Summer Time And The Winning’s Easy

2011-05-25 09.50.49It may not officially be summertime yet, but I’m already on Summer Time.

I’ve already missed a deadline, completely forgot I was s’posed to bring a covered dish to my church yesterday, and found three messages, lingering on my phone. And that’s only the stuff I know about…

My brain seems to turn a bit mushy once my feet slide into flip-flops. So I’m not so good for the hard-core writing work but the fun stuff? Why, yes, thank you. And I thought maybe you’d like the fun stuff, too. Like these gems:

The Second Annual Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest for Children’s Illustrators over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s place. She always has lots of fabulous prizes and lots of fun at her contests, so if you have any illustration talent, give it a try. (Technically, I don’t have any illustration talent. But somehow, in the summer, I think I do. My friends in Margaritaville might have something to do with that…)

Anyhoo, here’s a contest that you don’t have to do anything. I mean, you have to zip over to Goodreads and you have to sign up, but that’s not asking too much when you consider you might win Lovely Lisa Ricard Claro’s debut romance novel, Love Built To Last. Then you can lay about on your lounge chair on your back deck, reading and wishing you had a hunky carpenter like Caleb Walker working on said deck, maybe leaning over you to get to his hammer, or losing his shirt because it’s just so dang hot, or…um.

Yeah, moving on to a contest where you can win another book, Power Elements of Character Development by Rebecca Luella Miller. So no uh…day-dreaming… with this one, but possibly your dreams of writing the most awesome, super fantastic book ever can come true if you win it! And all you have to do is write a Burma Shave type jingle. Which appeals to me because a. jingles are shirt short. And b. Well, I seem to have forgotten b.

See what I mean? Summer Time, y’all. (Good luck!)

How To Become a Writing Smartypants

ImageI finally cracked open Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers 2013 becausewell, I’ll let you read all about it over at The Muffin.

And because I can never get enough of how-to-write books (as you know by now if you read my WOW! post), I’m adding Jessica Bell’s Adverbs and Cliches in a Nutshell to the queue. Partly because of this lovely review by Margo Dill. But also because there’s a special WOW! deal going on now.

But you already know that if you’re a subscriber to WOW! Women on Writing. And if you’re not subscribed then quit reading right now and do it.

(Did that come off a little bossypants? I felt like it might be a little bossypants. I’m not going to change it, mind you. Just wanted you to know that I know. And when I finish reading all these books, I’m going to know even more.

Wow. It’s kinda scary, right?)

Friday’s Fun Find: It’s a Booksapalooza!

2013-03-07 04.48.47When I get home from a writer’s conference, I have a slump for a couple days. And I’ll tell you why: I always go with my hopes high and think, Yes! Some editor (or agent) is going to come up and say, “Cathy C. Hall, I simply MUST have your novel! And while I’m at it, let’s make it a three book deal!”

So far, that hasn’t happened. Thus, the slump. But after the slump, I go all Dreamgirls and start shouting, “Okay, people. I’m not going anywhere. I’m getting serious about writing these books now. Next time,” and here I shake my fist in the air, “next time, you’ll see. You-and you–and you, you’re gonna love me.” Er, my books.

Then I get busy. This time around, I had a lovely gift card from the Beneficent Mr. Hall that I whipped out and used to buy a couple books I’ve heard good things about, either at the conference, or from friends, or ’round the Internet.

1. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder…yes, it’s a screenwriting book, but it’s packed with interesting insights for the would-be novelist. Like  the hook and loglines and scenes. And I’m only on page 24.

2. The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson…although, as you may have noticed, I cut to the chase and purchased the workbook. I need exercises and examples to give me a push. But I suppose if I get to a point where I think I should’ve ordered the original book, too, I’ll hit up Mr. Hall for another gift card. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, right? (Look, I told Mr. Hall it’s a Savannah tradition, so I’d appreciate it if you’d just keep mum.)

3. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi…who knew emotions could be (sort of) quantified? I am loving this (Kindle) book. (heart pounding,  sharp intake of breath, eyes dilating)

Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ve got some reading to do, and honestly, I can’t think of anything funner I’d rather do on this Fun Friday. (Well, that agent/editor call might be more fun–d’oh. Now I’ve got to sing the song from Dreamgirls again.)

This ‘n That Thursday Looks at …(Whatever Could It Be?)

Okay, now. You know it’s going to be writing, right?  But such a lot of writing stuff you never imagined! So off we go! (See? I’ve just used TWO exclamation points in a row. That’s how excited I am.)

You know how you hear about something really great (five months ago) and plan to tell everyone about it but then you get carried away by your latest writing projects and maybe sitting outside on the lounge chair, reading a great book, and possibly watching entirely too many summer reality shows, and then you completely forget to mention it?

Um, yeah. So whilst talking to author and friendly mentor Karyn Henley at the Highlights Whole Novel Wokshop, she mentioned Holly Lisle’s workshops and writing books. (It must have made a big impression because I wrote “Holly Lisle” on a random page and underlined it twice.) And then the other day, the pushy helpful Amazon folks sent me an email espousing certain writing books and there was Holly Lisle’s plotting book for 99¢ (Kindle). So that sort of jarred my memory and I ordered it and then I went to her site and holy moly! TONS of helpful classes and books! Non-fiction, fiction, offered for whatever level of writer you are, and ridiculously reasonable. So there’s that.

And then I also forgot to remind you about the Chicken Soup From the Soul’s Married Life giveaway (from last week or so). You can read all about it at Get Your FREE Chicken Soup (For The Soul). And please post a comment there if you’d like to try to win a copy of this delightful book in the series. So there’s also that.

And finally, I forgot to mention (from yesterday) that I’d opined again about the arts and crafts festival, but this time I discussed What I Learned About Selling Books. It’s over at The Muffin so drop in there and get a few selling tips. (The lovely Becky P. mentioned some difficulty leaving a comment yesterday but I think that’s been fixed. Still, if you tried to leave a comment and couldn’t, please know how much I appreciate you!) So that’s that.

Whew. That was a lot of remembering to do this Thursday. So until the next catch-up Thursday, I’ll leave you with this: Happy writing! (See? I added an exclamation point, just for you.)