Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Institute of Children's Literature

Well, I took the plunge! I decided that it was time that I stopped hippity-hopping all over the known universe and to make a very serious, concentrated effort to polish the fine craft of writing to better my efforts and chances at/for publication. I applied to and was accepted by the Institute of Children's Literature. I have my own personal tutor! Assignment 1 has been submitted and I am doing some of the suggested things that are in the manual while waiting for my tutor's comments, suggestions, etc. I am very excited about this journey. It should take about a year. After that, I should feel more secure in my writing endeavors and should also feel much better prepared to write to submit.
It IS a journey! Title? "Journey to the Center of MY Universe." :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Rainy December Day...

Redundant? It's not a typo. It really is December and it is, in fact, raining. The river is the highest that I have seen it. The flip camera got a workout as I walked around the perimeter of the property. The entire floodplain is submerged and the water is flowing like it does in the riverbed itself. I shudder to think what-all debris will be dropped as it recedes. It's actually frightening to walk near the flood level. It's deep. It's dark. It's cold. Plus it's moving at an amazing speed. Huge trunks of fallen trees are moving by effortlessly. Ice chunks seem to glance up at me menacingly as they move on by. The whole thing is awe-inspiring, but really really scary.

I was accepted by the Institute of Children's Literature for their children's and young adult's program of learning. I am totally pumped. (Did I just "date" myself?). I will have my own personal tutor, who is a published author herself as well as having been trained by the Institute. I will be starting in January. It is affordable and certainly feels like the prospects for me are full of promise. It has been a long time since I have felt this heartened.

I am entering some of my poetry into four different contests. One deadline is this week. I hate myself for having left it until the last minute. That is a no-no, but "it's too late to turn back now." There are two that are due at the end of the month and the final one is in February. Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Every time that I do this, I think to myself, "Hey, you probably won't win." Now, is that self-sabotaging or what! I know all about "the power of positive thinking" and "manifesting," but it's difficult to stop those wheels after this many years. I have to get stuff out there that I think is pretty good. Even if I am rejected, it means that I am trying. It means honing the craft for an ever changing market while trying to be true to ones self. It's a compromise, at best.

So, that's that about that.

Until next post...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Rainy November Day...

Hey...Today's title is better than "It was a dark and stormy night..." right?!

I received news from a dear childhood friend that one of my high school classmates just passed away. It has been reverberating throughout my being ever since. "I knew him when." He left behind a wife and daughter and many many friends. I would say it was unexpected. First of all, I am so sorry that he left. Secondly, since we are/were the same age, it tends to beg the obvious question. I am so not ready. I am guessing that neither was he.

Is this all just a random sequence of events or is it pre-planned? I have spent the better part of my adult life searching for those types of answers. From metaphysics to quantum physics; from questioning (nearly all) religious beliefs via sorting and sifting; bouncing from one class to another in search mode; reading, reading, reading; researching, researching, researching; asking those tough questions. I am no closer to definitive answers now than I was when I began. I have not had a "being" appear out of seemingly nowhere to announce to me that there is life after life. Add to that, the said "being" has not led me on a learning expedition to show me that we have karma to work through and soul contracts. Are we or are we not in control of our own destinies? Is it a simple fact that "shit happens?" I have book shelf after book shelf filled with tomes that speak to these very issues. Not one of them tells me that "shit happens." They are all filled with testimonies and promises that this lifetime is one of many; we are here to learn; we have free will and often goof up, but we can right the wrongs. There's so much more, but this is where my head, heart and (hopefully) soul are spinning thoughts around the passing of my high school classmate. I really hope that he is able to watch over his family and gets to watch all of his friends at the celebration of his life. I have no idea what his beliefs were (are?) but I have a feeling that he is, in fact, with them.

Happy Trails, Tommy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August Blues

Here it is...the end of Cindy's and Nadia's stay. They are moving back to VA on the 15th, when their "new" house will be ready for them. Ryan got back safe and sound, spent a couple of weeks here with us, and then headed back to base and back to work. Peter and I will be driving a U-Haul while Cindy drives our car (Ryan took hers back). Somehow, in the meantime, we will need to pick up the U-Haul, fill it full of boxes (many of which have yet to be packed) and then head out, with six dogs, one cat, a seven year old child and memories. The memories will fill whichever vehicle I end up in. I am guessing that I'll take turns.
Barbra S's song, "Memories" just popped into my head...
"Memories....light the corners of my mind..." I guess I can't write any more without crying.
It has been a really good year. We have all grown tremendously.
Peter will stay for a bit, and then head back. I will stay and see Nadia into her first day or two of Grade 2. Then I will fly a home without my girls and dogs. I will be a mess. At the same time, I need to use that energy to write. Huge emotional shifts make for good writing.

Speaking of writing...I have been a bad, bad writer. Nary a word. I have two YA mss in the works and need to polish a short story and two children's stories. This time, I will treat it like a job. No more "dinking around" and doing the "I'll get to it later" stuff. I need to hunker down and do it to it!!!!!

We'll see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Whoosh times 100

My poor blogsite has gathered layer upon layer of virtual dust. Oh dear. May I offer a plethora of lame excuses? No? I excuses needed or even heeded. Soooo, I will enter yet another entry that will float along the edges of the cosmos, unread by eyes other than my own.

Suffice it to say that I have been clawing my way out a personal black hole. The gravity continues to pull and my energy continues to wane. My writing? A bit here and a bit there. I have suffered a few critical hits that have managed to dampen my enthusiasm to create. I will rally. I always do. One of these days...really...

Do I believe in "send a thought out there and it will manifest?" I hope that it isn't totally true, especially when I see anger and hear angry comments. Ouch. However, I want to believe that if one projects with an intent that is honorable, that perhaps, just perhaps, it will manifest. "As A Man Thinketh," by James Allen copyright 1903 includes a lot to consider. The notion has been around for a loooong time.

I am taking an ecourse that I am behind in. I have two more weeks, so will need to do some serious sitting, thinking, working, etc to do it and myself justice.

I will write. That is a promise to me. I will submit. That is another promise to me. I won't give up if I suffer rejection. That is yet another promise to me.

I also need to be more faithful in my blogging.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April PAD Challenge

I have neglected my blog. It became more of a diary/journal than a writing journal. I am now going to use it to write. Robert Brewer of Writers Digest fame runs a poetry "marathon" two times a year; November and April. He had dubbed it the PAD Challenge, for a Poem A Day. He gives us a theme and a poem ("Here's my attempt") each day of the month. This will be my third year doing the April challenge. This is also his first "deal" with those of us who participate to write out poems on our blogs rather than his website, where they become possible "published" work and no longer viable to use as publishable...tricky stuff.

This is my entry to explain what I will be doing for awhile. After this entry, I will write a poem a day here on my blogsite.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

October, November, December...Oh My!

Zip! Zoom! Bang! Crash! Sob! Sigh! I guess a bit of onomatopoeia pretty much covers my writing life in the past few months. I have gotten some done. Actually, I did a lot of poetry. Poet Robert Brewer runs a poetry marathon twice a year (November and April) and I make every effort to participate. This past month's effort was mostly done on paper. I did post about ten poems on the website, which is a failure in terms of my wishes to do it up. However, I did write to all but two or three of the prompts and have some handwritten still and some typed and saved in word. I did pull several out to put into book form and sent it to him, hopefully following his specs to the tee. So that is an accomplishment for me, when I think of what this past two or three months has had in store for me/us.

My six-year old granddaughter, Nadia, has been making efforts to adjust to a new set of everything. Her dad is in Iraq and Nadia and her mom moved in with my husband and me. Along with them came a plethora of dogs and a cat. My daughter, Cindy, is enrolled in UMA, trying to finish up a degree. There was also a litter of five AKC Registered Maltese pups born to her female and they have all been placed. What an ordeal! In the meantime, she was on her way home on Black Friday, in the rain, having delivered a pup to a client, when a car zoomed across the middle of the road going 55+ MPH and hit her almost head on. Both cars were totalled. Cindy was taken to the hospital and thank God, is now home and ok-ish. Her body took one hell of a beating, but all-in-all, she is alive and well and that's really all that matters. The driver of the other car was taken home by her husband who was driving behind her in another vehicle. That's a long story in itself. However, trying to deal with insurance, rental, and getting another car has consumed all of us.

Now it is nearly Christmas. I am so NOT ready and it's next week. I don't want to talk about it!

In the meantime, I am going to try and get back in the fiction and non-fiction writing groove after the holiday passes us by. I am pretty happy with my poetry efforts. I want to enter a non-fiction contest and I am needing to clear off the dust from two a chapter book for reluctant readers, which I want to make into a series and the other my so very dusty YA SCI-FI MS.

Over and out...