Sunday, August 26, 2012

Over in the Ocean App

Dawn Publications has a beautiful app for young children that teaches counting and nature. The illustrations are texturally and colorfully beautiful. Each page has interactive illustrations, such as an octopus baby that squirts ink to dolphin babies that swim in circles. Even toddlers should be able to manipulate this. I can see them sitting with this totally engrossed. I'm not a huge fan of mothers who use their iPads as baby sitters, but I do feel this is a wonderful "Mommy & Me" (or "Daddy & Me") activity. Parents who live near an aquarium or plan to visit one could use this to prepare their small children before the visit and as a follow-up activity afterwards to reinforce their trip. Okay, that's the teacher in me coming out, but I can see so many uses for this app. I'm very excited that I stumbled onto it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Reading & Signing

I am scheduling with Barnes & Noble in Greenville, NC for a book reading & signing. This is tentatively set for Friday, October 19th at 7:00 pm. I will also bring origami paper to do a fun craft activity after the reading. I've taught the origami bat several times at school and this has always been a fun, easy activity. So, I'm planning to help the attendees make Eddy the baby bat of Aunt Rita Begga. I'd love to see you there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Write On Con 2012

Thanks so much to the staff at WriteOnCon. It was such a hoot to participate in this conference for the first time this year. I still can't believe that it's free. There is so much going on every minute of the conference that I must admit I felt a little overwhelmed at times.

The nice part is that it's online - totally. Participants can sit at home in front of the computer without having to rush from conference room to conference room to meet deadlines. They also save everything, so that if I needed to walk the puppy and missed the opening chat or video, I was able to pull up the reprint and catch up.

The pacing is nice as well. The vlogs presented were concise and to the point, but filled with wonderful information. One of my favorite was a nuts and bolts vlog by Shelley Moore Thomas called Do It Yourself. This appealed to my crafty side and was also perfectly timed to give me ideas for promotion of my book. I never thought of adding a ribbon to a business card to create a book mark for kids. This was a very clever video full of tips.

I also loved Jessica Martinez' "He Said, She Said, Creating Sexual Tension Through Dialog." The title says it all. I loved her tips and will probably watch this one a few times.

Claire Legrand had a nice article on determining if your MS is MG or YA. This can be difficult for writers whose characters fall sort of in the middle. She explains well the difference between.

I also submitted several of my writings, both in picture books and in MG. I did not get any feedback on my 5-page version of Zeylandicus, which was disappointing, but I did get great feedback on the first 250 words for this and for two of the picture books I submitted. Thanks so much to the people who took the time to help me with my writing. I will definitely use the advice.

Lastly, one of the great parts of participating in this conference is getting to read so many submissions by other writers. There are some truly incredible pieces and it's well worth the time to scan through to read them. I look forward to see many of them in print form in the future.

If you were unable to attend the conference live, you can still go on the website (see above) and pull up the articles and videos. Thanks again to the staff and faculty for a great experience. I'll definitely be back next year.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Delores Makes Her Debut!

Delores Fletcher, Cobweb Catcher is now available for download for the Kindle on Right now, for those who have Amazon Prime, it is available for a few days as a free download.  It will be available in print form within the next few days. I will be interviewing the characters in upcoming posts to get their perspectives. They usually have quite a lot to say. For now, you can watch the trailer at the bottom of the page.

I'm also working on several free handouts for teachers and homeschooling parents who would like to use them with the book as literary units. This book was suggested as grade level 5 by the Flesch-Kinkaid Scale, but having taught reading to 6th-8th graders in the past few years, I would certainly think it appropriate for those ages as well. Thanks so much to my illustrator, Ashley Bratcher, of Delirious Designs. She has been so accommodating to me when I needed to switch the cover from pdf to jpeg, then change the background, etc., etc., etc. She has been a joy to work with.

Thanks again to all of my Goalie critique buddies for helping Delores to develop into a real book, my husband Henry for reading/editing with me, our friend, Jay Belanger for reading Delores and commenting for me. It is such a relief to feel like I am finished with the writing part of this book.

I also want to thank Create Space for being so easy to work with. There is still some controversy over whether self-published books are worth reading. I think the public's view is changing toward this and I am very happy with my decision to self-publish.  It has been a really fun experience getting the book formatted correctly. I love to edit myself, so this part of it has not been a chore.

I hope my readers will love Delores as much as I do. Please send comments.