Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summers almost gone

Summer is almost gone and fall is in the air. With the fall comes fun things like writers and illustrators conferences. Midsouth conference is right around the corner in less than a month in fact.

Registration is closed but you can follow the blogs during the conference and few a days later, too.

In October there's the Southern Breeze conference in Birmingham, AL. If you are interested check out their site:

They are also having a picture intensive on Friday.

Hope to you there!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scene Cards

My next step in Book in a Month is to write out 10 scenes. I had the beginning and ending scenes but the middle was stumping me. I was having a real hard time with resistance too. Anything I could find to do other than keep my BIC I did. I'm glad to say that I finally bit the bullet and sat myself down. I can tell you that once I got started it didn't take me long. It was a simple and "then what happened?" sequence that saw me through.

I can't take all the credit though. Each scene has to have a certain thing in it and you always want to move the story forward.
Each scene of course needs characters and a setting. What are the characters doing and where and why?

If you keep asking why and answering you will get to the end.

Write out at least ten scenes with number one being the beginning and ten the end, then fill in the middle.
Good Luck!

Monday, June 13, 2011

upcoming conference and where I am now

What stories can you think of looking at this picture. This is from the cemetery at Sweetwater Mansion in Florence, AL.

I am still working on plotting my novel and I have started back to the plotting stage.
First things first.

Come up with a one sentence synopsis of my story.

I have read this in several different books and magazine articles. This takes practice and you may want to do this every so often just to make sure you are staying true the story and not going off on a tangent. (This is what I'm guilty of doing)

I am doing better and my sentence is tighter. Barbara Seuling in her book on writing for children suggests limiting the sentence to just 25 words. That's hard! But practice, practice, practice. You'll be glad you did.

Follow his website to find out about the exciting Midsouth Writers and Illustrators conference taking place in Nashville, TN in September.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


On Thursday I met my goal of writing 1000 words but did not get anything written yesterday.

In the chapter titled "Resistance" Schmidt states that "resistance can ruin a career before it ever gets started."
She lists 10 things that can help you overcome this.
They are:
1. Create an outline
2. Break the writing down into small, doable tasks.
3. Know the next step
4. Hold yourself accountable
5. Gather support
6. Be specific
7. Visualize the entire goal from start to finish.
8. Create a deadline
9. Celebrate your successes.
10. Make it a habit.

She includes in the book steps and formats to reach each of these goals.

I'm blogging about my experience to keep me accountable and hopefully gain some support. Yesterday was not a total loss because Thursday a surprise character showed up when one decided to leave. He reminds me of Yosemite Sam without the gun. But I think of him and a hobbit and he is really unique and instead of being invisible to others, he is visible from he's from the past so he has a lot of catching up to do. Will he have the Key Jaxon needs? I'll have to get back to writing to find out.

Keep writing and post your successes here! See you next time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Challenge

Okay, I know it's not November, the month that NaNoBIAM usually occurs, but November is so busy for me with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. So, I decided to do the BIAM in June. And I'm off to a good start with 4438 words already down. I cheated a little because this is what I accomplished in April.
I am using Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D book to help me. She suggests getting one of these each time you do the BIAM to help you stay on track.

It is really neat. It has stickers in the back so you can put your working title on the spine and tips on how to keep going even when you have to change something. You can footnote it and keep writing.

So how am I doing? Tune in tomorrow for results.

This is day two of June so there is still time if you want to join me. Send in your word count, daily or weekly or whenever you can. If you did outline or research, brainstorming, revision- instead of actual word count that's great too. It all counts for getting your novel done.

Got to go now and get my wip moving forward.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moving On

This is the picture of happiness! Finally through with college and out on her own. She is an amazing and beautiful young woman and I'm proud to call her mine.

Next up will be Kendall. He will graduate Friday night. And tomorrow I finally get to take my pill and get back on my meds. It will be time to make up for lost time.

Upcoming events you need to aware of:
next weekend is the regatta at MSSC on the TN river. Come out and enjoy the races.

For you writers out there; this will give you a chance to interviews sailors. It would be interesting if a female captain won this year wouldn't it?

Also for you writers is the AWC conference in Huntsville, AL taking place July 15-17. Follow this link to find out more about it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Life goes and goes and goes

I'm am so far behind on blogging but life does go on. I have had surgery and gone off meds and on meds and off again in the hopes to get best treatment for thyroid cancer. Since mine is not well differentiated other opinions were needed to see what would be the best route to go. In this picture we were able to catch a rare moment when we could all be together. I have one more week to be on low iodine diet (LID) and off thyroid meds. Rachel has graduated from University of South Carolina and next up will be Kendall graduating from High School.
This is Kendall and Eddie, Rachel and Amber and me and Ken. A great looking family if I say so myself. And yes, we are very proud of all of them.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Women, Art History and Poetry

This was the title of the event that was held at the Florence-Lauderdale Public library. Being the history lover that I am I was thrilled to learn how Irene created poetry from pictures (art) and from historical events about women.

I loved the one about Einsteins' daughter, maybe because it spoke to me on a scientific level too.

Irene handed out three notecards we were too look at a picture of art and write out first thought about it on one card. Then on the next we were to maybe what was happening or what memory it brought to mind and then on the third we were to think about the emotion it evoked.

Then she put all of them together and the whole class wrote a beautiful poem. Incredible! She made it seem so easy.

Now if I could only do that again???

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nuggets of Gold Discovered

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom 8:18.

I may be taking this completely the wrong way, but this morning this verse is telling me that nothing can be so bad as what heaven won't outshine for us. In other words it is giving me strength to prepare me for what I am going to have to endure with my radiation treatment.

Rom 8:25 says that if we hope for what we can't see, then we wait with patience. I am learning to be patient. Facing the unknown is scary. I visited the web site and learned a lot about my cancer and that pretty much, everyone responds differently.

So then I think about what should I pray for? Or hope for? and verse 26-27 says not to worry about it because when all we can do is cry, Jesus takes our wants and needs to Father himself and intercedes. Roman's chapter 8 ends on a positive note: There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

I hope this inpires you in some way too, with whatever battle you may be facing. Rmember there is no job too small or too that God can't handle.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Sometimes the best laid plans must be put on hold. I'm a goal oriented person. I love to make lists and track my progress. Sometimes the rug gets pulled out from under you and you come to a screeching halt, like maybe a hurricane or earthquake or cancer.

Mine came in the form of cancer this week. I had found a knot on my throat but wasn't concerned "It was just a goiter" or so I thought. I have no cancer risks and none in my family. So I went and had the necessary tests which was inconclusive and a thyroid ectomy was performed this past Tuesday. the result was follicular thyroid cancer. I guess I can count myself lucky as this is not a life threatening cancer. It's just the idea of something growing in you and you have no idea it is there. There were no symptoms, no problems of any kind. My body is learning to adapt and so am I. God has been merciful and good. I am so blessed. I have a great and wonderful close knit family for which I am grateful for. An awesome church family and I am also blessed with wonderful friends, many of which I have met at writing conference and co-workers.

I want to thank everyone for the prayers offered for me. They mean more than I can say.

Keep me in your prayers as the ground steadies once more and I'm up and running again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I think I must have adult hyperactivity or attention deficient when it comes to writing daily. So I have been researching some ways to overcome this and hopefully it will help you too.

In a supplement of The Writer magazine, David Taylor suggests putting yourself on a timer and put butt in chair for 45 minutes. This is to help train yourself to get in the habit of writing daily.

Barbara Seuling in her book, How to Write a Children's Book and Get It Published, says in Chapter 6 to try writing 15 minutes a day every day. Just to get yourself in the habit of sitting down and writing something, anything. Until it becomes a habit.

She described me to a "T" when she talked about how you go answer the phone and on your way you see something that needs to be done and go from one room to the next.

Well that's me and before I know it, it is time for me to get ready for work.

So this is my challenge to myself this week, sit for 15 minutes without getting up. Turn the phone off and forget everything else and just work on my work in progress.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time to Get Organized

Every January first I make a New Year's Resolution. This time I'm just trying to concentrate on getting organized. One way I've learned that is a good approach is to make a list of everything that needs to be done that week. Then break this list down in what needs to be done each day.
So for today, I have accomplished about 3/4 of my list. I'm still having trouble working in my daily BIC (butt in chair) activity and have to recognize it as procrastination.
Why am I procrastinating? Because I don't like to redo things. I want to do it once and be done with it. silly I know. When I think about it I wash clothes everyday. Sweep, mop and dust, too. So why can't I just forgive myself and write the worst 1st draft I can. at least that part won't have to be redone.

Any suggestions on how you overcome this or other tips you would like to share?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Schmooze Round Up

We had a good number in attendance Saturday for the January Schmooze held at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. I would like to thank Heather Montgomery for presenting: Your Path to Publication" If you missed it you can view her power point presentation for one week at her website:

I would also like to thank Pat Weaver for providing the delicious homemade chicken salad.

Freebies were available that included the benefits of belong to SCBWI and pamphlets to sign up. Magazine were also available for market research that we are always encouraged to do.
Door prizes were given.

Heather described the different markets that were out there and how to create a package to send to an editor or publisher and also discussed other jobs that could come them.

Upcoming Events:
Schmooze In Huntsville
January 29, 2011 1-3pm
Speaker: Hester Bass
topic: Perfecting your Pitch
for more information contact Melanie Smith at

Picture Book Intensive: The Art Behind the Words a Day devoted to the Serious Writer
Friday, October 14,2011 This will be held in conjunction with WIK-Writing and Illustrating for Kids Fall ?Conference held in Hoover, Al at Spain Park School. For more information: