“Two Writing Teachers” hosts the weekly “Slice of Life” challenge. This writing challenge gives us the opportunity to write about something in our lives.
Sunday my husband and I attended the anniversary celebration of an older couple from our church. These two have been married 65 years! Yes – 65! They’ve been married longer than we’ve been alive!
Both are in their mid 80s and are still very active. They sing in the choir and in singing groups. They volunteer and enjoy evenings out, especially playing euchre.They are always concerned with their friends and love to chat.
What role models they are for us all. They support each other, laugh and joke with one another and are still quite affectionate. I feel privileged to call them friends.
Thunderstorms and warnings of a possible tornado, persuaded me to shutdown my computer yesterday afternoon. Even though I have an ipad, I chose not to post. After a full day away from the computer, I decided to continue with the rest.
This past week was productive.
* I completed my last revision of “the Chestnut and the Bay” and will be submitting it this week. This was the NF book I wrote through “NF Archaelogy” (run by Kristen Fulton) and critiqued several times by her. During the last critique Friday, Kristen dubbed it ready.
*I am taking part in 2 online writing workshops – “Teachers Write” through Kate Messner and “Writing Summer school ” with the Nerdychicks. Love them both and so much great advice from both.
*I have also been reading and studying a lot of fiction and non-fiction picture books. (Check my posts on “It’s Monday. What are You Reading” for a look at just some of the books I have been reading)
*I have been working on a few of my other works as well, but not huge chunks of time. Have started a new story that I’m loving.
*Posted 2 posts last week – “It’s Monday…” and “Slice of Life Tuesday”
*I need to polish my story and my cover letter and then send to 4 agents.
*Read more picture books
*Work on my characters per “summer School” posts.
*spend longer blocks of time writing!
This past week I have continued reading and studying fiction and non-fiction picture books. There is such a wealth of these awesome books.
Here are a few I read:
Julia Morgan Built a Castle by Celeste Davidson Mannis
Interesting biography of the first woman to enroll in the school of Architecture in Paris. She became famous for her buildings that withstood the San Francisco earthquake. and the Hearst castle.
A Nation’s Hope by Matt de la Pena
This biography of Joe Louis made the boxer come to life and highlighted his special personality.
As Good As Anybody by Richard Michelson
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel led such different lives, but both came together to fight discrimination. Both faced great odds but proved they and all of us are as good as anybody else ( a message that needs to be heard by everyone!)
Say Something by Peggy Moss
Too often people use the excuse “it’s not my problem” to do nothing. The issue of bullying is looked at through the lens of a young girl who comes face to face with it after refusing to speak up other times. Another message that needs to be heard – we must speak up against racism, discrimination and bullying.
I also finally read “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs.
Loved this quirky book and am anxious now to read the sequel.
Today is Slice of Life Tuesday, that fun writing challenge hosted at “Two Writing Teachers“
Last night was the second night in a row that I just could not get to sleep. I was determined to stay in bed last night and force sleep. It wasn’t going to happen. though But what happened was even better in the end.
I had been at a standstill on my adult novel. Last night I began thinking about the two characters and what they needed to do to move forward. I have started with “summer School for Writers” through NerdyChicks and I guess I was thinking about the lessons. Suddenly I was seeing them interacting and solving a problem I had with the scene. Then the next scene played itself out as well. I often visualize these scenes first before I write.
I had to get up then and capture those scenes on paper. Yes!
The scenes worked, even when I got up this morning and read them over. I am excited now to return to the novel.
lLst week I shared a number of the wonderful picture books I read during the retreat i attended.I read over 20 books and enjoyed the stories and the lessons I took from them (beginnings and endings, characters, plot etc).
Here are a few more:
A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant
This is a biography of Horace Pippin, a little known artist who loved to draw. His right arm was Injured during WW1 but he he would eventually return to creating art. He was self- taught and loved to add a touch of red to his paintings. Lovely biography – both words and illustrations.
Monsieur Marceau by Leda Schubert
A delightful biography of the internationally famous mime Marcel Marceau.This is a look behind the white face, at the man who has entertained us for over 50 years.
The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock
Another biography, this one of the abstract artist Kandinsky, who actually heard sounds that colours made.
Testing the Ice by Sharon Robinson
Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon has written a lovely biography of her father, based on an incident on the a rink with the neighbour children. Loved it.
Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tontiuh
This is the story of Sylvia Mendez and her parents who filled a lawsuit and helped end school segregation in California. Excellent read..
This past week has been a busy one of revisions to 5 picture book scripts that i had taken with me to the writers’ retreat last week.(next year’s retreat is already available to sign up for – I’m already committed to going) All of the stories had critiques done and were part of the daily round tables.
Each day this week I took one of the stories and went through it with the critiques I received. Six or seven different opinions provided lots of feedback. Some of the stories were easier to work on than others.
I took a Non-Fiction writing course with Kristen Fulton (who hosted the retreat) in June and we are still together as a group, critiquing and revising our stories. I have never worked so hard on my writing as I have with this story. My goal is to submit it as soon as Kristen gives me a thumbs up.
I have been doing research this week as well and have even started a new story, based on parts of my mom’s and aunt’s early lives. Loving it so far.
I continue to read picture books – both fiction and non-fiction. There are so many excellent ones available.
I have decided to post only on Sundays as I see more progress over a week than just a few days.
This week i will be writing, researching and reading as much as possible. I want to really get my writing routine set in motion and follow it, so that i can be my most productive.
I am also taking part in the Writing Summer School at Nerdychicks. Looks like it will be a lot of fun. The focus is on character.
Week of Writing
At Georgia retreat
Rustic setting, good food
Awesome seven days
Picture book writing
Overloaded with information
Critiques, writing, learning
Talking, sharing, laughing
Every Tuesday at “Two Writing Teachers” the “Slice of Life” challenge allows everyone a space to share a slice of one’s life.
Last Monday, I traveled on my own to Atlanta and then drove with 3 others to Enota for a week long writer’s retreat. It was hosted by Kristen Fulton, whose non fiction writing workshop I have been taking (and loving!). It was truly amazing.
33 women took part in the retreat with about 15 agents, writers and published authors offering workshops and critiques throughout the week.
Each day was jam packed, from 9 to 6, with workshops on picture book writing and round table groups to get critiques from 6 others on our stories.
I met such interesting and caring women. We laughed and shared and worked together. The food was good, the advice was priceless and the comraderie was wonderful. I was sorry to leave.
It was most definitely the best retreat/conference I have ever been to!
This quote seems to speak to what we all were encouraged to do:
“Dream lofty dreams, as as you dream, so shall you become.” by John Ruskin
Yes, my dream is to be published and I am on the road to follow that dream! There I’ve sad it!
I spent the past week at a writer’s retreat and besides all the workshops (which were wonderful!) and critiques, I read picture books – lots of them. I woll spread this over a couple of weeks, but here are my favourite ones:
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
I must admit, I had tears while reading this book. It was such an inspiring, lovely story. A review wouldn’t do it justice. Just read it!
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
The subtitle says it is a Muslim book of colours, but it is so much more. A wonderful early exploration of the Muslim religion. So enjoyed this book
Dream Something Big, The Story of the Watts Towers by Dianna Hutts Aston
Dianna spoke at the retreat and shared many of her books. This one drew me, with the story of Simon Rodia and his incredible years long creating of the towers. The artwork by Susan L. Roth was stunning. What a fascinating history of how the towers were built. Loved it.
The Secret Cave: Discovering Lascaux by Emily Arnold McCully
This was a fascinating history of the discovery of the Lascaux prehistoric paintings. Those paintings are incredible even after all of these years.
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan
What a unique story – such an interesting way to look at two incredible women – Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. Amelia comes for dinner at the White House and the two women go for a ride with Amelia flying the plane.
The third round of ROW80 has already begun and I am a week late in posting. But – last week I attended an awesome writers’ retreat in Georgia and I was immersed in writing. What a fantastic learning experience. It really rejuvenated me and has me eager to become more focused on my writing.
Here are my current writing goals for the next 80 days:
1. Write daily, for at least I hour a day. I am less worried about the word count, as I am of actually writing.
2. Revise/edit/ 4 of my picture books. Submit one to an editor/agent.
3. Use the advice from editor Avril to revise/Finish “Jacob’s Journey” (historical MG)
4. Read 3 books on writing
5. Take one writing course
6. Read at least 4 articles on writing a week
7. Complete first draft of current romance novel “Fired”
8. Take part in at least two weekly writing/reading challenges: “It’s Monday. What Are You reading.”, “Slice of Life Tuesday” or “30 Words Thursday”
9. Continue to read MG, YA and picture books.
10. Post Sunday and Wednesday at ROW80
I am looking forward to achieving these goals and being accountable for them, in a supportive community.