Chicken Soup Tips (The Books, Not the Food)

IMG_6754You know that old saying about March roaring in like a lion?

So, yeah, there’s been some crazy roaring over here, but I did have a moment–with a lot of help from a pair of writing buddies–to share tips on getting your story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book over at the Muffin. I call it, “How To Get Your Story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book.”

Catchy, right? But seriously, Sioux and Linda had some great advice, and why not? They’re experts in this genre of writing. You only need to follow their blogs to get a glimpse into their style and voice (but I’d pick up a couple of their Chicken Soup books if you want to really see how pros do it. Um…write, that is.)

Everybody has a Chicken Soup story in them but not everyone gets their story published. The competition is fierce! But if you keep at it–and especially, if you follow these great tips–you will succeed. And I hope you’ll let me know when you do succeed.

As for me, I’m fixin’ to roar off to our regional SCBWI Conference and a wedding and an authors’ reception and…whew. When’s that March lamb thing supposed to kick in?

A Very Inspiring Blogger? Me? Really? (Aw, Shucks)

blogger award badgeDon’t you just love surprises?

Um…I mean the good ones. Not like the surprises the dog leaves in the middle of the dining room floor.

Anyway, I found a lovely surprise waiting for me yesterday, over at Tina’s Tidbits, a delightful and informative blog from new writer friend, Tina Cho. It was the Very Inspiring Blogger Award(!) and as I’m old and will forget things if I don’t take action immediately I’m humbled to accept this award, here goes:

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award rules are:
• Display the award on your blog
• Link back to the person who nominated you
• State 7 things about yourself
• Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations.

So, let’s see. Seven things…

1. I work way more productively when I have a ton of things to do.

2. When I have all the time in the world– I procrastinate even more. (By playing online games. But they’re puzzle games so at least I’m staving off dementia, right?)

3. I decided to cut WAY back on Facebook for Lent. (It has not gone well.)

4. I seem to be lacking in depth perception. (Which makes for interesting driving at night.)

5. I’ve had a sign in my office that reads, “What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?” for five years. (I still laugh whenever I read it. I’m laughing now, actually.)

6. I love tuna fish salad. In fact, I think I’ll have it for lunch today. (And possibly the rest of the week.)

7. Whenever I get annoyed/frustrated/down re:my writing career, I remember how blessed I am to know so many wonderful writers (and now friends!), and I thank the good Lord for leading me where I always belonged.

And though there are hundreds of bloggers who inspire me every day, I think I’ll just choose the three who’re on my mind this day. (Three’s a nice number, right? Okay, fine. I’m also a wee bit lazy. I believe we already covered that–)

Debra Mayhew, whose blog posts somehow make me laugh and then kinda tug at my weary heartstrings.

Lisa Ricard Claro, whose determination and doggedness are fierce. Her writing’s pretty awesome, too.

Sioux Roslawski, whose insights also make me laugh out loud and then think, “Wait a minute…”

Thanks for the award, Tina! You made my day.

Friday’s Fun Find: Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think Positive for Kids!

2013-10-10 13.05.44Opening a box with books never gets old, but opening this box was especially fun. I couldn’t wait to read the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think Positive for Kids!

I knew a couple friends had stories inside, and it’s always fun for me to see a byline I know and read that story. Sioux Roslawski, who often drops in to comment here, had a story called, “Help By the Bagful” which just about had me in tears. Her story reminded me of an old Andy Griffith episode when Opie wouldn’t give his money to a charity fund. He was saving up for something special. Which just goes to prove that generosity doesn’t just happen in make-believe, but also in the hearts of little boys in Sioux’s class.

Writer friend, Beth Davis Cato (I mentioned her latest success last August) also had a story called, “I Pledge Allegiance.” Her 7th grade courage and patriotism was so inspiring, I got choked up all over again.

Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Think Positive for Kids will go on sale at the end of October. For that Fun Friday, I’ll have a book giveaway and tell you about my story. And maybe a few more encouraging stories. Honestly, these are such good stories–and even grown-up kids need to think positive!