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Showing posts from June, 2010

Guest Blogger, Author Kathy Stemke!

I am happy to be hosting Kathy Stemke as a guest blogger today. Instead of my ramblings, you will get to hear from a fabulous author like Kathy who has not only been published, but also has a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. I have asked Kathy to share her story about becoming a children’s writer. You are sure to be inspired to keep on the road to publication. Besides writing, Kathy has been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, and an antiques dealer for many years. She is also a contributing editor for The National Writing for Children's Center. Hi, Virginia. Thanks for hosting me on your blog today. Here’s the story of how my blog lead to several children’s books, and a monthly newsletter.After I retired from teaching, I dabbled in article writing on Helium. I even sold several articles through their marketplace feature. Since I had taught for many years, I naturally wrote several education articles. I got lots of feedback and questions from other te…

Writing Prompt: Is this a Cliché?

We all know as writers to avoid clichés as much as possible, but today you get to throw that rule out! List down all the clichés you can think of, and then choose one you are most familiar with, or the one that strikes your fancy. Make that the first line of your poem. You can take the cliché literally or figuratively.

Get Up & Get Moving: Week 4

I am starting to notice a trend lately. Watching my weight weekly is starting to get discouraging. Maybe because I am maintaining now instead of losing. Maybe because I can see it barely changing and so I feel I am not reaching my goal. I am not really sure, but I have decided to post my weight every other week. Maybe this will help me stay encouraged. Maybe not, but either way I’m going to try it.I’ve also decided to share tips with you. Some I’ve learned others from shows I’ll catch on TV or the radio in my spare time. Like today while eating breakfast the Dr. Oz, show came on right after the news. Because my kitchen table is near the living room, I could hear the show. Dr. Oz talked about the best ways to lose weight. I loved what he shared and so here is the link for you http://ask.doctoroz.com/question/what-best-way-lose-weight.As you can see, I’m still at the same weight as I was two weeks ago. Weight on June 28, 2010191Weight on June 14, 2010191Goal weight by December 31, 20101…

Interview Friday with multi-genre author, Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani is multi-genre author, reviewer and freelance writer. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on multiple publications both in print and online. Her nonfiction work, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing (co-authored with Anne K. Edwards) was a ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award Winner. She has several novels and picture books out and is awaiting the release of several more titles later this year and the next. VS: Mayra, I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today. You and I have known each other via the internet for a few years now, but I am sure there is more to learn about you, as I have found out with others. Now I know you have a daughter who also writes, so my first question is do you have any other children and what are their ages?Mayra: First, I want to say thanks for having me on your blog, Virginia. I do have two kids: a girl (who is the writers) age 12 and a boy age 18 (he still counts as a kid for me!).VS: Wow, …

Think Like Your Readers: How to Bring Characters to Life!

I have been working on a couple of manuscripts lately. Now these are stories I wrote about a year ago, but haven’t had the time to really sit down and do some revising. I’ve had my critique group look them over and give me feedback. I even submitted one of them to an editor’s critique at a SCBWI conference. But the one thing, which stood out to me after relooking at all the notes and the manuscripts themselves, is my character development. Now, I’m not saying I don’t love my characters in both these manuscripts. I do, but they are not fleshed out as well as they should be which is leading to the other problems my critique group found and the editor from the SCBWI conference. So how do I fix this? Well today, I am going to share a little bit about how we can make our characters more lovable by our readers.Many adults think children do not care about plot, setting, or a book full of suspense. Well they do, but only after the characters bring them into the story.Let us think about this f…

Article Wednesday: 7 Habits to Avoid

There are all kinds of writing tips floating around on how to do this or that correctly. Today we're going to take a different approach and focus on what NOT to do when writing an article. Lets face it article writing can be time consuming and sometimes even presents challenges that can be frustrating. As a result, you don't want your time and effort to be wasted when people don't even read what you wrote. What we're going to address here today is how to write an article that will not only ATTRACT readers but one that will also keep them reading. We're going to focus on subtle little habits that we may develop that actually sabotage our article writing efforts. Here are 7 habits that can actually repel readers that you will want to avoid when writing articles: Avoid UNPOPULAR Topics It is always a good idea to focus your efforts on topics that interest you. It certainly makes the article research easier to conduct and you are usually already somewhat…

Novel and Picture Book Workshops St. George Area

When: August 14, 2010 9AM to 5PM Location: Will be given to you upon registration. Cost: $50. Includes free books and abundant materials. (Note: If you want to come, but can't afford it, you can help Rick Walton with one of his projects in exchange for workshop tuition. Email Rick at rick@rickwalton.com for details.) Faculty: Picture Book Workshop: Rick Walton is the author of 80 books for kids includingseveral best selling picture books. He works with a wide range of publishers, and is friends with a number of agents. He teaches a picture book writing class and achildren's publishing industry class at BYU. www.rickwalton.com Novel Workshop: Mette Ivie Harrison is the author of several best selling fantasynovels, including Mira Mirror and The Princess and the Hound. She has a PHD from Princeton and has done the Iron Man twice, including the one this year in St. George. She publishes with Henry Holt, Viking, Harper Collins, and Egmont. www.metteivieharrison.comSchedule…