Archive for March, 2013

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Travel Journals

March 25, 2013

In two weeks my husband and I are taking our two teens and one tween to Asia. We’ve been planning the trip for some time. We plan to live with my college roommate and her family in Hong Kong, then travel on to Vietnam and Cambodia. We’ve made lists, gotten shots, and figured out foreign currency. We’ve packed pills, books, and cards for the grueling flight. What we’re not doing? Bringing a computer or allowing the kids to bring their devices. I sincerely hope they don’t revolt.

Instead, we are buying them each a journal­­­—the old fashioned kind with real paper. I might even let them pick out a special pen. Of course, I could be asking for complete mutiny.

When I travelled as a kid, my mom wrote travel diaries, recounting what we did every day. I’ve written journals describing scenes, smells, and sometimes, my feelings. There is something to learn by putting pen to paper and recounting what you see. I hope that by bringing travel journals, our kids will learn to be better observers. Will they notice what people eat on the street? Will they notice people living on the street? Will they hear mosquitos buzz in their ear and smell exotic spices? I don’t know. But I know that by limiting technology for a few weeks will help them in some way, even if it’s how to plot a rebellion.

Writers are observers. What do you notice?

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More Quotes

March 18, 2013

When my horse is running good, I don’t stop to give him sugar. –William Faulkner

 

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. –Barbara Kingsolver

 

 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

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Platform

March 2, 2013

 

If you’ve attended a writer’s conference, you’ve no doubt heard the word, platform, tossed around like popcorn at a movie theater.

So, what is a platform?

In short, a platform is your resume. It is a concise and powerful stand about you. What makes you worthy of writing this particular book? In addition to a list of accomplishments and credentials, a platform can include passion. Why gives you the drive to write this book?

It’s best to include your platform in the last paragraph of your query. However, be careful that your platform does not include too much information. For example, do not mention the fact that you are a parent and your kids loved your book, or that your mother thought it would become the next Newberry. On the other hand, if you are writing a story about animals and happen to be a vet, that would be worth mentioning. If you volunteer at a zoo, include that information as well. If you’ve won a contest or been published, certainly include those credentials.

How are you an expert in this topic or genre and what writing experience do you have? Answer that, and you’ll have your platform.