Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dusty Richards, author of 79 books and Linda Apple, who has been published in six of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, tells how to be prepared to pitch Terry Burns a Christian book agent. Click on for November 16-17 Ozarks Writers League's special two day workshops. Your book manuscript should be 250 words per page,about 300 pages, know the genre and where it will fit on the bookstore shelf. Listen carefully to what the agent says. If he turns you down he may ask you what other book could you write, or can you write a series? If you believe you can say, "yes." Click on Dusty's and Linda's websites are and

The pitch: Introduce yourself while you hand him your bussiness card. Give the title of your book and howmany words and pages, then present him with four to five exciting sentences-a blurb of your book. Be sure and write it down to take with you. In the meanwhile practice your pitch. Remember agents and editors are nice people and you are the salesperson pitching a product you believe in.

An agent loves writers that are outgoing and dedicated. Mention the writers groups and other groups you are a member of.

For updates in book markets go to The Purple Crayon and Publishers Weekly at For a list of children magazines go to and publishers at Children's Book Council

Most of my extra time has been spent in my woodland garden raking fall-colored leaves. Yes, I did say, "leaves." The month of August we received no rain and leaves are falling. When I looked up at all the leaves still attached, I couldn't believe where the two huge piles come from that we raked. Also, I have been dead heading and watering trying to keep the roots alive until help arrives in the form of rain. But, I prefer to water than have a flood. It is so dry the dust is coughing.

Check out my latest blog Submarine Stories and Military Writers at

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writers are interesting people. Ozarks Writers League members gathered August 18th at the College of the Ozarks in the Plaster Auditorium. We learned how to and how not to pitch an agent, by Linda Apple and Dusty Richards. Georgie McIrvin and Jay Grelen shared their experiences on how to conduct successful interviews, and how one story can produce several future articles. They both were very knowledgeable. Of course, Ms. McIrvin inspired me with her go-getting attitude where you have nothing to lose. and how to be professional at all times. Most of all age means nothing when it comes to writing. A first rate interesting story is the most important part of writing. Ms. McIrvin started writing in 1999 when she was in her sixties.

We had lunch at the spectacular Keeter Center dinning room with four interesting people. Elaine E. Deyo, writes screenplays, children's books and is a fine artist. Check out her website Polly McCrillis aka Isabel Mere writes suspense and historical romance novels. She recently moved to Missouri from Florida and to learn more click on Connie Hjetmeng-Johnson is writing a children's picture book about the war. Her son is stationed in Afghanistan and writes articles for the Army Times. The forth interesting writer Ruth Hunter is a web/print designer and illustrator at

This is proof a blog can bring some people fame. The Chocolate & Zucchini blog managed by Clotide Dusoulier, a 27 year old women who clains she receives 4.5 million visitor a month and because of it has signed a book deal with Broadway Books.

Watch for my new blog. I hope to have it up soon. SUBMARINE STORIES AND MILITARY WRITERS. I will still continue this blog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bookstores, trip, country roads and fun: It has been a long time since we traveled-just the two of us. We use to be a threesome. Baby Girl, our miniature Dachshund decided to go on a long adventure without us. I know she is standing guard waiting for us to catch up. She was always on guard protecting us where she could keep us all to herself. This was our first solo trip in eleven years but, she was with us in spirit. We traveled the back roads to enjoy the countryside -just a touch of yesterday when people traveled slower and stopped at Mom and Pop cafes or an ice cream parlor. A time to gather ideas for stories and information for a future stop over, maybe at a B&B. I would like to call it "tripping" where we traveled light and quick. We packed a lot in it where we explored tiny specialty shops squeezed into small rooms in large old houses built in the 20s. Adventured through Barnes & Noble, and Anderson's independent bookshop and ate out often. I ordered from the children's menu when I could for the kid in me and at some places I enjoy the free toy. On the way home we did enjoy the Cracker Barrel and gift shop.

I checked the World War II books in the children and adult sections at both bookstores and it was sparse. It was interesting talking to the sales persons. I did purchase three books; Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky, published by Aladdin Paperbacks ready-to-Read, level 3, with lots of information in 42 pages with watercolor illustrations by Larry Day, Extraordinary Short Story Writing by Steven Otfinoski and published by Franklin Watts and Dachshunds for Dummies.(I love it.) The Dachsie book will be used to fact check Baby Girl's series providing insight into a 19 year-old Dachshund's life of happiness, injuries, recoveries and slowing down.

The most fun was being with family. It was a hot trip. It was spring green at Naperville and surrounding towns.

The remainder of this year will be packed with writing for children, adult and military magazines and working on future books. Writing and submitting press releases, creating curriculum for teaching creative writing for children and the newsletter editor for the Arkansas Submarine Veterans of World War II. Plus, we are expecting company we haven't seen for a few years, traveling, attending writers workshops and a week for my book release and signings.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the day.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Children's Writer, Institute of Children's Literature, Stay Focused: Over the years I have recommend to people interested in writing for children to use information provided by the Institute of Children's Literature and to subscribe to their newsletter Children's Write. Yesterday, I spent more time searching for information I wanted when I suddenly remembered to search There it was and more. Why did I ever stop making it my main stop. In the future I'll spend more time writing, less time surfing. So, I quickly subscribed to the newsletter.

When I am in my studio office I want to write, not surf, unless I am working on a non-fiction piece. Also, because I try to use the minutes I have to write, I don't always have time to learn more on how to use my computer. When I was on Children's Lit website I noticed Underdown's website mentioned. Gosh. I thought, I haven't been there for awhile. He keeps you updated with editors on the move. Low and behold there it was How to Make Self-Editing Easy by Margot Finke using your MS Word Tools. This will be on top of my list of things to do.

Stop and think, put things in order. Stay focused. Don't be like Chicken Little who thought the sky was falling in, running here and there before he discovered the facts. Many times when things go wrong it is our own doing. We don't stay focused before we go running here and there looking for an easier way to write and be published. There are many small steps to take before you can walk with the big guys.