Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good News/Bad News

Bad news first: My kids just left for home. I miss them already. Their stay was too short, but the oldest grandson (8) was feeling poorly so they decided to leave a day early.

Good news helps overcome the separation blues: An e-mail was waiting for me in my mail. My article, "Traveler," has been selected to appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog. The book is available in bookstores September 22, 2009. Why don't you order one. You know you want to.

Happy reading and writing, all.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Fun

I am getting to be such a radio ham. It's so much fun. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 29, 10 AM Central Time. Six authors, including me, will be live on Blog Talk Radio Robin Falls Kids Story Time. We'll be reading from our books. I'll read one of my favorite scenes from Rebel in Blue Jeans. If you can't make the show, you can listen to it later at your leisure. The link is Robin Falls Kids Story Time. Leave a comment. Ask a question. I hope to see/hear you there. Thanks so much.

Oops! Forgot the call in # (646) 649-1005.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lessons from the Cat

You wake up late.

You're out of coffee.

You burn the toast.

You spill the milk.

The baby's fussy.

Your teenager is in a mood.

The dishwasher spews water all over the floor.

The deadline to hand in your story is today.

Your computer just beeps at you and dies.

The mail delivers three of your SASEs: no, no, and no thanks.

Do you ever have one of those days?

If, so, take a lesson from the cat.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The Humane Award--Paying it Forward

What a lovely way to start a week. I was pleasantly surprised today when I discovered that my sweet friend, N A Sharpe, awarded me The Humane Award. Thank you, Nancy, for this wonderful award. It's an honor I'll try to live up to. Friends, if you haven't visited Nancy's blog what are you waiting for? Click on her name. She covers such great topics you'll want to read them all.
According to the description, this award is to honor certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a regular basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world. And I would like to do so now. There are many, many I could list. These are just a few that I'd like to give this award to:

Donna M. McDine at Write What Inspires You
Cheryl Malandrinos at The Book Connection
Lea Schizas at The Writing Jungle
Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz at One Writer's Journey

Visit these blogs. I think you'll enjoy what you find there.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just Breeze

Another round of revisions for my young-adult story Just Breeze. Mostly small stuff. It's amazing to me, though, that no matter how many times I go through my work, something always escapes me. Thank heavens for patient and nice editors. I think I have the manuscript memorized now.

I'm looking forward to seeing the cover and will post it when it's available. I haven't a clue what it will look like. So I made a doll to show my idea of Breeze, sort of. She also has her own blog. I'm not sure what she's written there, because it's hers and you know how teens are. Very private.
Have a good weekend and keep your fingers crossed that I haven't missed anything on this last revision.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Firsts

Monday. Time to finish the story I started Friday about my first rejection. If you haven't read it, this one probably won't make sense. Or maybe it won't, anyway. But I hope you'll get a good laugh out of it and be able to face your own "not right for our publication" letters with a sense of humor.

When I opened the SASE with the form rejection and color slide inside, I had to laugh. The editor was rejecting the fire safety article, "Protect Your Family from a Fire" that I sent to the TV schedule magazine. (No name listed to protect the innocent.) I laughed, you see, because the magazine had published this very article a couple of months earlier. The two copies the publisher sent me were on my bookshelf. I'd cashed the check for payment and the stub was framed, along with the acceptance letter, as a reminder I was now published. True, they had drawn an illustration rather than using my slide, but the article was in the magazine. I'll never know what happened. It doesn't matter.

So my first rejection was also my first sale. This makes for a good topic when I'm speaking to a group. It also has shown me the quirkiness of the publishing world and to be ready to expect the unexpected. I think that's good. Laughing helps me put those generic letters in their proper place and not stress over them.

How about your first sale? Do you have special memories of that letter that says something like:
"I am pleased to inform you...?"

I'd love to hear your story.

Happy reading and writing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Reflections

If you've been writing and submitting stories and/or articles for any length of time, you likely have received in the mail one of those dreaded "form" letters or postcards or emails from an editor. Most of them go something like this:

Dear Writer:

Thank you for your submission to ________. I am sorry to say _______ cannot use it at this time. I'm glad to have had this opportunity to review your work, and I wish you the best in your writing.

The Editors

It seems a lot of people have the same name (Writer). But sometimes there is a funny side to the story behind the "rejection." I really hate that word. I like to think of it as I just sent the manuscript to the wrong address. Anyhow, here's reflecting on my first "wrong address" letter. It does have a happy ending, though you'll have to wait until next week for the rest of the story.

When I was teaching fifth grade science, we always talked about fire safety during fire prevention week. We had this neat program about having fire drills at home, the way we had them at school. I decided this would make a good article for a magazine, so I wrote it and mailed it to a small TV type magazine. My first submission. I wasn't sure what to expect. I waited and waited and waited. Nothing. You probably can relate to this.

Several months passed and then one day my SASE was in my mailbox, along with a color slide I'd sent and a form letter. My first rejection. It was also my .... Tune in next week for the funny part.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Please share your "firsts."