Thursday, June 14, 2007

Learn from the insiders

June 12, 2007

Long time, no blog!


I'll now be using my blog to replace the News page on my website. So here you'll find a random mix of stuff, posted at least every second day.

You can take as many writing classes as you like, but finding out about the business from the inside is the best way to learn.Today I ran across the blog maintained by Jessica Faust of Bookends LLC - a Literary Agency. Lots of info about how an agent works, insights into what makes a good query, and loads of other invaluable stuff. Miss Snark may be no longer snarking with us (although her archives are posted), but we're not totally on our own.

Too bad I'm a Canajian, or I'd to submit my picture book story Tell Me Again to the Goodnight Moon 60th Anniversary bedtime story contest. If you're in the US or a US citizen,
check it out. Top prize $1,000 and publication. Update: just now noticed that you also have to be completely unpublished to be eligible to submit.

In case you wondered, Elsie and the Silver Rain will be done by the week-end - well, a good shitty first draft. Its sequel Scoop and the Boxcar Tourists will have to wait until I've finished the revisions on Elsie, because I'm already chomping at the bit to start work on Return of the Summer Fish. For anyone interested , these are the brief synopses of these WIPs:

Elsie and the Silver Rain
With the help of her friend Scoop, nine-year old Elsie sets about reconciling her family when it starts to fall apart under the pressure of change and poverty. This mid-Grade novel is set in Depression-era Vancouver.

Meet Elsie. I ran across this picture of an unidentified child in the book 'Children of the Deptression'. Without this face, I might not have a story. Her pic is on my laptop desktop, on the bulletin board, and tucked inside my notebook.


Scoop and the Boxcar Tourists

Exiled to the Fraser Valley to work on a farm for the summer, Scoop tries to find his own way home to his family and best friend Elsie, only to end up going the wrong way in the company of railroad hoboes. Sequel to Elsie and the Silver Rain.

Return of the Summer Fish
While eleven year-old Pauline Fraser has spent the last year at boarding school in England, her younger sister Gilly has been sending her letters about hunting jackals, riding camels, and drinking tea with sheiks in their desert tents.

When Pauline joins Gilly and her parents in Iraq, instead of the exciting summer she's expecting, she finds the culture overwhelming, her younger sister unwelcoming, and her own place in the family uncertain.
Then Gilly goes missing in a sandstorm, and Pauline discovers that she can not only negotiate Sally’s strange – and much exaggerated - world, but that she can also help her sister adjust to the idea of leaving her familiar environment and returning to boarding school with her when the summer is over. Memoir-based, set in the expatriate community of the Middle East in the early 60s.

Wednesday, June 27 is the first in the summer session Write @ the Library, a series of moderated critique groups and short workshops. All I need is enough people to cover the cost of the room and refreshments, and we'll run with whoever shows up. Complete info here.

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