Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Excuses, excuses... and a summer festival

What is the best reason for not blogging?

Writing, of course!

I've had a wild couple of weeks, with an idea coming to me as I cooked some rice for supper one night, and ten days later I have a decent first draft of a 17,000-word book for early readers (8-10) called Miss Stella's Mindful Moments.

(The rice burned!)

This one almost wrote itself. I felt as if I was just along for the ride.

I've had some great feedback from some real pros, along with very specific craft advice that has made so much difference: young readers have problems with contractions, and if you're going to name a place, person or thing that is not familiar to them, it helps if it's pronounceable. Which is why in Mindful Moments, Sechelt has now been changed to the Sunshine Coast, and the second run- through on the story took more time that I thought, as when you try to eliminate contractions, quite a bit of rephrasing is required. But I think the text benefited in the long run.

I have
Marsha Skrypuch to thank for that invaluable advice.

I feel confident enough to start pitching this baby; later this week will send out full proposal packages (query letter + sample chapters) to four publishers simultaneously. I'll wait to start the second wave of marketing Mindful Moments until I hear back from those four. And in the meantime, plan to finish up Elsie and the Silver Rain and start really digging into
Return of the Summer Fish.

Pandora's Collective Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival will be held Sat. July 21, 12 noon - 7:30 at Lumberman's Arch in Vancouver.

I'll be sorry to miss this - I will be working at the library, as I do most Saturdays.

This will be a great day of presentations, readings, workshops... and much more.

Check out the full day's schedule at

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