The writing process blog tour is here!

You may have seen this meme going around on various author and/or illustrator blogs where people answer questions about their writing process. I’ve been enjoying reading other people’s answers and learning from their thoughts about process, so when I was tagged by my talented author/illustrator friend, Jennifer K. Mann, I decided to add a post about my process here. Enjoy!

Jennifer K. Mann
Jenn and some feathered friends

Jenn has been on a roll lately! Her first illustrated book, TURKEY TOT, written by George Shannon, just came out last October. TWO SPECKLED EGGS, her first author/illustrator debut, just came out in April. And she’s just finishing up the final art for I DEFINITELY WILL NEVER GET A STAR ON MRS BENSON’S BLACKBOARD, which will come out next year. You can read about Jenn’s writing and illustrating process here. Thanks for tagging me, Jenn! Let the Q&A begin…

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Meet Changemaker Edward Jiang, founder of StudentRND

This is the second post in the series introducing the amazing young people who are profiled in my upcoming book, BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, September 2014). Today I’m introducing Edward Jiang, founder of StudentRND, and giving some behind-the-scenes details about our in-person interview.

Edward Jiang
Edward Jiang

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I am not my book… Or am I?

Emu's Debuts headerEarlier this month over on Emu’s Debuts, I blogged about the importance, and difficulties, of separating the creator (ourselves) from the works created. Since some of you may not follow that blog, I thought I should post it here, too. Here’s an excerpt… Continue reading

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Review: ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA

ABAYOMI cover
Published by Mims House
ISBN-10: 1629440019, ISBN-13: 978-1629440019

Darcy Pattison and Kitty Harvill have teamed up again, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. You might remember when I reviewed their previous collaboration, WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS, here.

Unlike Wisdom, the main character in ABAYOMI,  THE BRAZILIAN PUMA, is a mammal, a feline, not a bird. Unlike Wisdom, Abayomi lives in South America, in Brazil, not on an island in the North Pacific Ocean. Unlike Wisdom, Abayomi is a baby, an orphan, not a wise, old mother. Yet their stories have much in common. Continue reading

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Meet Changemaker Charles Orgbon III, founder of Greening Forward

Today, I’m kicking off a series of blog posts that will introduce you to some of the amazing young people who are profiled in my upcoming book, BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS (Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, September 2014). Each of the 18 chapters in the book includes a short piece about how one or more young people changed the world and their experiences with the chapter topic, in particular. I was able to interview most of them in person, via Skype, by phone, or by email, and I have so much more great stuff about them than would fit in the book–sort of like out-takes, only better! I hope you’ll enjoy “meeting” them here and reading more about them and their work.

Charles Orgbon III
Charles Orgbon III

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Interview with Mary Cronk Farrell, author of PURE GRIT

I have a confession to make. Normally I read every book before I post about it here, but–just this once–I was going to cheat. As much as I’ve been dying to read PURE GRIT by Mary Cronk Farrell, my to-do list is huge right now: writing new books (I’m currently working on EIGHT separate manuscripts and/or proposals!), promoting BE A CHANGEMAKER, volunteer projects (SCBWI Western Washington conference anyone? There are still a few spaces!), critiques (three full-length novels await!), family, pets, home… and let’s not forget, TAXES! To top it off, I was still recovering from the flu when I came down with this most recent cold. I’m months behind on a few things, with many other deadlines looming dead ahead. So, I sat down planning to just skim it for the time being, write the post, and come back later when I had time to settle in, read it in more detail, and take it all in.

PURE GRIT book cover
PURE GRIT book cover

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Exciting BE A CHANGEMAKER book news!

I’ve had some recent excitement! In case you missed it over at Emu’s Debuts today (where I blogged about the dueling feelings of elation and terror that come with it all), here’s a quick recap…

  • I finished the final author query round for BE A CHANGEMAKER:
BE A CHANGEMAKER manuscript
Not many tabs–yay!
  • I got permission to share the cover for BE A CHANGEMAKER:BE A CHANGEMAKER cover
  • Friend and fellow nonfiction author Mary Cronk Farrell told me she downloaded the advance reader copy of BE A CHANGEMAKER from NetGalley, which means people are already reading it!

Things just got a lot more real, folks, in the best possible ways. :)

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Cycles, balance, and making plans

[Note: This was originally published on Emu's Debuts, but it seemed to resonate with people, so I decided to reblog it here in case you missed it. Sorry if you're seeing it twice!]

Lately, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the idea of cycles in our lives. Cycles in nature—life cycles, the water cycle, seasons, etc.—keep our physical world in balance. Man-made cycles keep the government running (usually), prevent mechanical failures and medical mistakes (hopefully), even wash our clothes and dishes for us. If you’re an author, you’re probably familiar with the creativity cycle (see below). And as I’ve mentioned before, one of my all-time favorite Emu’s Debuts post was Melanie Crowder’s The Run/Rest Cycle, about sustaining balance as a writer. As creative types, we often have some leeway about how we choose to spend our time each day, so having a cycle in mind can help us manage our activities and maintain balance in our personal and professional lives.

The Creativity Cycle
The Creativity Cycle

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2013: What a year!

I haven’t posted here for way too long, but 2013 turned out to be quite a year. I did manage to squeeze in a few posts over at Emu’s Debuts, so I thought I’d share them here as a sort of roundup (and to partially explain where I’ve been since the last post)…

In July, I had the amazing experience of attending my second Erin Murphy Literary Agency client retreat, this time in Big Sky Montana. Words can’t really describe how wonderful these retreats are, but I posted a bit about it here.

EMLA Client Retreat group photo
The whole EMLA retreat gang (except me!)

Aside from that trip, I spent the summer writing, researching, writing, interviewing, writing, revising, writing, revising, revising, and revising to deliver the final manuscript for BE A CHANGEMAKER. I wrote a bit about the process here.

A screen shot of the developmental edit
Tracked changes in the developmental edit stage

Despite the mad race to the finish line, I feel really good about how it all came together. And here‘s a post about how it felt to get to THE END.

Done!

Then there was the dreaded author photo, which actually turned out to be sort of fun (and decent enough to share with the world, thank goodness!).

Laurie Thompson head shot

 

Other news and highlights from the year?

  • I got to see an early study for a scene from the picture-book biography of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, illustrated by Sean Qualls.
  • The above book also FINALLY has a title, EMMANUEL’S DREAM!
  • I also got to see preliminary sketches for MY DOG IS THE BEST (sorry, I can’t share them here, but Paul Schmid‘s illustrations are ADORABLE!).
  • I finished another fiction picture book manuscript and it will soon be going out on submission (fingers crossed!).
  • I participated in and finished PiBoIdMo 2013.

Stay tuned for my next post on how I plan to tackle 2014. :)

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Email subscription changes afoot

As most of you know, I’m under a pressing deadline to deliver the completed manuscript for CHANGEMAKERS by August 1st. I have three chapters left to write, plus a plethora of bits and pieces scattered about and piles of notes to myself about things I still want to go back and fix… and only three weeks left to wrap everything up. So, what did I spend my day doing today? Making a new email subscription campaign, of course. (Gah! What?)

My brain seems to like having a burst of writing activity one day, followed by a burst of something–anything–else the next. I had an extremely productive day yesterday, so I pretty much accepted that today was going to be spent revising, tightening, expanding, twiddling, etc. Since I wasn’t in “flow” today, there was time for doing the dishes, putting away laundry, and catching up on some web browsing.

I happened to come across this article about the 10 biggest Internet marketing mistakes made by artists and creatives. I’ve been wanting to set up more of a newsletter for my email subscribers for a while now, so I’d already done some research on it and was planning on switching to using MailChimp instead of Feedburner… someday. Well, Mark’s article spurred me into action today. After all, I’m a tech savvy gal… how hard could it be, right?

Well, it took longer than I thought it would to get all the pieces to fit together (a few hours), but I think I have everything all converted now. I think it looks more professional and it certainly gives me more options, so although my timing might not have been ideal, I think it was worth it. If you were subscribed to my old Feedburner feed, I’ve moved you to the new MailChimp one. I hope you’ll like it better, but you can always unsubscribe if you’re not happy with it (MailChimp makes it easy for you!). From now on, any new subscriptions will go straight to the MailChimp list.  (If you’d like to subscribe, just look for the MailChimp subscription form on the right-hand column just below my bio.)

Please let me know what you think! And, of course, let me know if you see any problems. Note that I might not fix them until August, though. After all, that deadline is still looming!

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