It's called the "Honest Scrap Award," and, honestly, it took me a while to realize I had gotten it! Infact I received this award a while ago but I'm now just now getting around to posting it on my blog.
Anyway, as far as I can see it doesn't have a lot of "rules" like my previous award...so I guess I'll make up a rule. I'm going to nominate one person for this award...
I don't know her actual name, but I've been following her blog since she began following mine. Her blog isn't about writing, but she is a great writer and she has quite a tale to tell. She is in the process of writing a book right now, and she's following my blog to basically learn from my mistakes-which thrills me, since that was the original purpose of my blog. If anyone deserves an HONEST SCRAP award, she does. She's as honest as it gets.
In his great mercy and unfailing love, Jonathon has seen fit to nominate me for the "Creative writer blogger" award. Yes, I know I have 13 followers and I get on average about 1-2 comments a day on my posts (one of which is almost always from me). But that's not important right now.
The important thing is that I have been graced with an award that I choose to believe is the greatest, most sought after award the internet blogging community has to offer.
Here are the rules to this award:
-Thank the person who gave you this award and link them. Thank you, Jonathon.
- Add the award to your blog.
-Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and one truth.
1) I also dated Mar'quinn. What a cheating bastard!
2) I wasn't potty trained until I was 16.
3) I scoff at dairy queen.
4) I can shoot pennies out of my fat rolls.
5) I have a legion of squirrels at my disposal.
6) I used to be a doctor that looked at people's insides and said "hmmm. Interesting..."
-Nominate six creative writers and link them:
1) Pauline Thomas. She has actually given me the "Honest Scrap" award which I am going to post tonight. She is actually getting PUBLISHED, so everyone give her a visit and support her on her quest to eat something other than Valutime cheddar cheese.
2) Melissa Lind. One of my PB critique partners. Girl has done everything you can think of. Seriously. Go to her site if you don't believe me. She can probably get out of a prison with a tic tac. Macgyver style. She's a amazing writer and illustrator. Technically, she's not a blogger. But this is MY award and I can give it to whoever I WANT! bwahaha. Plus, I have limited people to choose from ...but obviously, don't let that take away from the experience of being nominated!
3) Wendy. Yet another blogger on a quest to become published. She's been with me since the birth of my blog.
4) Michelle. I am in the process of critiquing a PB for Michelle. I'm impressed with her "sticktoitiveness."
5) Tina Laurel Lee. She's a fellow writer who's been following my blog for some time now. Not only that, but she actually offered to pick up my child.
6) Heather Kelly. I've been following her blog thanks to Jonathon. She probably has no idea who I am because I've been cyber stalking her ever since reading her interview with Jonathon. This award will decidedly freak her out.
My writer's block has been cured! Just came up with an awesome outline for my new PB and now I'm on a roll, thanks to Jonathon and this creepy little man on my left. If you need inspiration, feel free to claim him or pass him along to another writer suffering from writer's block.
So as I mentioned to you all in my last post, I start submitting Sally Circle this week. Well, maybe. I haven't done it yet. The idea of it freaks me out. Don't get me wrong, I have spent countless nights on this story. I've had it critiqued by about 10 people. I've revised it until it is what I consider to be perfect. I've also had my cover letter critiqued. But sending my baby out into the world after I've polished it...that's scary. Plus I'm giving myself time. I haven't read it in at least 4 days. I'm waiting a while so before I send it, I can revise it one more time with fresh eyes. Make sense? If there is one thing- no matter how tiny- at the last minute that bothers me, the submission process will again be delayed.
How ironic is this? Those that have been with me from the beginning know that I had no problem sending out a completely un-critiqued, unpolished copy of it at the end of December. I sent it out to about 5 publishing houses. I haven't heard back from one. I still think, in the back of my mind...wouldn't it be hilarious if, after all these revisions, someone actually wanted to publish the original?! Truly, I know that won't happen. But funny thought, anyway.
Anyways, I was totally new to the publishing process at the time and I had zero idea what I was doing. But the minute I had some online writer friends slap me upside the head, I have since given Sally about 25 different makeovers and now I'm afraid to debut her. Wow, have I gone in the opposite direction.
I will let you know when I do actually send a copy out. You know, when I get the nerve. In the meantime, I've got a few different picture book ideas floating around in my head. I've put up a poll with these ideas- and I want you to vote on your favorite.
So on Sunday afternoon my 17 month old son, Jacob, fell on the playground and twisted his ankle. Since then, homeboy refuses to walk. Nevermind the fact that it's not swollen, not bruised, and when he doesn't realize it, he can put all of his weight on it without a problem. AGH! How do I break through this psychological barrier so he can realize that he can, indeed, WALK?! Frustration.
On a brighter note, this week I begin submitting "Sally Circle." More on that later...
It's happened. Children's literature has now invaded my dreams. I actually dreamed last night that an agent from Andrea Brown (you know, where I was rejected) tracked me down at a bookstore of all places, where they asked me if they could make my poem into a jingle for a toothpaste ad. Luckily, I stayed true to myself, and only allowed them to use it for tire sales.
Do any of you other writers ever feel like you're becoming completely absorbed by all of this? The other night my husband asked me if I was going to write (the kids had gone to bed) and I said, "Oh, no I'll take a break tonight. I'm just going to check something."
Boom. 4 hours later I got off the computer and my husband had gone to bed. To me, it was like no time had past. It flew by. I looked at the clock and I couldn't believe it. Luckily, my husband is extremely supportive and he just let me do it since I have literally no time during the day.
The thing is, I can't open up my document unless I'm prepared to work on it...and once I get working on it, I need time to work on it. Which basically eliminates all hours of the day, unless the kids are napping. Night time is the only chance I get- unfortunately, I'm not a night person. Go figure.
So freaking tired. I stayed up until 1 a.m. editing Sally Circle and now it's on like it's 12th round of critiques with the critique group. The thing is, every time I think I'm done with editing, I send it to them to critique- then I find something else that needs to be changed, so they all end up getting like 12 different copies of it. Poor people!
Hopefully it won't be long until you can join me on my submission process. And then stick with me on the waiting part while I find another new story to work on :-)
I have to admit, working on something other than Sally Circle sounds so appealing!
As promised, I am going to commit today's post to rhyme- hopefully helping some PB writers out there who are struggling with it.
I have been writing rhyme all my life (just for fun), but I had no understanding of the technical aspect of it. I still don't have a firm understanding, if I'm honest. But because of some of the helpful resources that I've listed below, as well as some wonderful God-sent members of my critique group, I have finally gotten enough of a hold on it to finally revise "Sally Circle" and hopefully submit it by the end of the month!
Here are some links that I have found to be OH-SO-HELPFUL, given to me by some amazing followers/friends.
(This is a website with a VERY large list of resources that can help).
I'm sure there are a lot more, but I want to encourage everyone to take a look. I swear I thought that as long as my rhyme flowed when I read it, it was okay. Then I discovered the world of un-accented/accented words, etc. and I realized how much more there is to it. When Melissa first tried explaining the "rules," I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and, if I'm honest, I felt like an idiot. But it just took me some time to get my head around it and now I can say I'm a much better writer after doing my research and really, really trying. Now I feel like my RHYMING PB has a fair shot at getting published!
As I'm sure you all have read, yesterday was basically a comedic nightmare. Well, you have to laugh so you don't cry, right?!?! But also, in the past few days, I have gone from 7 to 10 followers!!! yes Yes YES!!!
Thank you all for joining me!!! So excited about that.
Also, on a very bright note- I have finally 'figured out' what I need to do with Sally Circle. As some of you know, "Sally Circle" is a rhyming PB of mine that I've been having critiqued for the past month. I realized, after a while, that my rhyme wasn't in perfect meter, so with the help of my amazing critique group and some self-study, it finally clicked today and I'm hoping I'll have a new, revised, metrically sound version of it complete by this coming Monday. Yes, I've given myself a deadline.
Although I think (I hope) it's clicked, I am still staying AWAY from rhyme for a long, long time. There is so much involved. Obviously I cannot rely on my sense of rhythm alone. I have learned so much since starting this blog and joining a critique group- I cannot even believe it!!! I am slowly becoming a better writer and my hope of becoming published gets stronger every day! Thank you to all my old and new followers- you guys are the best!!!
Tomorrow I'm going to put up a post about RHYME- for those of you that are dealing with, or want to delve into, writing a rhyming picture book. Come join me in poetic hell!
I lay down my son for a nap and lay in my bed with my daughter to watch some of her t.v. shows.
11:30 am (ish)
I fall asleep with my daughter (who is 4, by the way) on my bed.
I wake up and notice that it's really quiet. My daughter is no longer in the room with me. I think she's playing hide and seek.
I search the house, calling out her name. My son wakes up and he's soon attached to my hip. I'm concerned.
I search the house again, with my son, and then I look in the garage, in the backyard, in the front yard, and even in the car. Starting to panic.
I know that she would never leave the house without me, but I start to think that maybe she got up the courage to walk to her friend's house, so I jump in the car and go a couple of blocks up the street, calling her name.
I get to her friend's house and pound on the door. Nicole (her friend's mom) answers and I practically shout "WHERE IS ABI?!?!" She says she doesn't know. FULL BLOWN PANIC has now set it and my mouth and throat go completely dry.
I call 911 on my cell phone. Someone answers, sounding impatient and rude. I tell them that I can't find my daughter and they dispatch some local officers to my home. They tell me to go back to the house so I'll be there when they arrive. Nicole comes back with me.
Nicole searches the house with me and can't find her. I'm hysterical now. I freak out Nicole's kids. I think that someone has come into the house and abducted her. Nicole rounds up some neighbors to drive around the neighborhood and she sets off on foot. I'm left at the house.
Local dispatcher calls. Gets a better description of my daughter. Stays on the phone with me until...
The police arrive. There are three of them and they are huge. They ask me what happened and then say "Where is the very last place you saw her?" I tell them my room. They go upstairs.
"Ma'am, could you come up here please?" Terrified, I pick up my son and walk upstairs. Panic attack still happening. I get to my room and the officer says...
"Would you be looking for that pretty little thing underneath all that laundry? She's snoring!"
No exaggeration guys, that's just how it happened. I learned two things from this.
1) Nothing is more important or precious to me than my children.
...from "Sally Circle" this weekend -and going back to it with fresh eyes on Monday. I think that's my main problem at the moment- I've gone through it so much that it's starting to not make sense anymore.
I had someone in my critique group critique it (who hadn't previously done so) and she had a wealth of information about how rhyme should go...which, basically, isn't how my rhyme goes. So I've spent yesterday and a large part of today reading about meter and rhythm, etc. Some of this stuff is pretty complex. What ever happened to simple, fun, and easy rhyme? Nope. It never existed. I guess I just made that up.
In any case, I'm taking a break and trying not to feel discouraged.
Thank you so much for sending SALLY CIRCLE for my consideration. Unfortunately, this project isn't a fit for me or the agency. Rhyming texts are very problematic right now. A lot of editors aren't buying them. If you want to see what kind of rhyme is selling, take a look at BUBBLE TROUBLE, LITTLE BLUE TRUCK or recent Caldecott Honor book ALL THE WORLD. This is really the caliber that I need to see before I can take a rhyming project on.
As you know, these decisions are highly subjective, and another agent may have an entirely different opinion. After all, it takes just one "yes" to find the right match. Thank you again for thinking of Andrea Brown, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a good home for your writing.
Thanks! Mary Kole Associate Agent Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.
I seriously do appreciate the fact that she took the time to write me back. I think their website basically says that won't happen so I was surprised. Unfortunately, what she says doesn't bode well for me. Oh well- all I can do is keep trying. She's right..it is subjective.
But listen here, world of agencies. I am a mom to a 1 1/2 year old and a 4 year old. I have been buying and reading picture books for a while now. The vast majority of what I read to my daughter rhymes. Go figure.
Last night I got out my trusty 'Children's writer's and illustrators market 2010' and sat down with a highlighter and marked every publishing company that would possibly consider "Sally Circle." There were a few- what seemed to be- perfect matches, so I'm excited about that. All in all, there's roughly 18 that I can send it to. That's not including the few that don't accept simultaneous (multiple) submissions. I guess if none of the 18 want it I can try them too :-)
I'm currently having my cover letter/ms critiqued yet again (another round). Excuse me for being totally paranoid after the first submissions disaster! Wish me luck guys...
Last night I also ate the chocolate that I had bought for "Ms. Patty's" valentine's day gift (Ms. Patty is my daughter's preschool teacher). Oops. That was a low point in my life.
I have stopped attempting to bring traffic to my blog. I figure "if I build it, they will come." HA! We'll see about that. In any case, I've got a few loyal followers that give me awesome advice and I'm sure that others drop in occasionally...I think I'm doing well with this blog thing, y'know, seeing as I've never even had a blog before! More than anything, this blog kind of holds me accountable. I've always had a hard time finishing what I start and this blog is helping me!!! Seriously, I need all the help I can get!
Well, to date I've had "Sally Circle" critiqued by 5 people and now I'm having people tell me they think it's perfect...does that mean it is? I've revised the hell out of it and I'm ready to be done! I also think it's about 100 x better than it was before. Now on to get my cover letter critiqued I suppose. Tonight I'm going to go out and buy the new edition of the Writer's and Illustrator's Market. I have an old one (like 2006- yep, obviously no good).
I think I'll spend tonight highlighting all the places that would be a perfect match for my manuscript.
The thing is, I sent my original out to 6 publishers and I'm getting so anxious that I have already exhausted all my possible "perfect matches." I just hope there are a lot of good publishers (that accept unsolicted ms) out there that are a perfect match. I'm becoming paranoid because I'm so close. But, even in the worse case scenario, I can always just keep writing and try re-submitting the new and improved "Sally Circle" to those same publishers in a year or so (or more). Crap. Again, this is what this blog is for. Learn from my mistakes.
When you think your manuscript is perfect...it probably isn't. Not yet, anyway.
Could Valentines day be a money-driven plot by the government used to conveniently put all of us fatties in a chocolate-induced coma while they invade the world with space lasers and implant mind-reading micro chips into our pets' minds?!
Hi, I'm Dena...writer of randomness, lover of bathroom humor, and mommy to two gorgeous kids. Currently published online with Black Lantern Publishing as well as the May issue of "A Fly in Amber," an online e-zine. I'm still praying for a book deal! Click on my FACE for even MORE info about me!