Tag Archives: Writing

A video for you by John Greene

Today I want to show you a video by John Greene. He is the author who wrote Fault in Our Stars that was published in January 2012. I have the book but haven’t read it yet, and … I might have seen the movie.

Anyway, I found this video that I thought you’d enjoy. He is quite hilarious in his presentation.

Have you read his book (or any of his books) or watched the movie? Does he make you feel better about your own writing?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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A champagne rejection

Hello my dear readers and friends!

Lately, I’ve been more absorbed in my own writing so haven’t been posting here on a regular basis. Gosh, it’s hard to do it all! I have an update for you today.

I’m still keeping up in the 12×12 challenge, having drafted a new story each month – January through October – a few of those drafts being very skimpy. A few months I’ve come up with more than one, and I have yet to write a new one for November.

Another part of 12×12 is revision. Each month we are to try to revise a manuscript as well, and they don’t have to be ones we’ve written during 12×12. As long as we are revising one of our stories it’s acceptable. I’ve not kept up in that department, although I have tackled a few.

An added bonus is that we receive badges when we write or revise, so I’ve kept up the monthly drafts for the fun of getting those.

Let me see … my count to date is 20 new drafts and 4 revisions! That’s better than what I did when I participated in 2012 and in 2016. When we reach the end of December we get a place on the winners’ wall if we’ve written 12 or more drafts over the twelve months, no matter in what month they were written. I’m so happy to know I’ll be on that wall this year. My thought right now is that I’ll join 12×12 in 2018 and spend much more time on the drafts I already have, working them into polished manuscripts ready for submitting.

 

 

Now, here’s the really exciting part. This week I sent my very first query to an agent I admire. Within two hours I heard back. You may be thinking I’m excited because the agent answered positively wanting to represent me, but no. The reply was full of good advice and suggestions for the story I’d included. That, my friends, is called a “champagne rejection” – and I’d received one on my first agent query ever! I am not discouraged. I’ll try again later after applying myself to the rewrite and looking over my other manuscripts, too. And, a writer friend suggested to keep an open mind because there may be other agents with whom I could have a good working relationship. Oh alright.  😉

I’m also keeping up on reading books when I can. To see my total thus far you can check my “Books I read in 2017.” After adding a book to my list I write a brief review of it in Goodreads where I have surpassed my reading challenge goal of 200 long ago, doubling it, with mostly picture books. Yep! I love to read.

Are you taking writing challenges? Or reading challenges?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

 

 

 

The Writer’s Diet test

Do you wonder about your writing, if it’s strong enough, if you’re over-using some words, if your grammatical usage is up to par?

Here is an automated feedback tool called The Writer’s Diet test that will give you immediate feedback about your writing. You simply insert a sample of your writing – 100 words up to 1000 words – and find out where you might have to improve. The categories of the report are: lean, fit & trim, needs toning, flabby, heart attack. 

I tried the test with a sample of 233 words of a post I wrote in June. The result is that my verbs usage was in the heart attack range … (yikes!); my usage of nouns, prepositions, verbs/adverbs was in the lean range for all of them; my use of it, this, that, there was just into the fit/trim range. It seems I have to trim down my overuse of verbs, which will be challenging.

If you give it a try I hope you’ll come back and let me know … what did you discover about your writing? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Quiz: Build a cliche plot and find out a deep truth about yourself

I’m late with a post this weekend. Sorry! Here is a quiz that you will – hopefully – enjoy. Here you have the opportunity to build a plot for a YA book and find out a deep truth about yourself. It’s just a fun thing.

Follow this link to find out something about yourself.

This is what was revealed about me:

You may be (or prefer to be) a wallflower, but there’s a small part of you that’s dying to be the life of the party. There’s much more to you than meets the eye, and the people who are close to you can attest to your adventurous, risk-it-all spirit.

What are your results?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Books, writers & writing

Saturday was an interesting day, and now I get to relive a little of it with you.

Just before noon my husband and I treated his mom to an early Mother’s Day dinner at a restaurant we all like. Sunday would be busy so this was pleasant for all of us.

In response to my invitation to the 2:00 book launch of Laura Best‘s newest middle grade novel, Cammie Takes Flight, we parted company with Mom after dinner and my husband and I set off on the hour-or-so drive to the community hall hosting the event. Laura has tremendous support in her community, so, of course, the hall filled up with people before 2:00. She was busy signing MANY copies of her book before and after she read a chapter from it. The representative from her publisher, Nimbus Publishing, was very impressed. He is fairly new with Nimbus and had been warned he had to be well stocked with her books. I know his load was much lighter when he left.

At the launch I was delighted to be able to talk with Syr Ruus whose books I have reviewed: here, here, and here, and Jan Coates whose books I reviewed here, here, here, here and here. There are more to appear on my blog from both of these authors. I reviewed Laura’s first two books here and here, and I later will be reviewing Cammie Takes Flight.

As an introvert, to go to these things took much effort at first, but it’s getting easier as I’m happy for these authors and delighted to go when I can. 

My own writing is coming along. Although my revisions are less than what I should have so far – only 2 instead of 5 – I can fix that this month. The really good news is that my new drafts stand at 11! I have to “buckle down” and pick one to focus on and get it presentable for critique. It would be wonderful if I can get a few stories ready for submission. 

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. For some reason, this year it was a difficult day for me as I am missing Mum so much lately. I hope you mothers out there had an especially wonderful day.  

Do you go to book launches? Do you support authors’ work in other ways?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Updates and my word for 2017

It’s been a busy start to 2017.  Besides the ‘normal’ – and extra concerns of – daily/weekly family things that go on, and trying to keep up with my writing, I’m attempting to figure out a level of activity that I can handle and in which I’ll make progress. It’s time to push past my comfort zone a little more — and not panic!

It’s also time to get back into writing book reviews here on my blog, however brief they may be. I’ve been reading a lot more books, as you can see if you scroll down on my bar to the right, and I want to share some of them with you. For almost all of them I write a short blurb on Goodreads and also on Amazon.  I also will be setting up a new page – books I read in 2017 – to keep a recorded count and maybe introduce you to books you haven’t read. Have you checked out my 2016 reading accomplishment? I read 219 books! Only 38 of them aren’t picture books, but 219 total! I’m happy about that. 

This month I’m working on Storystorm ideas and have twelve so far. A couple I have are more than just a phrase or title; they’re more-rounded story ideas – and I think they might be worth developing.

I’ve joined 12×12 in 2017 and feel very upbeat about it this year. I know I have to work harder to get anywhere with my drafts and manuscripts, so that is going to be where “pushing past my comfort zone” comes into play.

Now that the busyness of the holiday season is past, this week I will happily reconnect with my writing coach. Starting tomorrow I’ll also be meeting with my new writing/accountability partner once a week for brainstorming, sharing, and encouragement – apart from the local writers group that usually gets together each week.

Hopefully, I haven’t set myself up for failure as I aim for progression this year. That is my word for myself in 2017. PROGRESS. It can be used as either a verb or a noun. I heard it for myself as a noun, PROgress, but in order to make PROgress I have to proGRESS.   😉  For me it feels like a push and coaxing along.

What is YOUR personal word for 2017? What are your writing and reading goals?

Don’t forget to enter my January 18 draw HERE for a copy of The Man Who Was Thursday. (I plan to read my copy of it this week, by the way, as it was recommended to me by a friend more than once — which is likely why I bought it more than once!  lol   🙂  )

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂  

 

Today is my 7th WordPress anniversary! And a gift for you!

It’s amazing to me the length of time that passes over a seemingly short span. In other words: time flies! This morning WordPress announced to me the following:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Here is my first WordPress blog post, written January 9, 2010.

In reading it again, although I’d been writing over many years, I see I was still the hopeful beginner I often feel that I continue to be. (Whew! Please don’t base all my writing on that last sentence!) Now I have added experience and I’ve written more – including blogging and stories, plus I’ve been learning and expanding my projects over the years by taking on writing challenges and further instruction. What I’ve learned is … there’s always more to learn. In those early days I did a lot of soul-searching and asked loads of questions of anyone who would listen. I still ask questions as I make progress.

Author Laura Best was the very first person to leave a comment on my blog – on my first post – and she still drops by when she can. I appreciate that. (Thanks, Laura!) If you haven’t yet visited her blog, please do. WordPress is not the first place I blogged, but when Laura told me about it I knew I had to give it a shot. I love it here! WordPress is far better for me.

I forgot to mention when I reached my 500th post; this is my 656th. An added exciting note for me is that I have, at the moment of this posting, 50,000 hits on my Polilla Writes blog! Thanks to you! ♥ ♥

My perception is improving as I gain confidence a wee little at a time. Being shy is a bit of a hindrance; however, in 2016 I gained a huge writing community online, a writing coach, a local writers group through which I now have a writer friend. (We’re in the planning stages, as of today, to meet once a week when possible.) When I considered quitting all this a few weeks ago because of discouragement, my writing community encouraged me and lifted me up so that I’m feeling better than before. Besides, what else would I do if not writing? I’ve tried other creative avenues, but I always come back to writing.

As I begin the approach to my eighth WordPress anniversary, my big goals are pretty much the same – to find acceptance with an editor who loves my stories and a publisher who wants them, and my newest goal … to team up with an agent who can help make it happen. Yeah, I’m not asking for much, am I?  🙂  I wonder if any of those will be in place by this time in 2018, which, the way time is flying, is tomorrow. Guess I’d better get busy!

I appreciate your support, therefore, in celebration of my seventh WordPress anniversary I am offering – to one person who leaves a comment – a book. In looking through my bookcases I discovered I have two new copies of G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. One can be yours. Simply tell me in your comment why you love to blog. OR if you don’t have a blog, why you love visiting other people’s blogs.

Draw date for this giveaway is at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, on Wednesday, January 18. This gives you time to enter and to pass the word on to others, too. I will post the winner’s name on January 19.

Remember, you have until January 18 to get your name into the draw, but don’t put it off! Enter now!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂