Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

May your bookcases runneth over, and may your mailboxes be full (of publishing contracts!).

See you all in 2012!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites WORLD RECORDS!

I once aspired to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. I was 9, and I saw a picture of a woman standing on a chair. Her hair went all the way down to the floor, came back up, was draped over her arm, and went down to the floor again. That was some L-O-N-G hair. I decided that I wanted to have even L-O-N-G-E-R hair.

Of course, genetics kind of got in the way of that one. Same for the tallest and shortest categories, and a lot of other categories.

But who am I kidding? I still want to be a world record holder. It's just a thing. Don't you feel the same way?

Enter Corey Henderson and Dan Rollman, yellow jacket wearers extraordinaire and founders of THE RECORDSETTER BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS, whose philosophy is that everyone can be the world's best at something: you just have to figure out what that something is.

With records like Longest Time Hula-Hooping While Standing on One Leg (12 minutes, 1.45 seconds), Most Balloons Used in a Costume (a whopping 154), and Most Bunnies Snuggled With in a Hammock (50, held by none other than Cameron Diaz), this website and accompanying book bring the fun back to record-setting, and prove that you don't have to be genetically blessed or favored by the Universe to be a World Record Holder - you just have to be creative, and have a healthy sense of fun.

Check out their website at and their Facebook page at, and follow them on Twitter at And get their book, but be warned: you won't be able to resist trying to set your OWN record!

As for me, I think I might go for "Most Toy Cars Stacked and Balanced on a Forehead." Or maybe, since my hair is pretty big, "Largest Straw Wig." Or "Largest Toothpick Wig." Or maybe ALL THREE. Heh-heh-heh...

What record have you always wanted to set?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wisdom on Wednesdays: When Networking was Always Social

"Social Networking"

Let's admit it - it's a buzz word. Possibly THE buzz word. But why?

Because the gadgets DO allow us to lose touch while we think we're keeping in touch, so we need to remind ourselves that all that time we spend MyFaceSpace+TweetBlogging shouldn't just be about us and our product. We need to build in the time to connect with other people, ask them questions about their interests, talk about life and science and cupcakes, swap stories about our kids and share our favorite songs.

But that isn't the only way. Once upon a time, networking meant going to a place where there were others in your field, like a meeting or a conference or an awards ceremony and shaking hands with people and starting a conversation.

In the publishing industry, it still means that. We have SCBWI conferences (and CANSCAIPmeetings and conferences too if you live in Canada), and awards ceremonies, and book launches, and book clubs, and all kinds of fun writerly things going on.

As we spend December cramming in the pre-Christmas gift exchanges and charity dinners, let's think about how we can make a new start in January by either starting a local writerly event, or finding one to attend regularly. Some of my most treasured friendships and best person-to-person connections in the publishing world started with a handshake and a conversation. I hope it will be the same for you.

How do you plan to put the "social" back in "Social Networking" in 2012?

Monday, December 5, 2011

NaNo, No, No.

So I didn't make the 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. To be honest, I didn't even come close.

I did outline, and I did write a few scenes. I've made a great start on my novel. But I didn't finish.

It came down to this: my Physical Therapy team told me that in order to heal my shoulder, I would need to do about 40 minutes of exercises and stretches three times a day for several weeks.

40 minutes x 3 = 2 hours a day = my NaNo time.

I hated making that decision, but when it comes down to healing and taking care of my body versus spitting out 50,000 words of crap, taking care of myself wins every time.


I don't have a crappy novel that will need months and months of revision. I DO have a couple of well-crafted scenes that will probably change anyway, but are serving as a good foundation. I have a solid outline. I have a chapter book whose first half is beautiful and whose second half is about to go out to my crit group for feedback. And I have a bunch of many-times revised picture books that are nice and shiny and polished. (You'd be amazed how much work you can get done on a picture book when you only have slivers of time scattered here and there.)

All things considered, I did okay.

How was your November?