Thursday, July 22, 2010

Write On Con, August 10-12, 2010

I found a cool conference called Write On Con held Tuesday-Thursday, August 10-12 that is entirely online--and it's FREE!  Has anyone heard of this?

Researching Agents

How does a writer go about finding an agent. Here is a short list of sites Author Jill Corcoran compiled for the SCBWI Agent Workshop she held in Bakersfield, CA last fall in 2009:

Websites for researching Agents:

Other Blogs that might be helpful--

Check out the agent (or publisher) before you query:

Preditors and Editors:

There are lots of agent interviews, vlogs, blogs, twitters, etc all over the net. Google them and have fun researching.  You can find them on author's websites as well.

Hope this helps!

I found this information on Jill Corcoran Books' blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaching Your Child the Golden Rule

I never really thought about the Golden Rule before I had children. I mean, I was nice to others, in hopes that they would be nice to me in return, but I never really put much thought into it. Then, I sold skin care products for awhile where their motto was “Live by the Golden Rule.” So, there it was again. Still, I didn’t really take heed to it. That is until I had kids.

Watching my children grow-up, I saw just how important it was to live by the Golden Rule. Not only did they watch what I did, but how they treated others became very important to me. I want my kids to respect others, treat others like they would want to be treated and be compassionate. I can’t tell you how important it is. It kills me when my children are mean to each other, let alone other people. I am constantly telling them how they should treat others.

I believe that if we treat others rudely, it will come back to bite us in the rump - what comes around, goes around, that sort of thing. Well, as my child got older, I learned that he was a bully in kindergarten and then, in first grade - this tiny, little kid was being mean to other children in his class and didn’t care at all. I had talks with him, and he’d promise to be nice, but then he’d go back to school and change. When he went into third grade, mind you, he was still small for his age. Suddenly, he was coming home from school, crying, saying that he was getting picked on. Of course, I kept what I was really thinking it to myself. I didn’t tell him that I thought how he treated others in the past was coming back to haunt him. Instead, I turned it around and made him see how horrible it made him feel. Anyway, lesson learned, thank goodness.

It’s hard as parents to watch our children go through tough times, but sometimes these times are good learning tools. I still tell my kids about the “Golden Rule.” I just hope they become good citizens when they grow up.

Taken from one of my blogs:

Finding a Literary Agent

I found his website, and wondered if anyone has used it?  It seems like a good one.  It asks for a fee, but it doesn't keep you from seeing what each agent is asking for.  Plus, I use Writer's Market to find updated informating on writing the best query.  I think we should all get together and do a query workshop/critique.  I think that's my hardest part of writing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Example of Good Hooks

Okay, okay, so thinking in detail on a Friday is a bit much....especially if I am going to start Tips Tuesday, but I found this tip and had to share.  If you are going to query or go the conference you'll want a Good Hook for your book.

Here are several examples of Good Hooks:

Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman. A high school underdog’s tarot card readings become strangely accurate.

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce. A teen falls in love with the genie sent to grant her three wishes.

Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix centers on a young TV star who can hear whatever anyone in the world says about her.

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva. An overscheduled teen starts seeing double: suddenly there are two of her.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer centers on a matchmaking barista who links up her friends based on their coffee orders.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev centers on a girl who lives in a magical theater inhabited by characters from every play ever written.

Ex-mas by Kate Brian. Two teens embark on an unexpected vacation when they learn that their younger siblings have gone off to save Santa.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Valerie’s boyfriend opens fire in the school cafeteria, killing students who were on a list she unknowingly helped create.

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. A boy discovers it’s easier to make a fortune and dominate the world than convince his classmates to like him.

Legacy by Tom Sniegoski. A teen discovers his deadbeat father is actually a superhero.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey tells of an orphan who is an assistant to a doctor specializing in monster hunting.

Nelly the Monster Sitter by Kes Gray, illus. by Stephen Hanson, introduces a girl who “monster sits” after school.

Powerless by Matthew Cody. A boy learns that his friends are superheroes who mysteriously lose their powers when they turn 13.

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund offers a fantasy about killer unicorns and the teenage girls who must hunt them down.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Sam spends his summers as a human and winters as a wolf.

The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow by Tim Kehoe, illus. by Guy Travis and Mike Wohnoutka. A boy who creates his own toys has a chance encounter with an eccentric toy inventor.

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser. High school students mysteriously disappear after being mentioned in a blog.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Realizing What's Important.

Over the weekend, we had my grandfather's 88th birthday party.  Before the party, I was stressed beyond belief.  Checking off my list, I was trying to make sure I had everything including enough food, drinks, etc. I had reserved the shelter house, but was worried that it wasn't big enough. Then, the morning of, I sat on the couch with my coffee to watch a Berenstain Bears cartoon with my kids. The episode was about appreciating the company you're with, not the food. How true! It touched me.  It made all my stress seem ridiculous.  I stopped stressing and the party turned out great. It's amazing how God reaches us, and gets us to realize what's important in our lives! Even if it is through a cartoon--lol!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun Puzzle Monday!

Who said Mondays can't be fun? Check out this puzzle. My score wasn't so hot, I think I did it in 7 minutes! YIKES!

Click to Mix and Solve

Creating a blog--and getting someone to read it!

Blogging can be daunting--how in the heck do other writers find things to write about on a regular basis?  And more importantly, how do they followers?

Well, I've been writing for awhile now.  But I hear that actually "writing" isn't enough.  I have to get my name out there.  I've learned that most unpublished and published writers have a blog.

Getting a blog is really easy.  Coming up with a design is fun.  Just make sure you create something that is unique to you--something completely your style, not someone else's. 

Through it's FREE! 

There are lots of ways to get out there, and I'm still learning.

Now, getting followers is the hard part. 

How do you get followers?

1. Follow other writers, especially ones in your genre. 

You can find other writers by becoming a member of your specific genre.  For example, I am a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers.)  Also, get a writer's group together in your area can help you get local followers that way.  I've linked my email to other blogs, and find blogs through their links as well.

2. Post comments on other blogs.

Don't just post your blog URL, actually read their blog and make real comments!

3.  Advertise your blog.

Advertising on networking sites like Facebook, Twitter (twiends), MySpace, Digg and others can really get your blog out there.  When you create your own site, then you can link your blog to them.  

4.  Check out the blogging professionals. is a great website for blogging tips and helpful resources.  I found, but you have to pay $5.95/month.  They give great tips as well!

5.  Go to Writer's Conferences and hand out your business card with your blog URL on it.

Going to conferences is a great way to meet other writers!  I may never have become a ACFW member if I hadn't met the VP of my chapter at a conference.

Several of these tips came from a great blog,

Do you have any other tips that have worked for you?

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a nice holiday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Thought We Were Eating Healthy

My family and I are very active – snow skiing, boating, golfing, swimming, bike riding – you name it, we do it. Eating fruits and vegetables has always been important to us, so I’ve always had a variety of foods around the house. I want my family to be as healthy as they can be. Consuming our vitamins through food, that’s what I’m aiming for. But who isn’t?

Well, like many people, I thought we were eating healthy.

I started learning more about the food I was giving to my children – and was horrified to find out how much pesticides, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives, and the list goes on, that is actually in the foods we consume everyday… I became utterly sick. Instead of healthy food, I was filling our bodies with toxins? That’s when I became angry. (I can handle it if it was just me, but when it comes to my kids, I’m like a lioness.) Angry at our country for allowing the use of these poisons to be put into our food supplies. Sure, I understand the need to multi-produce, but at what expense? Or should I say whose expense? The rate of cancer is skyrocketing. Autism and other neurological disorders are at an all-time high. Don’t get me started on ADHD! Now I understand why.

That’s when I started putting two and two together.

There has to be some link between food and diseases.

I had to make a choice. Choosing an organic and all-natural lifestyle was something I had to do – for my family.  We started about three years ago with the birth of our third child. It helped that my friends were sharing their stories about organic living, especially where to find the best and cheapest places to buy. If you watch sales, use coupons and shop around, you really can find good deals. Stores are always running sales on produce. Generally, the organic fruits and veggies do not last as long as conventional foods, therefore they need to sell faster. Most organic producers have online websites that promote coupons. Utilizing them can add up. As far as shopping around, in my area, there are several different stores that sell organic foods and products. Yes, it takes time to go into more than one store, but it saves me and my family money in the long run. I’m busy with a toddler and still do it.

I hear it all the time, “I can’t afford organic food.” Well, organic food is more expensive than conventional foods, but when you cut most of the junk food out like my family did, we found out that we really weren’t spending that much more. Before we changed to organic food, we bought fresh produce, but we also had our shopping cart filled with an assortment of junk food. Now my cart is filled with healthier options – mostly organic.

Not only did we change to organic food, we use environmentally safe, non-toxic house cleaning supplies, soaps and beauty supplies. I can feel good about what my children are exposed to day after day. There are other reasons for choosing organic, besides its health benefits. My skin is simply glowing (my secret, I use organic coconut oil as a moisturizer.) I used to have eczema on the back of my arms – it’s gone! My husband’s face used to break out with pimples, his skin is clear. I feel like I have more energy. I get over colds faster. My allergies are better. I could keep going….

Someone once said organic food doesn’t taste as good. The funny thing was this statement came from someone who didn’t eat organic food. It’s true. Some of the ingredients in certain products do taste different – unrefined, unprocessed, fresher – but better. I assure you, your taste buds will adjust to the missing aftertaste of MSG and fake sweeteners.

I’m not selling a weight loss program, but losing weight is just one benefit to eating organic. It makes sense. Without all the hydrogenated junk and Trans fats, your body will be able to process foods naturally, and get rid of the unnecessary fats that it doesn’t need.

Only health nuts buy organic, right? If I’m considered a health nut, then I’m flattered.  I’m not saying that my family and I don’t splurge here and there, or that we don’t go out to a restaurant from time to time, we just try to make sure the majority of our food consumption is organic.

A little warning to you: There is one downfall to using and consuming organic products, you will never want to go back to conventional. The fresh taste, among the health benefits, can’t be replaced with anything else.

My article can be found at