Tag Archives: awards

My Nose Doth Grow

I’m not sure how Patricia knew this, but I’m a liar.  Yesterday she publicly announced it on her blog and today I must try to redeem myself with my fellow readers.  You see, I exaggerate and embelish whenever I write.  If I didn’t, my stories would be b-o-r-i-n-g.  So would my blog posts.

As a recipient of the “Creative Writer” Award, I am called upon to follow some rules.  As many of you know, I’m a rule-breaker.  But, I’ll do my best.

1. Thank the person who gave me the award and link to her.  Thanks Patricia.  For some reason this accusation hurts less coming from you than it did from my parents.
2. Add the award to my blog.  See, my nose did indeed grow.
3. Tell six outrageous lies about myself and one truth. (Another variant: Tell six truths and one outrageous lie. YOU, dear readers, get to guess which variant I chose – and which statements are true, as well as which are lies.)
4. Nominate six creative liars–I mean writers–and post links to them.
5. Let my nominees know they have been nominated.

Since I write for kids and we all know that kids are great liars, I’m going to present seven dubious facts about my childhood.  They’re a bit long, but I promise there are no tricks.  Either the whole thing is a lie or the truth.

  1. I once  fell wildly in love with a boy named Tad.  He had gorgeous black hair and didn’t know I existed–even when I fell off the plank bridge of his treehouse from 15 feet in the air and broke my toe.  Sadly, his big brown eyes were for my sister only.
  2. As a kid, I moved a ton–9 different schools before the ninth grade.  Because of this, I also had the pleasure of being a minority and fell wildly in love with Juan and Trevon and Chang.  It wasn’t until a move in the fourth grade that I realized God made “white” kids too–every last one in a school of roughly 300 students.  I thought He ran out of color by the time He hit the Midwest.
  3. I wet my pants in the second grade.  In front of the entire class.  I tried telling the teacher a gazillion times that I really had to go, but she ignored me until it was too late.  When my mom picked me up, I told her I fell in a mud puddle on the playground.  It probably hadn’t rained in months.
  4. I put myself up for sale once.  During a shopping spree, my sister and I both stood on the same side of the shopping cart.  The cart tipped and we spilled out.  Sis got a gash on her arm from those display hooks.  I hung from one by my forehead, right next to the toys we so wanted to see.  Needless to say, the only money that exchanged hands was for the butterfly stitches.
  5. My favorite playground activity was swinging across the rings.  I’d do it so often my hands were calloused and never got blisters.  While trying to impress geeky-looking Daniel, the love of my life, I fell and broke both my arms.  I don’t think I scored many points that day–which is a good thing, because it freed me up to marry my DH. 
  6. Like all good kids, I threatened to run away more often than not.  My mom would offer to pack my bags.  However, the one time I followed through, I did so without my suitcase.  We were hanging out at a huge city park in California when I got angry.  I hid under the tire swing long enough that they called in the cops–helicopters and all.  The very idea scares me silly now that I have kids of my own.
  7. When I was about nine, a bunch of us cousins spent the summer at our uncle’s farm.  The Lord of the Flies freedom we had wasn’t unusual, but getting stranded in the bull pen was.  One of my cousins and I chickened out and climbed into the wire rabbit cage in case the very angry and rather large bull broke through the meager railing.  We was dumb.

So now you get to decide if I’m spinning a yarn 6 out of seven times or if I’m lying only once.  Let us know which story does/n’t ring true and why.

I’ll provide the answer tomorrow, along with my nomination of liars just like me.

Happy Saturday.

The ABC’s of Writing

Awards, Blogs and Careers.  But not in that order.

The other night on an Agent Query chat, a few of us discussed the ins and outs of writing across genres.  It has been stated that the genre an author first publishes in is the genre that sets the tone for her writing career. 

For instance, if Author A pubs a paranormal romance, she will be expected to write more paranormal romance stories by her agent, editor and her fan base. 

Likewise, the size of the publishing house and an author’s success rate on their debut novel creates a certain career path that can be difficult to break out of.  Say Author B pubs with Small Press X.  He will typically remain with Small Press X, or similar sized presses, throughout  his career.  Unless he has a surprise best seller.  In which case, he may choose to seek a contract with Big Press Z.  A disasterous first print can relegate a writer to Small Presses or No Presses for life.

Mainly, this has to do with marketability and saleability.  Readers buy what they know (Author A), while publishers stick with what works (Author B).  This is the business part of writing that writers often fail to consider when submitting their manuscripts.

Before submitting that whimsical, one-shot-wonder of a manuscript to random agents/editors, it is imperative that we take a solid look at our dreams career in the writing field. 

Questions to ask: do I want to write manga until I die?  Do I even like the agent I am submitting to?  How respectable is the publishing house within the overall publishing climate?  Does it matter? 

If you decided that you truly wish to make a career out of writing instead of getting that one memoir off your chest, marketability becomes an issue for your future.  Some of the ways writers can promote themselves are through online communities, websites and blogs. 

Mary Kole posted a great blurb about this on her blog.  While she is an agent of juvenile literature, her blog is timely and pertinent to all writers who wish to succeed.  Her post is a gentle reminder about making ourselves accessible and interesting to our potential fan base, as well as the agents who may check up on us prior to offering a deal.

Questions to ask: who is my target audience?  What do I offer my readership in return for their loyalty?  Do I present myself accurately and honestly to my readers, yet provide them with something besides me, me, me? 

These questions have no right or wrong answers–as long as we accomplish our goals. 

For instance, I write my blog to document my journey as a writer, as well as to provide other writers with information on the process as a whole.  By definition, this makes my audience predominantly other writers, as well as those whose professions revovle around the written word.  While I try to be extremely honest (see my sidebar on integrity), I sometimes find myself stretching the truth in favor of making my writing interesting and humorous.  I also try to connect me as a person with the writing industry. 

Do I succeed?  I hope so.  Which brings me to the A in the title of this post.  Awards. 

Over my blogging career, I have recieved a few awards from my fellow bloggers.  Most recently, Roz Morris passed along The Sunshine Award (also given to me by Michelle on her blog in January) and The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award.  In early February, TK over at My Writing Masquerade named me in her Over the Top award.  This proceeded my Superior Scribbler Award in January from Yvonne Osborne.

These awards mean a lot to me.  They are given by my fellow bloggers and cyber friends.  Each award has a special significance attached to it and is passed on to acknowledge fellow bloggers for their spirit, inspiration and/or productivitity.  I thank Roz, Michelle, TK and Yvonne for thinking of me. 

Yet I don’t want my non-award-giving readers to think I only appreciate cyber awards.  Rather, I have a deep gratitude for those who read my blog faithfully, yet quietly.  I know there are some subscribers who read every word I write, but never leave a comment.  I love that you are there, lending your support.

I also adore my commenters.  Nothing warms my heart more than logging on and finding a response to something I wrote.  Whether you’ve left one comment or 100 comments, thank you for taking the time to do so.  You are amazing.

And lastly, there are my sometimes readers, those who pop in when the weather is too cold to go outside or those who inadvertantly stumble over my blog while searching for something like snowshoeing in South Africa.  You, too, get a personal thank you.  I hope that something you read makes you want to come back for more.

Rightly  or wrongly, I think of my blog as a way to connect to a community.  My community is comprised of writers, knitters, gardeners, educators, parents, avid readers, strangers and friends.  Some blog, some don’t.  Yet you all have a place in my heart. 

I hope someday you will be able to find my books on the bookshelf.  I even hope some of you buy them.  However, my blog is not a marketing tool.  It is my journey–of which you are all a part of.

Why do you blog?  Who is your target audience and why?  Which kind of blogs do you read and why?

Thanks~ cat