Archive for the ‘2007’ Category

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June 2007 – submissions

July 9, 2007

Hi y’all,

I am not doing what needs to be done. If I want to be a published picture book writer, I need to submit my pb manuscripts to editors. I haven’t been doing so. I sent out a bunch in late January or so, but since then, nothing. I cured that June 29th with sending off mss to 19 publishers. Again, I stress these are well targeted submissions. I think there was a total of 8 mss which I send off simultaneously. A few were queries and others were unsolicited subs. I also sent a requested ms to Dutton and a revision request of Buck-a-Bye Baby to Putnam. It was requested back in March and has gone through three re-writes.

I currently have 39 subs out to 34 publishers and 1 agent. I have been very lax in writing and subbing the past few months because I’ve been working on Purple Ducks, a memoirish type book which explains some Chrisitan concepts, especially our need to belong. I have about 210 pages finished in it. I’m really frustrated with it because I have so many doubts about this foray into adult writing. I know I can write picture books. I write some outstanding ones, but as for my adult type writing, I’m not clueless, but I just don’t know how to make it all work together. I sometimes think I just have 30 or so essays that are not so brilliantly connected to one another. If something good doesn’t happen with Purple Ducks,  I’ll feel I’ve wasted some good picture book writing time. Oh well. May God bless my Purple Ducks. Please.

Brian

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SCBWI Meeting

June 25, 2007

I attended a SCBWI meeting in June. I seem to only attend the critique meetings. I love them so much. I was inspired to do more with my writing. Praise God for SCBWI and other writers. Without others, I’d probably never write or submit. I’ve been getting on the Verla Kay site more now and have begun to get some mss ready for submission. It’s only a matter of days till they’re in the mail box.

Brian

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March ’07 (good month)

March 9, 2007

Pretty cool month. I had a revision request for Buck-a-Bye Baby from an editor at Putnam. She wrote a very nice letter detailing what may need revised. It may take a while, but I need to get this finished.

I also had a personal reject from Standard Publishing that said my story The Treasure on Mulberry Creek had been sitting on their “We Like This” stack for way too long. Apologies were given and an invite to send another ms when their company gets some new guidelines published. I think their company is changing ownership and they can’t take on this pb right now. Nice compliment and I welcomed that letter with wide open eyes.

Brian

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Feb ’07 – My website/SCBWI

February 28, 2007

It’s Feb 27th. Very late. To be honest, it’s the 28th. I’m putting some finishing touches on my website. I’ve contacted some authors and editors about interviews. I hope to conduct some email interviews and have them published here soon. Making a site isn’t so easy.

I went to my local SCBWI meeting last Saturday. It was great. Was told the pb I read should be a chapter in an easy reader. I’ve never done an easy reader, but I’ll do some research. Was encouraged by the critique group to also consider sending it to a magazine. That piqued my interest in writing for mags. I’ve never really tried before. I’m way behind on my critiques for this week. I need to do them tonight. I guess I’ll do them tomorrow before our men’s breakfast at church. My eyes are closing so it’s off to bed.

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Beginning of 2007

January 30, 2007

The year is starting out slow. My stories to Steven Malk were rejected. I received a personal reject which stated I should join SCBWI. I was a little upset because the editor didn’t read below my signature. Underneath my signature on every query or cover letter it plainly states, “SCBWI Member.” Just before sending that editor another query, I looked back on my previous query to her. The notation about SCBWI was missing. Oh my! I renewed my SCBWI membership a bit late this year, end of January.

As for my writing. I am still a little burned out from December. Not really burned out, but focusing on another form of writing. I began writing a book titled Purple Ducks: Reflections on our Eternal Need to Belong. The book includes stories on my need to belong and how it relates to the spiritual journey many of us travel. I’m including lots of personal anecdotes and mixing it with thoughts on Christian spirituality. A friend in my critique group is looking at it one chapter at a time and helping me tremendously. Any of y’all got some good stories on belonging or not belonging, espeically if it is in a church context? No picture book writing this month. I don’t think I subbed anything during January.  

Lesson Learned: I can write something other than picture books. If I can finish something larger than a picture book is an entirely different story.

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Of course they were personal

November 1, 2004

I think any time an author sends a conference speaker a manuscript, the responses are personal. Let me know if I’m wrong. I was excited to get these rejections. I still love looking at them.

In the fall of 2004, I had only subbed 5 times ever. The first two came in 2002 and 2003. The next 3 were to the conference speakers I met in September. I didn’t sub again until January 2005.

Lesson Learned:  This lesson I’ve learned years later is that one of those first subs has some merit. I wasn’t rushing into submitting. That’s a good thing. The story subbed to Candlewick and Harper Collins was just requested for review by Dutton (Feb 2007).

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First Critque Group

December 23, 2002

All I want for Christmas is a critique group. I got one. A couple days before Christmas 2002, I joined a few others in an online Yahoo Group to critique our writings. After a couple months, a couple of the writers became pregnant and couldn’t continue with our schedule. A couple others had other types of writing or illustration projects that took priority over pb writing. One other writer went to fight in Iraq. I just kept writing by my lonesome until another Critique group opportunity came along about two years later. I shouldn’t have joined the first group. I wasn’t good enough. My writing had improved a lot by the time I joined my second group.

Lessons Learned: Not every critique group experience works out well for everyone. Not every writer in the group is on the same level. In my first group, I was on one of the lower rungs of the ladder. In my current group, we are all growing at pretty much the same pace. I have a better fit now. – Feb. 2007.

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