Today I participated in Read Across America at the Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was flattered the school reached out to me and was nervous about speaking to a class of sixth grade middle schoolers about writing.
On a wet, rainy day, I headed North on the 485, squeezed passed an all lane closing accident at exit 65 and made my way up to this impressive school.
I was walked into a class that was enjoying a substitute teacher…yikes! My hat goes off to all teachers, but subbing a middle grade room, that takes a special someone. I read my short story Finger Paint (available for a free download at Stone Crowns Magazine). I think a few may have been surprise that my story had a free-floating finger kept in a pickle jar.
Some students listened, others not so much. But that didn’t stop me from trying a writing exercise after I read. I asked the students to give me a few random words. I got: happy, scary, bouncing balls, and table. Then I asked them to try to write something during the next five minutes with those words in it. A few expressions were like…WTH? several got into it, others ate sunflower seeds.
6 students handed me their stories. I think that was brave of them. And I was proud that they tried. I wanted to feature a couple of the stories handed to me. I was impressed with what 6th graders can do. Enjoy!
I always worried about this house. Well, it’s not really the house it’s more of the kitchen table. Last week I was doing my homework in the kitchen when I was writing my answers, the table was moving. The week before that, I heard bouncing balls right beside it. The last night I woke up to get a cup of water, and the table was in my room. It’s something wrong with that table.
This story is about a table no wait a funny scary table no I don’t know what to write scary funny table with boucing balls no that’s lame. I have to write a um…hold on. Bouncing balls went flying though a table and a scary cat jumped in the window and…
Great work! Who knows we may be reading their work on day soon.
Big event for the Women’s National Book Association–Charlotte and Charlotte Writers’ Club tonight at
Queens University Conference Center, 2229 Tyvola Road, 7 p.m.
A Panel Presentation examining the connection between social media use and writing success.
A panel of experienced book industry professionals will discuss social media as it relates to writers and authors – both those already published and those hoping to be published, whether traditional or self-published.
Participants will include: agent Josh Adams; author Christy Lynn Allen; publicist Trisina Dickerson; Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Wanda Jewell; author and writing instructor, Maureen Ryan Griffin; and, author Gary Powell.
My YA MS Dear Dead Drunk Girl emerged from living with Mary, my MC, for 3 years. She was a secondary character in the first book I wrote and she deserved her own story to be told. I fell in love with her. I know her voice, her vices and her heart. I wrote the first draft of her story during the summer. I started in on the revisions in the fall. For the last three moths she went dark on me. My Mary was silent because my mind’s hands were white-knuckle-gripping my story’s throat. My determination to fix every plot issue resulted in my choking the life out of her voice. The past two weeks I’ve slowed down. I recalled that this book is about her, and her voice and story. Not about me making the story perfect in this revision. Message received. *deeps breaths
Check it out. You have to watch and read Bathing and the Single Girl
MG and YA writers, don’t miss out on the opportunity to submit to Stone Crowns Magazine. They’ve been generous with me and published a short story and poem of mine. But for now, I’m focusing on my second YA manuscript Dear Dead Drunk Girl, so I don’t have anything to share with them. If you do go to: http://www.stonecrowns.com
On that note, I’m enjoying quiet. There are no guests in my house today, my hubby is out working, my daughter is out playing and I have the whole place to myself. It’s pouring rain and dark, it should be perfect for writing. Yet, somehow, I’ve lost my protagonists voice. My Mary is not coming to me. I feel as if I’m writing from the wrong place. I’m writing form the top down, too much in my head and not my creative gut or intuition. After completing my first draft and reorganizing my chapters I see all the holes and plot issues and they are plaguing my creative mind. My ego led me to believe I was farther along in the process, I thought I could dig deeper into character perspective but the plot issues are begging to be handled. Ugh. I’ve deleted half of my first draft pages in the first five chapters and am rewriting it all. It’s so confusing for me to think I knew where the story was going in the beginning only to discover it wants to go somewhere else.
This is the challenge for me today. I have twenty pages due to my critique partners by this afternoon and I have to commit to writing them even if they get scrapped again. Wish me luck! #amwriting
In case you were thinking…I want to be part of an awesome writing experience but can’t afford a week away…why not go try to win a scholarship?I promise the Free-Expressions team will blow you away.
And I’m in it…again! Please visit Stone Crowns . They are a fantastic YA MG literary e-journal and they like my work. So they clearly are FANTASTIC! What’s even cooler to me, since my novel is as of yet unpublished, is they do artwork for each story. The September issue’s cover was inspired by my short story. It was very flattering to see my work inspire an image in someone else’s mind that I coudl see.
The best part is they’re open to submissions now. And you can read the journal for free. So come on, there are stories waiting for you. :P)