Monday, January 30, 2012

What Writers Read

Our local children's writers association (CWILL BC) asked its members to answer a questionnaire about what we are reading. Today, they posted my answers on their blog. If you are interested, you can check it out here. Scroll back to read other writer's answers, too.

And, another blog you might like to check out is the SCWBI Conference blog with posts written by various people who attended the New York Winter Conference this past weekend. I followed along, wishing all the while that I was there. To read this blog, go here. You can scroll back to read an exciting weekend's worth of posts.

Happy Reading! (What books are on your end table?)

Monday, January 23, 2012

First pages: Hooray!

I've been spending the last couple of weeks going over the first pages of a book that will come out next fall. I love this stage. It's the time when I get to see if my idea worked. (I think it did!)

The text and images are artfully put into place by the designer. And then a lot of tweaking begins. Other than coming up with the initial idea, this fine-tuning stage may be my favourite part of the publishing process. I love figuring out ways to make a book look and sound better.

What is the book? More to come on that later. I'll wait until I have a cover to show you.

For now, I hope all is well in your world. Maybe there's something you are fine-tuning.


New format?

Hmm... I see that Blogger has changed its format. Will I be able to figure out how to post? Let's find out. This is a test run.


Monday, January 16, 2012

The Joys of Tweeting

I recently opened a Twitter account and have had fun learning how to "tweet" or write bits of info and thoughts in 140 characters or less. It's a challenge to be concise, and serves as an excellent writing exercise for a children's writer, whose job it is to say cogent things in very few words.

Besides writing tweets, I'm reading a lot of them and especially enjoying those posted by other writers and folks in the publishing industry. Lots of them are funny and clever, and give great ideas on books to read.

Here's a tidbit I found today:

Just read a great tip from agent Michael Larsen on how to make a small fortune from writing: start with a large fortune and write full time.

See what you can learn?


Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...

It's that time of year when we take stock and ponder our future.

Although I can easily think of a host of worthy resolutions (eat more vegetables, join a gym, dust the house on a regular basis), I am very bad at fulfilling such plans. So this year, instead, I will endeavour to:

Read more. Write more.

Those are resolutions I can keep.

Good luck with yours.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Many ways to read...

Welcome to 2012! I trust you had a happy holiday season and that the year ahead looks promising and bright.

Aside from cheery gatherings with family and friends, I spent a lot of the holidays reading. I poured over some great books and some not-so-good ones, but they all got me thinking about writing and the future of publishing.

I read in the traditional paper format, but also tried out e-books on a Kindle and an iPad. It was interesting to compare those experiences. What did I find out?

- An iPad lets you read at night with the lights out because it's backlit (great for folks who want to read when their roommates are fast asleep). The iPad also lets you look up anything you have a question about as you are reading (both a good and a bad thing since you can easily get distracted from your book). The books aren't too expensive, but there doesn't seem to be a wide choice (or not as wide as I would like). Still, it's a convenient way to read.

- Using a Kindle is similar to reading a traditional book (you can't check the internet), but it's light-weight and very portable. You can carry around many volumes on this device, which makes a welcome change for folks who are used to schlepping armloads of heavy books back and forth from the library or onto an airplane. There is no touch screen, though, so it feels a bit old-fashioned after the iPad. On the plus side, there seems to be a wider selection of books to choose from (although one I purchased cost almost as much as a hardcover volume). I also hear that I can borrow Kindle books from the library, which is excellent news.

My daughter, also an avid reader, has noticed that since I became an e-book fan, I have fewer paper books to pass on to her. That is an interesting dilemma. (I'm always happy to purchase books if I know that she and others in the family will also read them.) I can see my ability to share books will change with e-books. Hmm...

Which of the three (traditional books, iPad or Kindle) do I prefer? The jury is still out. But it's great fun trying them all. I will keep you posted.

Happy New Year!