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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


January 13, 2015

This afternoon I held my little Ebony as she left this earth. She kept looking at me almost begging me to help her. So Dr. Foster and Chrissy, a great tech, stayed with me while Ebony left this earth. I know my mother waited to welcome Ebony into heaven. It was so peaceful and Ebony just slept through it.  I will miss her but I know I made the right decision.

Lily’s Lagniappe: This carnival season in New Orleans brings out the best in the food industry. Each hotel and restaurant goes into carnival food competition mode. The newly developed appetizers are debuted during this time and chefs compete for your dollar by offering new dishes during this time. It is a palate feast. If you visit the city try as many as you can. By Mardi Gras carnival season is over.


January 11. 2015

Bad news this morning, my companion of 12 years, Ebony Allmand is very sick. Ebony is a teacup poodle that has been my constant partner in life for the last 12 years. She is vomiting, dehydrated, bacteria and other issues I’m not going to mention. She is always ready to play with her miniature soccer ball or bring her bed into the room I’m in and sit with me awhile. The vet, Dr. Foster, told me she is really sick and he is treating what ails her. Being 12 is also part of the problem. With age comes problems vets aren’t able to cure. So the plan for the day was to get work done on WIP but it may have to wait until I hear later in the day from the vet if she has improved. For those of you with pets will understand, others may not but its like your best friend has gone into the hospital for issues no one can diagnose. So I’m waiting for news…

Lily’s Lagniappe: New Orleans is alive with parties beginning the carnival season. If you read the Times-Picayune the social pages are plastered with the names of the society’s who’s who for the courts of the Krewes. Keep you posted on the ins and outs of the carnival season.


January 9, 2015

Spent our last day at Disney in Hollywood Studios. Loved it. Went to a character breakfast at the Polynesian Hotel this morning. Brooks loved it. Phineas and Ferb character hugs and pictures, green army man hugs and pictures, and then home to pack for return trip tomorrow.

As I drive home I think about the characters in my MG/YA and decide I really like the conflict from the love interest. So I guess it will be early YA.

Lily’s Lagniappe: Most Krewe’s (a group of people with like minded efforts toward service and providing their members a chance to have a special carnival season. I will keep you posted as the season progresses.