Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Work - In - Progress - Blog Hop (or an interview with myself)

Hi all my lovely followers! Hope you've been having a good week.

I had a great day last Saturday at the Barnes & Noble Book reading and signing in Mandeville, LA. That bookstore sure does stay busy. There were people in and out all day.
 

This weekend is our big Louisiana Book Festival so I'll be selling and signing my book there as well. I'm really excited for that! Now everyone put your palms together, close your eyes, and pray for good weather and no rain, please!

Today I'm going to have a different kind of blog post. I will be interviewing myself about my current work - in - progress! But first, I'd like to thank Deb Hockenberry http://thebumpyroadtopublishing.blogspot.com/, one of my wonderful critique partners, for nominating me to do this. Thanks, Deb!

There are two rules to this. (1) answer all ten questions about my work - in - progress; (2) Nominate five other writer friends who you know that have blogs or websites so they can join in the fun! However, I'm cheating and nominating just three. See my nominee's at the end of this post.

Drum roll... here are the questions:

What is the title to your work - in - progress?
I'm working on a bunch of different picture books right now but probably the most prominate one is Wacky Wednesdays.

Where did the idea for your book come from?
I was talking one day to an ex-coworker and he was telling me his daughters school had different days of the week where they did fun stuff like one day they dress up, one day they all wear a certain color etc. etc. So I grabbed that idea and started creating!

What genre does your book fall under? Children's picture book, ages 4-8.

What actors would you choose to play the characters in the movie rendition? Well since all the characters are circus animals, I'd have to say whatever the illustrator can come up with! But they'd have to be cute!!

What is the synopsis of your book in one sentence? Nelly the horse, Squealy the seal, and Jumbo the elephant are frustrated because circus school just isn't fun anymore. They try to come up with something to change that. (that's two sentences, oh well)

What other book would you compare this work - in - progress to in your genre? It's an original so none! Well none that I'm aware of. I'm sure there is something else out there similar to it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first draft was quick. However, I've been editing and redoing it for a year now! And it's about to go to my critique group for one more final "pick apart" session. Plus it's one of my advanced ICL class submissions so by the time I actually finish and tighten it to where I feel confident enough to send it out, it will be as good as it gets!

Will this book be self-published or represented by an agency? God willing, it will be picked up by a publisher.

What inspired you to write this book? As I mentioned before, my ex-coworkers class. Plus I thought circus animals would really add some fun to it.

What else about your book might pique your readers interest? Here is one of my favorite parts of the story which is repeated several times:

Off they went. Nelly trotted, Squealy wriggled, and Jumbo thump thumped.

Now it's time to announce the three people I've nominated. I hope they have some fun with it!

Courtney
Genilee Swope Parente & Sharon Swope
Deborah Lynne


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Twist of Fate

This post is going to be short and sweet. I am here to BRAG today!

I have fantastic news. Well it's great news for my family and all the mystery readers out there. As some of you know, my mother and sister have teamed up to write a novel. This has been a life long dream of theirs. So one day, they just decided to do it!

My mother is turning 85 next month and has macular degeneration so this is no easy feat as she can barely see the computer screen she is typing on. My sister is editing my mother's words and filling in the blanks. And trust me, this is no easy job either. I'm sure you can all relate on just how easy it would to be working side by side with your own mother's! Stubborn brains do tend to butt each other once in awhile. But they have made it work and are loving every second of it. They've had a few bumps along the road, but each bump teaches them something new.

Anyway, the first book of their series is titled Twist of Fate and is being published by Spectacle Publishing. It fits in the romance/mystery genre and should be out by the end of this month. As soon as the book is released, I will be posting an interview with my mom and sister so you can get a big taste of what it's all about.

For now, I'm only giving you a tiny morsel. However, I would like to share their blog link with you. My sister and mom are fantastic writers (yes I'm double bragging) so I think you will really enjoy their blog. I'd appreciate anyone who'd like to sign up and follow them. Remember, we all have been where they are today and just starting up. Where would we be if no one had followed us? So here is their link: http://swopeparente.wordpress.com/

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Meaning of Fall

Fall is finally here! Yay!! No one is happier to see it come than this hot, sweaty, Lousiana girl.
I’ve decided Fall is my very favorite season. Finally, I can wake up in the morning without being drenched in sweat from the horrible humidity of the south.

 
 




And if I’m lucky, I might be able to find an orange leaf somewhere here in Louisiana. It’s not easy though. So instead, I just dream about all the beautiful colors blooming up north. When I lived in Ohio, I remember driving around for hours just oohing and aweing over all the gorgeous colors. It makes me happy to know that at least somewhere, the colors of orange, red, and yellow are popping out everywhere!
 
Here is a short, beautiful, and accurate description of autumn leaves.

 
 
Autumn Leaves
Autumn by Grace Paley
What is sometimes called a tongue of flame
 
 
 
 
Some other reasons I love fall are:
Going outside and feeling the crisp, fresh, cool breeze in the air.

Getting that feeling in the air that tonight would make a great chilli night!
Finally going on long walks again with the dogs. I refuse to do it during the summers down here.

The anticipation I feel knowing that soon, very soon, I’ll be able to throw on my sweats and cuddle under a nice soft blanket without having the fan blowing on me full blast.
The realization that soon, I can put on the boots that I love wearing so much! I love wearing sandals too but nothing makes me feel like I’m looking good more than a “hot looking” pair of boots!

 And although it irks me at first to walk in the stores and the Christmas and Halloween decorations are already out, I love shopping for those decorations. I always decorate for Christmas but have just started decorating for fall the last few years and am loving it!
I love this time of year because of everything coming up. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes it can be a rat race and a lot of hard work preparing for all those holidays, but it’s a time for families to be together. Just thinking about it all makes me feel happy and giddy inside. I just love it!

And yes, I’m one of those that has already gotten a good start on my Christmas shopping so that is a big part of why I get excited this time of year. However, I’m also one of those very impatient people who can’t stand shopping after Thanksgiving and dealing with all the crowds. That just makes me grumpy, tired, and wishing it was all over! So I try to do as much as possible beforehand.
So I’ll leave you all with something to think about. The following is something I found when I asked “Google” what does Autumn symbolize? I thought it was beautiful and interesting.

The trees sap returning to the base....our spirits turning from outward needs to inward reflection.

The colors change as our bodies change from young and vibrant to character lines and scars.

The winds swirling the leaves as life swirls around us ever changing.

The chill in the air is the chill of loss of love, dreams, direction.

The animals storing food radiates self preservation and a promise of tomorrow.
 
 
So do you have a favorite season other than fall?