February 1, 2015

Still revising the picture book to send out and also the chapter book I want to send too. Still have three YA novels also in revision. How can working on YA novels help me develop and write picture books or vice versa? Emma Walton Hamilton says you must put every word on trial for its existence! Every word so writing picture books will help a writer become a better writer, but how will that help you write a young adult novel? From my experience it helps you get from beginning to end, building you novel’s bare bones. Then comes the filler, the subplots that make your novel your own and the secondary characters you use to help you tell  your story.  So being able to write both picture books, middle grade novels and YA novels improves your perspective for the overall picture or scope of a book. The bare bones of a book is the skeleton or outline of what you need to address and build upon. The rule Emma Walton Hamilton gives us makes writing to the outline even more important. For a picture book even the manuscript needs to be bare boned; leaving out things for the illustrator to illustrate and keeping the action going from beginning to end. For middle grade novels and YA novels, the words we use should also be on trial, making every word count. So no matter what you write make it the best you can.

Lily’s Lagniappe: Mardi Gras balls are in full swing and yet very soon carnival season will be over for another year. Everyone starts Ash Wednesday planning for next year. If you’re in New Orleans enjoy but be careful, remember you really have no choice once in a crowd. You go the way the crowd is going.  Keep your wits about you and drink only after you get back to  your room.

Lily

January 31, 2015

Still revising the picture book then back to the Chapter Book bound for Boyds Mills Press. This new found energy for the submitting of my manuscripts is preventing me from sleeping. My brain will not shut off. I find sleeping very hard. But if I can get my foot in the door somewhere it will be great. If not at Boyds Mills Press then somewhere else.

Lily’s Lagniappe: The balls are all winding down in the Big Easy as well other cities in Louisiana. The debutante’s have been presented and the royal court of every Krewe has been made public. One court member put on Facebook that it was good to be QUEEN!! Good for her. If you ever get to go to a Mardi Gras Ball, please attend they are spectacular. Great fun, dancing and a great tradition to be a part of.

Lily

January 29, 2015

Working still on a PB manuscript. Hoping to get it finalized to send to my critique group. Printing out the three chapters and query letter to revise and then send to group.

Lily’s Lagniappe: There is really only one builder of Mardi Gras floats and that is Blaine Kern. Don’t get me wrong there are other folks who build them but there is only one master of these creative artworks. Blaine has been in business since 1947. He has a museum called Mardi Gras World. There are tours and you will see what goes into the building and moving of these massive structures. The tour also includes a lot of traditions that goes with the carnival season. If you’re in New Orleans, it is a must see!!

Lily

January 27, 2015

I signed up for 12 X 12 with Julie Hedlund. So I put away my WIP chapter book for a day or two to revise a PB manuscript. 12 X 12 is twelve PB manuscripts in a year. You can post your constructive criticism on other manuscripts to help other PB writers get their manuscripts in shape. So I posted my first 250 words of ‘The Worst Birthday Ever.’ Although due to a comment I may have to change the name; they suggested I give away the focus of the book. But thinking about it didn’t ‘Walter the Farting Dog,’ tell what the book is about. Still thinking… At the end of the week I will return to the chapter book further revision.

Lily’s Lagniappe: Carnival season is in full force but it all ends on Fat Tuesday.  Don’t forget that New Orleans is not the only city that celebrates Mardi Gras or even Louisiana being the only the state that celebrates the end of Lent. In Mobile, Alabama there are parades and celebrations. In Chicago, Illinois there are parades. In Tampa, Florida there are Gasparilla Pirate Festivals at the same time. So find one close to you and celebrate with your family and friends.

Lily

January 25, 2015

Working and revising my chapter book hoping to send it out this week to the designated editor. Crossing my fingers and then I’m also going to send before the end of the month to an agent a nonfiction picture book manuscript. Let’s hope this Feathered Hero makes her happy.

Lily’s Lagniappe: I’m looking for King Cakes to send to my family members. Had some suggestions today from some of my former students. If you are hankering for a delicious pastry this is your solution.

Lily

January 23, 2015

Still working on my chapter book manuscript. I really need to spice up the language and flow of the sentences. I’m working hard to get all action verbs. Kids love the read action verbs. My nephew told me when he was in the fourth grade that he wanted to be a mind traveler. I think the only way that can happen is if you lead the reader through the events with action verbs. My chapter book is about baseball. We watch grown men play a game for a living; what better way for kids to live their dreams on the pages of your books. I want every little boy or girl that reads this book to feel as if they are part of the plot. If I can accomplish that I will have succeeded.

Lily’s Lagniappe: The carnival season will end soon on Fat Tuesday. I noticed recently that some of the balls have decided to open their doors to the public. You can check the Times Picayune to see what balls are opened to the public and the location of those balls. Usually it is a first come situation because of the fire code; so if you plan on trying attend be there early.

Lily

January 21, 2015

I am working on a CB WIP hoping to get an editor to  like it well enough to want to publish it. When submission guidelines confuse me, I wonder does this publisher really want to see unsolicited manuscripts. So I asked the ladies in my critique group to help me negotiate the guidelines. We’ve crafted a plan for me to send to my selected publisher. Hoping my little chapter book sees the light of day in an editor’s hands. My main character is a forgetful little boy, does that sound like someone in your house? I’ll keep you posted on my chapter book’s journey.

Lily’s Lagniappe: This time of year a pastry called a King Cake is available in every bakery, grocery store and kiosk in the mall in Louisiana. It a very symbolic pastry of the journey the wise men made to the Christ child. It is traditionally a cinnamon and sugar wrapped in a bread like batter formed into a circle and baked. Icing in the three Mardi Gras colors, purple, yellow and green, adorns the top of each pastry. There is one other thing every baker puts inside each king cake. It is a small doll that represents the baby Jesus. If you get the doll in your piece of king cake, you bring the next one to work, home or school. They are really good but I recommend only or two because they are addicting.

Lily

January 19, 2015

Working on a chapter book’s query to send to an editor. Hoping I get a good response. Really wanting to get into a publisher’s door at least once. I would love to be offered a contract and have a chance to say yes so and so is publishing my book. It will come true and I know it will. Patience is a virtue but not one of mine. This is one of my resolutions for 2015. To have more patience and working toward a publishing contract. Then try to get an agent. Another goal for 2015.

Lily Lagniappe’s: Carnival is in full swing in New Orleans and southern Louisiana. There are variety of activities you can attend the common threads with all of the activities will be good food, good people and usually activities for the entire family.

Lily

January 17, 2015

For lack of a better diagnosis, I’m going to say I’m suffering from the Disney crud. Stuffy nose, headache, fever, sneezing fits, overall feeling of blah and I’m becoming a mouth breather. Why Disney crud because I was there from the 3rd of January until the 9th. My great nephew and his momma, my niece, are under the weather and we all stayed together in a suite. The Lion King suite. We had a great time and wonderful week but there were days when we needed heavier clothes because it was COLD!!

So I’m beginning to feel good again so I put aside my YA and am working on a chapter book about baseball. I think it may be ready to send to an agent or editor. If not ready it is closer than the WIP. Working to get the flow better, get rid of excess words and make the main character pop! Hope all of you are well and happy this 2015. Stay healthy!!

Lily’s Lagniappe: If you’re in New Orleans the weekend before Fat Tuesday try to find out about the performance of the Mardi Gras Indians will be. These groups of relatives of the Indians that settled the New Orleans and surrounding areas make their costumes and they are true works of art. That is a requirement for the Mardi Gras Indians. Their costumes must be hand made. There is a museum near Jackson Square in the quarter where they are on display. The performance of these groups is not to be missed.

Lily

January 15, 2015

My current WIP is in its second complete revision. I’m adding conflict and plot points to bring it into a more edgy read. My protagonist is a young girl that has suffered great sacrifices in her short life. Things most adults would have trouble juggling and yet she finds her way through it all with grace and conviction. My secondary characters needs some ruffling and some rocks thrown at them. So today and through the weekend I plan to pitch some stones their way. It’s not really the stones it’s their reaction to the stones.

Lily’s Lagniappe: Every weekend until Fat Tuesday there are parades and there are schedules around so you know where and when to see them. These are smaller parades but great to take your children to view. Drinking is less and the float riders throw a lot of beads and doubloons to the crowds.

Lily