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Thursday, October 12, 2017

A HALLOWEEN EXPERIMENT



ONE HALLOWEEN
 

SCRAPE . . . SCRAPE . . . SCRAPE, CLANG

BURBLE-GLUB, BURBLE-GLUB, BURBLE-GLUB

PLIP, PLOP, SPLISH

PLINK, PLONK, SPLASH

UMMM . . . GROAN

GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE

SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK

GRUNT, CLOP, GRUNT, CLOP

AAH-HA

SCRITCH

CLOP, GRUNT, CLOP, SIGH

SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK

CLICK, RUSTLE

CACKLE, SNORT, CACKLE

AH-HEM . . . AB-RA-KA-DAB-RA!

SWIIIIIISSSH

ZAP! SIZZLE! POP!

MURMUR, HUM, RATTLE!

GURGLE . . . RUMBLE . . . BUZZZZZ

BOOM!

YOWL, HISS, YOWL

FLAP, FLAP, FLAP, SWOOSH

HOW-HOW-HOW-OOL

WHOOSH, WAIL, WHOOSH, SHRIEK

RATTLE, CLANK, RATTLE, CLINK

MUMBLE, MOAN, MUMBLE, MOAN

HEE HEE HEE, WHOOPEE!

DING-DONG, DING-DONG

SHHHH!

SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK

CRREEAAKK

TRICK-OR . . . SCREECH!

THUD, THUD, WHIST

THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP . . . .

HUH!

RUSTLE, RUSTLE

OOHH. . . .

LAP-LAP, SLURP-SLURP, CRUNCH-CRUNCH

GUZZLE-GUZZLE, CHOMP-CHOMP, MUNCH-MUNCH

YUM! HEE-HEE, SNORT
 
 
[Yep, this was a story told in sounds. Were you able to visualize the action? I would love to hear your reaction.]

 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A LOOK AT THE INLAND NW's 2017 SCBWI CONFERENCE


September 16th I attended the Inland NW SCBWI Conference: Plotting Your Course. This makes the ninth time I’ve attended this regional conference in Spokane, Washington and I’ve never regretted a single trip. Why? It’s a combination of things, I think.
The INW region has a great core group who put on this conference. Most may live in or close to Spokane, naturally, but they have never made those of us from further away feel like shirttail relatives. They are a welcoming group, a sharing group. A group who are always looking to give participants the best possible opportunities to learn and grow as writers.  

This conference is smaller, more intimate than many others. With fewer people, it’s easier to catchup with old friends while still leaving time to make new ones. Finding an opportunity to briefly chat with one or more of the faculty is also more likely. And there’s something to be said for the lower stress of a one-day schedule that takes place in one room. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to remember what topic you picked for which of multiple breakout sessions or not worry about finding the right rooms.
Yet even a one-day schedule can be packed. There were four main presentations, two table-talk sessions (each with a choice of 4 topics), two panel discussions, and even a short first pages critique session filling our day. The topics were industry current, highly informative, and had something for both the newbies and the more seasoned crowd. To give you an idea, here’s a glimpse at the main faculty presentations.  

Jennifer Mattson, agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, opened her talk by assuring us that despite the gloom mongers, juvenile sales are up. She then gave us an overview of the five big categories in juveniles, defining their characteristics (as well as noting some current changes in those), and then touching on the “ever-green” types of stories that sell best in each.
Agent John Rudolph, from Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret, shared his insights into how to hook a children’s book agent. His Big Three: Exciting Plot, Original Characters, and Unique Voice. He elaborated on those in reference to the three categories he represents (Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books) and closed with tips on query letters and elevator pitches. John admitted up front that his talk would be based on his personal likes and dislikes, but as the “seasoned crowd” could affirm, there was ample universal truth in those.

Miriam Newman, Associate Editor with Candlewick Press, gave us an insider’s look at the revision process once a book gains an editor’s attention. From the back and forth of “Big Picture” structural revisions down to the final rounds of copy editing, it can be a very long voyage, but the destination is always to make the resulting book the very best it can be. Miriam also shared an important caveat, one that might be hard to follow when offered your first book deal. Be honest, if the feedback you get doesn’t meet your ultimate vision for the work, thank them and say you feel your visions differ, and then move on.
Author Amber Keyer (The Way Back from Broken; Pointe, Claw) spoke from a naked heart in her key-note address: Staying the Course in All Kinds of Weather. Pulling from her own life journey as it became her publication journey, Amber’s story was both gut-wrenching and up-lifting. The emotions in the room were palpable as we relived the events she shared. Nevertheless there were at least two very positive things I took away from this talk. Why write? Because there are stories that demand to be written, even those that come from our pain. And how do we keep on writing? By surrounding ourselves with a supportive family and the caring friendship of other writers.

Okay, now you’ve seen what a smaller conference can offer. What’s that? You’re still not sure it will suit you? No worries. That merely insures it will stay just the right size for the rest of us.
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

AUGUST 2017 -- Eclipse Haiku

Almost to Totality - Eclipse 2017 L. Rizzuti

If you saw any part of this spectacular event, you will understand that I couldn't let August go by without some tribute. Thus the following haiku:


Thirsty shadow feeds
 
Gnawing daylight from the sky
 
Holding sun captive.
 
 
 
Shadow swallows sun
 
A cold, dark veil flows eastward
 
Speckled with day stars.
 
 
 
If Moon's shadow drinks
 
All the sunlight from the sky
 
Is Earth's refill free?
 
 
 
Note: Photo taken with the camera on my Kindle Fire aimed through 10-power binoculars with a solar filter mounted on a camera tripod--a job that took 4 hands. 👍👍 👍👍


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 2017 -- My Muse Is On Vacation


 
 
When the weather’s hot
My muse is not
In the mood
For motivating. 
So until it cools
My muse refuels
By mentor
Investigating.
 
 


Monday, July 17, 2017

INLAND NW SCBWI CONFERENCE


 
 
       The Fall Conference for the Inland NW SCBWI region is coming Saturday, September 16, 2017. I hope to see some of you there for a fun and fabulous day of talks, networking, and recharging our writing batteries. Follow this link for more information: Plotting Your Course




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

JUNE 2017 Writing Prompt -- Curiosity: A Drabble

Telling a story in exactly 100 words? That would be a drabble. I was first introduced to these little nuggets years ago in the fan-fiction world. I liked the challenge of brevity, of trimming the fat. Of making one word do the work of many. Perhaps that's why nowadays I challenge myself by writing children's picture books.

The Pinterest pin that inspired this post can be found here: Curiosity


CURIOSITY

     “Angels in heaven! It’s ginormous!”
     “Precisely why we are here.”
     “It’s gotta be as big as a cook stove!”
     “A shade bigger, I think.”
     “How long do you think it took?”
     “To reach those dimensions? Several years.”
     “But why?”
     “Does it matter?’
     “You? Not curious?”
     “The curiosity of cats is over-rated. However, there is one trait that is not.”
     “Hey, where are you going?”
     “To do what any cat must do.”
     “But it’s ginormous.”
     “We’ve covered that.”
     “Just be careful.”
     “I have nine lives.”
     “Yeah, well that big old ball of yarn you’re aiming to play with probably has ten!”
 
 
 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

MAY 2017 Writing Prompt - Recharging


Truth be told, I wrote this pair of haiku and then found a picture I felt matched—well, perhaps lightened is a better word—their mood.

That picture prompt can be found here: Recharging



 
THE NEED
Some days my soul sits,
A pool of stagnant water
Tainted by life’s noise.
 
 
THE FIX
Eyes closed, mind static.
My spirit is recharging
On peaceful silence.