Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm a toddler!

I've know that I've wanted to write for children for about 5 years. this past year was the first year that I decided to get serious about it and treat it as something more than just a hobby. Since I've made that decision, I've seen a huge improvement in my skills, and my writing credits are slowly but surely adding up. At first, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, but then I sat down and looked at the few accomplishments that I've had, and though they may be small baby steps, I feel good about it. I'm heading in the right direction. This past year has made a huge difference. And as the New Year lurks behind the approaching Holiday Season, I'm excited to see what kind of progress will come with it.

Here's a small break down of my journey:

All my life (the fetal stage)= I've loved to write. I keep journals upon journals and wrote all kinds of stories as a kid. I was accused of plaigiarism by my 7th grade teacher, which scared the tar out of me. It made me a little scared to try too hard and it took a little of the joy of writing away. If only I had known what a compliment that really was, maybe I would've tried harder and stuck with it. Oh well. Live and learn.

Year 1 (newborn)= Read lots of picture books to my first child and thought "I'd like to do that" I wrote a story, got a rejection letter and thought "Oh, that's not as easy as I thought it would be." But I still wanted to write for children and decided to figure out how to do it. I bought books on how to write for children and decided to take a class.

Year 2 and 3 (baby)= I took a correspondence writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature. My mentor was Connie Heckert. She was wonderful and I learned a TON about writing for children and the industry in general. I started out thinking that I only wanted to write books, but found that writing articles was fun too.

Year 4 (first steps)= My course ended, I joined SCBWI carolina's, went to my first writers conference, joined a critique group and sent out a submission or two -- then received a rejection letter or two. My first success was winning a small writing contest with SCBWI.

Year 5 (I'm toddling!)= I subscribed to the Children's Writer Newsletter, which has been a huge help. This is the year I started getting some of my articles accepted. I think all of them, or almost all of them were leads from the Children's Writer Newsletter.
I went to my 2nd Writer's Conference this year and had a critique done by Caitlyn Dloughy at Atheneum. It was a great critique. She had a lot of good things to say. I'm going to send my MS to her when my revisions are complete.
This year I also committed to reading, reading, reading. With 3 young children, I thought this would be a hard commitment. However, I take a book with me wherever I go, and instead of watching t.v. I crack open a book. Not to mention audio books. This is another practice that has improved my skills (if I may say so myself). :0P

Year 6 = Will I be ready for preschool this year? Look at me now! I'm a toddler taking baby steps! Pretty soon I'll be running and getting into all kinds of messes. Oh, wait -- I maybe taking the analogy too far. Here's hoping I'll be running, without the messes. :0)

It's nice to look back and see some growth.

My goals for this year:
keep reading
Keep writing
submit more MS's
enter some contests
Keep on keepin' on . . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: More forgotten scary stories

Here's another oldie but goodie! The story of Pinocchiohantas. A wicked Fairy put a curse on her so that every time she told a lie, she would shrink while her eyes and nose grew bigger.
I wonder why that one lost its staying power.
hmmmmm . . . . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Forgotten Scary Stories

Do you remember the story about Werewolf Beard the 3 ft pirate?
That one was scary! ohhhhhh! I have goose pimples.

What? You don't remember?

It's a classic.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Words of Wisdom from a Master Jedi

Almost Halloween, it is.
Drive pets crazy, If you dress your them in costumes you will.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Helpful hints

If You're going to dress like a lobster, make sure the burner isn't on before you sit in the pot.
Beware of friends wearing lobster bibs.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Story Night at Chick-fil-A with Kelly Starling Lyons

Kelly had a GREAT Story Night at our Chick-fil-A!
SCBWI members Karen Lee and Gloria Glenn came to hear Kelly read.

She autographed postersKids flocked to hear her read.

Kelly and her new book "One Million Men and Me" was a huge success!

You can also check out our Kids Night blog for more photo's.
Great job Kelly!

Countdown to Halloween: More creative pumpkin carving

I've been sheltered all my life.
I had no idea. Ahh. . . the boundless limits of pumpkin carving.

Now I'm hungry .

Monday, October 8, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Creative Pumpkin Carving

All I can say is
Whoever thought if this is a genius.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Countdown to Halloween: Helpful hints

The Alligator costume: Perfect for those who want to hide in the bushes and scare the !@#* out of the Trick or Treaters after dark.

this Costume is also the safest choice for those Trick or Treating in the Everglades.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

SCBWI 15th annual conference.

This past weekend was the SCBWI Carolina's 15th annual conference. For a Children's writer this event is pretty much like Christmas only there's no decorated tree's, presents, relatives, or cookies, snow, reindeer, elves, flashing lights, jingle bells, carolers, horse drawn sleighs, reruns of "A Christmas Story" or long shopping lines. OK, so maybe it's nothing like Christmas, except that I was very eager for the conference to get here.

They had chocolate cake!

This is my critique group buddy Janelle. She doesn't really have pink braids, but we suspect this has always been her dream.

Oh look! Maybe it is like Christmas. See Santa in the back row? Thats me in the middle. I never realized until this picture how much I look like my brother.

That is me between two very talented people. Author/Illustrator Karen Lee, and Illustrator Leah Palmer Price. I guess I'm standing there hoping that the talent will rub off on me.

I didn't bring my camera, so the picture credits go to my dear friend and critique group buddy Ian Sands. Thanks for the pictures Ian!

I learned a lot about writing for children, enjoyed hanging with my friends, ate chocolate cake, dressed like a gypsy, babbled incoherently during my critique with editor Caitlyn Dloughy from Simon and Schuster and I drank lots of coffee. Can life get any better?