Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nice Rejections

Getting a "YES!!" from an agent is, of course, the ultimate goal, of any aspiring traditionally published author.  You need that agent to help you get your manuscript into many different publishing houses- I only know of a few that accept unsolicited submissions (I have a list of a few for kid's books if you're interested!).

Barring not getting a "YES!!" it is nice to get some positive feedback.  I've had a few positives.  One thought the PB MS was very funny, but they were not taking on any PB writers, another liked the strong voice and very clever, but didn't like the non-standard English.

I'm still working at it, still getting picture book manuscripts written and edited each month, still submitting to agents despite all the rejections.  Still hoping for that, "YES!!"

And when I get it (cuz it is a question of when, not if), I will be shouting it out on here!

Monday, September 7, 2015

What Are You Reading? And Mentor Texts

I've read in many places that in order to become a better writer, you need to read!  Especially in the genre in which you write.  I first heard it in a Stephen King quote, and, I believe, it was in his book, On Writing.

I definitely read A LOT, well, at least I think it's a lot.  I counted how many books I've completed this year (there are two I did not/ will not complete...just didn't like them...but that's another post).  I counted 14.  Honestly, I was disappointed.  I really thought I'd read more than that!  But I have time to increase that number.

I mostly read High Fantasy.  Do I write that genre?   NOPE!  But someday I'd love to.  Just like, someday, I'd like to write a historical fiction with a touch of romance in it (I don't read that genre at all, but have a list of mentor texts).

I'm currently reading a few different series: The Stormlight series from Brandon Sanderson, the Elminster series by Ed Greenwood and the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.  I do read others along with these: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert among others.  But Fantasy is where it's at for me!

I write for kids.  I have some picture book, and early chapter book manuscripts I've been working on for a while, as I also write new stuff because, well, I love to write! 

Do I read this genre?  Oh yeah!  I do teach second grade after all!!  But, do I analyze them like a writer?  Do I treat them as a mentor text?  No!  But I sure need to.  I read many kids books each week, along with hearing kids read them, too.  I think I focus on them so much as a teacher for questioning, or for the kids enjoyment, that I do not look at them as a writer.

My goal, over the next month, is to really pick away at the text of a few books that the kids and I are drawn to, and really analyze them, compare them to what I write, see what I need to work on.

What are you reading?  What are you writing?  Do you "mentor text"?