120 – Humility

My memoir class critiqued two pieces tonight. Both pieces were powerful because of the humility and honesty they used to approach two very different, but equally tough topics, self mutilations and an aging parent with Alzheimer’s. My heart fell in step with each writer as I read about them. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to rub shoulders with such talented people. A great man is always willing to be little. – Ralph Waldo Emerson  Prompt:  Write about being little.

Day 119 – Video Inspiration

Elizabeth Gilbert came out with a new TED talk. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m not a fan of Eat, Pray, Love either, but let’s forget about that for 10 minutes and listen to her message. It’s worth it. She talks about success and failure and how your brain computes extremes of both in a similar way. How either extreme takes you outside yourself and away from the home inside that allows you to create honest work. I needed this reminder today. Participating in critique sessions, workshops, and blogging takes me away from myself sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, this project is more blessing than curse, but the balance of internal and external influence is still delicate. These activities shifts focus a little bit out when it needs to be in, now more than...

Day 118 – Picture Book Critique

In addition to being a solid networking opportunity, writing conferences are one of the few opportunities aspiring authors get to sit down face to face with top editors and agents for objective feedback about their work. Yes, it takes a little bit of money, but it’s well worth it. You get insight into the business and also put a face to your name. Most of the editors and agents attending the conference will allow you to submit unsolicited manuscripts to their agency for up to year so make your meeting count. That access alone is worth the conference fees. At the Houston SCBW conference, I got a critique from the lovely Julie Ham who is an Associate Editor & Contracts Coordinator at Charlesbridge Publishing. Note, if you plan on attending a conference...

Day 117 – Progress Report

Current Project: Short Story Status: In Progress/VERY BEHIND SCHEDULE Time Spent: Writing: 12  hrs. Blogging: 5 hrs. Networking: 8 hrs. Reading:  5 hrs. Nerves. I’m all nerves. There’s never enough time, energy or focus for everything I want to do. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Houston Conference was this weekend. I attended with my friend Meghan. We both submitted manuscripts and we both received tough by helpful critiques from Julie Ham. It’s on to revising on top of creating new material now. The number for projects I’m working on keeps multiplying, so do my goals, but my time remains the same. My doubt inflates and deflates depending on how well I keep promises to myself. I’m still not as...

Day 115 – SCBWI Houston Conference

On my way to Houston for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators with my friend Meghan. We both submitted our manuscripts for critique. Let’s all cross our fingers for good news for us both.