Sunday, November 11, 2018

2018 Siesta Key Crystal Classic

2018 Siesta Key Crystal Classic
International Sand Sculpting Festival

There were 8 teams of 2 and 8 solo sculptors.

I was able to meet Peter Vogelaar (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and Delayne Corbett (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) and take a picture of them with their work of art.

There were also sculptures of BOOKS!
Here is Alice in Wonderland.

I like what Delayne said about his ability to sculpt. He had mentors that encouraged him and he honed his skills by attending workshops  and participating in competitions.

Writers are not that much different. We too must "hone" our craft and there are many workshops we can attend either in person or online and also many contests!
What are you doing to hone your craft?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Market Research

Have you ever written a story and sent it off either to a magazine or agent only to hear something like, "I'm sorry, but we have a work like that already?"

Market research is one of my least favorite things to do, but a necessary task that should be done if you are writing to be published.

Some of the ways that I have been able to research the market is to check with the library. What are some of the new releases?

I receive an email newsletter from the Sarasota County library that posts new arrivals. I can choose from several filters.
Another tool used frequently is the library online search for books. I can log in from home and search for books by subject. If the book is not at my home library I can request a hold and they will send it to my home library for easy pickup.

Horn Book Review, Kirkus review, Publisher's Weekly are a few that offer best books for the year and you can filter to children's books.

Of course we all know Amazon is a great tool for researching subjects and can also read excerpts  of the book to give you an idea of the slant the author has taken.

Another helpful tool to use is Renaissance Readers, this site tells you published date, number of pages and much more.

But why do a market research?
You don't want to spend volumes of time and effort on a topic that has been recently published unless you can slant it differently. You will need to be able to show how your book is different and why it should be published.
In my recent market research I have been looking at picture book biographies. I'm amazed at how focused they are, but still contain other information not known before or not highlighted before.

Some things to note in your Market research:
Target age group
Fiction or Nonfiction
Total pages
Chapters: How many pages to a chapter?
Who is the main character?
What POV is used?
Prose or Poetry?

What are some of you market research techniques?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

I'm Back!

I'm Back! Where have I been you ask? Well, let me tell you a story.
I took a two year hiatus while I worked on my MBA. Yep that's right. I now have my Master of Business Administration. I learned so much and wrote so many papers I thought my fingers would never straighten out. Many early mornings and late nights. I still snuck in some reading though. Audio books on the way to work and back and reading a page or two to wind down before I closed my eyes for the night. Graduation will be December 15th, 2018. I am looking forward to meeting the women that were in our group project. We were scattered across the south and different time zones but we worked like a well oiled machine.

Some things I learned about myself was that I still loved to learn and could learn. I can do research and write exceptional research papers. I can get in the habit of getting up early to study or write and stay up late if needed.
I can and will set aside time to write, research and edit.

Some other things that happened to me in the past two years was that I moved to Venice, FL and work at Sarasota. We have a swimming pool! and a place on the water.

But most important, I have a new granddaughter, my first grandchild, so I'm definitely over the moon.

I have updated and cleaned up my blog page and will post more often.

I have also signed up for another ICL Class and will be blogging about my experience with this. If you're looking for a good online writing class I highly recommend them.