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

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?