Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Author: Nicole Borgenicht
Illustrator: Lisa M. Giffen
Book: The Kids of Dandelion Township - chapter book for kids
Publisher: Create Space
ISBN Number(s): ISBN-13: 978-1466466401 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
Author Website: http://www.nicoleborgenicht.com/
Illustrator Website: http://www.lisamgriffin.com/
Blog Address: http://lisamgriffin.blogspot.com/
Twitter URL: LisaMGriffinArt
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1175304813
Facebook Fan Page URL: http://www.blogger.com/goog_172339018
Nicole Borgenicht is a children's fiction writer. Her most recent picture book is The Bridge published by Publish America. Some of Nicole's other kid's stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Times Kid's Reading Room section, Stories for Children Magazine and LadyBug Flights Magazine. Additional works comprise poetry and essays, short stories, one act plays or articles in magazines such as Arts and Entertainment Skyline and American Fitness.
Monday, April 23, 2012
That being said, I ask myself many Questions ( q word) . Am I good enough? Do I have anything to say? Will anyone want to read the words I write? How do I come up with a twist or fresh angle to timeless topics? Can I succeed? Can I earn a full time income? and the questions go on.
How many of you have the same questions? Unless you are a household name and have several books under your belt, you probably ask yourself the same questions and have the same doubts.
My advice is to Read, ( r word) and read more. I read many writing books but I also do pleasure reading in the genre that I long to write for. I have to push myself to read books in a genre that I don't like but I realize that is also the
Thursday, April 19, 2012
A writer uses words to describe many items or actions and a word can have many meanings. Operation can mean several things including a surgical procedure, a military movement, the way a machine functions, or the way a group of people work together for the benefit of others.
This video clip offers a one minute view of the Grace on Wings operation. This is a group of medical trained volunteers and pilots whose mission is to bring a sick or injured client to a facility either closer to home or to one that can provide the needed extra medical care. It is the mission and it takes dedicated volunteers to keep the operation working smoothly.
Writers have a mission. They use the skills they've developed to keep the operation working smoothly. They search and discover just the right words to complete their operation. They study and hone the needed skills to provide the words the audience needs to read.
In essence, every person including a writer must find their purpose. What is your purpose as a writer? Let me know why you write... and it isn't just because you have too. You have other important reasons...or purpose to your operation as a writer. Find the word or words that describes your purpose and why you write.
For me: I write on topics that are difficult so the reader can dig deep and discover that others understand the universal feelings associated with each topic. I write to touch hearts. I write so the reader doesn't feel isolated with their challenges in life. I write because I care.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A mentor will guide without putting you down and will teach without taking over your thoughts. A mentor makes you a better writer and can offer advice and guidance in areas of publishing and marketing that you have not yet encountered. A mentor is a must, a good mentor. Join a writing group or club, find a critique group, look for a single writing friend.... but find someone who can be objective with your words and guide you in the right direction to improve your writing for publication.
N is for NOW. Find a mentor and move forward with your writing goals because one third of 2012 is already gone. Now is the time to take ahold of your writing goals and make it happen for the New Year. Take 15 minutes every day or a half hour every other day but make the time to WRITE. Then fit in the other aspects of a writing life around your writing time.
Short on time: here is an example of a writing schedule. It only takes 30 minutes three times a week.
Monday: 15 minutes to read a chapter in a writing book 15 minutes to take notes and list what you will write about on Wednesday.
Wednesday: Write for 25 minutes on the story that is closest to your heart. Take 5 minutes to outline where you will start next Wednesday.
Friday: 15 minutes to write a weekly blog post on your blog. 15 minutes to Tweet about your blog post and to visit one or two sites of other writers.
This is a very limited schedule and hopefully many of you have more time than this if you are serious about writing as a career, but for moms and full time employees, this gives you a great foundation to start working towards your writing goals. Thirty minutes three times a week, even if it giving up a lunch hour, can get you moving positively towards your writing goals. Try it and let me know what works and what you do to get your writing mo
Monday, April 16, 2012
L is for learning. As a writer you must constantly be learning. You need to learn to write better, learn to edit, learn to revise, learn about marketing, learn about publishing, learn about formatting, learning about E-books and what it takes to write one.... the learning never stops. And you need to learn about topics that interest you but also those that you know nothing about. Learning is the key to writing information that others want to read.
The other part of learning outside of learning about writing and marketing is this. Learn about your audience. Learning about what your audience needs and wants is an important part of learning to be a successful writer.
Here are tips on learning about your audience:
- Read the same kinds of things that you want to write about. This will show you how other writers reach this audience.
- Interact with the age group you want to write for, those that are your audience. If you write for parents of preschoolers, then interact with parents. If you write for the older generation, volunteer and work with the older generation so you hear, feel, and understand what they want and need from a writer or a topic.
- Visit the library and the book stores to keep up with the books and material in the arena or genre that you want to write. How can you address the topic and meet the need of the audience in a fresh new way?
- Write, query, and submit to the places that publish in your genre. They know the audience and have an established reader in mind when they publish. Tap into this by providing a fresh new product in that arena.
Friday, April 13, 2012
As a writer with the same 24 hours in a day as the average joe, I state emphatically that I need more time. I can't seem to find enough hours in the day for everything that I should do, the things I want to do, and the things that I love to do in a timely fashion. This has left me wondering this month if what I am doing for my writing is making the best use of my time? I believe writers everywhere run into this same dilema and we need to take a moment or a week or a month to evaluate where our writing time goes, not only where the time goes but how productive is the time we spend?
The letter I stands for Investigate and Initiate. Investigate the writing tasks you do and determine if they are working towards your three main writing goals for 2012. Many times we writers do tasks for ourselves and others that we might think are improving our chances of being noticed or may look good on a writing resume. Every once in a while we need to investigate the true results of our efforts. Initiate a change if you discover that some of the tasks, especially the social media tasks are making no progress towards your writing goals.
The letter J means for me.... Just do it. It also reminds me that the word Just is one of those empty words that should be edited from the text of my articles and stories because it is not active, doesn't move the story, and is an empty word. It is more effective for example to state: Do it.
K is for know thy self. I know in my heart where I can recoup some of my writing time and I also know that some of the activities, clubs, and groups that I think are benefiting me might also be stealing my writing time. I bet that most of you know the same thing. It is important to sort those activities into groups according to purpose.
- Activities that you enjoy, help you socialize and network, yet may not move your career forward but you cannot give up. Here is an opportunity to designate a time frame for these activities to keep them from intruding on your productive writing time.
- Activities that are centered around your personal writing career goals and that help you to hone your skills, improve your chances of publication, and DO move your writing career forward. These activities should take a front row seat in your daily writing plan.
- Activities that do neither move your career forward, hone your skills, or build your writing platform-( excluding job and family obligations which must be included in your life plan) These are the activities that should either be limited or eliminated from your writing schedule to keep you productive.
Monday, April 9, 2012
It makes sense that if the reader can see and feel the helplessness and hopelessness in a character who learns and struggles to change or who finds hope, then there is the same possibilities for the reader. Readers want to read to discover and fall in love with a character, they want to care. But they also want to find the same hope and help for their own lives.
To keep your reader engaged in the story and in sequels about the character, the key is to develop a lovable character with flaws. Those flaws will render the character helpless in a situation, say lost in the woods face to face with a big brown bear. Through the fight to gain hope in a hopeless situation, the character develops personal growth and gains the readers admiration.
In your next story, try adding words that make the character helpless and hopeless. Develop a strong story around finding help and hope and you will have a story that readers will love.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Even the youngest reader can get excited about gruesome. Think the farting dog, the captain's underpants, and the book on fish farts. Gruesome sells. Gruesome keeps readers reading.
Adults and kids alike want to read gruesome details about characters whether science fiction or real life fiction. It is what takes the reader away from the simple or boring daily life they lead.
What does that mean for the writer trying to break into publishing? Rethink your story line. Examine the plot and decide if a tad bit of gruesome might add interest, suspense, or a gory detail that will enhance your story.
Gruesome must work on some level or Steven King, James Patterson, and other famous authors that include it in their stories would not be so popular. Now where can I add alittle gruesome to my next story?
Friday, April 6, 2012
F is for fun, and I am a believer in putting fun into both life and writing. Even in the most serious stories for children as in the book I have coming out The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane, there needs to be fun. Lilly has cancer but also wears funny hats, has a funny cat, and carries with her a funny kangaroo.
Fun can come in many forms and is individual to each of us but I have some rules for fun.
- Fun can never be at someone else's expense. Fun would never include harmful teasing, bullying, or being mean to another just for a laugh. That falls under cruel and not cool. However, in a story, it may be written in as part of the story theme and hopefully with a character who learns and changes in the process.
- Fun can have an element of danger such as flying but prudent safety precautions should always be taken. In a story the author has the ability to take away the safety precautions and weave a thrilling
- Fun can be magical in a story or have an element of magic in real life as long as it doesn't harm another and is not enhanced by chemicals or medications. It is not fun to be altered by a substance and it is not fun to watch someone else in the same state. ( Just my opinion)
- Fun can include doing an act of kindness for another. My son volunteers on medical missions within the United States and flies with a team who takes a patient from one hospital to another closer to their home or to a facility that can take care of their rehabilitation needs. He doesn't get paid, he does it as an act of kindness and it is fun to help others.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
E is for Elephant: Is there an elephant in the room of your current story? I don't mean the two ton grey creature that is about to charge you with his ivory tusks, I mean the invisible "elephant that lurks in the corners of our lives and in the lives of our characters.
In real life many times there is an "elephant" or topic that should be spoken of but that no one wants to bring up. These topics are either totally ignored, quickly brushed over, or whispered about behind the closed door of another room like juicy gossip.
- At family gatherings no one wants to mention that grandpap is confused and unkempt. Bringing this "elephant" up would start world war three and no one wants to admit that grandpap is failing or that he may need medical attention.
- Someone in the family has a drinking problem, it is a huge secret except everyone knows but no one says anything. The elephant sits quietly in the room at dinners where family gather watching the dance everyone does around the subject as the wine is being poured.
- At the most recent play date with your friends and their children, one child stands out as a crying spoiled misbehaved little one that ruins the playtime on every occasion. NO one dares speak of this because of the fear of hurting feelings, yet everyone is beginning to resent the child for being a brat.
- The pastor is speaking to a small group with his zipper down. Now who in the world would speak up about that?
A good story will be emotionally packed, action packed, and filled with twists and turns that will ultimately lead you to the unseen elephant in your story. What and where is the elephant in your current piece of writing? Would your story improve if there was an "elephant" that stirred your characters into action?
Let me know what you think and how you deal with the "elephant" in your work.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A- Attitude- Gotta keep the attitude positive even when I am behind, even when I have rejections piling up, and even through the revision cycle that can be daunting.
B- Business- Gotta keep the business side of writing real. Keeping organized and treating my writing as a business will make the end of the year tax time easier and will help me to assess how my writing business is growing.
C- Characters- Gotta keep the characters in my head straight and get them down on paper. I live with so many in my head all the time as I try to figure out what they look like, how they sound, and why they act the way they do. Keeping them straight can get so confusing when I have several story ideas working out in my mind at the same time.
And............Drum roll please.............
D- Drama- Gotta keep the drama on the page and out of everyday life. I can listen to others who have drama in their lives and I can use those ideas for my characters, but I don't want to get drawn into drama any where else...not social media, television, work, or anywhere else that might rob me of my writing time. So those of you who dwell on other peoples real life drama.... put it on the page instead.
Okay, gang. I think that about catches me up on the A-to Z challenge. Look for E and F on Thursday and Friday.... you may get a giggle or an idea for your own writing challenges. See you then.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Lessening Writing Stress- Welcome Author Laura Maciuika to the blog today. I think you will appreciate her wise words on the stress and calm of the writing life.
If you’re a writer, you’ve probably noticed the beautiful ironies that can crop up during the writing process. In completing my first book, Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry, I had the challenge and ironic pleasure of walking my talk during the writing every step of the way.
It was hilarious at times. Having taken on the topic of lasting stress relief, I faced into writing after hours, before hours, and for hours at a stretch on weekends. Some of that time might have been dedicated to something more obviously resembling stress relief than sitting in front of a computer screen, hands at the ready on the keyboard. And yet I had decided to write this book; it was asking to be written.
It helps to feel that inner pull, the call to create. If you have a book inside of you and it is asking – or demanding – to be poured out onto pages to be seen and taken in by others, that drive can be one way to lessen the stress of writing. You’re just answering the call one more day. You’re just allowing what needs to be said or known, described or narrated, to find its way onto the pages and out into the world. You’re a willing scribe. For me, reminding myself of this and connecting with the inner call to create helped ease the writing stress.
It helped, too, that I knew this information was not available in this particular format, in my voice, in my way of describing it. Others had not put information together from eastern and western knowledge in this way, with the goal of making it more accessible without academese or convoluted theories seeping in to muddy the waters. Knowing I actually was writing in a way that could potentially touch and change lives helped. I could more easily take my own advice and stay in present time, just writing the next thing that needed writing that day, in that chapter. Or as Anne Lamott would have it, keep myself writing “Bird by Bird.” The end result would be bigger than me, as writing that goes out into the world always is.
If you’re writing, remember to connect with the inner call. What motivated you to begin? What characters, what information, is demanding to come forth and be known? Then jus t write the next thing that most needs to be said. Just the next step on the writing path. Your work will touch others in ways you may never know. For today, just speak the next truth in your narrative; that will be more than enough.
Dr. Laura Maciuika is a clinical psychologist, teacher, and transformation mentor. She specializes in supporting the transformation of old patterns and internal blocks into new-found inner freedom, joy, and success. Laura is the author of Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry. Follow Laura’s blog on stress and stress relief at http://consciouscalm.com/ Connect with Laura through Twitter @lauramaciuika http://twitter.com/#!/lauramaciuika and facebook.com/lauramaciuika, or at http://www.lauramaciuika.com/. Download a sample chapter and TOC of her book at facebook.com/consciouscalm.