Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Tips: Be Smart not Stupid

I attended the Write Stuff Conference sponsored by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group this weekend and learned a lot. I'm not the kind of student who sits in the corner and never speaks. When I have something to say, I open my mouth.

But when I don't, I listen.

Under the guidance of an internationally acclaimed writing teacher James N. Frey, a class of about 60 plotted out a book from beginning to end in two days, his Plotting Like the Pros workshop. Jim, as he calls himself, took suggestions from those in the room, and at times the debate became intense.

One writer insisted our character, a tech sergeant in the Air Force, would live off base. Another demanded we drop her in the barracks. Still a third won everyone over in saying she lives in a little cottage on base.

And so the two days went with arguments and demands until we finally had a good story. I could never write it. Too much science, but it was a good story.

Some writers in the room, myself included, sat back and wondered why these small details mattered at the moment, but when Jim excitedly said the words, "That's a great idea!" to someone, we knew.

People love it when they're right and even more when they're recognized for it. I'm no exception. Yet, as I sat in the windowless room learning about plotting from a pro, I thought of the quote that's scribbled in purple dry erase marker on the corkboard next to me.

And it's today's tip.

"Anyone who loves knowledge wants to be told when he is wrong. It is stupid to hate being corrected." -Proverbs 12:1

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays #21

A whole week has passed, and no other posts. Sorry about that.

I attended the Write Stuff Conference sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Writers Group in eastern Pennsylvania, and it was fantastic. I'll have more to say about that in the future, but today, it's rainy outside, and it's Monday.

I love watching a few minutes of Ellen when my day isn't going so well. It makes me laugh and refreshes me. So, here's one of my favorite Ellen moments. By the way, Dennis Quaid is even handsomer in person!

Here you go:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays #20

It's a two-for kinda day. It's Monday and it's raining in the Pittsburgh area.

So here are a couple laughs. I love these videos. You may have seen this first one before.

However, this one might be new to you. Pay attention when Mom comes into the room. It's hilarious.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Missed You!

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet XCVII"

Hey, everyone...everyone who has not been paying attention to my blog as there hasn't been much to read.

I'm back.

Maybe it's the gorgeous sunshine, the feeling of spring. Not quite sure, but I miss the diner. Time to open the doors again.

I'm still writing a lot, revising two manuscripts, and trying to keep up with my online students who have just submitted their first essay, expository essays featuring their hometowns in some way. I look forward to reading them. Some of the topics are great.

But I miss all of you.

So, I'm back to blogging. I'll have something fresh and fantastic for you on Monday for the revival of Rainy Days and Mondays.

But today, it's all about returning after a long hiatus. So, what have you missed? I received several rejections for THESE WALLS CAN TALK (previously titled THE DINER ON THIRD, and the impetus for starting this virtual diner). I still have a few submissions floating around the literary agenting world, but I'm not too hopeful. The manuscript needs work, so that's what it is getting.

While I let THESE WALLS CAN TALK sit for a few months, I drafted another YA manuscript, BROKEN. I promise to tell you more about BROKEN in coming months, but it's a lot of fun and incorporates prom, summer camp, growing up fast, and a love square (not a triangle, but a square!).

I spent last weekend at the Sisters in Crime Writing Retreat and survived the flood of the Youghiogheny River in Confluence, PA. For proof, check out our president Annette Dashofy's blog.

This weekend is the New Kensington Rotary's annual fundraiser, Rotarama. Speaking of prom, I'll be wearing my junior prom dress. So glad it still fits.

Next weekend, I'll be driving east for the Lehigh Valley Write Stuff Conference. So I'll have a lot to blog about in coming days.

Check back for it!