Adina at Her Best finally up for sale!

adina cover-3While I have not gotten my copies yet (they are in transit, and they arrived in NYC on Thursday), Adina at Her Best is indeed on sale on the Menucha Publisher’s site.

In other fun news, I just posted a second video about writing picture books. This one is broadly applicable to all writing, especially narrative forms. It’s about getting into the heads of your readers and into the heads of your characters. You can view it here.

And I just got great feedback on some changes I made to the adult novel I’ve been trying to snag an agent for. (Thanks, Cy and Daniel!) I’m hoping that as soon as all the craziness surrounding the release of Adina is done, I’ll be able to get that query all polished up and out to some more agents.

 

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Video #1: So, you’ve told me you want to write a picture book…

One of the things I’ve been hoping to do this year (and I’m talking 5779, not 2019) is make some videos about writing. I finally took the plunge after receiving a number of phone calls, PMs, and other queries about what it takes to write a picture book.

In this 9 minute (or so) video, you’ll hear:

7 & 1/2 minutes answering the following very basic questions:
1) Should you write a picture book at all? What kind of person does well writing araizy cover picture book?
2) What is the very first step you should take?
3) Should I self-publish or traditionally publish?
4) Does it matter if you are “naturally gifted” at writing?

And then you’ll receive about a minute & 1/2 of resources for learning to write a picture book which will all cost you less than hiring me. (Even if you’ll need to hire a coach or editor later, you will save yourself a bundle by doing what is recommended in the second half of the video FIRST.)

If you’ve got questions, post them in the comments. I’ll either answer them there, refer you to a better resource, or make another video in reply.

 

First post of 2019: What’s ahead

I kept telling myself that I didn’t want to make any resolutions–I don’t really celebrate secular New Year’s Eve. But something that happened that made me reconsider. Continue reading

Ehhh…a little backsliding

So, remember my big plans to finish the novel manuscript that I didn’t finish during NaNoWriMo? Well, that is taking a bit longer than I anticipated. Last week, I had good excuses–Chanukah, the fact my kids had a few days off of school, and it was an editing week for me. Continue reading

I’m a NaNo Loser and Proud of It

It’s now four days into December, and NaNoWriMo is all wrapped up. The goal was to write 50,000 words, and I will tell you straight up: I did not make it to 50,000 words.

But, the good news is, I wrote about 39,000. That’s great! I’ve never written a number of words anywhere near that big in any other month, ever. I’m glad I signed up for NaNo, because had I not, I’m pretty sure I would have written zero words of that book.

I’m hoping to work consistently on that manuscript throughout December. If I do that, I should have a complete first draft around January 1st.

Working through the ups and downs of NaNoWriMo taught me a few things, and reminded me of a few others.

  1. When I’m going “off outline” and start to panic, if I keep writing, sometimes I come up with something better than what I originally outlined.
  2. Forcing myself to write daily meant that sometimes I wasn’t in the mood or was distracted or was just plain tired by the time I got some time to sit by myself and write. But occasionally, those very “I’m not in the right headspace” moments turned into my most creative. Weird-but-cool stuff would come out that if I’d been calm and in my usual efficient state of mind, I probably would never have dreamed up.
  3. That little “Project Target” widget in Scrivener is priceless. All I wanted to do from the moment I clicked on it each day was watch it turn from read to green as I approached my targeted word count for the day. Also, I can see that the Project Target is getting closer and closer to green, and it’s making me persist past November 30th.
  4. Pushing forward without editing is helping me just keep chugging along. It’s so hard to fight the desire to just fix, fix, fix to perfection as I move along, but I’ll never finish that way.

Anyway, I’ve got a few short pieces I’ve been wanting to work on, and I think I’m just pushing them off until January (excepting those due back to my normal employers, because: deadlines! paychecks!) so I can finish this novel. I have a bad feeling that if I stop now, I’ll never, ever finish.

Now, some questions for you:

-Did you do NaNoWriMo?

-If yes, did you “win”?

-If you didn’t win, what lessons did you learn?

-And if you did, what’s your next step?

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

Been very busy! Three pieces running this week, a NaNoWriMo update, and Adina At Her Best coming soon

Howdy readers–long time, no write.

So, I’ve been rather busy lately, but after the family we had over for Thanksgiving has gone home and the kids have gone to bed, I have a moment to catch everyone up.

First piece of exciting news: My work is appearing in three separate places this week.

  1. Tablet Magazine is running my personal essay about an ongoing genealogical adventure bequeathed to me by my maternal grandmother.
  2. Speaking of my maternal grandmother, The Wisdom Daily contains some of my reflections about her.
  3. I’m a little behind in my NaNoWriMo wordcount, and my monthly humor column explains a bit why.

(Things have gotten a bit better with my NaNo writing project since I wrote that column. The word count is still lower than I was hoping for, but I had a little breakthrough by just pushing myself to keep writing and by writing the final chapter before I was even half done, just to have a point of focus. I’ll probably write a bit more about this experience soon.)

Adina Cover-3

Cover for forthcoming book, Adina At Her Best

Next exciting news! My newest book, Adina At Her Best, is now on the Coming Soon page for Menucha Publishers. I’m hoping to do some school visits when it comes out–in person and virtually. If you are a school teacher (grades 3-5 will work best for the book) or a librarian, let me know if you’d like a visit from me early in 2019.

I’ll try to be a little more diligent about writing posts after NaNoWriMo is over. I’m thinking of doing a series of short videos with writing tips. If there’s a writing question you think could be answered in a video of 5 minutes or less, leave a comment.