Tuesday, October 23, 2007

1st Draft Finished

I've finished the first draft of my first non-fiction chapter book. It's a historical piece about the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. I'm having a little trouble thinking it feels too much like a term paper!

Anyone interested in the disaster should check out Stephen Puleo's Dark Tide (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Tide-Great-Boston-Molasses/dp/0807050202) -- it's a great read!

There are a lot of internet resources, but nothing for the mid-grades about this particular american disaster. So...I've written something. It's needs critiqueing -- look out Renee, Tracey, Carolyn and Mary!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Yesterday (Saturday), I attended a one-day workshop entitled "Encore" sponsored by the New England SCBWI. It was wonderful! I'm inspired, awed, and ready to write!

The first presenter was Mark Peter Hughes - author of Lemonade Mouth and I am the Wallpaper (http://www.markpeterhughes.com/). His session was on Plotting - he gave us several exercises to work on - I actually have some great ideas for my YA novel based on his session.

The second presenter was John Bell (http://ozandends.blogspot.com/) - an active member of the NESCBWI and, from his blog, a writer and reader of fantasy literature for children. He is the editor of Oziana, creative magazine of the International Wizard of Oz Club, and an Assistant Regional Advisor in the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. His session focused on puncuation and dialogue tags - and also gave me some great insight into ms formatting.

The last presenter was Sue Burgess, who taught a variety of children's literature courses at Framingham (MA) State College. until her recent retirement. A long-time member of the SCBWI, Sue was designated Member-of-the-year in 1985 for her service as New England RA and critique group leader. For the last 15 years she has been the SCBWI's Work-in-Progress Grant coordinator. Her presentation was about "Voice" - a harder concept to grasp, but I found her to be inspiring and

Monday, October 15, 2007

Write the Damn Book

Why should it be so hard? The title quote is attributed to Jane Yolen - can't remember where it's originally from, but I love it. The trouble is, which book? I'm working on several different ideas, and can't seem to focus long enough to finish any of them!

I'm in revision mode on a couple of picture book manuscripts; creation mode for my non-fiction mid-grade chapter book; and

Critique Group

In an effort to keep this blog relatively timely, I'm going to try to post at least weekly in the odd event that anyone is actually keeping score...

As a writer, I have found that being a member of a critique group has been so invaluable (shout out to Carolyn, Renee, Tracey, and Mary!) -- before finding my most recent group, I posted to www.critiquecircle.com where I found lots of helpful critters to review my work.

If you write, I highly recommend finding yourself a group that can read your work and provide feedback and suggestions.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I've registered for the "Encore" workshop scheduled for October 20 in Salem, NH. It's sponsored by the New England SCBWI -- I'm really looking forward to meeting other people writing in the area and hopefully to get some inspiration from the experts.

I started writing a non-fiction chapter book for early grades. It's about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 in Boston. I'm also working on revising my picture book manuscripts. I've queried a couple of agents, and I'm waiting (and waiting, and waiting) to hear back from them as well as a publisher, and two magazines.