Friday, August 29, 2008

Twitter Dee and Twitter Dum

As some of you might know, I tweet. No, it's not a speech defect. I'm one of the zillions of people who write up to 140 characters at a time about whatever is going on at the moment. Such as "Does someone give Wolf Blitzer a cookie every time he says 'the best political team on TV?'" or "I just ate a pickle. I hate pickles." Or someone was tweeting from the floor of the DNC convention. Then I found myself looking for her during the crowd shots on TV. 

Waste of time? Sure is. But fast and more entertaining than I thought it would be. And like I have anything better to do. So I was all fine with my tweets until I read this blog post about why people "unfriend" others on twitter. And now I'm concerned--are my tweets interesting enough? (Probably not.) Will I get a notice that someone dropped me as a friend? How will I feel about that? (Meh, I don't think I'll care.) 

But if you tweet, check out her post. It's good to know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting it together

Yeah, I know. I've been a crappy blogger. Update your blog, Wendy! Slacker. Truth is, it's been pretty slow around here and although I'm a little sad summer is ending, I'm happy to be getting back to a fall schedule soon. As some of you may know, I spend the majority of the summer outside of New York City. I'm SO happy to be going back this week. 

So I've been trying to get my sh*t together long distance. Not the easiest thing, but that's okay. To me, September feels like the beginning of the year. Maybe that's because NYC is that way, or maybe it's just because my kids are on a school calendar. I dunno. But I did find some helpful School Year Resolutions over at To Pass the Torch. 

I don't really have any kid-related resolutions, being that I'm the perfect mom (Ha!), but I do have some writing and non-writing related resolutions for myself:

1. Even though I haven't started my new WIP, write every day. Even if it's just a few words on a flash fiction piece. It makes me feel productive.

2. Jump in head first about getting an agent. Quit making excuses for putting it off. 

3. Say "no" more often when asked to volunteer for something I don't really want to do. 

4. Make more of an effort to get together with friends. Sometimes I can't be bothered, but it really does keep me sane. 

That's enough for me. How about you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just a Little Summer Reading

I'm taking a couple of weeks off from thinking about writing. Knowing me, I'll pick up my "finished" manuscript again and find some more tweaks, but right now, fuggetaboutit. Since this blog is intended to be about writing and whatever, I'll stay slightly on topic and let you know about some good books I've read lately. 

For kids.

My kids still love for me to read to them, even though they can both read themselves (and they do that, too.) I suppose I'll keep the nightly routine of reading for 30 minutes or so until they tell me to stop. Or they go off to college.

My girls are 9 and 6, and I typically read to both of them at once. But not always. So some books on the list are for slightly older kids as well, since my oldest tends to like "older" books. (They still have to pass the mom test. She's not reading Gossip Girl.)

I'll leave off most of the classics, since you probably know them anyway. I like all the Judy Blume and anything by Roald Dahl or EB White. 

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows (So freaking cute. I love these.)
Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
Girls to the Rescue Series by Bruce Lansky
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter (About tribes of wild cats. Naomi recommends this highly.)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg (My daughter's class read this in school, then walked down the street to the Met and acted it out. Very cool. It's an interesting book.)
The American Girl "History Mysteries" are actually pretty good. My 6 y.o. loves books about history, especially when they are girl-centered. Her favorite book to read on her own is The Battle for St. Michaels by Emily Arnold McCully. I had to look up facts about the War of 1812 to explain it to her. I couldn't remember much of anything! This is why I stink at Trivial Pursuit.
And I just have to add A Wrinkle in Time because my older daughter loved it, and I loved reading it again.
So that's what the Cebula girls are into. Do you have any favorites to add?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Somebody Give Me a Cookie

Today I did it. I finally finished edit # 41,506 and completed my WIP. 

It wasn't looking good this morning, what with a sick kid who had to skip surf camp and hang out with me all day. But hooray for Jimmy Neutron, because I plopped her down in front of the TV nanny and finished my last chapter. 


I would suggest reading your WIP aloud *yourself,* but...

This is fun, too. 

Damn it, I can't seem to get my avatar to embed, but you can make your own (mine's name is Bertha) and copy and paste your WIP to have her read it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pitch It, Baby

As I mentioned before, I have recently signed up for a pitch conference here in New York in September. I'm just finishing up my edits now, so I've just started writing this sucker. 

In a pre-conference email, the good people of the NY Pitch and Shop conference have let me know that I'll need to have all these elements in my pitch: 

Scene Set
Major Complication 
Rising Action

I don't think I'll have a problem writing this up. It's the actual pitching that I might just flub.

Any tips for that? Shots of whiskey? Valium? 

What settles your nerves?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Getting that Agent

I'm linking to this great post by author and fellow AWer Adrienne Kress (aka Toothpaste) about the process of getting an agent. She did a fine, fine job summarizing the process, and this comes at a good time for me since I am thisclose to finishing my WIP, and currently researching agents and shining up my query and pitch. 

So thanks, Ms. Kress!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Call + Response

Sorry I've been radio silent for the last few days. We had guests staying with us for the weekend and I was too busy playing Little Miss Hostess. And--get this--I've actually been working on my WIP. Shocker!

My friend Cindy from Miami sent me this link about a new documentary coming out this September highlighting the abuses of the slave trade. Did you know that there are more slaves now than ever before in human history? And that slave traders make more money than Google, Nike, and Starbucks combined? Shameful.

I can't seem to get my blog to embed today, so please click on this YouTube link for Call + Response.