Monthly Archives: February 2013

Three Thing Thursday

  1. Tu Publishing is hosting a New Visions Award. They describe it like this: a writing award for a debut author of color for a middle grade or young adult science fiction, fantasy, or mystery novel Our friend, the lovely and talented Ms. Valynne Maetani Nagamatsu is one of the finalists. Read their interview with her here. 
  2. I met Valynne at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference, which is now open for  registration. There will be lots more about the conference, the teachers, etc. as the days go on but if you are interested, I’d advise you to register as soon as possible. It’s where I got my start along with many many others.
  3. And finally, what about this article? I mean there are emergencies, and then there are EMERGENCIES!!!! Why would your MC call 911? Would they ever call for some soda? or maybe some sour patch kids? 

Also, I can’t resist. Because everyone deserves clean water. 

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Check back in for a review of My Book of Life by Angel written by this year’s WIFYR faculty, Martine Leavitt. (www.wifyr.com)
I read it yesterday at work.
I very much enjoyed it. But sadly, a book review can not be done at this time because I left my copy of the novel at  home, sitting on my couch, so Laura could give it a read.
So I will write a review in a few days, or next week.
I have nothing else to say at this time.
LOVE!

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kids

Today my six year old asked if he could catch a stroke.

My mom has had a few mini-strokes lately. At first I was panicked about it. Now I realize it’s part of the process.

The hardest part of end of life is helping my kids understand it. Actually maybe it isn’t the hardest part, but it’s the trickiest for me to negotiate. How do I explain strokes? How do I explain why my dad spoon feeds his wife? How do I explain when I am fine one moment, and overcome with tears and shaking the next?

What’s wrong? they’ll ask.

My mom is sick. I miss her.

Why do you miss her? She’s right there?

And she is. She’s right there. She’s at my dinner table, stirring her food around. She’s in the kitchen pouring dish soap into mugs. She’s in the family room, picking up quesadillas.

She is right here.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about how to tell them things, how to explain things. The way they interpet or rather see life is so much more pure. So much more simple. Like revelations that are right in front of me.

It’s a privilege to have kids. It’s a privilege to write for kids. It’s a privilege to be near kids.

Writing Exercise: Try to write a scene from a four year old’s point of view. Something big. Death, divorce, illness, heartbreak, abandonment, fear, etc. See if you can simplify it, see from their eyes. What do you discover? How does the world change? Is there new possibilities? Wonder? Hurt? Joy?

Recent conversation with my four year old:

He said, I really love you, Mom and I hope you never die.
I said, thank you. I love you too.
Then he said, I hope you always stay the same number so you can always do what you want to do and not get Alzheimer’s.

What if we could always stay the same number and always do what we want to do?

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by | February 18, 2013 · 7:32 pm

Several Bits of Inspiration to Help Improve Your Wiritng

1. After all this time, we are ready for registration for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.

Please tell your friends about the conference. And for those interested in advanced classes, you need to go through me.

http://www.wifyr.com

2. Kyra received Martine Leavitt’s latest novel, My Book of Life by Angel. All I can say is, “read it.” The reason I can’t say more is because Kyra is planning on doing a review of the book. Plus, guess what? Martine is teaching an advanced class at the conference this June. Wish I wasn’t teaching so I could sit in her class. She’s pretty darned amazing.

3. Coming the next few weeks and months on Throwing Up Words: interviews from faculty from WIFYR.

Plus, interviews from many agents and editors and authors. Plus a few writing marathons.

Several writing exercises.

And Ann Dee’s baby.

4. John Steinbeck died when I was a very little girl. I can remember, as I read his books growing up, how I wished he had stayed alive long enough for me to meet him. John Steinbeck was one of my first writing teachers. I read just about everything I could get my hands on that he wrote. Here’s a great quote from Mr Steinbeck: “When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a  sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.”

5. This week, put yourself in a situation to listen in on another person’s conversation. The mall is a good place to linger and and keep an ear out. Go somewhere there are a lot of people.  Wait till you hear what you need–just a tidbit that will make you want to write. When I visit BYU campus and listen to the people in the hallways, I wonder what I can use from what I see and hear.  Jot down the words, the emotions, the way YOU feel. Now, how can you change that up, that whole scene, and make it work in your book?

6. For me, emotion in writing is what connects the reader to your book. Here’s what dictionary.com says about emotion:

noun
1. an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

7. Allow yourself to really feel something that you are experiencing this week. Maybe it’s taking care of a young child. Maybe it’s helping an older teen. Maybe you have a friend that needs you. Maybe YOU need you. As you are in these moments, connect with the emotion the incident brings up. Feel it all. Experience that emotion. Later, when you get a moment, write that emotion down, exactly as you felt it. Every bit of it. Now you have something you can use later in your writing. Borrow that emotion for a scene that you may be struggling with.

8. Ann Dee still hasn’t taught me how to do the blue letters.

9. My deepest sympathies go to the Kristyn Crow and her family at the loss of her father-in-law this last week. You all are in my heart and prayers.

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