Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring is here!

Animated hydrant in Alberta District, PDX

Spring is finally here! Sunny skies, vibrant flowers and a delicious 60 degree temperature. Even the fire hydrants are waking up from their 'winter blues' hibernation and soaking in all the Portland beauty. Get outside and don't you dare blink...before you know it, summer will take reign.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah! Zip-a-Dee-Day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Attention young adult writers!

Do you have an unpublished, completed book-length work of young adult fiction?

Then submit the first 150 to 200 words to the "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest. Submissions are due Wednesday, April 9, 2014. See details at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog on the Writer's Digest website.

The top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by the agent judge Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc and 2) A free one-year subscription to

best of luck!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Doing my happy dance

That day I've been holding my breath so long for...has finally arrived. Picture it:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Doing my usual social networking morning routine (tweets, Google+ posts, and the like) before diving into my real work of playing with words. Email a friend the current status of my writing life: waiting to hear back on submissions for a picture book and two short stories, revising YA novel, and starting another short story.

Oh look - another email in my inbox that must be taken care of before I write (always the procrastinator). OMG. The subject line is Dark Heart Volume 2. The UK anthology I'd submitted my YA fantasy short story to back in March. Heart pounds, hands sweaty. Open message:

"We would be absolutely delighted to accept your short story 'Mirror Image' for Volume 2 of Dark Heart."

Heart still pounding, eyes zero in on "absolutely delighted" and, of course, I do my "I rule, yes, yes, y'all" happy dance jam at my desk.

Finally, I exhale. And then call my mom.

celebrate good times, c'mon! let's celebrate!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time: are you running out?

I'd always believed that when I no longer worked a 9-to-5, then I'd have all the time in the world to write. Almost two years have passed and I wonder, what do I have to show for it? By now I should be represented and have sold my first YA.

But life doesn't unfold exactly as planned.

In those dark moments, I'm a total failure for wasting so much time. But when I pause and really compare myself today to the me from two years ago, man, have I grown. My quality of writing; my writing community; my routine; my editing eye; my ability to face fear and keep moving forward... All of this would've taken an eternity with a full-time job.

Writing is hard. No sense in creating more pain by stressing over the days, weeks, and months that tick by. Yes, time is limited. But we have a choice on how to spend it. Sure, we all have obligations, but do you really need to spend another hour on social media or watching another craptastic reality show marathon? Focus on your craft instead.

Let go of judgments on how long 'something' should take. If you really love it, then spend your time doing it. All you have is now.

"tick tock ya don't stop, to the tick tick ya don't quit!"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why so serious?

photo credit Victor Maristane
My brain has been spinning nonstop around my YA novel, no matter how hard I've been avoiding it. In retrospect, some time away was needed.

I revised an old picture book manuscript and sent it out to several publishers. Then worked on a YA fantasy short story, followed by a humorous SF/F piece -- both helping me to fall in love with writing again.

And even though my mind is trying to figure out all that needs to be fixed, the procrastination has got to stop. I must sit down and revise. Not in my head, but on paper.

Like the Joker says, "Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face!"

So instead of turning this final revision into a grueling chore, I'm going to have fun with it. By letting go of any "musts, should's & have to's" and letting the words flow.

OK, enough chit chat. Signing off to write!

Write on!