Rejections. Bleck.

You’d be proud of me.  I didn’t stomp on my husband’s toes when he read my most recent rejection letter and said, “Your rejections are getting better and better.” 

It is nice when an editor, especially one at the top of her game, takes the time to point out the positives in a manuscript. And the negatives.  (Darn those negatives. Darn.)

Thank you, Ms. Top of Her Game Editor.  You made my day. 

Patience Revisited

“If the person you are talking to isn’t listening, be patient.  Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”


Dutton and Dial Imprints Info

For my pre-agented writer friends:

Because so few larger publishing houses are open to unagented submissions, I take note of changes of personnel and policies.  Two of Penguin Young Readers “open” imprints, Dutton and Dial, announced in the January 27th PW Children’s Bookshelf the following, “Julie Strauss-Gabel has been named v-p and publisher of Dutton Children’s Books, effective immediately. She was previously associate publisher. Dutton will become a ’boutique middle grade and young adult imprint with a focus on titles of exceptional literary quality and strong commercial appeal,’ according to a statement from Penguin. The imprint will now publish 10-15 titles per year. Dial Books for Young Readers, under president and publisher Lauri Hornik, will expand from 50 titles to 75 titles per year, and will incorporate a number of authors and illustrators previously published by Dutton.” Hmmm.

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A Non-Children’s Book Recommendation? What’s Up With That?

I’m recommending Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah as a must-read for anyone with a website.  The book helps you understand how to get readers to your website using Google, blogs, and other social media.  It’s written in readible language so non-techies like me can easily grasp the concepts and put them to use immediately.  Read, go forth, and conquer!

Free MG or YA Edit by Deborah Halverson

Don’t miss this opportunity for a free substantial edit of your MG or YA manuscript by a true professional in the children’s book world. Freelance editor and writer, Deborah Halverson, is holding a contest for the edit. Even if you don’t have a manuscript ready to send by January 31st, sign up for the feeds from her incredibly helpful blog at Here is a blurb about Deborah from her blog:

Deborah Halverson is the author of the upcoming Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies (June 2011) and has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for over fifteen years. The books she’s edited have garnered awards and rave reviews, and many of the aspiring writers she’s coached have landed agent representation and lucrative book deals.

Good luck!

I Totally Get What She’s Saying…


Dear Sydney,

I’m glad you enjoyed my presentation.  I enjoyed being in your class. Except for when that boy decided to take the tarantula out of the terrarium and put it on Josie’s desk.  I must say her screaming was a little distracting…

“Handling the wait” is the hardest part of being a writer.  Really.  It can be very frustrating.  But, it teaches you how to be patient like nothing else can. Well, except for children.  When or if you have children, Sydney, you’ll really learn about patience.  Sorry… I’m getting off track.  If you like to write and want to be an author, you do have to get good at waiting.  But then you can add that to the list of things you are good at!

Go for it, Sydney!


A Really Good Waiting Person

In Revisionland

Over the Thanksgiving vacation, many people traveled great distances to visit family and friends. They wined and dined and reminisced about old times.  But not me.  Nope. I traveled right up to my office (OK, after a little yummy dinner and a very small glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay) to Revisionland.  In case you aren’t familiar with this place, it’s an alternate dimension where time does funky things.  The hours can drag mercilessly and my flattened bottom complains (“Just stand up for a minute, would you?”) or the minutes whiz by more quickly than is possible to comprehend (“What? I’ve worked on this transition sentence for two hours? How can that possibly be?”). It all depends on how the words flow — and how quiet the rest of the house is.  If you are a writer, you understand this strange place.  You’ve traveled here, too.     

Thanks for the reminder, Thomas

There are no rules here.  We’re trying to accomplish something.”
                                              — Thomas Edison

I ran across this quote today and boy, was it timely.  It was just the slap in the face I needed when writing the first draft of a new story…

Superior Hills Elementary School Visits

I so enjoyed meeting the 4th graders at Superior Hills Elementary School.  They were respectful listeners and thoughtful contributors to our conversation about writing, reading, and animal adaptations in the winter. Thanks for the opportunity to spend time in your school.  Remember, if you can think, you can write!