All You Gotta Do Is Ask

I’m a blessed person when it comes to good writing friends.

I’ve met lots of delightful writers through the years–some of them, I know only virtually–and most of them have been or are delightfully supportive, generous, and kind. Not just to me but to a whole slew of writer friends. But when it comes to asking for my support (or I imagine the support of their whole slew of writer friends), they can be maddeningly quiet, or downright apologetic.

I expect it’s because, deep down in most writers, there lurks an insecure mass of quivering thoughts. The kind of thoughts that whisper, “You’re not much of a writer, and any day now, all your friends are going to figure that out.”

But maybe we need to start whispering positive thoughts. Affirmations. Remember Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live?

Yeah, that’s what we need to do. And then we need to “Ask (Writer Friends) and Receive”. (Um…It’ll make more sense if you zip over to the Muffin now and read my post about asking our writer friends for support.)

Taking a Moment to Remember

2013-05-27 08.27.45A couple years back, I wrote this post for Memorial Day. I hope you don’t mind that I’m repeating it–I figured I couldn’t really improve on these few thoughts:

On May 3, 2000, President Bill Clinton released a memorandum from the White House regarding the National Moment of Remembrance.

In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal “National Moment of Remembrance” on each Memorial Day. This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

Accordingly, I hereby direct all executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance (Program), to promote a “National Moment of Remembrance” to occur at 3 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day.”

I know you’ll be busy today. Most of you have the day off and I hope you’ll have a lovely day with family and friends. But maybe at 3:00, you’ll remember to say a prayer, or just a heartfelt thank-you.

It only takes a moment.

Don’t Be a Libby

So I just spent 5 days at the beach.

I never actually made it to the beach. But there was all that driving to get down there, and the fixing of the flat tire once we got there, and the flowers to pick out and buy and plant and deliver and the great seafood to eat and the bands to give a listen and so today–today–I just wanted to pull a Libby:

2015-05-19 13.25.33

(Libby goes to stay with Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Cappy and their four dogs whenever we take a trip. And when we get her back home, she lays about, pretty much like the above for…oh, a week or so.)

But I’ve got a revision that ain’t gonna write itself. Still, I needed a little more motivation than a dog picture. So I decided to review Pixar’s Practically Perfect 22 Rules of Storytelling to just, you know, get the old gray cells working again.

And right off the bat–

Rule #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

I was like, yes. This. This is what I need to keep in mind as I tackle the revision, as I strive to keep this 12-year-old protagonist…well, twelve. So how about you? If you have a minute, read the 22 Rules and let me know which one resonates with you.

And if you’d rather just pull a Libby, well, maybe keep that to yourself.

How To Grow A (Writing) Idea

An idea that didn't quite work--apparently, you can't grow a working writer, no matter how many Cathys-on-a-Stick you plant.

An idea that didn’t quite work. Apparently, you can’t grow a writer, no matter how many Cathys-on-a-Stick you plant.

So the other day, I read a post (“Growing as a Writer”) by writer friend, Tina Cho. She had some lovely suggestions (and a very lovely analogy about plants and writing) and I’m sure you’ll find something that can help your writing grow when you give it a read. As for me, I found a little something extra.

See, I’d read her thoughts and posted a comment, adding that I believed you also needed patience for good writing (and a beautiful garden). Then I took my shower and started thinking about my upcoming Muffin post.

The one that looked more or less like a blank page.

Um…yeah. But all that hot water pouring over my head and Tina’s post that was still bouncing around up there and my own comment mixed in with it…well, pretty soon, I had an idea. You can read for yourself if you zip over to the Muffin for The Writing Waiting Game.

A little water, a little fertilizer from a friend’s post, and whoosh! That’s how you grow a lovely idea.

(Thanks, Tina!)

Friday’s Fun Find: Tweet Your PB at a Pitch Par-Tay!

file000644253440So you usually write (novels, essays, poetry), but you’ve got this really (quirky, funny, sweet) picture book, and gee, you’d just like to put it out there and see if it’s (awesome, marketable, stupid).

Well, wheeee! June 24th is your lucky day! It’s the #PBPitch Twitter Party!

Now, if you’re not on Twitter, then here’s a little motivation (and plenty of time) to get crackin’. And if your PB is not quite up to submission standards, then you also have plenty of time to get crackin’.

So polish up that pitch and let’s put on our party animal hats, y’all! (Seriously. I want that hat.)