Monday, March 31, 2014

Writing Workshop - April 5, 2014!!!

I am so excited about the workshop I'm hosting this Saturday from 1-4pm. It's for all genres of writing, even adult. Sonya Sones will be teaching us how to write better, and if you've read any of her novels, you know you'll be in for some awesome information! Here's the blurb.

Award-winning verse novelist Sonya Sones of adult and young adult books will be presenting:
Poetic License, poetry secrets that will make your prose prance!

Sonya’s presentation will explain how the techniques used by poets—similes, imagery, rhythm, repetition, personification, etc.—can be used by non-poets to enhance their prose. This workshop will include time to respond to writing prompts, so come armed with pencil and paper, and Sonya will provide the cookies and the inspiration.

Saturday, April 5, 2014, 1-4pm

Santa Barbara County Education Office Auditorium,
4400 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93160

$40 SCBWI members, $50 non-members

For registration info: or
Contact: Angela Russell at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LA Writer's Day Recap and Photos!

This past weekend, I spent two days with writers, agents, editors, presenters of all kinds. Lovely people, all of them. There was something for everyone and a take-away from each session. And a lot of laughter. The theme was about connections. Big thanks and a great job done by the LA County Coordinators, Sarah Laurence, Lee Wind and Sally Rogan Jones and all their volunteers.

The very entertaining and true-to-herself, Katherine Applegate (THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN) gave us ten points on being a writer. Write how you write. It may be how some work and not others. Plus she and her husband, Michael Grant, put together a hilarious video. I will not forget it. Connecting with oneself.

Catherine Linka (A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS), book seller extraordinaire, was helpful in deciphering online connections. Goodreads, Edelweiss, etc. Make sure you have a good presentation for kids. Connecting online.

Heidi Fiedler, Editor, taught us about book mapping. Heck, if it's good enough for JK Rowling, it's good enough for us. Connecting the story scene by scene.

Danielle Smith, Agent, showed us how to connect the first sentence and the last sentence and how to make your words count in between. Connecting the story with readers.

Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer, and also the sweetest lady,  taught us, well three pages worth of notes! My brain was firing thoughts at me about my new story as she spoke. Awesome. She's not called The Plot Whisperer for nothing. Connecting plots.

And that was just Day 1! The second day was for intensives. And I just wanted to go to them all.

So now for some photos - taken with an iPod so quality isn't completely fabulous.

Martha, Katherine A, Heidi, Catherine L, and Danielle
Heidi and Danielle - so sweet to smile while I rudely interrupted them for a photo

Martha and Agent Jill Corcoran

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Early Reader Workshop and Writing Exercises

On March 8, I went to a workshop on early readers taught by Bonnie Bader. Listening to someone with so much experience and passion transfers to the students. We did writing exercises using words specifically for the genre. With  different levels of words to play with.

When I talk about doing writing exercises, most people say they don't like doing them. But here was a whole class full of people doing that very same thing. Picking out words to use, being limited to the words, coming up with different stories - it was fun. And, I think, most of the students enjoyed it.

With that in mind, I have a new writing exercise. What's fun is that you never know which way it's going to go until you've done it. And it was so great to hear so many different versions of the same words in that workshop. Always something to learn, which is awesome.
Me, Rebecca, Jody, Bonnie, Joan & Allison

Prompt: slate, obedience, foundation, county

    With obedience classes slated to start the next day, Sasha had a lot to do. Teaching puppies the foundation of good dog behavior was ever so important. Her reputation depended upon it. Sasha’s Superdog School was tops in the county. She could not allow Perfect Poodle to take that title. Sasha was firm but kind to all the pups. Only once did she meet a dog that couldn’t be well behaved or trained. Fred. He was the reason she almost lost the Top Dog Trophy.
    Sasha’s pink tags tinkled as she checked off her class prep list. The leashes were lined up. Orange cones were in place on the field. Water bowls set out.
    Sasha studied the roster of puppies scheduled to begin the next training session. Her tail stopped wagging when she read the one name she never wanted to see again.
    Sasha howled.