Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ten in '10 - Final Check In

Okay, back in the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself-  write ten picture books in 2010.  (Some of you even said you would join me!)

For those of you who missed it, the motivation for this goal came from the realization that a good picture book author sells approximately one in five PB manuscripts.

My goal was to write ten, so that I could sell two.

Well, it is the end of the year.  How did I do?

I wrote six manuscripts. (and, BTW, that is a HUGE record for me!)

It may be four short of my goal, BUT ... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I might have met my ultimate goal.   GOLDI ROCKS sold and I think my CINDERELLA story will sell as well.  

So, for me, I consider 2010 a writing success.  (Don't ask my parenting or exercise goals, though!)

How did you guys do in 2010?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Megan Bickel wrote a post this week about embracing your mood, whatever it is, and using it to write.  If you are grumpy, write about a grumpy character. "Carpe Grumpy!" she said.

Well, I have been freezing for days.    I feel like there is no circulation in my hands.  I get back under the covers instead of changing and going  to  he gym.  I take a hot bath, instead of working on story revisions.  (Who can type when they can't even feel their fingers?)

But today, I am going to take  Megan's advice and think freezing.  Carpe Cold!

Coldilocks and the Three Polar Bears?  (Can't do it, already have a Goldi story)
The Three Skiing Pigs? (Can't do it, already have a pigs story)
Shiverella?  (Can't do it... yeah, got one of those too!)

I'll go make a hot chocolate and keep thinking...

ADDENDUM:  Just got another one... Little Red Gliding Hood

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Got an Easy One!

I'm in love with my new baby!  I'm not ready to reveal the hook yet, so I will just refer to her as CINDERELLA. (She was previously known as idea #11 :)   She is an angel.   So cooperative!

GOLDI ROCKS was never this well-behaved.  She fought me tooth and nail the entire way through.  She had endless time outs!  A lot like Thing 2.  Cute, but naughty.  Always testing.  Several times I considered putting her up for adoption. (Fortunately, my agent wouldn't allow that)

But not CINDERELLA.  She is every mother's dream.   Easy, easy, easy!

Wishing all of you out there one easy one!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Season of Shivering and Sobbing

Oh, how I wish...
that I was born a bear
so I could spend the winter
hiding in my lair.

Snuggled, warm and cozy,
I could hibernate.
Oh, to be a bear,
wouldn't that be GREAT!

I have a bad case of winter blues and it's not even mid-December!  I just want to crawl under the covers and not come out till March.

Unfortunately, my husband has vetoed that plan.  He also said a move to the Caribbean was "out of the question."  (Gosh, what a killjoy, he is! :)

So, if I can't escape physically, I'll have to escape mentally.  Anyone have a good book to recommend that is not at all depressing?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Joey Fly 2- The Bugs are Back in Town!

If you liked Joey Fly, Private Eye- Creepy Crawly Crime, then you will love Joey Fly 2- Big Hairy Drama. Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman team up again to bring you another installment of this funny, punny graphic novel series.

A cold snap has blown into town like an unwanted house pest. But there’s only one guy in the bug city with the power to put crime permanently on ice: Joey Fly, Private Eye. He’s always on the lookout for trouble, and he runs into it when he meets Harry Spyderson, proprietor of the Scarab Beetle Theatre and director of the much-anticipated Bugliacci.

Greta Divawing, the four-winged, long-legged leading lady, has gone missing. Harry hires Joey Fly and his assistant, Sammy Stingrear-- oops, tail, it's Stingtail--to crack the case. Can they find Greta in time to save the show?
It has intrigue.
"What about Fleeago? Did you hear him threaten her in any way?"
"Wait a minute!  You think Fleeago did this?
"Just answer the question. Did he say "You'll pay for this!" or "Mwaa-ha-ha!" or anything like that?"
It has word play.
"You are a lover of theater, I see?"
"Well, I was in my second grade school production of A Lice in Wonderland. I'm no theater bug, though."

It has bathroom humor!
I eat poop, okay?  So I am not exactly what you'd call a discriminating eater.  But there are still some things that should go uneaten.  I'm just saying...
What more could a kid want?

Aaron Reynolds is a human, not a bug, but he often writes about bugs. He is the author of Chicks and Salsa, Superhero School, Buffalo Wings, and, of course, the Joey Fly, Private Eye graphic novels.

Neil Numberman is a termite currently residing in New York City. Joey Fly, Private Eye is his first graphic novel, but he is also the author/illustrator of the picture book Do NOT Build a Frankenstein.

And for every 10 comments, one random winner will be drawn to receive a bug caricature done by Neil!.  Many thanks in advance, Neil!

Friday, December 3, 2010

From the Trenches

Okay, so I was interviewed yesterday over at Julie Hedlund's blog.  The topic was "How I Got My Agent."  Julie and I agreed to cut one question (because the interview was getting long and I was afraid of putting everyone to sleep) but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to answer it..

Has your writing process changed since signing with an agent?

I am dying to hear other how other agented writers would respond this question.  For me, the answer is a resounding YES.  I hadn't really expected it to change.  I assumed I would send her a manuscript and she would give me feedback, not unlike the sort of feedback I was always got from my critique partners  She would tell me what was working for her and what wasn't, and I would revise accordingly. (That is pretty much what happened with my first agent)

But that's not at all how it worked with my current agent.  I'd write a manuscript that I thought was funny and clever and cute, and I'd send it to her, and I'd get a reply to the effect of, "It's well-written.  But I just don't care for the premise."

In those cases, it seemed like no amount of revising in the world was going to her change her mind. This was totally devastating at first.  But after several of these experiences, I realized (or actually, my husband forced me to recognize)...  I HAD to change my process.

So, now.. when I get an idea, I write up a two or three sentence pitch.  I email it and I wait to see how she reacts.  If she is on board, I move forward.  If she isn't, I keep brainstorming.

I hope one day we can revisit some of my "drawer-ed" manuscripts, but for now, this is the way I need to proceed.

Anyone else care to share their answer?