Shaking Loose the Sand in September

ImageEven though it’s been forever a long time not so long ago, really, that I went to school in September, I still get totally excited after Labor Day. I just want to go out and buy a bunch of pencils and sharpen them into really, really sharp points.

That is to say, I’m ready to get down to business. Thank goodness, I have a wonderful conference to attend in October and the presenters are zipping around on a blog tour right now. So any sand left between my toes (or in my brain) shakes out along the way.

Maybe you have a few grains of sand you’d like to shake loose. Follow along with me and get your pencils ready to take notes. 

And oh, look! Agent Jennifer Rofe from Andrea Brown Literary is going to be HERE on Friday! So y’all come back now, you hear? (Uh-oh. It appears a little Southern has slipped into my writing. I’ll work on that, too.)

Blog Tour Schedule:

Aug. 28            Author Matt de la Peña at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews

                        Editor Lou Anders at F.T. Bradley’s YA Sleuth

Aug. 29            Author Doraine Bennett at Jodi Wheeler-Toppen’s Once Upon a Science Book

                        Author Robyn Hood Black at Donny Seagraves’ blog

Aug. 30            MFA program director Amanda Cockrell at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog

                        Illustrator Prescott Hill at Gregory Christie’s G.A.S.

Aug. 31            Author Heather Montgomery at Claire Datnow’s Media Mint Publishing blog

                        Editor Michelle Poploff at Laura Golden’s Just Write

Sept. 3             Author Nancy Raines Day at Laurel Snyder’s blog

                        Author Jennifer Echols at Paula Puckett’s Random Thoughts from the Creative Path

Sept. 4             Editor Dianne Hamilton at Ramey Channell’s The Painted Possum

                        Author Janice Hardy at Tracey M. Cox’s A Writer’s Blog

Sept. 5             Author / illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews

                        Agent Sally Apokedak at Cheryl Sloan Wray’s Writing with Cheryl

Sept. 6             Agent Jennifer Rofe at Cathy Hall’s blog

                        Author / illustrator Chris Rumble at Cyrus Webb Presents

 

About Blogging: Just Do It (And Here’s Why)

ImageWhen I attend writer events, I bring along my cards and pass them out willy-nilly. The card’s pretty basic: my name and my website/blog. Invariably, I’m asked the same basic questions about blogging. 

What in the world do you blog about?

Why do you blog?

Do you really think blogging’s worth all that time and effort? 

So after nearly six years of blogging, I have my answers down pat. To wit: (And skip ahead if you’ve heard all this before.)

I blog about writing–my path to fame and fortune along that glorious, challenging road to publication. That’s what I said in my very first post and I think I’ve stuck to the topic. (Well, Fun Friday posts can be a little whack-a-doodle, but all work and no play make Cathy a dull girl.) So far, I haven’t run out of things to say about writing. Which isn’t surprising because I love to write. Isn’t that a serendipitous way to move on to the next answer?

I started blogging because I thought it was something serious writers did. And though I make my living, more or less, in writing funny stuff, I’m pretty serious when it comes to the actual writing. I didn’t know that I’d refine my writing voice, or that I’d meet so many other writers. I didn’t even realize that blogging was an exercise that was building my writing muscle. I’m kind of like that ugy duckling hack that turned into the beautiful swan writer. (Um…beautiful swan may be a stretch, but I’m going for the metaphor here, people.) Which brings me to my last answer.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t written that first blog post–and made the time to stick to blogging. And sure, there have been times when it was an effort to blog. I mean, I love writing, but sometimes, writing doesn’t love me. Pushing through has made me a more disciplined writer.

But maybe I still haven’t convinced you. Yes, you–the writer I meet who smiles and says, “I don’t know…it just doesn’t seem worth it.” Maybe you should read agent Mary Keeley’s post about writers who begin as bloggers. She makes lots of excellent points about the value of blogging.

But I think she may have left out one that’s not so quantifiable. Probably because it’s just impossible to measure influence.

It’s true that I wouldn’t be where I am today, writing-wise, without blogging. But I wouldn’t be where I am today, Cathy C. Hall, writer-wise, without each of the bloggers who’ve taken the time over the years to comment, encourage, to laugh or commiserate along this up-and-down path to publication.

So yes. A thousand words, yes. Totally worth it.

 

 

 

Did You Hear The One About …?

ImageYou know I love the funny. And I love writing the funny. So when I saw that the Greenhouse Funny Prize was back, I thought maybe the gods of writing fun were sending me a message. Something like, “Quit piddling around and write.” Or maybe even, “Step away from Plants vs. Zombies now.”

That’s a drastic message, friends. But the Greenhouse Funny Prize is pretty serious stuff, so it’s time for this funny writer to get serious. Because not only will the winner get representation at Greenhouse ( I met Greenhouse’s Sarah Davies at a conference and you can read all about her here and what she had to share, and honestly, when I re-read what I’d written, I kinda fell for her all over again.) but also…well, I think representation is quite enough.

Best news? You (and by “you”, I mean, lazy me) have till July 29th to get your sparkly, witty, brilliantly funny manuscript completed and sent. And you might want to check out John Cusick (of Greenhouse) since he’ll be doing the judging. 

Oh, yeah. It’s on, baby. And that’s no joke.