Thursday, December 29, 2011

going, going, gone

I'm back. Not much to say.   Haven't progressed on any of my writing projects, but the characters and storyline are progressing in my head.  names, places events keep insinuating themselves into my thoughts, sometimes at the oddest moments.  sometimes while I'm talking to Mike.  My mind goes off to my Other universe and I suppose my eyes sort of glaze over and stop talking.  Not very polite, but it happens.  Most often the story starts to develop when I'm trying to fall asleep.  the trick is to remember all those wonderful ideas.
Maybe I'll talk about the books I've already written.  Here they are in order:
1)  "A Walk with Willow" ... a sort of Field Guide for young readers without a field.  the 1st book was "To the Stream,"  to be followed by "To the Forest,"  "To the Meadow" and "Under the Winter Moon."
2) "Nightshade's Tale,"  the story of a dragonfly who wants to be a "real" dragon.  A picture book with educational back material about native plants and wildflowers and of course dragonflies.
3)  "Little Cat on His Own,"  my favorite about a small abandoned cat and his search for a home.
4)  "The Seed,"  a picture book about the milkweed plant and its relationship with a Monarch butterfly...wonderful bedtime reading.
5)  to be continued tomorrow.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays?

Well, this will probably be my final post for 2011.  the much anticipated but dreaded holidays are soon to be upon us and the merriment will soon begin.  Maybe I'll even have my 1 drink per year.  Huzzah!   Have a few presents to finish up since my pottery pieces will not make it home in time for Xmas, and I must start cooking a few things in preparation for Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  Will even attempt my own puff pastry for the baked Brie.  NO cookies, tho.  I must depend on the kindness of friends and relatives for those.  Why is it that I hate making cookies but love eating cookies?
Hope everyone enjoys whatever holiday they celebrate and that 2012 will be a banner year for all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

writing groups

Have recently discovered several writing groups on LinkdIn.  Great sources of information and opinions, but like all opinions, to be looked at critically.  Most of the "published " writers have gone the SP  route and claim to do very well selling , marketing and actually making money.  Now the latest thing is to have a Facebook Page for your work and getting people to "like" your page.  Not sure why this is such a wonderful thing to have, but it's late and maybe if I think about it for a while it'll come to me.
Just received the 2012 issue of the SCBWI Market guide and it's a wonderful issue.  Lots of helpful advice from editors .  Must go now.  got to get some sleep.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Writer's block or just reality.

I hope this is only a temporary madness brought on by the ceaseless cheer and music of the Holiday Season, because  right now I swing through 2 different moods :  my work is just a pile of dreck.  Who told me I could write anyway?   AND  Oooh...I've got these great ideas for new book, new revision, new marketing strategy.  My brain is so loaded it nearly exploded.  Sorry, Casey. didn't mean to steal your status.  Maybe I need to drown someone in their own eggnog.   Or drink a few myself. 

Anyway..........probably won't be posting much till after the confusion is over.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Well, again I'm running to catch up.  Every year I promise myself I won't fuss and fret about the holidays but every year I repeat the frenzy of the year before.   I said no dinners,  I'm having 2.  I said no decorations.  I actually went out and cut down a tree.'s a sad little thing from my woods that looks only a tad better than Charlie Brown's, but a tree, nonetheless.  And yes.  I spent too much time in the closet from hell looking for ornaments and cards and old wrapping paper.  And the Xmas cards still have to be written and mailed and the shopping is waiting to be done.  Fortunately, or unfortunately for some, I call myself a "craftsperson"  so there will again be a pile of handmade gifts that I will wrap and ribbon and present as tiny treasures.  You know, "made with Love."   It's true, but perhaps not always a welcome gift and people are too nice to say.   "Why do you bother with this crap every year?"   Plus.  I always stress myself out trying to get them all finished.   Next year I promise not to fuss over the Holidays.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Building your own world

an idea surfaced yesterday for a adventure book wherein I create a cast of "otherworldly"  creatures and the world where they dwell.  Writing on paper really helped and now it's time to flesh out these characters, make them individuals with personality and purpose.  To create an entirely new landscape where the characters live their lives.  food, shelter, clothing, the whole thing...anything I can imagine, from the color of their eyes to the size of the oceans and the other creatures who dwell in a world that I have created.   Certainly authors, musicians, painters all experience this, and now the world of gaming.  Dwarves, elves, mages, kings and peasants, dragons and heroes...mind blowing.  And all the technology that can take us there.   It's a wonderful time to be alive.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New idea, old brain

Well. sticking to my guns about better characters and stories for Tweens, I have an idea in my head that needs to be developed.  this will mean some work on an outline or blueprint. .. characters, setting, problem to be resolved, how it's resolved.  Will this story be one that keeps the reader engaged?   How do I know I'm on the right track?  I'm still happy with my Picture Books. I really think that 1 of them in particular has real merit, but wow; am I ever down on my other stuff.  so many changes to make that I wonder if they should just be scrapped.   I think the gloomy foggy weather has entered my brain.   Maybe some coffee and an old fashioned pencil and notebook will get me started working.  Sitting at the computer hasn't worked today, but I do share the Scarlet philosophy..."Tomorrow is another day."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Raising my standards

Have been looking at some new KidLit on Amazon and have come to the realization that kids are much more sophisticated than they were even 5 years ago.  Language and story lines are much more mature than when I was working at the Library.  A Picture Book is still a Picture Book and themes vary wildly, but what I considered appropriate for Middle Readers when I began writing, is now too childish.  Younger readers may like it, but from what I can see and the books that are selling now, I have to approach this in a whole new way.   Tween and YA seem to be what it's all about now and they don't want "cute little stories,"  but complicated and challenging plots and characters that they can relate to.  I know this seems obvious, but when you get caught up in the writing process  or a story just seems to want to write itself, your head and heart don't necessarily have the same priorities.  I guess that all people that create, be it art, music or prose have moments of feeling wild emotional I'm in a low place but can see a way out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Just logged out and just had to comment on the wide range of emotions appearing in posts today.  True...some of my friends are not friends IRL, but people that I've communicated with for years on other sites and truly think of  as friends.  Others I barely know.  Others are family and other are friends from way back.   Today there was a post just about feeling grateful and peaceful;  one that was a diatribe against the President, for no reason that I could see;  one about America vs Canada ...guess who was the "Bad Guy?"  Two or three with lovely Christmas and Solstice  thoughts ;  a few blaming hypocritical Christians for all our problems and one poor woman who totally lost it when someone questioned her parenting skills.  I've never been able to understand why people post such personal and IMHO embarrassing things about themselves.  Maybe to make the rest of us feel superior?  I know that I have promised myself not to talk about some of these people i.e.  to name names and truly I want to do that but oh...they make it so hard.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

more confusion

Well, I'm back...thinking I signed up for one thing and ending up with something else.   I guess I'll never have to worry about being a tech "geek."   On a brighter note, writing continues on the Memoir Project and I think my "Little Cat On His Own"  is ready for another try.  Have been thinking about selling it on Amazon as a download, but feels creepy to self publish.  The story is about a young cat abandoned on a country road and his search to find a home.  There a a few funny characters that help him out along the way and of course some villains.  I really think that Cat Lovers of any age would like it, though it was written with Middle Readers in mind.  Here's a peek at the cover.

Here I go again...takin'a chance on blogs.

Welcome to Scratch Pad Books.  As you may or may not know, I am an aspiring writer of children's Books.  Nearly all that I have written have a nature based theme.  I have written Picture Books, books for Middle Readers and am branching out to try other genres...even a somewhat caustic Memoir of the 60's.
I would really like to connect with other writers.  The vagaries of Publishing houses have me face-palming.  One response says "too whatever"  and the next one completely contradicts it.   Query letters are an art in themselves and I would love to share some ideas and/or advice.
Come back again.