Saturday, May 26, 2007


So, in my first entry on my first blog I talked about first lines. And these three firsts got me thinking about all the other firsts that are such an important part of building a writing career -- first submission, first rejection, first acceptance, first paycheck, first writer's conference, first crit group (not in that order, hopefully,) and many other firsts. These, I believe, are the stepping stones on the writermorphosis - the journey toward becoming a serious writer.

Each of my firsts has given me a little more confidence; a little more vision; a little more understanding of the writer's life and how it works. So, I want to take a moment here to celebrate some of the firsts I've experienced so far:

  • First author who gave me great advice -- Gillian Richardson (thanks!)

  • First submission and first acceptance in the field of children's writing -- Appleseeds Magazine

  • First "doesn't fit our needs" rejection letter -- Odyssey Magazine (but I'll submit again)

  • First writing critique group -- AWOL (thanks for the tips!)

  • First writer's conference -- The Writer's Digest/Book Expo America Conference. (It was a great learning experience! Though a more local SCBWI conference is likely to give you better hands-on workshops).

  • First person I interviewed for nonfiction -- NASA Mars Mission Scientist Virginia Gulick (thanks for taking the time, Ginny!)

  • First cool place I visited for research -- The US Space and Rocket Center (Check it out at

  • First time I actually said, out loud, "Hi. I'm a children's writer and I'm supposed to meet with (so and so) here for an interview today" -- 2005, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center -- and then I handed her my business card, another first... It was a momentous day!

  • First friends who I trusted to read and critique my first novel manuscript (note: letting friends read your work is scarier than letting strangers read it) -- Karin Shank and Joan Stradling (thanks guys, for your insight!)

  • First agent who invited me to send my novel synops for consideration and then said it didn't fit her agency's needs -- Nadia Cornier (no hard feelings though - I still think she's hilarious! : ) Until recently Nadia had a great blog which shared helpful and funny tips about agents and publishing. She's now compiling the advice from that blog into a book which will raise money for charity. So, when it comes out I'll post the info. here. I suspect it will be worth reading.)

Anyway, I've celebrated a lot of firsts so far, and I'm looking forward to many more to come! I encourage all new writers to keep track of your firsts. They're great mile-markers on the road to success!

Above is a photo of the first two pages of my first magazine article for kids, published in Appleseeds Magazine, 2005. Big thanks to Appleseeds' Editor Susan Buckley for taking a chance on a new writer, and special thanks to Associate Editor Annabel Wildrick who was so helpful in answering questions throughout the process! That one first has led to various other publications.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

First Lines...Wow, I'm in trouble already!

So here I am at 12:19am, the time of night when I do my best writing. And what am I doing? I'm blogging! People warned me that this might happen -- the whole blogging instead of writing thing. Ack! So, I must sign off in 5 minutes. But in the meantime, nice post title, huh?

I mean, look at it: "Wow, I'm in trouble already!" What a great first line! It starts with dialogue; catches the attention; lets you know there's action going on; insinuates that the plot is about to kick into high gear, and quite frankly makes you wonder if this story, er blog, is really all that safe. : ) See what I mean about 12:19 am? It's the perfect time for writing!

Well, anyway, that's my writing thought for today. It's always essential to have a tempting first line. If your first line is boring, you're done.

And now my five minutes are up, so I must run. But I'll have upcoming writing events posted on here soon. Until then, happy writing, revising and publishing! Thanks for joining me here on writermorphosis.