Blogging at 4RV Publishing – Writing Through the Summer

 

Last Wednesday was one of the two days I write for 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News. With summer on the way, this article shares tips for keeping you writing through the summer. You can find it at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/06/writing-through-hazy-days-of-summer.html

Blogging at 4RV Blog – What Are Your Writing Challenges?

 

This is a Wednesday that I am blogging over at 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News. Today, I’m asking my fellow writers what their challenges are. Hoping you stop by and add your question or challenge. We will use them for future blog posts. Click here.

Blogging at 4RV Blog – Seasonal Articles Can Mean Extra Income

 

This is my Wednesday to post at 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News blog. I decided to talk about how writers can earn extra income with seasonal articles. You can check it out at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/04/plan-ahead-for-seasonal-articles-to.html

2019 Writing Goals Update

Well, the first quarter of 2019 has come and gone. My, it has been busy. Each quarter I take a look at my writing goals to see where I stand. This gives me a chance to pat myself on the back and also make any necessary adjustments. Here’s where things stand:

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

I figured the first quarter would be the key to getting this done, but it seems life had other plans–like real estate work and editing a manuscript for a publisher. I’ve been writing down some possible agents to research. I’ve also set myself a deadline of next week to have at least two agents to pitch this project to and also to draft the query letter.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

Done and won! There are now 30 new story ideas to review and consider. Some I am really excited about. Others, not so much. I’m on the fence about participating next year, but that is a decision for the final quarter of 2019.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I’m not a short story or article person. That said, I want to see if I can put something together by July to contribute to the December issue.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

This is going to be a tough goal, but I’ve written one chapter and started another. Maybe vacation in July will bring me closer to this goal.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

I’m not doing too bad here. This blog and Books Can Be Deadly are the two that suffer the most. The Book Connection and An Imperfect Christian Mom get most of my attention.

The first quarter brought some progress. Maybe not as much as I would have liked, but the key remains time blocking. I need to avoid social media too. I’m still working on that one.

How are your goals coming along? Anything you are struggling with? What is one of your accomplishments?

Guest Blogger: Hank Quense, Author of Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids

Writing a story is a tough job, especially for a kid. There’s all that stuff about characters and setting they have to remember. And then there’s the plot. How is a kid supposed to figure that one out?

I’ve written a number of novels and I’ve had over forty short stories published in magazines, anthologies and web sites. So I know firsthand about these difficulties. Over time and after a lot of false starts, I developed a process that allows me to approach a new story in an organized manner. Once I had this process I found it eliminated many of the dead ends I had previously run into.

A few years ago the Valley Middle School in Oakland NJ asked if I would visit the school and talk to their seventh graders. On visits like this, authors usually talk about their books and read scenes from them. I hate reading scenes! I find it boring and I’m sure I bore the audience with my monotonous voice. Instead of torturing the kids this way, I decided to show them how I use my process to create a short story. The slide talk worked like this: I gave them the overall story idea, one that they would want to write. After that, I used a handout with a series of text boxes with questions to have the kids come up with ideas on characters, setting and plot. Finally, I broke the story up into six scenes and showed the kids how to use the text box ideas to write each scene. The talk was wildly successful.

4: New Project
Besides the Valley Middle School, I’ve given this talk in libraries and expanded the concept to include two more story ideas. While I love doing this, my talks are geographically limited. To remove this limitation, I used these three talks as the basis for the ebook called Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids. Using the advanced technical capabilities of ebooks, the book has graphics, audio and video clips embedded into it. The videos show the text boxes and coach the kids on how to develop ideas for the basic story elements: characters, setting and plot. Each story has a final video clip showing the kids which text boxes to use in each scene.

Finally, there is a set of blank worksheets the kids can use to develop stories on their own.

The suggested audience for the ebook is 4th to 7th graders.

This is not an ordinary ebook: it’s interactive and that presents some problems. Not all e-readers can open the epub and mobi versions of this book. Apple computers and IOS devices can open the epub version if they have the free iBook app installed. Some Nooks also can open it. You can open the epub on a PC computer if the computer has Adobe Digital Edition app installed. You can download this free app here: https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html

The mobi edition will only work on the more recent Kindle Fire tablets.

Other Kindle tablets will not be able to deal with the audio and video clips.

The ebook is available on iBooks at https://apple.co/2CJYDjN and Kindle at https://amzn.to/2RnU5Yo.

This website has more information and a demo story your child can try out: https://padlet.com/hanque/a7zx74mjcgrg

Getting a book published is always a great feeling, but this one felt not just great, but also fulfilling.

Speed Dates by Juliet Clare Bell

Photo credit: Jesse Chan-Norris

Ever hear of speed dating? It’s an organized activity where people looking for romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners to see if they share mutual interests. Today, on Writing for Kids (While Raising Them), guest blogger Juliet Clare Bell talked about speed dating with your 30 STORYSTORM ideas. I totally fell in love with this idea and wanted to share it so that my fellow authors could take advantage of the process.

Want to learn more? Check out Day 27 of STORYSTORM today by clicking here.

Blogging at 4RV

 

I’m taking a turn at the 4RV Publishing blog today. If you were wondering if a critique group is right for you or how to find one, check out my article, “Three Tips on Finding a Critique Group.” You can read it here: https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/01/three-tips-on-finding-critique-group.html