Tag Archives: blog award

Whoppers–or not?

First off, I have to say that participating in the Creative Writer Award was a blast.  Your answers rocked my socks off and I can’t wait to reveal what kind of a liar I am.  So, without further ado, I present the stories behind the stories of my childhood.

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.

TRUE.  I was shimmying across the plank between two trees when I slipped.  I clung to it by my fingertips, hanging there like a monkey, until I couldn’t hold on anymore.  Tad ignored my distress and I landed on his dorky friend and a pile of soft pine needles and fallen leaves on the forest floor. 

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.

TRUE.  My early elementary days were spent bopping from one school to the next on the West Coast.  It was quite a culture shock when we moved to a teeny Minnesota town of 708 snow-white people. 

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.

TRUE.  I was the new kid.  I had no clue where the bathroom was and the teacher just kept reading her stupid picture book to the class while I stood next to her and tried to whisper in her ear.  It wasn’t until I wet myself that she took me seriously.  And yes, I did lie to my mom when she came to pick me up.  It was easier and less mortifying than telling the truth.  Thank God we only stayed in that school for a few 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.

TRUE.  It sounds outrageous and a bit creepy, but it is, indeed, true.  My mom had to lift me off the hook like a doll she wanted to buy.  I still have the scar to prove it.  Right smack in the middle of my forehead.  No wonder my mom calls me hard-headed.

5. My favorite playground activity was swinging across the rings.  I’d do it so often my hands were calloused and I 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. 

FALSE.  While it’s true I loved the rings, I used to get huge blisters that covered my palms.  I was in the nurse’s office constantly.  I also loved geeky-looking Daniel, with whom I flirted endlessly.  However, I was much too good at the rings to fall off.  Instead, it was some other kid who gracelessly plunged to the ground.  I signed my name on both his casts right next to Daniel’s. 

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.

TRUE.  This story makes me a bit queasy.  I don’t remember why I ran away, but I distinctly remember feeling smug that my parents couldn’t find me under the tire swing.  I ignored their calls and watched them wander around.  By the time I saw the cops crawling all over the park, I was terrified to come out.  The helicopter scared me beyond all reason.  I don’t remember getting bawled out, but I remember my mom bawling. 

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.

TRUE.  We did a lot of foolish things during our summers vacations  Yet it is only in hindsight that I realize how dangerous some of them were.  Our antics were, quite simply, some of the best times of my childhood.  I’m just thankful everything always turned out in our favor.

So there you have it: six truths and a lie. 

Wait, two lies.  Yesterday I promised to pass along the award to six of my lying cohorts.  However, I’m really bad at this part and firmly believe that all my blogging buddies are capable of spinning outrages tales.  Why else do we write?

So instead, I will simply mention a few names of writing buddies I’ve had the pleasure of reading personally.  Hover over their links to find out what I’ve read from them.  Click the links and discover a fellow liar writer. 

And because I’m the ultimate liar, I shall add a seventh name to my list.  I do this for two reasons.  One, I had to post seven dubious facts and so it seems only right that I pass along seven names.  Two, I’d like to welcome a very new writer to the fold.  Please check her out and support her writing journey.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on a picture book manuscript and find that she’s talented and funny.

So, here’s wishing you the best, Elisa.

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Sibling Secrets

Siblings…I have three of them and love them all dearly.  They inspire me, motivate me and support me.  In fact, when I have good news, they are the first people I call.  I’ve been known to write with them, for them and about them. 

Today will be one of those days. 

Over the past week, I was graced with a beautiful award by the lovely Lisa Gibson and TK Richardson.  I love it because it’s green.

Green is one of my favorite colors this time of year, as it symbolizes growth.  Fresh ideas, new sprouts, a lush back drop for any moment in time.

Green also promotes reading and learning.  For some reason, this soothing color kick starts the brain.   It must be why I love reading and writing in my garden and why the woods are such an inspiring place for writers to hang out.

Anyway, I digress.  Please stop by and visit Lisa and TK if you haven’t done so before.  Both are great friends–inspiring, motivating and supportive–just like my siblings.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me and will try to do justice to this award by following all the rules–paraphrased by me of course.

  1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
  2. Share seven things about myself.  This is where my siblings come in.
  3. Bestow this honor onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
  4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.

Seven Things About Me–and My Sibs

  1. My big sister used to be afraid of the basement, so I hid under the steps.  When she went down into the dingey, dark, creepy, smelly dungeon, I grabbed her leg.   I’d take it back now…and not just because I had to do all the basement runs from that day forward.
  2. Once, when my baby brother was crying in the car after a shopping spree, my sister and I let him suck on a bottle of Plotchman’s mustard.  He didn’t complain.  Of course, he couldn’t talk yet either!
  3. We had a lemon tree in our backyard when I was little.  My big sis and I would dig up fresh carrots, poke a hole in a lemon with a stick, dip our carrots into the tangy insides and munch.  I still love lemons.
  4. My little sister used to call our mom “Poppy” and the vacuum cleaner, “Momma.”  Thankfully she’s a little more articulate these days.  She’s the one I’m writing the ABC story with and have cheered on during NaNo.  I can’t wait til she finishes her gummy bear noir.
  5. When my little brother was 1, he snuck into my room and broke my entire kitty candle collection.  I wanted to strangle him, but was told I was the “adult” in the situation.  I was 14.  At 38, I’m glad I didn’t bump him off–who else would I play Cool Words Scrabble with?
  6. By definition, big sisters should be bigger.  However, the moment I outgrew my mine, I held her down and spit in her face.  You know the kind where you let the string hang indefinitely before clamping down with your lips?  While it sounds mean, I was just getting back at her for telling me that if I stepped on a railroad track after a train went by I would burn up.  To this day, I still hop over tracks.
  7. My DH’s been around since before my little sister was conceived.  She used to look just like me, and when we would take her out in public, people would tsk and shoot us dirty looks for being teen parents.  I didn’t mind at all.  Taking care of her and my brother was part of the reason I wanted to be a mommy in the first place.

Siblings are great for a lot of reasons–novel fodder is only one of them!

Now for my list of new blogging buddies.

Obviously I was too busy spitting on my sister didn’t learn anything about integrity or playing fair as a kid, since I only have eleven new bloggers I’d like to share with you.  Maybe it’s time to go back to my childhood and learn some manners from my wonderful sibs!

Have you used any childhood snippets in your writing?  If so, how?  Feel free to share a sibling anecdote here.  Your secrets are safe with us…

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

Monday Musings

I learned five things this weekend:

  1. That fellow blogger Voidwalker smiles when he reads my blog.  I know this because he passed along a blog award.  More about that after I finish my list of five new things.
  2. That there is an absolutely amazing site for juvenile lit writers just waiting to be read.  Agent Mary Kole blogs at kidlit.com and has fantastic insight into the publishing world.  In addition, she is hosting a contest for writers.  If you’re interested in entering, check out the rules of her first chapter contest here.
  3. That I can still write short stories, and in fact, rediscovered my love for them after critiquing one for Michelle.  I set up a place on my sidebar that will take you to mine.  Just click on Short Fiction Sunday under The Things I Say on my sidebar.  I will try to post a new short once a week.
  4. That a little paint goes a long way in making old things sparkle and shine.  I helped DD repaint her room on Saturday.  We also applied some snazzy new colors to her old vanity.  Voila.  Elbow grease plus paint equals new digs.
  5. That I’m a bigger procrastinator than I originally thought.  DH had no problem pointing out that I have yet to start tanning for our fun in the sun vacay coming up.  I guess he doesn’t want to hang out alone while I keep my lobster butt in the shade.  

The 101 Sweet Friends Award

For this honor, I must post ten things that make me happy/smile.  In no particular order:

  1. Cauliflower and dip
  2. Hummingbirds
  3. Kids in general–mine in particular
  4. DH’s humor–I thank the Lord for his comedic outlook on life
  5. Which reminds me–my faith
  6. Flowers–and the fact that my summer office is my garden patio
  7. The written word–both reading and writing
  8. My friends
  9. My first bowl of chili each fall
  10. Family get-togethers

The rules also state I must pass this award onto seven bloggers who are either sweet or make me happy.  Like Voidwalker, I think handing an award out to gobs of people is like giving a participation award to all 4007 kids who competed in the tie your shoe race.  When everyone is special, no one is special.

And so I will pass along the names of the two bloggers that make my heart smile.  For my other faves check out my blogroll (like I do daily).  You might find a few you want to follow.

  1. Sweet goes to My Writing Masquerades, where excerpts and insights are beautifully written. 
  2. Happy goes to Elana Johnson.  I love her sense of humor.  She has tremendous kid appeal, and since I’m a nothing but a big kid, I laugh out loud when reading her posts.

For readers of YA, DD and I finished up our review on Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

What makes you smile?