Catching Up Is Hard To Do

With apologies to Neil Sedaka. (On the other hand, I’ll never get this song out of my head now. So we’re kind of even.)

“They say that catching up is hard to do…

Now I know, I know that it’s true.

Don’t say shut up and begin–

Instead of catching up I wish that I was all caught up again.”

So, I’ve been sort of missing for the last week. I applied to the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop and got accepted (Wheee!) And they offered me a scholarship, too. (Double wheee!) But then I kind of had to say I’d go (Fly on a plane all the way to Pennsylvania–eeeeek!). Plus I had to send my novel to my reader (Uh-oh.)

See, I had to make a few small changes in that novel before I could send it off to a Big, Important Editor Person. Changes in, oh, I don’t know…the goals and stakes.

Just for the record, I do not recommend making goals and stakes changes on a 60,000 word novel in 7 days. It’s doable, but only if you do the following:

1. Skim your emails, reading ONLY those that require immediate attention (roughly translated to “money is involved”.)

2. Dash through Facebook, skip Twitter, and ignore blogs (By the way, happy belated birthdays, y’all!)

3. Leave loved ones to fend for themselves (But do not be surprised if a. a Junior loved one shows up with a tattoo and/or fourth ear piercing because you said “uh huh” while you were typing and “talking”  on the phone or b. you have gained 6 pounds because your wonderful spouse offered to take care of the cooking. And by cooking, I mean “picking up tacos and/or  pizza” every day. P.S. You haven’t noticed you’ve been eating tacos and/or pizza every day.)

Now, I have a ton of catching up to do…emails to attend to, blogs to read, friends to (virtually) see, and all that other writing and reading that’s been waiting for me. Not to mention the matter of six extra pounds.  But still…

“I beg of you, don’t say goodbye!

Let me give this whole thing one more try.

Come on, y’all, I’ll start anew…

But catching up is hard to do.”


Finding Inspiration from Chautauqua (And a Giveaway!)

Every year, I think this is it! I’m going to jump on Chautuaqua (figuratively speaking) and get that Highlights Foundation scholarship and go! And every year, I check it out after the deadline. And worse, around this time of year, I start hearing from writers who made the deadline, and attended the workshops, and HAD THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES.

Pffft. At least this year, my friend (and writer) Gail brought back goodies from Chautauqua and is sharing the wealth!

She’s been sharing the wealth of information she gleaned from all the presenters over at her blog, but today, she announced her contest, where she’s giving away SIX books!  Books about writing for children and novels for children, too. All you have to do to win this awesome stash of books is check out her blog (with all the details). But you’ll also want to check this post where she gives tips from Julie Agnone, Vice-Pres of National Geographic for Kids. And you’ll want to read what authors Kathi Appelt and Kim Griswell had to share, too. You know what? You’ll probably want to read all of her Chautauqua posts.

Because reading about Gail’s adventure (and winning the books!) is a lot easier than remembering to sign up for that scholarship!

(And P.S. If you tell Gail that I sent you over,  I’ll get an extra point or two. Um, I hope you can remember that!)