Reworking a query letter, a synopsis and first three chapters of a chapter book that I’m sending to Boyds Mills Press. Hoping to get something started. Their response time is three months. ReFoReMo began yesterday. It seems a good way to break down picture books. 12 X12 is still going strong. Well I simply wonder if I will ever get a thumbs up from them. Will be diligent about posting every month because it is what will help me. Hope everyone is busy writing with all these winter-filled days. But above all else stay warm and safe.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Even my home state has been hit with ice and snow. Louisianans are used to dealing with hurricanes another type of weather situation but not the icy roads and snow. It will shut down everything. Kids will love it but parents won’t.
Had a great writers meeting today, it was uplifting and invigorating. I’m sending a manuscript out first part of next week hoping for the best. Also revising and working on several other manuscripts. Have new idea for a picture book that needs TLC to get off the ground. Working and researching the new idea. Must have extensive research to make sure it is accurate. Looking forward to the research.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Louisiana is beautiful during the spring. Azaleas, Magnolias, mimosas trees, etc. Everything is in bloom and sprouting beautiful colors; a palette for the eyes.
Posted my second picture book manuscript in 12 X 12 today. Anxious to read comments and hoping it will help me revise it. Taking it this Wednesday to SOUP meeting. I will definitely get feedback from them. I can always depend on them to help me make it better. I also woke up this morning with a new picture book idea. Hopefully I will be able to get this one in shape for submission sometimes during the year. On March 1st I begin a researching of picture books with guidance form blogs from author-educators. This is going to be tough but I will try to go into this with an open mind. Revising a middle grade novel, hoping to send off chapter books this week or next week and then continue to revise picture books and young adults novels I already have written.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Louisiana always has a little winter blast during the lent time. It usually is much closer to Easter, but it is attacking them today. Hopefully the skimpy little Easter dresses everyone buys for Easter Sunday will not need a coat this year. Remember the great soups during lent on Friday.
Revising manuscripts, reading books, studying picture books for the month of March; very busy but still trying to revise a middle grade manuscript and get chapter book out to an editor. This is the life of a writer. Recently I heard the term pre-published author. I think I like it very much. Hoping the publishing company I’ve chosen likes my chapter book too! Well, after I send it to them then it is out of my control. If they like it good but if they don’t I will try someone else.
Having our first critique session this week since January 14th on Wednesday the 25th. The weather has been horrible here. Snow, very low temps and general cruddy, gloomy days. At least I don’t live in Boston.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Louisiana has been experiencing cold weather and there is nothing worse than a cold, damp day. No amount of soup, coffee or hot sauce can warm you up but it does seem to make your spirits rise.
Studying picture books this month. Being apart of ReFoReMo for 2015 is going to be a challenge but I look forward to the dissection of a variety of different picture books. I’m also still taking the 12 X 12 very seriously. But to be honest the cold frigid weather we have had this year is sucking the life out of me. I do have a new picture book for the month of February. Going to post it this month in the next few days, the working title is The Belly That Talked. I am also polishing a manuscript to send to an editor.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Well carnival season is over for 2015. Plans are already being made for 2016. But this lent period in Louisiana has delicious seafood recipes on Friday in most restaurants. I suggest trying a different restaurant every Friday. Shrimp and Corn soup, Crawfish bisque, Seafood gumbo, crab legs, shrimp po-boys, oyster po-boys, soft shell crab dinners or sandwiches, etc. Have fun trying the various offerings.
This is Fat Tuesday. The last big party before lent. Some of you know what that means and others of you don’t; if you are not familiar with the Bible you may not know why there are 40 days of giving up something you love to repent and get closer to the teachings of God and the sermons of Jesus. To sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed to show his disciples and followers that this was a good way to become more spiritual.
If you are in the city of New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston and Tampa please be careful; lots of alcohol, lack of judgment and huge crowds surrounding you. Stay safe!
Working on a rhyming PB as well as revising a chapter book, middle grade novel and a few other picture books.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Tomorrow the city of New Orleans will slowly get back to normal. Cable cars will run, people will get back to work definitely by this coming Monday. Schools are usually out for the week to give the city a chance to clean up. Every business will be open, eat the good food, visit the plantation homes to see a kinder, gentler way of life, visit the River Walk without the crowds, and let the majority of people get out of the city before you head to the airport. See you next Mardi Gras!
I’m going to veer a bit away from writing today. My maternal grandparents were married this day in 1928. They would have been together for 87 years. They were both from sturdy stock. God-fearing, hard-working, Christian people that worked hard all week and repented on Sunday. No one worked on Sunday. The afternoon was for naps, visiting, and getting prepared for the next week’s work. Simple people not because they didn’t have sophistication or a college degree, but because they didn’t want for more than what they had. Money enough to pay the bills with enough left over to have a few treats. Family surrounding them with love and adoration. The good Lord gave them their health and allowed them to work the fields and dairy until they decided to retire not retire because of necessity. Cold watermelons at the end of hot summer day, a breeze in spring to take the sting out of the warmth beating down on you, frost to kill off the insects on the field hay and enough rain to grow gardens full of summer and/or winter plants. Gentle times, knowing where they were from and knowing where they were going, no smart phones, no internet, no Facebook, no Twitter, news on at 5, 6, and 10, ate supper early because 3:30 AM came early at the dairy, and television reception with the rabbit ears wasn’t really all that good. Stories about their ancestors, stories about our grandparents courting, stories about our parents when they were younger kept us riveted sitting at their feet. I miss you Maw and Paw. My pen name is made up of Clytie Bridges and Lillie Blanche Beck; my two grandmothers. Lily Blanche Bridges is hopefully the best of the two of them.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Our families are the best thing resource we have of how things were. Sit down and take notes how things have changed, for better or worse, and listen to how they tell the story as well as what they are telling you. Their emotional journey is as real as the years they lived.
The two or three manuscripts I’m revising this month and then I’m getting one ready to mail to an editor can be exciting as well as exhausting. You revise, revise then revise again. I honestly believe that sometimes we change the same things over and over again. So that’s when it is a must to have a critique group. They will find your weakness and help you improve it. So I’ve sent the query, synopsis and first three chapters off to my critique group for constructive criticism.
Lily’s Lagniappe: This past week there was a shooting at Mardi Gras where someone lost their life. Please be careful but I will tell you that they most of us Louisianans leave the state and leave it to the crazies. Fat Tuesday is a fun day if you can stay above the crowd and just watch the beautiful floats and costumes.
Working and revising on several manuscripts, you begin to question whether or not the story makes sense or flows. That’s where a good critique group becomes very important to the finished product. They will tell you the truth. TRUTH, a 5 letter word that doesn’t begin to explain how brutal my critique group can be. A good critique group is brutal on the work but never on the individual. The ladies in my group help make my manuscripts better. Cut, rearrange, add, fragment, doesn’t make sense, this stopped me… I’ve seen all of these comments at one time or another. The critique is usually spot on! I wish for you a critique group like mine.
Lily’s Lagniappe: This is the last weekend before Mardi Gras. Parades will run non stop from morning to the wee hours of the night for the next five days. The crowds are large, the drinking is out of control, the costumes or lack of them is not family friendly, I’m not saying don’t go just be forewarned.
Well, revising going well. One chapter book getting the finishing touches before it makes it’s appearance on an editor’s desk. A picture book about a stomach that talks in major revision; slashing words, creating action plus tightening the rhythm and flow of words. It’s like losing a child or putting a baby up for adoption to cut the words you put into the manuscript with such care. But it must be done to sell a book. Starting to working an several new manuscripts for start of 2015. Hoping for the best.
Lily’s Lagniappe: Mardi Gras is winding down and the crazies will leave the state. The roads will be back to normal and the Krewes and Mardi Gras Indians will start planning for Mardi Gras 2016. But if you are in New Orleans on March 14th please sure to see the Mardi Gras Indians march one more time in the St. Joseph’s Day parade. The Italian heritage in New Orleans is well documented. The Indians march to honor that heritage.