Category Archives: middle grade

Related to my middle grade writing

Tropical Impression

I thought: I’ll blog every day. But then we landed, left the sweetly palms-infused airport and drove straight to the ocean. I know as well as anyone how distracting ocean is—sunrises, sunsets, all the dancing, lightening blue in between those hours–and … Continue reading

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Never Fails

Text conversation with my writing mentor as I attempted to send her crucial re-written novel pages before her plane took off, pages I was anxious for her input on so that I could meet a writing deadline ASAP, pages she … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, Steps In Promotion, Writer's Angst | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mornings Become Them (Birds Edition)

615am–I get out of bed to let the dog outside and get back in bed forgetting to let the dog back in and he barks and I shoot out of bed not wanting the dog to wake the first grader … Continue reading

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Spring Break Snoozing (Wide Awake Edition)

During this luscious week of no school for the Kindergartner, we snooze well. Except when we are awakened from chasm-sleep somewhere between 2a.m. and maybe 4:30a.m.—after the bars have closed, but before the rooster across the alley busts its lungs—after we’ve … Continue reading

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Spring Spirit 2014

We’d hoped to leave our valley by 10am. 430pm we were finally on the road. The little boy erupted in sneezes and coughing fits at the top of the Grapevine. When we stopped somewhere on the other side of the mountains … Continue reading

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Discoveries (Balancing Edition)

The huge benefit of being thrown by a horse and not being able to exercise for over a week or lie down on the bed without screaming in pain or do anything in between carrying on as a mother except … Continue reading

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Article At ‘Through The Tollbooth’!!!

My writing mentor, Kathryn Fitzmaurice, was interviewed by Catherine Linka (I’ve heard Catherine speak at SCBWI events–she is positively famous in our SCBWI Los Angeles circles) over at Through The Tollbooth. The interview is about Kathryn’s mentoring experience–er, of me! … Continue reading

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The Women’s National Book Association

I was made aware of the WNBA/LA thanks to my middle grade writing mentor, Kathryn Fitzmaurice (ask me if I am lucky to have her as my mentor and you will hear amplified hell yeah’s). She gave one of this … Continue reading

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Notes From The Retreat #2: Critiques

Yes, I am going to go here. Out of the 10 copies of the first 25 pages of my novel returned to me, scribbled on by the writers in my core group at the SCBWI retreat, I kept 4. Those 4 … Continue reading

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Notes From The Retreat #1: Books

At last weekend’s SCBWI retreat, 4 editors imparted useful information–and shared book titles they love–Picture Books (PB), Middle Grade (MG), Non-Fiction (NF) and Young Adult (Y the effing heck A). I know what the abbreviations mean. YOU know what they mean. But, … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Books, middle grade, Santa Barbara, Writing, YA Novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bathroom Reading (Scouring Edition)

While holiday cleansing the bathroom, on my knees scrubbing corners usually in my blind spot, I glance up and notice books also, apparently, usually in my blind spot. I have no idea when Dylan Thomas arrived. Definitely wasn’t me who … Continue reading

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The Truth Is…(Maintenance Edition)

The truth is, I’m way too busy to blog—sprawling on the couch eating bonbons takes up a lot of time. And let me make this extremely clear: NOT milk chocolate bonbons with cherries tucked inside them. If I was even … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, Pets, Poetry, To Explain, Writer's Angst, Writing, Writing Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chirp

The colony of house finches thriving in the trees outside our bedroom windows begins the chirping frenzy around 530/6am and they never fail to wake me up—but I beat them to their cacophony this morning, fueled into consciousness by thoughts of Big … Continue reading

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In the Wake of a Rejection

The last day of July hurtles into focus as I prepare for mini-break #4: single-mommying 3 kids for 3 days. Will be intriguing to see how I fit in writing time. I’m thinking between breakfast and the day’s planned outing, all outings … Continue reading

Posted in books, Fiction, middle grade, ocean related, Poetry, Santa Barbara, Writer's Angst, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mini-Break 2: Undertow (with Wheels)

Children blinking through binoculars, squealing at scuttling lizards, swinging very, very high on playground swings, holding hands, but running too fast towards crosswalks, scaling small boulders, building sandcastles for naked Barbies and a collection of Skylander figurines that should never … Continue reading

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Angst (Cheese & Strawberries Edition)

When you man your bookshelves for hours, reading first pages because you are maddened by your own first pages and can’t recall how to begin a story or a novel without every palabra jumping out at you with a buzzer sound … Continue reading

Posted in Avoiding My Writing, Children's Books, Fiction, Me and Us, middle grade, Poetry, Writer's Angst, Writing, WTF | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Adventures in Rejection (Snailmail Edition)

I don’t like rejection, but I like this rejection letter even if it is: a rejection letter. So, thank you, rejection writer, for taking the time to read my submission and respond in such a gratifyingly (for me) thorough manner. You are … Continue reading

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Update: NaMeSiDifStaDaiWri(expletive)Po

I forgot to go on Monday. Ummm…And here is a cat.

Posted in Avoiding My Writing, Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, Poetry, Writer's Angst, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Courage! (Neigh Edition)

I was late to retrieve the boy from school because I Face Sucked like a fiend AND watched the latest episode of “Once” on hulu AND in another open hulu tab caught up on the latest episode of “Revenge” WHILE checking … Continue reading

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To All Rejections

To all rejections: I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am building a cathedral. I am … Continue reading

Posted in books, Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, Poetry, Quotes, Writer's Angst, Writing, Writing Progress, Writing Publications, Writing Tips, WTF, YA Novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reading List 2013 (So Far)

This morning my husband burst through the front door, yanked the tiny earphones out of his ears and, flushed from his post-run endorphin rush, declared: The Death Of Bees, we must own it! The Death Of Bees, by Lisa O’Donnell (check out … Continue reading

Posted in Adult writing, Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, Poetry, poetry reading, Writing, YA Novels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Good Morning Boo

I know it’s a grand revising day when I sit down at the computer to check email, but end up obsessed with the Word document on the desktop instead, until my son reminds me it’s time to brush his teeth so … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Books, Fiction, middle grade, To Explain, Writing, Writing Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Once Upon A Time In Gloomy Oxford

1970-something, bookstore, downtown Oxford, England. Cloudy, moody late afternoon (there were so many, which makes the memories of sunny days–sky a blue to gasp over, cottonball clouds, Radcliffe Camera’s dome sunsparked, even musty old Carfax Tower rinsed and bright—stand out all the … Continue reading

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Dear Lucky Agent Contest

I’m going to enter. Are you? Follow the link below for complete details. Link: Lucky Agent Contest CONTEST DETAILS This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from Aug. 13, 2012 through the end of Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, PST. … Continue reading

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Links Time

It’s been a week of discovering useful blog links. I’ve hopped from link to link and then some, pausing only to drop the boy off at summer camp, pick him up, play Batman & Dinosaurs, fix dinner, twist myself into … Continue reading

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