Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Good news, bad news, and randomness--> Good: My 3-year-old survived his dental surgery today and seemed back to his normal self by bedtime (can't be too out of sorts if he's jumping on the bed, huh?!), and Once Upon A Time is going to publish another of my articles. Hooray! Bad: I got a rejection today on a manuscript I had high hopes for. (But Good: the editor complimented my writing and said she'd be happy to look at my next manuscript.) Random: I won an iPod! I wanted one really badly, so I'm thrilled.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Another sale! And oddly, it's a short story for adults again, which isn't something I write very often. That makes two this summer! A few months back, I saw a blurb about a literary journal called The First Line. They provide an opening sentence for each issue, and writers must submit stories that all begin with that sentence. That sounded like a fascinating writing exercise (as well as a cool read!), especially because the sentence for this fall's issue was so specific and interesting: "I was born Rosa Carlotta Silvana Grisanti, but in the mid-Eighties I legally changed my name to Eve." I wrote a story beginning with that line, submitted it shortly before the August 1 deadline, and got an acceptance on August 13! Wow. The editor also emailed me today to ask if I'd like to submit my young adult novel for consideration by a new publishing company they are starting. That is very intriguing, of course, and I will probably take him up on it. I am admittedly not sure how I'd feel about being published by a brand new press...but it's certainly nice to be asked!

I survived my son's birthday party and we've gotten through the first week of kindergarten, my other son's first dental appointment (but he needs dental surgery--eek!), and even a call for federal jury duty this week (I wasn't assigned to a jury, but it was a wild case involving multiple bank robberies!). I'm happy to say that my son's castle cake turned out very well, which is good since I was up until 3:30 am the morning of the party, working on the cake!

Friday, August 06, 2004

I have a new manuscript and I'm not even sure what it is--picture book or magazine story--though I'm hoping it could be a picture book. And I have no idea what to do with it. I went to the bookstore last night and spent at least an hour looking through the picture books, but found it all pretty disheartening. I couldn't find many that were similar to my picture book manuscripts at all, and also couldn't find many books by the particular publishers I was interested in, other than some classics and a few other books that were completely different from mine in tone and style. The ones that appealed to me most were mostly from publishers that don't take unsolicited submissions. And I didn't see any books from my local or online writer friends who have published picture books. Yet there are, quite frankly, a great many books on the shelves that I'd have no interest in buying for my own young kids. I did find one that cracked me up, Alison McGhee's Countdown to Kindergarten (maybe I just liked the author's name, LOL!), and got that for my son who's starting kindergarten in 11 days. Most books for soon-to-be-kindergarteners don't apply well to a child who has been in preschool for years, can already read & do math, etc., but this hilarious story of a girl who is panicked because she can't tie her shoes seemed like a good match for him. (He cracked up about the line "shoes are not canoes," and I find the art by Harry Bliss to be hysterical!) Anyway, maybe I should just stick to longer fiction, but I have these stories that come to me, so I'd like to do something with them!

And speaking of longer fiction, I also had a new idea for a novel while lying in bed the other night trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like getting up to write down the great opening lines I came up with (I normally keep paper and a light-up pen on my nightstand, but alas, they were not to be found...), and the lines are gone now. I recall the title and the vague idea for the novel, but I think I'd developed it a bit further in my head and now I don't have much to go on. I'll have to brainstorm some more, as I think it could be kind of powerful, but it would be more experimental and difficult than most of the novels I've tried writing! It's not like I need another novel idea when I already have about 8 on the back burner waiting to be written (or completed), but there it is. Maybe I'll save it for National Novel Writing Month this November, assuming I'll be able to participate this year!