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Fall Writing Workshop

Hey all you writers of kid and teen lit! Are you tired of form rejections and vague comments from editors and agents? Are you ready to take your manuscript to the next level?

Then join me and fellow author Brenda Ferber for a six-week facilitated critique group style workshop that give you the tools and insight you need to make your manuscript stand out!

For more information visit our workshop website, North Shore Writers Studio.

Happy writing!


Blog Tour Update

Visiting so many varied and insightful blogs over the past week and a half has been delightful. Huge thanks to the bloggers hosting me.  And of course, I'm happy to visit any other blogs out there who want me! Hint, hint. ; )

Join me today talking about orphans in children's and ya lit over at Carrie's YA bookshelf.



There was an article in Whole Living this month (love that magazine) about obsessions. Specifically it's about creativity coach Eric Maisel's new book Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions. (Which I totally haven't read, but after reading the article totally want to.)

I've always been prone to mini-obsessions. When I get interested in something I like to complete dive in, read and watch everything I can about it all at once. I used to see it as a failing. Can't I just space my interest in, say, Chi Walking, out over a few weeks, learning about it in a leisurely manner? Do I have to drop everything until I've practically overdosed on information?

Well, yeah, maybe I do. According to the article, by giving ourselves over to our interests like that we can develop a productive obsession: "something you choose to engage in because it fascinates you and ultimately leads you to create something (a documentary, a street fair, a screenplay.)"* Or, in the example above, a walking habit.

The idea of productive obsession is especially useful for writers, I think.  Each book I've written, I've had to be a little obsessed with or it never would have been finished. I've also had to purposely cultivate some obsessions to get research done for the books. But that's part of the fun, no?

Okay, I've got to get back to my latest racing. :)

*From the article "The Perfect Brainstorm" by Frances Lefkowitz in the August issue of Whole Living


Believing in Greatness

I'm reading Danica Patrick's autobiography right now (research,) and this weekend watched Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story. You wouldn't think those two have a lot in common but I was struck by the way they both spend a lot of time discussing the way they truly believed in themselves early on in their careers. When the results weren't necessarily supporting the belief, when others around them were continuously voicing doubts, somewhere deep down they were able to maintain a core of self-belief, a certainty that they could and would achieve their dreams.

Of course, belief isn't enough. Both of these guys worked their tushies off, too, but it's that belief that makes the hard work possible no? Why would you push yourself to wake up at five everyday and write? Why would you keep writing after so many rejections? Why would you publish again after a negative review? Because you believe, ultimately, that you will create something great.

I guess that leaves the question how do you believe?
Right now the only answer I can think of is the very unhelpful, you just do...
I'll have to give it some more time to percolate maybe. (Eddie and Danica didn't cover that one.)

A special thanks to Booking Mama for a lovely interview and review.


The Joy of Catalogs

I remember reading once about a guy (I think it was Nicholson Baker) who decided for a year to only read books seen in catalogs. That is, not for sale in catalogs, but books used for decoration in catalogs. I thought that was funny, but this is funnier:

Thanks to my friend Shari for the link!

P.S. two more dates added to my tour
7/19 Green Bean Teen Queen
7/20 YA Books Central