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.

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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

What’s New

 

It has been a while since I posted here. Bad me. I really hit the ground running with goal setting for all areas of my life in January. That sometimes slows down blogging duties. Try not to remind me right now that one of my goals for 2019 is to maintain my blogs. Okay? I’m a work in progress. 🙂

In case you missed it, I blogged about character interviews and questionnaires last week at the 4RV Publishing blog. You can find that article at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/01/character-interviews-and-questionnaires.html

Also, though it will be the end of January before I have a winner’s badge, I just posted idea #31 in my STORYSTORM log!!!! I am so excited. Many of them are fabulous ideas too. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of January plotting out a few of them.

Hope you have a great Monday!

2019 Writing Goals

 

Welcome to 2019! I am so excited. Last year was a bit tough with all that was going on, but I still made some great strides. I don’t usually do this, but in the spirit of making some changes, here are a few 2019 predictions:

  • My calendar will be time blocked better this year, making me more effective and efficient
  • I will submit at least one finished project to an agent
  • I will actually take a vacation this year where I don’t do work–well, real estate work anyway

Now, on to my writing goals for 2019…

 

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to an agent

This will happen. My best shot at it is first quarter 2019, since by spring the real estate market is in full swing. So, by mid-January, I want to have two potential agents to submit to. For that to happen, I am going back to Twitter to see the agents who participated in PBPitch in October and research them a bit more. Then by the end of January, I want my query letter polished and ready to go, so that the beginning of February my submission will be out the door.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM

This started today. We come up with 30 book ideas over 30 days in January. I’ve won the last few years. If I really think on ideas that have been brewing in my head, it should happen again. I’ve already got my list on my computer waiting to go. In the past, I’ve blogged about my ideas. Now, they aren’t all centered around children’s literature, so I keep a running list on my computer.

GOAL 3: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids 

This was a missed goal from 2018. In order to make it happen, I need to review their themes for 2019 (DONE). The holiday issue in December still seems the likely candidate. By the end of February, I want to come up with two possible ideas for short stories (500 words or fewer). First draft needs to be done by May so that I can submit in June or July while we are on vacation.

GOAL 4: Write 10 chapters of Amelia’s Mission

I need to finish this project. I love it so much and feedback has been great. If I can write one chapter a month, taking two months in the calendar off to concentrate on Clever Tom and my Guardian Angel Kids submission, I might be able to do this. Writing group meets once a month (first Monday of the month), so if I work on the chapter the last three weeks of the month, by the next meeting I should have something to submit.

GOAL 5: Maintain my blogs

I made some excellent strides in 2018 where my blogs are concerned. In addition to my four main blogs, I brought a blog out of hiatus and now contribute to 4RV Publishing Reading, Writing, & Art News and Christian Children’s Authors. My hope is that by the end of tonight (or by tomorrow) my calendar is updated with all my regular blogging dates.

Here is the key to it all–my calendar. My husband set up Outlook to automatically populate my phone–which is helpful–but I am still a paper calendar kind of person. If I can get at least the first quarter together this week, I have the chance of creating a good habit to bring me through the rest of the year.

Now, you know my goals, what are some of yours? What are you especially excited to accomplish in 2019?

 

2018 Goals Review

 

It is that time of year again–time to review my goals and see how the year went. I’m a person who looks at the positives. Focusing on the negatives or what I didn’t accomplish is counterproductive. This was a year when real estate and caring for my in-laws took center stage. My latest book, Amos Faces His Bully, was also released by Guardian Angel Publishing. I’m satisfied with the progress made, even if it wasn’t all I wanted.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents – Made progress

This is a cute and funny story that came out of last year’s STORYSTORM. Though I didn’t submit it to agents yet, I did tweak it a bit before researching a few agents. I also participated in PBPITCH on Twitter a couple of times.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM – DONE

I love this annual event. Thirty story ideas over 30 days. It’s tough, but not impossible. When picture book writers follow this up with National Picture Book Writing Week then great things happen.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs – Blogged more than last year and made some additions

I started out with four blogs at the beginning of the year. The Book Connection and The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection are the ones that probably got the most attention. An Imperfect Christian Mom was probably the next most active. Books Can Be Deadly was active, but had some gaps. I resurrected Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection. I also began blogging twice a month at the 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News blog–which belongs to one of my publishers. I’m also still contributing to Christian Children’s Authors and play around with Laura’s Little Houses (my Little House blog) when I have time.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter – Not really

With the release of my new book in January, I did a bunch of guest blogging. Simply haven’t done much since.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year – Tiny bit of progress

I took a look at themes this year, but only felt a connection to the December issue. I’m really not a short story person, which doesn’t help. I might still try it again this year.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission – Laughs a bit

Now twenty chapters in, Amelia is stuck at school when she receives some bad news from home. I’m dedicated to finishing this, but I am such a s-l-o-w writer. I have been attending most of the monthly writing meetings to help move things along. Our group has grown, so I don’t always get feedback right away.

An unspoken goal that has been on my mind for a while came to fruition this year. I became an acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing. I’m also editing a children’s book series right now. So, I am keeping one leg in the writing world while real estate and family responsibilities move in to consume me. Look for my 2019 goals coming soon. It’s going to be a great year!

What were some of your goals for 2018? What did you accomplish? Any idea on what your goals are for the new year?

Blogging at 4RV Blog

 

Yesterday was my Wednesday to blog over at 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News. Considering year end is coming closer and goal setting for 2019 is not far behind, I’m talking about how writers can use positive thinking. Check out my article at http://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2018/10/how-can-writers-use-positive-thinking.html

 

Blogging at 4RV Publishing Blog & Announcement

 

Yesterday was one of my days to blog at the 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News blog. The topic of discussion: developing a self-editing process. I also shared my editing process to spark your ideas and provided resources to consider. You can find the article at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2018/09/develop-self-editing-process-that-works.html

I hinted at an exciting announcement on my Facebook page last week. I’m now happy to announce that I recently became an acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing. I’m thrilled to join a superb team and look forward to working with other writers in this capacity.