Catching Up With Rhyming Picture Book Month, Sort of

I started April with the best of intentions.

I had a couple of rhyming children’s picture books and thought it would be a good idea to get some in-depth rhyming know-how from all the experts blogging over at Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo. And it has been seriously in-depth! You can’t sign up for the challenge at this point, but you can most certainly benefit from a read-through, no matter what kind of rhyme you write.

I haven’t had much time for the challenge–or even a chance at a read-through. Mom took a terrible tumble a week or so ago and I’ve been in Savannah, where I stayed at my parents’ house at the beach. But Dad had disconnected the Internet.

You do not realize how dependent you are on technology until you don’t have it.

Anyway, after a whirlwind of catching up–and honestly, there’s just so much information that one can catch up on after a week offline–I sent a post over to the Muffin where I was scheduled for April 20th. I’ll be catching up with the Beneficent Mr. Hall (and really, Mister Man is a good egg, and I should be happy that the house is still standing, but how does a body not notice a zillion sugar ants parading around the kitchen???). Next, I’ll be preparing for Holy Week, so I won’t be working for a few days. But I hope you’ll have a minute to check out my Easter post, “Finding a Writing Eggs-travaganza,” in between the deviled eggs and ham.

And if I could ask one more favor, if you have time to add one little thing to your list of intentions?

Please send prayers for Mom. Thank you.


Cathy-on-a-Stick Gets Her Day in the Sun

2009-06-01 15.44.22You might have noticed that I added a header up there for Cathy-on-a-Stick.

She still has her own blog, but honestly, I can barely remember to bring my glasses when I leave for adventures. Remembering Cathy-on-a-Stick is a whole ‘nother matter. And even when I do remember, it seems I’m always busy keeping up with work deadlines. I never have enough time for writing fun over at that pic-on-a-stick’s blog.

But I always find the time to bring Cathy-on-a-Stick to writer’s conferences. And today at the Muffin, I blogged about why.

Yep, she’s one bit of stick-y fun, out there in the writing world. Which is why I share those stories here, and also why she has her own page at Cathy C. Hall’s place. And now…wait for it…

She thinks she’s something on a stick.

The Importance of Now, Part Two

ImageSome of you may have seen on Facebook about Oldest Junior Hall and his trip to New Zealand. But there’s a whole backstory to Joey’s (the afore-mentioned Oldest Junior Hall) trip, so I thought I’d share that along with “The Importance of Now“. I wanted to include Joey’s story with that afore-mentioned Muffin post, but I ran out of space. So here are the rest of the words, another look at the importance of now.

Joey is big on seeing the world. And that’s all well and good, as far as broadening one’s horizons. But seeing the world requires a bankroll to finance the travel hither and yon. So about three or four years ago, after he’d successfully managed a trip to the Grand Canyon and back without falling into the Grand Canyon, he decided he would go on an even grander trip. And so he began to plan.

He had a good job that paid enough for him to live a comfortable lifestyle. But that wasn’t part of the plan. The plan was to save money, little by little, so that one day he could afford a grand adventure.

He brought his lunch to work. He lived in a basement apartment (it was a nice basement apartment but not exactly the kind of space that screams, “Really cool bachelor lives here.”) at a bargain basement rent. Way out in the suburbs of the ATL where it’s far cheaper to live. He continued to drive a somewhat beat-up car that already had well over 100,000 miles on it. He enjoyed activities and such on the weekends–I mean, he wasn’t a hermit or anything–but basically, he opted for a frugal lifestyle.

And to be honest, it was pretty funny, this crazy kid with his Ramen noodles and watching his weight so he could still fit into his clothes from high school (he just turned 29). But then, last summer, he announced his big plan to go to New Zealand. And not just go to New Zealand but to sort of live there, for like, a year.

It was something he’d always wanted to do, and day by day, little by little, he’d worked towards that goal. And then last week, he was off on his grand adventure. To New Zealand. Wow.

Of course we’ll miss him and his noodles. But holy Auckland, I was so excited for him! So happy for him as I hugged him at the airport. He’d actually done it.

There’s something in your heart that you want to do, too. Maybe it’s a grand adventure, maybe it’s writing a grand story. Or maybe it’s growing your own vegetables. It’s not so much what the dream is as it is starting the daily work to get you to that dream.

That’s the importance of now.


Three Little Words Can Make an Online Difference

ImageI plan to make a few changes around Cathy C. Hall and I don’t want you to panic. The worm’s not going anywhere.

Just adding a few tweaks here, taking away a few bits there.

And to think that it all started when I heard three little words. 

You’ll have to zip over to The Muffin for my post today if you want to know the three little words. And don’t blame me if you start making changes to your own website/blog. 

(Okay, you can blame me a little bit. But it’ll all be good when we’re done, right?)

What’s Harder Than Writing A Book?

ImageIf you said writing the pitch or the query or the synopsis, you win the prize. 

Um…I haven’t actually got a prize for you. But I do have help, so that’s sort of a prize, right?

Over at The Muffin today, I shared my quick tips for taming the three-headed beast of pitch, query, and synopsis. I even threw in an example or two, using Beauty and The Beast. (How clever is that?)

But one thing that I didn’t mention over at The Muffin is this: if you want to get good at writing the pitch or query, practice writing them. Use a novel you’ve just read–one that you loved. Or maybe even a movie. Then go back and take a look at your manuscript.

If you can’t figure out your pitch or query as easily, it could be because your story’s not quite focused enough. You might need to do a little fine-tuning in revision.

Um…sorry. That’s not exactly the prize you wanted, is it? But you’ll thank me later when you win a contract.