This dog has an appetite

The dog went on a rampage while I was gone at the SCBWI Houston conference.
- several plastic toys were chewed beyond recognition.
- two action figures from the Star Wars collection were subjected to torture that would have made the Spanish Inquisition proud.
-dragged hubby into the creek in 40 degree weather (I warned him).

He has also forgotten how to sit or even acknowledge me when I call him.

But - I will have my revenge. I thought up a picture book staring Winston and his stupid antics. If it ever sells, I will make the dog go on school visits to be gobbled by elementary school kids.

Eating Yellow Snow

Most of the snow is gone in the neighborhood, with the raw exception of a half-melted, dilapidated snow man.

Winston has decided these snowmen must be destroyed. He did not inform of this mission as we went on our morning drag.

In front of the bus stop, he proudly peed on an amputated Frosty.

Then, in front of my neighbors, he gobbled what was left of Snowball's lower nether regions.

How I show my face in Frisco is a constant source of apologies and shame. At least I carry a plastic bag for you-know-what, because these brown bits left my another snowman are not coal eyes.

Things my dog has eaten

I admire the blog of other writers and book reviewers. So many thoughtful responses, so many good books - what is there left to say? Not much.

But, I feel the need to blog. I like contributing to our little journal community, inserting my quips on life.

Thus, the debut of my new blog: Things the dog ate.

Insight from my living room (with the crunchy sound of Winston destroying something else in the house)

Starring: Winston, my two-year-old English Springer Spaniel.
Co-starring: Little Man LM, my 5-yr-old son.

Hubbie, the man holding the Wii controls and screaming from the couch.
Me, biased observer.


Agent Love Day - Blair Hewes

My agent is Blair Hewes at Dunham Literary in NYC. She was given me from a query I sent to her boss (who I had met at a conference) – so essentially I was from the slush pile. We have been together since May 2008. She sold my (our) book on FIRST SUBMISSION! She is beyond awesome.
I know I have a wonderful agent, because I have had a bad one. Agent X was looking for the fast sale. At the time, I didn’t know I needed an editorial agent and that the manuscript wasn’t in its best form.
Blair became the person I didn’t even know I was hoping for. She has an eye for detail and writes amazing critiques that allow you to think, expand, and target the areas for improvement.
There is no limit to her professionalism, and I know that she will be in the business for a long time. Blair is an old soul and a pure book person. She loves words and thoughts. She cares about the book world and where it is going.
Although she is ten years younger than me, she nurtures as if she were a caring mother. She listens when I am crazy. She advises me on the best professional move for my entire career (not just the cash today). She puts me back in line when I am headed in the wrong direction. All with a caring hand.
But beyond being my strongest advocate, she has a great business sense and negotiates a mean contract. I mean, she got things I didn’t even know EXISTED. I just imagine her manhandling the contract departments and making lawyers cry. She is a tiger.
And she is my friend. We met face-to-face this year at BEA 2009. We laughed and gossiped over burgers and beer. We talked about her skirt which belonged to her grandmother. I’m hoping that her boyfriend of a bazillion years gets smart and puts a giant ring on her finger this holiday season. We exchange pictures. I have met her roommate (The FAB Melissa at Tor) and the other girls at the agency. We got up at 4 o’clock in the morning to stand in line for “Catching Fire” tickets – and giggled again at the crazy cat lady who was in line before us.
You see, the perfect formula for an agent is Professionalism + Strong Advocate + Trust = Super Agent. It’s just a bonus that she is a friend. I am blessed to have Blair representing me.

Many Thanks to Lisa and Laura for linkages to all the other Agents Appreciation entries

The picture is Blair and Future Mr. Lucky in the Tzora Vineyards in Israel.

Educator Appreciation Weekend

It was a busy weekend going to two bookstores. Event#1 was awesome - sold out of books and had a generally awesome time.

Event #2 resulted in 3 books sold.... I was at the back of the store and very few educators came. But, I met some nice people, bought a Jay Asher book, and finished my hydrocarbon poem.

Somedays you plant the seed, and others days you sow.... but you always go to work.
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Poetry is hard and just takes alot of practise, practise, practise.

Yesterday I hand wrote 50 poems I liked to to get a feel of the rhythm. From the exercise, I got one good poems to use in my next book.

But, I like the exercise, and I just wanted to continued the sextuplet pattern all day. In my head it sounds like a thump-thump of a flat tire, except happier.

And this is why I will never teach poetry....
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Feeling wonky, weird and out of sorts

I've finished a revision, and now working on a PB that is requested after my lovely agent pitched the project to an editor I admire and who's books I love.

But, I'm having trouble ~~~ it's just not flowing. I feel like I have a flat tire.

Now, I'm stuck in a cafe for a few hours, trying to figure out what to write. Don't you hate when you crave out time to do something and it's Just Not Working.

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How I figured out Mr Dodd

I spent a few days trying to tie up this dilemma with my WIP. Mr Dodd was hanging out there, but I couldn't figure out what he would do when Mercedes asked to retake a test.

So I asked DH - his answer is too logical. "Teachers are supposed to wanna help. So he should help her."

But, this is fictional. He needs incentive and a reason.

So... what would a male teacher want? Respect.

What do men want? Sex and food. Well, Mr Dodd isn't getting sex in my book, but I did give him a love interest, and I threw in a sandwich just to make sure all knots close up.

Only a little more to go... I'm losing steam, but the end of the book is near, and submission by week end.
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I don't know what to do with Mr Dodd?

Okay, I have a mean teacher in my current WIP - Mr. Dodd. He teaches trig.

Now of course, my character hasn't done her homework on time, but now she is caught up and just asking for a bit of mercy. She brings him lunch from his favorite place and apologizes for not respecting his

Here is my thing. Should he say yes or no?

If yes - what does he want in return (nothing sexual... just something a teacher would want from a high schooler)

If no - what will she do.

Any ideas?

My critique partners

My Dallas girls, Julie and Sally, give me the best inspiration.

I was having trouble creating lies for my character... probably because I'm just to close to her and I know how to hates to do it.

But Julie and Sally just have a hey-day.

Best lie from critique group yesterday for my character Mercedes.

I chewed my lip, trying to think of something innocuous to say. "My clothes came from a party given to me by my uncles co-workers."
Becca nearly spit her food out, "You mean the hookers threw you a shower?"
Mercedes turned red. "We prefer to call them performance artists."

Thank you ACORN! I would have never thought that one up on my own.
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