What’s The Word?

DUSTY  VINTAGE KEYBOARDGosh, another year? So soon?

I mean, dang. I’m still pondering. Though there’s one word–challenge– that keeps circling around in my head. I’ve pondered quite a bit on this word.

I’ve been so blessed this past year, seeing my books published, finishing a manuscript that not only I love but that my lovely agent, Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary, loves as well. I’ve enjoyed writing retreats and conferences and getting to know so many wonderful writers. Truly, a bounty of blessings.

And yet, I wonder if I haven’t got just a wee bit complacent, writing-wise. Sticking to the sure things, shying away from the scary challenges.

You see? There’s that word again: challenge. Perhaps that needs to be my word this year, as Margo Dill wrote about in her New Year’s post over at The Muffin. Her word is “organization.”

It just so happens that despite my lack of challenge last year, I did hit my stride in organization. You can find out how in The Best And Simplest Time Savers of the Year over at The Muffin.

So here’s to a year of words. May we find all the words–or maybe just the one word– to make 2016 a winning year!

What’s On Your Bookshelf?

ImageIf you read–or particularly write Young Adult novels, then you’ve probably heard about that article over at Slate. The one with this tagline:

Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.

Naturally, there’s been a tremendous backlash because…well, for various and obvious reasons. (Margo Dill over at The Muffin today shared her opinion, and it’s a fine one.) Mostly it all comes back to Graham’s remarks being offensive. Offensive in that elitist, snobbish, I’m-better-than-you-are-because-I-read-adult-and-meaningful-literature. But also, as any schoolkid can tell you, because nobody likes being told what they “should” read.

Let’s take a look at what’s on Cathy C. Hall’s bookshelf (or the floor, as I like to call it):

Margo Dill’s Caught Between Two Curses

Stephen Colbert’s I Am A Pole and So Can You!

Susan Spencer-Wendel’s Until I Say Goodbye

Nina Amir’s The Author Training Manual (Coming up this Wednesday on a WOW book tour!)

Suzanne Lilly’s Gold Rush Girl (Just finished! See my review on Goodreads.)

Becky Povich’s From Pigtails to Chin Hairs (next up on the e-reader)

So…that’s two YA’s, one picture book, two adult memoirs, and one non-fiction. And  you know what?

I will read them on a train. And I will read them on a plane. I will read them on the street. And I will read them in bare feet. I will read them here or there. I will read them anywhere.

Because I’m an adult. And I read what I want.

(Have you got a read you’d like to recommend? Tell us what’s on your bookshelf! And you can sound off, too.)


Speaking of Zombies

ImageWe were, weren’t we? Or maybe that was just me.

This weekend, over at The Muffin, I used zombies and other creepy things that go bump in the night to demonstrate a writing exercise I created from a sports show.

I know it sounds crazy, but as friend and fellow writer, Margo Dill, said, “This is a great guide for people planning their NANOWRIMO novels.”

And you’re starting to plan your NaNoWriMo novel, right? So why not give it a go?

(P.S. The writing exercise works for just about any form, short or long. But even if you’re between writing projects, there’s always the zombies and a couple good movie recommendations.)