Archive for the ‘2006’ Category

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2006 in review

December 31, 2006

I finished out 2006 with a busy month of writing. All of my spare time went into new stories, or actually old story ideas that finally were written. Still unemployed. God is keeping our heads above water. We’re talking to a local church about the perfect job, church planting that really isn’t church planting, but really is a lot like it. Confused yet?

Books written in December: 16 (4 of these circulating Feb 2007)

Books written in 2006: 44 (9-11) of these circulating as of Feb 2007, might retire 2 of these until they get re-critiqued and re-written).

Best rejections: Reka Simonsen spending Henry Holt’s money to personally send a rejection. Their guidelines say they won’t respond unless they are interested. She replied anyway. I liked that. By far the best reject was in the beginning of the year from Cheryl Klein.  

Lessons learned: Thought I should already be published by now. Sometimes my expectations are a little too high. Remembered that I love writing so much that I cannot stop.

New thing: Wrote and submitted article to SCBWI. Nice rejection and then saw a long thread on Verla Kay about my subject.

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A busy November

November 30, 2006

Went to my first local SCBWI meeting in two years. Had some great critiuqes of the story Steven Malk wants to see. He actually requested two of my pbs. I was only able to get one critiqued at the meeting. I had never been part of an in-person critique group before. It was fun.

I spent this entire month trying to re-write and re-write both requested pbs. Nothing new written. I began praying hard for Steven Malk to like these manuscripts.  

Lesson learned: Personal critique groups are fun and very helpful. Re-writing can be terribly agonizing at times.

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Officially unemployed

October 31, 2006

I lost my job at a church in the beginning of August. We had a church planting workshop to attend in late September and arrived back in Dallas, in a state of what I call, “officially unemployed.” So as you can imagine, I took this time and wrote and wrote and wrote.

Wrote 11 pbs: Three of these, I consider treasure. These three are making the rounds in Feb 2007. One of these was requested by agent Steven Malk for consideration. Unfortunately it was turned down.  

Lessons Learned: Take advantage of unexpected time off and remember, life changes quickly.  

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Dry spell for me

July 29, 2006

May, June, and July produced one pb manuscript, and that one wasn’t very good.

During the same time, received my first magazine rejection. More personal rejections “clever and fun but not strong enough for this maket” type of rejects. Oh well. Received an answer to a query saying, “send it.” I had sealed that query with a tear. I must have been emotional the day I sent it.

Lesson learned: A writer can be rejected from both ends of the country on the same exact day. I didn’t just receive the rejections on the same day. They were typed up on the same day. Oh my!

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Candlewick rejection

July 15, 2006

With many apologies, the story I had with with Candlewick was rejected. I had hoped for more.

Lesson learned: It takes a long time to get where I want to go.

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Busy writing month

April 30, 2006

I wrote 8 picture books this month. I just wanted to write. I remember one of these books began by writing the following words on a blank word document:

“Written By Brian Humek”

I just sat there looking at the computer screen. I wanted to write. I just didn’t have any inspiration. Then it struck me. I’ll write a story about a boy who loves to write. He especially likes the part that says “written by.” That story became Written By Weander Wojihoitzki. This story is about Weander, a boy who loves to write but struggles to finish his next elementary school writing assignment. Weander lives in the big city. His entire life is “big city” but he is assigned the topic, Living in the country is…

Inspiration can be crazy. Sometimes it’s an almost blank word document.

Oh yeah, of the 8 books written in April, three of them are still making the rounds in Feb 2007. It was both quality and quantity writing time.

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Picture of a train

March 23, 2006

An editor from Viking gave some good advice on my train/bedtime book. I loved her drawing of a train at the bottom of the reject. World class editor and artist!

Lesson learned: Some editors can make me smile.

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