Writer on a Horse
And a Dog

The world looks better from the back of a horse and the roads of life are easier with a good dog beside you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Planning...somebody has to do it

Look at this great picture... what do you see? Peace? Beauty? I see planning. Somebody many, many years ago planted those trees in a straight row, perfect spacing, and just close enough to form a enchanted cape over the road. I also see pride, yesterday and today... notice how manicured the grass and fields are. Did the person who planted those trees do it for themselves or did they what to leave something of beauty for future generations? What will you be leaving behind? I hope I leave a little wisdom for my grandchildren, lots of love in the form of memories and a little beauty in my writing and quilts.

A little early but what the heck!

BOO! October is the just about month. Summer is just about gone, fall is just about here, you're just about ready to start Christmas shopping and families are just about ready to make plans for the holidays. Sorry Sheila, but your birthday is just about in another month and Amy will I can't come up with a just about but Happy Birthday in ten days.
Don't just about finish that novel or don't just about enter that contest. Make October the "Git-r-done!" month. For all you non Larry the Cable Guy fans... if there is such a thing :) The is pronounced Get her done. hehehehehe...snort

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As the year rushes to a end... have you met your goals?

Don't feel like you are fenced in when it comes to goals, you are not a failure if you don't reach them. Goals are important because they keep us grounded in purpose and are like road signs to show us which way we need to go. My biggest road sign this year has been detour.. but those unknown treks to get back on track have helped me to realize how important my goals are. Am I rambling? Friday will be Oct 1st and in three months we will be making new goals for 2011. If you have not reached you goals for 2010 get motivated to reach them. If it's impossible to get there before the end of the year... incorporate them into next years goals.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What happens if...

An agent at the conference this weekend talked about keeping the reader on the story path... that it was the writer's job to not let them get off the path. I understand this and have often wondered why books I read go in two directions. It's confusing and unsettling not to be sure which one to take. I'm sure the writer doesn't mean for this to happen but I think they know their story so well they just don't see the fork in the road as a problem. They know the way to the end. I'm going to look at my manuscripts with new eyes. I don't want anyone reading my stuff to see a fork in the story line and not know which way to go.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Look out Nashville here we come

This weekend I will be attending the Mid-South SCBWI conference in Nashville, TN. Three weeks from this weekend, I will be attending the SouthernBreeze conference in Birmingham, AL. Why am I spending my money and time to attend two conferences within a month? I try to interact with writers at least four times a year. I attend SCBWI workshops, go to the Killer Nashville (which I didn't get to attend this year and everyone said it was great) Springmingle in Atlanta, Ga and the conference of Mid-South and SouthernBreeze. Here is an article I wrote a few years ago for an e-newsletter.

I’ve attended several conferences and workshops in the last few years and have found that the information gained at each one has been helpful to improve my writing. As a member of the Society of Children Book Writers & Illustrators, I keep up with local conference information at www.scbwi.org. Check out their site, you don’t have to be a member of the SCBWI to use the site or to attend conferences sponsored by local SCBWI chapters.

What should I wear when I attend a conference?

You should wear something that is comfortable. You wouldn’t wear jeans or shorts but you don’t have to dress formal. I’ve always wore dress slacks with a nice shirt and jacket or a sweater. I’ve seen attendees in dresses or suits with high heels and I’ve also seen jeans and t-shirts. Remember you want to present yourself as a professional and should dress to project that image. In my opinion, the most important item of your attire should be your shoes. Wear shoes that are easy on your feet because you will be walking a lot.

What should I bring with me to a conference?

Pen, paper, business cards, and a smile are all you need to have a wonderful experience. I did not know anyone at the first conference I attended, but the regional advisor and the conference coordinator greeted me at the front door then introduced me to members of their chapter. I remember how I felt that day, so when I attend a conference I make a point of looking for anyone sitting alone or looking lost. A simple hello can change a person’s conference experience. Just remember every author at the conference, published or unpublished, started at the bottom and worked up. Mingle and network because you never know when a conference contact will help you in the future.

What is the purpose of conferences?

A writing conference is like any other conference, where people that are interested in the same thing get together to learn. Authors, educators, publishers, and editors are the instructors of mini-workshops that last about 50 minutes. There are usually three or four sessions at one time, so you need to study the schedule and attend the workshops that will be helpful to you.
I would suggest that you have questions ready to ask the speakers. Every conference I’ve attended has had a workshop where an editor or publisher takes you step-by-step through the manuscript submission process. This would be the perfect workshop for beginners to get those nagging questions answered by an editor or publisher.

At a conference this fall in Birmingham, Alabama, I met Marilyn Edwards editor of Hopscotch for Girls, Boys’ Quest, and Fun for Kidz. She didn’t have two heads or a rejection stamp in her hand ready to use. She was wonderful. She talked to us about how she hates to reject good stories that don’t fit the magazines theme list. Authors should always check guidelines and theme list before submitting to children magazine publishers.

Conferences are like critiquing groups or college classes, if you go in with an open mind and soak in all the information available, you will have a great time. If you don’t mingle and interact with the other attendees, you probably won’t benefit for the experience.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Beginnings

Most of the time, I don't like new beginnings. I don't like change in general, not because it isn't good... but I'm one of those people that have to know everything around me.. how it works, why it works, why it is better than the old way, and IMPORTANT point have to keep so of the old way. :)
Now new babies, new friends anything that deals with the heart I'm for and I say the more the merrier. So here I am "deep sigh" taking the first step into my new life of writing ... I will write on Burning Bridges every day and meet my goal of a polished manuscript by Dec 31 2010. The novel is finished but needs work.
I will submit at least once a month... I have all these stories that are waiting to go out.
Now if I could just make that old mirror reflect a new me I would be set.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Look for the beauty but see the flaws

When you critique a fellow writer's work... look for the good but don't ignore the flaws. I've never read a manuscript that I didn't see something good about it... and I always point out the flaws ... in my opionion which that and a dollar will get something off the dollar menu at McDonalds. I make suggestions to make the manuscript stronger...but I always say why I think they are flaws instead of "This just doesn't work". I know my flaws in writing.. I can't spell, grammar, using the word that too much, using the wrong word like metal or medal :) To name just a few.

Take this picture of my son's horse Daisy.
Beautiful right. Well yes she has a near perfect head but look at her mouth. Now here is my point, if I had not pointed out the parrot mouth (that is what it is called) would you have seen it or would you have just seen the beautiful lines of her head, jaw and how great the set of her ears are???
Your writing doesn't need to be perfect first draft, you can hide that slight parrot mouth in the show ring with a chain loop halter. Writers can fix problems in beautiful stories with critique groups and editing. Stop sweating the fixable stuff and write!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've jumped that fence of "Not Submitting"

I've not enter a contest in nearly two years. I've not submitted in over six months. I'm jumping that fence and getting back on track. I submitted three stories to Story-Time.com Here are the links to my stories. Vote for me if you have time.

http://www.short-story-time.com/cottonmouth-snakes-are-they-the-bad-boys-of-the-south.html http://www.short-story-time.com/chandlers-secret-weapon.html

Okay, I have my head up and my back straight. I see the next jump, I just need to look ahead and not look down. Come jump these fences with me. Get your work ready to submit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roll Tide Roll

Yaaa Whooo The Tide showed up tonight. Penn State's quarterback was awesome... I see a big future for him.
Yes, I watch football... yes I understand football... one small difference between my husband, son and me... I quilted while watching football. :)

I copied my niece's picture because it's so perfect

Here is a poem that I wrote on 9-11. Like most of America, I was in shock. My heart aches still today when I see images or even recall the things my country endured that day. I think that the wound still oozes, not from actions but from hate that has festered since that day. My God is forgiving and he tells me to put my troubles and burdens on him to free my spirit. Say a pray for the families of the victims of 9-11... I'm sure they still need them. Now remember I'm not a poet.. I just write my heart and it doesn't have rules or meter

I feel GODS tears today
He had no part of the tragedy on that September day
I’m sure his heart is breaking
To see so much suffering and so many lives taken
He watches the people of our nation grieving
Young and old watch the terror just not believing
That a man made with God’s own hand
Could cause such destruction in this land
Shattered families, dreams and hope
But trust in him and he’ll help us cope
I know that it’s hard to not ask why
That in a blink of an eye
Revenge could come from on high
But from the beginning his children have had
Free will, the choice to do good or to do bad
This was not an act from our loving father
But from a man that believes in another
To do such an act in the name of religion
Is painful to believe and that is the reason
God hangs his head and lets the tears fall
They flood the hearts and soul of all
His tears will give us strength and courage
His word will comfort and nourish
To over come this act of a mad man
We need to bow our head and fold our hands
As a nation we need to say
I feel GODS tears today

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall is less than two weeks away

That means that everyone will be starting the holiday crazy with family, food and friends... If we don't set writing periods that we stick to... will we write? I'll get writing done after the kids go back to school, after the holidays, after,after... I have a goal with my novel and the good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise... I'm going to make my goal this year. See ya Dec 31st and let you know

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I know some of you will not believe this but

I'm sending a query and first three chapters of Burning Bridges out to a publisher... yep... sending my baby out into the world. It's time I spread my wings and fly... but...I'm scared of heights.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My butt hurts but I'm feeling great

Did you know that a quarter horse can do the Tigger bounce?? Well, Sandy can! This entire long hot summer I have been horse riding free. The horse I ride has been eating grass getting fat and sassy. We went for a ride today, well in truth we side stepped, bounced, crow hopped for three hours. I loved it!!
In the picture, Sandy is the one with attitude and Spur is the gray

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friends! What makes them so special?

I have writing friends and life long friends... the writing friends are fast becoming life long. What makes someone befriend the meanest woman from Zip City?? I believe that friends touch your heart in a way that bonds them forever. You might not look the same, talk the same, like the same things, but you hearts speak to each other. I don't have to talk to my friends everyday and I DO NOT text them everyday... why not?? I don't text. See Oprah, I could sign you pledge. Be a good friend and the rewards will be more than money can buy.