Thursday, September 29, 2011

Imago For A Moment (Challenge 2 From Rach Harrie)

Rachael Harrie has issued her challenge and I decided to participate!  It was actually a lot of fun...I learned a few new words and wrote outside of my element!  The challenge instructions are:

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title.  It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc.  The blog post should include the word "imago" in the title and include the following four random words: miasma, lacuna, oscitate, synchronicity.  If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.  For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

I chose to write flash is inspired by a little man I know.  And, I decided to be crazy and take on all challenges--so yes, it is exactly 200 words with a mirror.  I'm posting pretty late in the challenge, but if you enjoyed it, I'd love a vote here...I'm #166!

Here we go...

Imago for a Moment

“Fire! Fire!” I donned the extra gear reserved for a call.  In perfect synchronicity, I raised the garage door, flipped on the siren, and adjusted the mirror.  We were off.    

We arrived at a horror scene.  People burnt.  Children crying.  A woman screaming about her dog, still inside the house.  This was my moment.  I was ready. 

I threw open the door and choked on the smoky miasma that tried to suffocate me.  I dropped to the floor and found a decent lacuna with air I could breathe.  I crawled.  I reached.  I hit the ground and clapped my hands.  Finally, I heard a puppy-like whimper. 

The dog was hiding under a couch.  I wiggled left.  I rolled right.  I dodged burning pieces of furniture as they fell towards me.  I resisted the urge to oscitate.  One yawn now could be disaster.

I finally had the dog.  “It’s a good thing you’re a little guy,” I whispered.  This time, I decided to fly out of the house.  It was much faster. 

I dropped the dog.  My hat came off by itself.  The scene changed to my bedroom.  “You can be a fireman again tomorrow.  Right now, it’s time for bed.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 Magazine Markets for Children's Writers

I've had a lot of fun writing occasional articles for magazines during the last few years.  It's a great way to practice writing, build a resume, and get professional feedback.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the magazines that have published my work.  The only draw-backs to writing for magazines include the long response time (it can take months to hear a reply) and the fact that you still have to deal with rejections (sigh).

You can submit work to many magazines for children, but here are five that accept (and some encourage!) online submissions.  These five also offer varying amounts of pay for accepted/published manuscripts.  Perhaps, if there is a lot of interest, I can do another post like this in the future.

Now, five magazine markets that will accept submissions of articles for children online (and pay you for accepted/published work!):

Listen Magazine.  This magazine shows teenagers a positive way of life without drug and substance abuse.  Queries are encouraged and email submissions are allowed.  A theme list and more information is available on their website.

Stories for Children Magazine.  This award-winning, online ezine publishes fiction and non-fiction for children three to twelve years old.  Email submissions are required.  Learn more about writing for them on their website.

Odyssey Magazine.  Part of the Cricket Publishing Group, this magazine focuses on science content for children between nine and fourteen years old.  Queries are required and may be submitted online.  For more information, visit their Submission Guidelines.

Friend Magazine.  Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stories in this faith-oriented magazine are often based on real experiences and written for children three to twelve years old.  Past issues and content can be viewed online and manuscripts can be sent on speculation through email.  For more information, visit their website.

Yes Mag.  This science-oriented magazine for kids and teenagers prefers queries before manuscripts.  Emailed queries are accepted.  They prefer Canada-related material.  For more information, visit their website.  Note: They seem to only be accepting material from Canadian authors at the moment.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Editing Exercise and Blog Awards

Editing can be a beast, but this writing editing exercise can make it a bit more exciting.  I'm calling it, The Chopper!  Follow the steps and enjoy the freedom that comes from detaching yourself from your writing!

The Chopper:

1.  Start with your manuscript for a picture book, article, or one chapter from a longer work.  Write down the total words.

2.  Cut the total words in half.  Yes, you read it half!  This is your target word count.  Write it down!

3.  Start chopping!  You will need to chop because just plucking a word here or there won't do it.  You can always add things back in if you feel like you've changed too much, but wait a few days.  Do you really need that description, that conversation, or that detail?  Remember your goal is to show as much as possible with as few words as necessary.  It's  a lot of fun to see how different your work can be when it's forced down to half the original length.  It's also good practice to help train yourself to be able to say more with less!

Let me know how it goes!  I'd love to cheer for you!

In other news...

I want to shout out congratulations to Jo and Dawn for taking on the 50-Word Challenge last week!  I totally enjoyed their stories!  If anyone else wants to try it (just for fun!), feel free--I rarely close comments!

And now, for some awards!

Last week I received two blogging awards!  Stuff like this brings out all sorts of silly grins--it brightens my day and makes me want to learn how to turn cartwheels!  I am delighted to pass them on, too!

First, thank you Abby at Something To Write About for the 7 x 7 Award!  Her blog is full of wonderful posts related to writing and things that might interest writers. 

For this award, I choose a blog post for each of seven, here you go! 

MOST BEAUTIFUL:  Beating a Fear of Success 

MOST HELPFUL:  Writers, How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

MOST POPULAR:  eReaders For Kids

MOST CONTROVERSIAL:   Lessons/Morals in Picture Books


MOST UNDERRATED:  What Do Kids Read?


I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs: 
The Writing Nut
Wavy Lines
Kelly Polark

Next, thank you to Elizabeth at Elizabeth Anne Writes for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Elizabeth writes in many genres and has lots of information for writers on her blog! 

For this award I tell you seven things about myself!  So, here you go:

1.  I signed up to run a half-marathon in February on the beach!  Woo hoo! 

2.  I love to try new things...especially food!  This week, I've tried three new recipes and loved them all...Mmmm!

3.  I'm slightly germaphobic.  I used to be extremely germaphobic, but then I had a little boy who seems to desperately want to cure me. 

4.  I have a small in-home daycare.

5.  I'm a serious science nerd.  College only encouraged me. 

6.  My favorite places in China are probably gardens, Yellow Mountain, and the Great Wall area.  It's no coincidence that they're all outdoors.

7.  Laughing makes me happy.  Life is funny.  It feels good to laugh about it.

Well, there you have it!  I'm going to pass this award on to the following bloggers: 
 (note: Original Versatile Blogger Rules say to pass this on to 15 others...but, since I'm versatile, I'm passing it on to 5!)

Lauren Boyd
Imagine Today
The Restless Writer
Of Thoughts and Words
Children's Books Heal

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

50 Word Flash Fiction Contest

Yes, you read that right!  Last week this blog reached 100 followers.  To celebrate, I'm hosting a small Flash Fiction Contest!  It's easy, it's fun, and there are prizes!  Here's how it works: 

To Enter:

1.  Write a 50-word (or less) story inspired by this picture:

Photo Credit

2.  Leave a comment on this post with your entry.
3.  Entries must be "Family-Friendly" or, in other words, "G"-rated.
4.  Make sure I have a way to contact you!  If your email is on your blogger profile, great! 
5.  Entries will be accepted until Thursday, September 15th at 6:00 am CST!


1.  Winner will be highlighted in my October's First Friday Blogger post and receive a $5.00 Amazon gift card!
2.  Runner-ups will be highlighted in subsequent First Friday Blogger posts!

What is a First Friday Blogger post?  It's a new meme I'm beginning to share the blogging love and get to know my followers better!  On the first Friday of each month, I will highlight a blogger with interests in the world of children's literature. 


Judging is 100% completely subjective.  I will choose my favorite story.  I will also choose the runner-ups, based on which stories I like the best. 

A contest... First Friday Bloggers... I'm very excited!  I can't wait to read your stories!