Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Focus! But a good one this time

I’ve writing about my past issues with being able to focus on specific projects for along period of time.  I decided on five specific picture book manuscripts to focus on last Fall, and I’ve stuck with them, and made a lot of progress on them.  I’ve still worked on other things (new manuscripts, poetry, book research), but most of my time spent writing has been on these five manuscripts.  I have two to a point where I think they are “done”.  Well, I did.  I sent one to Rate Your Story on their free submission day and I got back my rating today.  I laughed when I saw it, and agreed with their comments.  I don’t mean laugh as in, ‘they have no idea what they’re talking about’, but laugh as in, ‘wow, that was unexpected, so I’ll laugh rather than cry or break stuff.’

RYS story rates stories on a 10-1 scale.  My story, which I thought would get a 3, maybe a 2, got an 8!  Yup, and 8.  Not as bad as ‘burn it’ but that’s bad.  I know these things are subjective, but when you look at the comments and agree with most of them, yeah, it’s an 8.  So, I have more things to do with this MS.  A lot.  One will be an easy fix, but will be a major change.
That 8 is the lowest score I’ve gotten from them.  I’ve had a handful of 4s, and a 6, but never an 8.  I thought for sure this one would be my highest!  

On the plus side, I have plenty of time over this summer to work on it based on their comments, and get it to my critique partner.  This Sunday, I leave for Summer Camp at the Barn at Highlights Foundation, and then in three weeks, after I drive my daughter to a camp, I’m staying at a hotel for a few days by myself to get more writing done.

As always, don’t give up.  Keep pushing.  This is a Dream, not just a Goal.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

#50PreciousWords Contest

This annual contest, hosted by Vivian Kirkfield, is in honor of Dr. Seuss and his being challenged to write a story using only 50 words.  We ended up with the classic Green Eggs and Ham (written with only 50 different words, though more than 50 total).  Vivian has been hosting this contest for a couple years.  Check out the contest post here.

My #50PreciousWords entry is inspired by the memory of a young me going next door (often, from what I’ve heard) and asking our neighbor Cathy for chocolate chip cookies.  I would have been about 3 or 4 at the time.  I’m sure it was always an adventure for me.

So, without further ado, here’s my entry:

Raiders of the Lost Cookie Jar

Into the jungle I go.
Climbing over fallen trees.
Through a raging river.
Snapping alligators!
Knee deep mud.
A Desert!
Windstorm!
Finally, home base was in sight.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Hi Erik,” Cathy said.
“Can I have a cookie?”
“Of course you can.”
“Thank you!”
Back to the jungle!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Gib Swen! I mean, Big News!

So!  Big news! Or, as some thought based on my instagram hint (@erikammon13) Gib swen!

Last Spring, I took a chance and, after talking with one of their authors, sent The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly and The Lost Squirrel to Polyethnic Publishing and they accepted it!

Fast forward nine months, and they now have tentative release dates!!  What are they? Well, they’re tentative, so I can’t say. But, stay tuned for future updates!!!!

Red, then green...Gib Swen!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Wrap Up

So I decided to begin this year going over my goals form 2017.  So, here goes:

1. Bust my ass to acheive my dreams.

I think I did this for about eight to nine months.

So, here’s what I did:

I wrote a 35,000 word MG fantasy MS
Have done massive editing on said MS
Came up with 37 ideas for Story Storm last January (most PB, some MG)
Wrote 21 PB MSs for 12x12 (As much as I LOOVVVVEEE 12x12, I’m not joining this year- that’s another post!)
Went deep on 3 or 4 MSs from those 21
Revised a few oldies
Was rejected many, many times for not only PBs, but for poetry as well!
Wrote a TON of poems (I May have written about a 100 or so).
Critiqued others works (PB, and finishing up a MG)
Took a chance, and sent my two self-published books to a publisher...
AND THEY GOT ACCEPTED!!!!!

So, I think I achieved my goal- for most of the year.

My goal for this year?

The same!

Bust my ass to achieve my dreams! (But this time no spelling mistakes).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

NaNoWriMo

Like last year, I took most of the month of September, into October off from writing.  I’ve been back at it slowly, as my motivation is still low, but it’s for fear of making crap, again. I have a PB MS and a MG MS that I love dearly, but I haven’t been back at them to make the major changed they need.

That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in...

I’m slowly working on ideas, taking notes, and preparing them for November.  I’m hoping to add 15,000 words to the MS, and make the major changes needed to the PB.

For the MS, I need to build the world, but, more importantly, I have to make the reader want to love the MC.  Write now (hehehehe...) both are lacking.  Majorly.

The PB needs more of a hook for the MC, and the situation the MC ends up in...more drama, more reason to turn the page.  There are great opportunities for an illustrator, but I need to make it more.

I’m also hoping to write some more poetry.  I love poetry!  It’s my therapy!  I also need to get back on the typewriter.  It misses me (as does my bike on the rollers...).

Are you doing NaNoWriMo???

Thursday, August 24, 2017

{Insert Title Here}

Titles...they can be tough.  I've got a middle grade novel I'm working on and I've got no title for it.  Well, a couple ideas, but nothing worthy of being a Title.  I have a few items like that- poems, PBs, story ideas, shorts, etc.

Sometimes it's easy to come up with a title, it flies right out of your brain, through your fingers, and lands right there, on your page, adding glory to your creation...or, like often happens, it's the best part of your SFD.

This isn't even what I planned on writing...I was going to do a lot of random thoughts, like this paragraph type part, but titles clicked...until now...

Sometimes the title becomes inspired by the story, a character, a main idea...SOMETHING!  And, it works. Sometimes you come up with a title, stick with it because it seems okay, then the story changes...and the title does not, and it no longer works.  That's where I'm at with the MG story I'm working on.

But it's not just the title I'm stuck on, there's a whole boatload of crap wrong with it, and a ton that I need to add to it.

{Have I said this before?}

Got any special ways you come up with a title?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Slump

I've hit a slump.  I'm not sure where it came from, but it's hit me.  I haven't been writing as regularly as I was for the last ten months, I've missed a couple days here and there of writing, even into the Brain Dump.

At least I think it's a slump.  I feel unmotivated, but it's not for everything, just for that middle grade fantasy that's been calling me, that I'm avoiding a major overhaul of.  I did start yesterday.  I added a whopping 200 or so words.  That's not a lot, but it's more than nothing, more than I'd added to it over the past few weeks, anyway.

I've written a couple poems, free style and lune both. I typed on he olde Olympia typewriter and posted it to IG.  A nice political one that I wrote back in April that fits today (give me a follow on IG: @ErikAmmon13) as well.

So maybe I'm not in a total slump, just a bit of a temporary set back.

I did write my monthly SFD for 12x12, putting me at 17 or 18 SFDs for the year, though two have fleshed out quite nicely and have potential.

Like I said, I've written some poems, and some words for the MG story, so I'm progressing.  This is also my second post in a week :)

Must just be a temporary set back.  A hurdle to get over, and I'm just about there.

I hope you've been clearing your hurdles.  What do you do to get out of slumps?