Was It Fast? I Thought It Was Fast.

Holy firecrackers! Half the year is gone already! (Imagine me running around, bumping into walls) It’s just…well, that was fast, wasn’t it? Kinda puts me in mind of Jodie Foster (at the end of this clip from Maverick):

BUT this year, I’m using my Super Duper Writing Notes Idea and boy, it’s been working like a charm! (If you’ve forgotten exactly what the Super Duper Writing Notes Idea is, you can read this post on getting organized.)

And I had this thought–sort of Part Two of the Super Duper Writing Notes Idea–that at the end of each month, I’d share some of the really good tips from the month, all in one handy post for you. But…uh…I’m not so sure that I followed through on that. Still, it’s never too late to implement a good idea, so herewith a few of the great tips (courtesy of my Writing Notes, June, 2015):

1. Over at the Creative Penn, “29 Books Every Writer Should Read” (So 29 is a lot, right? Maybe just pick a few that appeal to you, but it was a great comprehensive list.)

2. Melissa Stewart’s blog, Celebrate Science, a blog for teachers, parents, and those writers interested in tackling non-fiction (specifically science) offered “21st Century Nonfiction Conference” (A handout of books, by category, that you can use as mentor texts, or just take a look at, if you’re interested in giving non-fiction a try.)

3. Anne R. Allen with Ruth Harris (and really, they have SO much good stuff at this blog all the time!) share “Edits, Editors, Editing: The Secret Weapon of Every Successful Writer.” It’s just packed with info, so you’re going to need a bit of time to get through it all, but editing? That’s a skill you can take to the writing bank.

So, a good slate of tips and such and not too overwhelming, I think, to start off your July writing. ‘Cause this summer is zipping by fast. (I thought it was fast. Was it fast? I thought it was really fast.)

How Alert Are You?

file00025755561I’m over at the Muffin today, talking about alerts, thanks to my friend and author Beth Cato.

See, Beth recently released the second book in her series; it’s called Clockwork Crown. (I read the first book, Clockwork Dagger, a thrill ride of a steampunk adventure, so yeah, I’ve already added Clockwork Crown to my TBR List!) And she likes to keep up with mentions of her books through Mention–but I’d never heard of this search tool. So I did a little digging.

And that’s how I came to share information about Mention and a couple other sites that will send you alerts about your books. Or your name, or any other topic you might want to track. Because you don’t have to be a big-time author like Beth to keep tabs on what people are saying about you. Go check out the post and try an alerts service. And who knows? You could be all kinds of famous yourself!

Takes One To Know One

Yep, I do so love my inner grammar nerd. So when I saw this handy-dandy infographic from Grammarly, first, of course, I read it. Then I nodded whenever I fit the profile (I mean, the semi-colon? LOVE it.). And then I had to share it here for you, ’cause come on, y’all. You know you’re one of us.

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

(And P.S. I’d just like to say that I’m calling shenanigans on that age bracket business. 18-24 years old? I don’t think so. On the other hand, that would lend credence to the 50% who are single…)

Finding Something Friday: A Little Art in Unexpected Places

lunch_delivery_close_loresHave you seen David Zinn’s adorkable art? I do so love his characters–they make my heart smile. And as I flitted among his pictures, I began to think what great prompts they could be for a picture book or chapter book or even a middle grade book.

Or maybe just a poem.

The point is that if I had one of the Junior Halls with me and we came across one of Mr. Zinn’s brilliant chalk art pieces along the sidewalk, we’d spend the whole rest of the day, making up a story about it.

Need a little inspiration? Grab one of your juniors and take a walk through David Zinn’s website. Or maybe just take a solitary stroll through his street gallery. You’ll be telling stories in no time!

(P.S. He’s working on a book of his chalk art–successfully crowd-funded–to come out soon! Keep your eyes peeled for flying pigs near you.)

Stuck on Perspective (And Reading)

TheOceanattheEndoftheLane_Hardcover_1359996597I seem to be a bit obsessed with perspective lately, and I’m not sure why. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something?

Anyway, the universe (also known as the Tub Where I Get Ideas) told me to share my thoughts on Neil Gaiman and perspective over at the Muffin and so I did. If you’re feeling a wee bit overwhelmed by everything you need to do, marketing-wise, I hope you’ll take a look see.

To be honest, in the summer, I’m always struck with just the tiniest bit of ennui (which is just a high falootin’ word for my laziness, but still, it sounds so much better, right?). It’s not that I don’t want to write, per se…it’s just that I want to sit outside and read more. And so I needed inspiration and bless Neil Gaiman, he came through for me.

By the by, the book I mentioned in the Muffin post, The Ocean At the End of the Lane, is great summer reading (or anytime reading). And of course, Mr. Gaiman has a new book out, Trigger Warning, (Because he always has a new book out) and I have to read that, and naturally, when I was perusing his website and such (for research), I noticed a book or two I hadn’t yet read and I think the summer is the best time to catch up on Neil, don’t you?

Which is, I’m quite sure, the universe telling me that it’s okay to slow down a bit and read when there are wonderful books out there, waiting. So how about you, my writing friends? What books are on your Summer Reading List?