Monday, April 30, 2007

Two good things!

I can't believe it's Monday already! The weekend went by really fast and it's back to work now. I have two pieces of exciting news to share!

One, I received my contract from Girls' Life in the mail today. I'm saving the envelope because it's still exciting to have something published in a magazine I read for years. The envelope is cute, too, all pink and purple. :)

Two, I received word that a local magazine, Tallahassee Woman, has chosen me as a "woman to watch" in an upcoming issue. They'll have a little blurb and a photo about what I've accomplished. I'm honored and will most definitely post the page online.

I'll be spending the day working on YA MSS edits. I'll also be coming up with query ideas for Teen and Seventeen. Yep, I decided it's time to go after the majors.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beach pics!





We got to the beach around 10 and stayed until about 2. It was our first trip to Carrabelle and it was great! White sand, lots of shells and not crowded.
More details to come! :)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

To the beach!

Today has been a great Saturday. I've spent most of the morning lying in the sun on the back porch and doing edits on my YA manuscript. I've been doing so much editing on the computer that it is amazing to see the pages in print on real paper. I've also been reading Paula's So Not the Drama and am loving it. Definitely recommended! :)

The next book on my list is Annie Proulx's The Shipping News. I'm going to alternate between one YA and one adult book.

Tomorrow, my parents, brother and I are headed to the beach. We haven't been in a long, long time and I'm ready to step away from technology and go seashell hunting. I'll try to take pics of my trip and will post them either Sunday night or Monday.

Oh, and check out my girl Emily's newly designed Website. Em, you've gotta consider Web design on the side, missy! :)

What are your weekend plans?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Video blogs

Taking a cue from Robyn Schneider's blog, I wanted to know what you all think about video blogs or podcasts. I got a digital camera for graduation (thanks Mom and Dad!) and am toying with the idea of doing a weekly or bi-weekly video blog. Perhaps something well thought out about writing or maybe spontaneous and off the cuff.

I also like the idea of an audio blog (not more than 3-4 minutes) about writing or something related to that subject.

Thoughts? If I did decide to do audio and/or video blogs, what topics would you like me to address?

TGIF!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

little bit of everything

I'm baaack! Finally! :) I spent the week engaged in tests and papers. I took my last test a little while ago and am tired but excited this week is behind me.

I have edits to do over the weekend for my YA manuscript (got a deadline to beat!) and am following up on queries and sending new ones, too. I'll also be hanging at Books-a-Million for a bit and checking out the new books. I'm on a mission though to find a good Graduate Record Exam practice book. I found one online with a DVD, so I'm going with that one, I think. I need extra help in math, so I'll be practicing for several months before I take the test. Anyone taken it before? I haven't even officially graduated yet, but I'm already looking forward to the next step, which is grad school. The list, you ask? Coming soon!

I'm off to work on my YA MSS, read Paula Chase's So Not the Drama and figure out why my computer's cooling pad fan is making an odd noise....

Regular daily blogging has returned so check back often!

PS- Looking for a magazine market every week? Check out April's blog each Wednesday for submission guidelines. Great idea, April!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Graduation Announcement!




Here it is! The lovely graduation announcement! It's kind of tiny, but you get the idea. It's shiny garnet and gold (my school's colors) and I made it, so I'm proud of it. :)

This may be the last blog until finals are over in the middle of next week, but I wanted to share my announcement with everyone. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Procrastination

This is my desperate attempt to do something "productive" instead of study for Tuesday's test. The final for British lit consists of identifying quotes from the novels we've read over the entire semester. I read the books, but there's always that fear of missing something and not being able to ID the book. So, I'm trying to reread bits of each book to study the author's style and hope that will give me clues on the final.

One of my professors moved a final from Monday to Thursday, which sucks because I really, REALLY wanted to get it over and not think about it. Oh well, I should do better with more time to study.

I bought a new Power Tracker and damn, the thing is loaded with thousands of contacts for screenwriters, people seeking agents, etc. I only had the trial version before and I love the new one!

I also found a new magazine to query: Orlando Style. I'm trying to keep moving up from kid mags, to teen mags to women's mags. Problem is, I can't find a copy of the magazine! I may have to ask them to send me a sample copy.

Okay, back to Emma, Rob Roy and seven other lovely Brit novels! :) TGIF!

Check back over the weekend to see my graduation announcement, by the way.
(**Thank you Kelly H. for your lovely card!**) :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finals, finals everywhere!

One final down, three to go!! I just got out of my Senior Seminar in Anglo and Caribbean Lit. class and finished my first final of the semester. It wasn't too bad and I walked away thinking I'll get an A. Hopefully, that's the case.

I've got a final tomorrow (communications), one on Monday (British lit) and the last final (humanities) of my undergrad college career on Tues. I made graduation announcements a few weeks ago and mailed them to family and friends. I'll post a JPEG of the announcement this weekend.

On the writing side, I took time out from studying yesterday to submit a revision of a Positive Thinker piece to Guideposts Sweet 16. They're so friendly over there and really willing to help their writers. :) We need more mags like that.

I meant to also add that when I was in Books a Million last week, two youngish women were looking at the sci-fi section, which is directly across from the YA aisle. One woman said to her friend, "Oh, man, the teen books are looking better than these this time!" and they started browsing the YA books. Score for the YA peeps!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For VTech

Out of memory to those at Virginia Tech, I'm not blogging today and will return this weekend (or sooner!) to blog. I hope none of the blog readers have been directly affected by the senseless tragedy. My best friend's cousin attends VT and he was lucky to escape unharmed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Anyone have anything bad or eerie happen today? I didn't, so I'm feeling lucky! :)

I've got my first final on Thursday, one next Saturday and the following Tuesday. I'm counting down until they're finished.

I've been working on school and reworking a chapter in my YA manuscript today and have been trying to ignore the lure of the Internet.

I'll close with: RIP Kurt Vonnegut.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Writer Magazine

If you don't have the May 2007 issue of the writer and you're a freelancer, definitely check it out! The magazine is chock full of everything for freelancers and it's one of the best issues yet! Plus, an added bonus, I've got a tiny letter to the editor in this month's issue. :)

I'm too busy with finals to blog much but never fear, the daily blogging will resume after finals.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Character names

Choosing names for characters can be a fun, but stressful process. I've often changed a character name halfway through a manuscript because I no longer liked the name or I thought the name didn't fit my character. Usually, unless I already have a specific name in mind I'll visit a baby name Website and find a name for a certain personality or from a specific origin.

Most of the time, I try not to choose names of people I actually know. If I use names of people I know, I seem to put that person's personality into my character even when I don't mean to do it.

What about you? How do you choose character names? Do you ever sneak names of family and friends into your books? (I put my brother's name (with different spelling) in my YA manuscript!) :)

By the way, any YA authors with hopes of turning the novel into a TV show or movie for Disney, I highly advise you get Friday, April 6's edition of The USA Today. It has a great article on teen and tween Disney stars and what it takes for Disney to make a movie or TV series. For example, ever notice that HSM doesn't have love songs? Or that Disney has 4 specific themes in most movies or TV shows? Those themes: Believe in yourself, express yourself, follow your dreams, celebrate your family. I don't know about you, but I could certainly write with those guidelines in mind for the hope of pleasing Disney.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Hmmm...it's 10am on a school day and I'm at home

It's almost 10am on a Thursday and I'm supposed to be in class. Instead, I'm at home working on papers and following up on query letters. Yep, for only the second or third time during my college days I cut class. Bad very bad! :) But, I'm using the time to work ahead and get a few major projects out of the way so I have more time to study during finals. The pace this semester wasn't bad, but I want to be absolutely certain I get killer grades during my last semester. So many seniors in my classes are crying "Oh, I'll miss Big University so much!" I'm with the other transfers who don't have a significant attachment to Big University and am thrilled to get into graduate school or take a year off. I only spent a year at Big U so I don't have the "aw, I'll miss this place" moments. I'll miss my professors (most of them!) but won't sob over graduating.

I'll probably be editing and rewriting over the weekend on my manuscript, so I've got to get this school stuff done now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

How many blogs?

I was looking over the list of blogs that I simply must visit daily and I wonder if it has gotten out of hand. I'm up to 10 blogs a day that I feel I can't live without reading! Is that a lot? They're all writing blogs and I try to make the excuse that I'm learning (I really am!) when I read all of these blogs each day, but I wonder if that's true. I've certainly expanded my online circle of writer friends, so I think it has definitely been beneficial in that area.

How many blogs to you HAVE to read each day?

PS- Today, I went to the library and a great librarian that I've befriended saw me in the magazine section (Okay, okay- I was reading US Weekly) and yelled "Hey, you should be home writing!") :) Gotta love the librarians!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Literary journals

I can't believe it's April already! Where did March go? I turned over my calendar yesterday and simply couldn't believe it's spring. It seems as if winter went by in a whoosh and soon, it will be 100 degrees and we'll be smack in the middle of a steamy summer.

Today's topic: literary journals. I've never submitted essays or personal experience pieces to journals before. I only write for magazines and really don't know much about the journal business. My writing teacher at school was encouraging us to submit the essays we wrote for class to journals that published nonfiction. I searched for journals and was surprised that there are thousands of journals and I've never heard of 90 percent of them. Am I missing a good market with journals? The categories are as vast as the titles and range from fiction to creative nonfiction to romance to horror. The short story journals certainly sound like a good place to try your hand at shorter fiction that could be expanded into a novel.

Has anyone submitted to a lit journal? Would you submit to one?

 
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