Saturday, July 30, 2011

I finished

I've been working away and taking a blogcation and facebook-cation so I could finish draft 4. So now it is done and I hope to be able to catch up on some blogging and reading everyone's blogs.

I'm excited to read about all of your adventures in LA at the SCBWI conference next week. This was not my year to go to the conference but someday I'm sure the stars will align with the show calendar and I'll be able to attend.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've been working on my revision like crazy. This one went faster than the last draft, which is awesome.
This draft also needs to be finished by the time people who have offered to read it go on vacation. In other words I really want to finish this draft by the end of July.

So I'm taking a blogcation.

I heart you all and I promise to come back to blog land in 10,000 or so words or however many it takes to get to The End.

Take good care of the interwebz while I'm away.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

HP Quilt- Patronus

I'm a little excited for Friday at 12:01.
Here's another square from the HP Quilt I'm making for my friend's son.
Here's a link to my Sorting Hat Square
I finished another square a couple weeks ago and let me tell you it is so freaking cute that I may have to keep the quilt for myself and just buy the kid a Harry Potter quilt from a department store.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Fives

Paper Hangover asks the question What are your five favorite research tools or resources?

1. Google. When I want an answer I google it. Google has been really helpful this year in helping me identify all the veggies in my CSA box and helping me come up with ways to prepare them.

2. Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maas. The exercises in this book are really great for writing complex characters. If I'm stuck I try to sit down with an exercise in this book and see what I come up with.

3. An Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg. I love this book. I'm not writing a memoir but the exercises in here are so great for getting me to put pen to paper. Most pages have a word at the top of them and then a question and the direction to write for ten minutes.

4. Blogs. There are so many wonderful blogs out there that I think of as resources in my writing.

5. The Loft Literary Center This is where I take writing classes and attend conferences. I love to sit in the coffee shop in this building and write. This is where both the Writing Groups I'm involved with meet. I've learned so much here and had access to wonderful teachers. It is just a wonderful place. They are trying to offer more online classes so you can take a class without having to brave a Minnesota winter.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Hometown Love

I've lived in Minnesota for 12 years but I grew up in the Quad Cities. I lived on both the Illinois and Iowa side of the Mississippi River. Last week President Obama visited my hometown and enjoyed a local restaurant.
Here's a video

While the Magic Mountain is awesome I prefer the Maid Rite as my hometown food that lets me know I'm home. I also need to eat Smurf ice cream from Whitey's, it is blue and has little marshmallows in it. The closest I can find to it outside of the QC is a flavor called Blue Moon, blue but without the marshmallows.
Where did you grow up? What is your favorite food from your hometown?

I'm busy revising, rereading Harry Potter and rewatching the Harry Potter movies. I'm reading book 5 and I got a little weepy during the chapter The Woes of Mrs. Weasley.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tips on Saying Yes

I've learned over the years the importance of saying no to things.
In order to say no to things I try to think of writing as a job. It requires time to be successful.

But sometimes you have to say yes to things.
Maybe saying yes to a project makes money that can pay a bill that needs paying or can lead to more work down the line.
I sew and sometimes there are people who want me to work on projects and while this can be good (extra money) it can also be bad (sewing= not writing).
So here are some things I do when I say yes to things.

1. Set a rate of pay at least as high as my day job. Charge more for things like rush orders or projects that require a great deal of skill. I also remember that doing outside projects takes away from writing time so I keep that in mind when setting rates.

2. Try to get projects on the calendar as early as possible. This can mean still having time to write if I can start another project early enough.

3. Be picky about who I work with/for. I will alter clothes for most of my friends but if someone outside my circle of friends wants me to alter things I try to make sure they aren't too high maintenance.

How do you balance saying no to outside projects? How do you decide what projects to say yes to?