Category Archives: Publication

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Do you ever doubt yourself….

Do you ever doubt yourself as a WRITER?!

I do.

I have been.

A lot, actually.

But then I decided, why don’t I ponder the things that make me a writer? Not just a pretend writer, like I’ve been acting like I am for the last million years, but like a reallllll writer.

Okay. So pondering, pondering.

For one, I am broke. And not just broke. . . I am flat *bleeping* broke. And let’s be honest guys, most real writers are broke at least once or twice in their lives. {And most everyone else in the world as well. But forget that for a moment}

Insomnia. Isn’t that a writer thing? It’s totally a writer thing.

I have no ideas, yet I have a million ideas. Ideas that won’t shut up. And also ideas that freak me out, even though I know they need to get on the page. Eventually.

I have a few rejection letters {Finally!} and also….They are GOOD rejection letters. Holy crap, right? Totally real writer status.

I have a shit-ton to complain about. No, seriously. Writers complain. And that’s why we are amazing.

My favorite thing that makes me at least *feel* like a real writer is my amazing, wonderful, classy, great, fantastic, agent. We’ve only been best friends for a few months, but he already knows what to say to make me feel good. He knows what to say to make me feel like a writer.
I love him.

But I also love Mom and Ann Dee and her baby that I haven’t met yet, and I am still crossing my fingers is named KyraLeigh.

I also love all my writer friends. Even if you don’t do, or believe, all that crap I’ve written above, if you’re writing, you’re a real writer.

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Filed under Agents, Depression, Kyra, Life, Publication, writing process

Ten Things I Like about Writing x Two

What You Might Think

1. New cover reveals. Just saw the newest cover to my book coming out from Zondervan called Never Said. It’s beautiful.

2.Being asked to blurb a book. I’m reading something terrific right now for S&S.

3. Talking ideas with Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee.

4. Writing. I also hate this part of being a writer.

5. When the book is coming along and I am happy.

6. Getting a nice review.

7. Teaching others about writing. There is something about watching other people succeed that is very familial.

8. Talking to my agent/editor.

9. Holding that new book.

10. Thinking about the next idea when I have no idea what I might write. At this moment, as I near the completion of two books I am working on by myself, I feel like I might never write another novel. This is kinda scary. Will I settle on something new? Will I be able to write it? What am I going to do?

 

What You Might Not Think

1. Reading Dear Abby. Even though sometimes she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

2. Driving past homes at night where you can see inside and people are being a family. (That happens around here in UT.) Or things are just in there. I have never seen a dirty house at night. This is one reason I keep my blinds shut in the evenings.

3. Listening in on other people’s conversations. All kinds. The old lady swearing up a storm at the man in Village Inn. The newly married couple in the freezer section of Smith’s. The kids playing outside across the street (those beautiful girls were the first to sing a song from Frozen to me).

4.Watching students on campus at BYU. Once I saw a guy grab a girl up in a tight hug and she checked her phone over his shoulder.

5. Hearing stories from my mom. They come few and far between, but every once in a while  . . .

6. Talking to my writer friends about their writing troubles. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for their successes. But I like working out worries together.

7. Looking through homes for sale for the place with the perfect office.

8. Watching my daughters make choices when times are truly tough. I don’t always like the results. In fact, there are times when the results are hart breaking. But.

9. Once my beloved grandmother said, “And who would read somebody else’s letters? Who? Or look through another person’s drawers.” I couldn’t answer her.

10. Thinking about the next idea when I have no idea what I might write. Will it be found somewhere mentioned above?

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Life, Publication, writing process

It’s Over! Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers 2014

It’s Monday after WIFYR and I feel like I’ve been run through a wringer. Or a wronger. (I am wronger than you.)

My class was amazing.

The mini workshops were amazing.

Next year will be amazing. Yes. I am already working on it.

(Sigh)

One of the best things I did in my class this year was read Ann Dee Ellis‘ book The End or Something Like That out loud. This is the 2nd time I’ve read the book (we only read for a total of 50 minutes, so we didn’t finish) and I saw so much good in it. Ann Dee is amazing at literally weaving plot lines together. They come from all angles. This way and that. They side step each other, side swipe each other, inform each other and support each other. I’m not sure how she does it.

Another best thing was my song with Cheri Pray Earl. Yes, we had to start over. Cheri always makes us start over. And yes, I looked like a blue bowling pin. But the lyrics to the song were funny.

Finally the very best thing we did was the dance. One person commented it was weird. Another said never do it again. But I danced and laughed and had so much fun. The best best part, however, was we asked for gently used or new books as a ticket into the dance. These were gathered for the Hopi Community Center (and maybe a library some day?) in Arizona. The good people at Writing and illustrating for Young Readers–Attendees and Faculty and Assistants–gave nearly 400 books. 400!

Thank you to Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith, Brodi Ashton, Jen White, Ken Baker, John Cusick, Michelle Witte, Amy Jameson, Sherry Meidell, Cheri Pray Earl, Ann Edwards CannonKristin Ostby, Ilima Todd, J Scott Savage, Shawn Stout, Lisa Mangum, James Dashner, Emily Wing Smith, Jennifer Nielsen, Ann Dee Ellis, Jan Pinborough, Courtney Alameda, Natalie Whipple, and Wendy Toliver. You gave the conference great depth. You were funny, kind and sincerely supportive to the writers and illustrators who came.

Thank you, too, to the assistants who made this possible: Debbie Nance, Becca Birkin, Alison Randall, Michelle Hubbard, Kevin Smith, Joel Smith, Amy White, Bruce Luck, Becca Ogden Jensen, Cindy Stagg, Melanie Skelton, Robin Johnson and Stephanie Moore. I could never have done this without you. I wouldn’t want to.

And finally, Caitlynne Williams and Kyra Williams ran around like crazy helping me. Thank you, Girls. I love you both.

And now, Everyone, start setting aside funds for next year! Yup, we keep doing this crazy event. Or am I the crazy one?

 

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Filed under Agents, Ann Dee, Character, CLW, Editors, Exercises, Kyra, Plot, Point of View, Publication, Revision, Voice, Writers Block, Writing Marathon, writing process

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Kyra here.

Here we go again.
Another year gone.
POOF!

I’m sure that everyone has figured out their writing goals, and found new things to inspire them.
Maybe I have too.

But I really only have two big writing goals this year.
Not much else has changed. I must write {at least!} an hour a day.
I have to.

I have a feeling Utah is going to have some big things happen this year as far as writing goes. But doesn’t it every year?

This year, we are also going to have some actual BOOK reviews on the blog.
Any recommendations on what we should review? There are a lot of big titles coming out. So I better get my library card back up and running. {I know I have some fines…thanks Mom. 😉 }

I think I’m going to do better at Journal keeping as well. I did it a little bit last year, but this year I’m gonna do better.

There’s always something nice but also depressing about starting over. A new year, a new me blah blah blah.

I just want to succeed. And I think that’s what everyone wants.

Good luck!

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Filed under Kyra, Publication, writing process