterpated: Origin: 1942; first used in the movie Bambi
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don't you know? They're twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!

Sound familiar? I have to admit, I am twitterpated. But not with just one pretty face, but hundreds of them on Twitter. Sometimes it's distracting, but I find Twitter an amazing way to quickly exchange information and get help and encouragement when needed. And it's taught me to be succint. And it keeps me from getting too lonely while writing.
Next week I'm going to share a list of all my favorite Twitter tips and ask you to share yours, too. But for today I'm just going to invite all of you to join in the fun: @AngelinaCHansen

Are you Twitterpated? Would you like to share your Twitter link? 

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Even the Best Among Us Struggle

Have you read these books? Despite the fact they are neither contemporary nor historical realistic fiction, I devoured them. Before I dove into Bitterblue this past weekend, I'd read this PW article about Kristin Cashore's three year struggle to get the first draft written and the subsequent feedback she received from her editor.

This particular "birthing a book" story made the struggle I'm having with my WIPs pale in comparison. People always say that being published doesn't make things any easier and this tale of woe exemplifies that truth. But in the end, persistence paid off. And so I persist. Will you?

Are you struggling with your writing? Take courage. Even the best among us struggle. Don't give up!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Vacation? What's a Vacation?

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."
--Eugene Ionesco

It's the first week of June and I haven't seen the sun this month. What I've experienced are temperatures barely in the 50s and loads of rain. A little sunshine would make me the happiest writer alive right about now, but that ain't happenin'. So I'm just going to sit here and stare at this photo for a while. You're welcome to join me. . .
Ahhhh, don't we all feel better now?
Have you ever taken a vacation from writing? I have. But I agree with Mr. Ionesco, a writer never has a vacation. Seriously. I don't think I can go more than a few hours without thinking about some aspect of writing. Earlier this week I even dreamed I was in my story. Scary! But that's just all part of living the writer's life, eh? We wouldn't have it any other way. 
How about you? Have you ever tried to stop thinking about writing? Did you succeed?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Partner on the Path: Hillary Adams

Greetings to all of you who regularly stop by here and a grateful and enthusiastic "hi!" to new followers. A long time has passed since I've introduced any of my partners on the path, so today I've got an extra special writer for you to meet. It is my pleasure to welcome my lovely agent sister, Hillary Adams who is also repped by Katie Grimm. She's been a great partner as we've climbed  parallel paths on this harrowing journey to publication. If you're climbing this rocky mountain with us, please take a moment to say hello and hand Hillary a cyber energy bar. I'm sure she'll appreciate it.   
What resources have you found most helpful on your writing path? and my very patient, supportive husband.

What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced along the way?

Finding a fabulous agent who loves my book.

Favorite children’s books? Authors?

The Graveyard Book, A Wrinkle in Time, Weetzie Bat. I love Dr. Seuss and Edward Gorey.

What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?

I revisit an email that my mother sent me a few years ago after reading the first three chapters of my then-mostly-unwritten novel: “I absolutely LOVE what you have here, honey. This is it. This will be the one…”

If you could choose to live any place on the planet, where would it be?

In Burgundy, France.

Describe your fantasy writing space?

A cozy study with walls of books….a huge leather chair and ottoman where I can write by the window with my feet up…a view of some sprawling orchard full of crooked old trees…a fireplace crackling nearby...ahhh…

What obstacles have you overcome in order to keep writing?

I overcame a very painful dry spell with my writing. For years, I’d been trying too hard to be profound and clever as a writer. Everything I wrote came out stiff, contrived, dull. Eventually, I had to ask myself WHY I wanted to write fiction in the first place, and when I remembered that having fun was part of the equation, I decided to write books for young readers instead of for adults. This decision brought writing back to life for me.

What one word describes your writing process?


What do you appreciate the most about being part of the children’s writers community?

How welcoming and supportive people are! I tend to isolate as a writer, so it’s comforting to remember that there are other like-minded folks out there going through the same things I am.

Best writing advice you’ve been given?

Your intuition knows what it wants to write, so get out of the way.

What do you like to keep in mind while drafting a story?

That all writers write messy first drafts. That everything I’ve ever written and loved started out this way. That this is the time to place duct tape over the mouth of my inner critic and try to have fun and stay curious.

How will you celebrate the publication of your first book?

My husband and I will fly to New Orleans for a few days. Our first stop will be the French 75 where we’ll drink a bottle (or two) of pink champagne and eat oysters on the half shell.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Is Writing Bad for Your Health?

"Writing is hard work and bad for the health."--E. B. White 

As you may know, I am a huge fan of E.B. White, so when I came across this quote, it gave me pause. I agree that writing is hard work, but is it bad for my health? Depends on what kind of health we're talking about, but either way, my answer is yes and no.
Yes, writing sometimes disrupts my emotional and mental well-being.
Yes, spending way too much time in one position makes me ache all over.
Yes, I sometimes get so involved in my writing that I forget to eat, which can't be good for my health.
Writing, at times, makes me deliriously happy.
Spending long hours with Butt-In-Chair has motivated me to get out of the house and exercise.
Since I've been writing, I'm more aware of the need to nurture my body so my creative spirit can thrive
So what do you think? Is writing bad for the health?