I finally got my workshops listed on the Designing the World with Words website. Click on the link at the top of this page to visit the website. I added a few new workshops for this year, including Writing for Children, Writing Emotion, and Basic Computer and Internet. I had a lot of requests for the last one, so I decided to offer it twice. Those who attend it may request up to five things they’d like to learn and I’ll do my best to make those five things part of the workshop. I’ve tried to keep the prices as low as possible. Click on the link and see for yourself.
It’s almost time for my annual trip to Louisiana. There’s a cemetery meeting and folks who will be gathering for multiple reunions, as well as a story I want to finish writing at a couple of cemeteries. And I hope to spend a little time with some of my very special family members, too. Nobody is getting any younger and I want to make sure they all know how much I love them. I’m also looking forward to meeting some writers in the area. There’s a critique meeting on May 12th, in Minden. If you’re interested, visit Designing the World with Words and scroll toward the bottom, where you’ll find a link to WONLA.
Did I mention we’re raising chickens? Life has been a little crazy these past two months, but much of the reason is our wonderful flock of chicks: Bossy, Greta, Chippy, Scooby, Chloe, Zippy, Fluffy, and Thelma. I seem to be building chicken runs and over the next week, a chicken coop. I never run out of things to do around here. And just when I think I have a few spare minutes to relax, the chickens tear a hole in their box and I have to do some quick mending. I hope the outdoor contraptions are impossible to escape, when I’m finished building them.
I have actually had a couple of chances to write lately, so I’ve entered some writing contests. I hope my stories win some prize money. I am trying to find a few minutes here and there to enter more, soon.
Do you ever enter contests? Have you won a lot of prize money? What’s the best thing you ever won for a story you wrote?
It’s here! I can’t wait to see everyone at this great event. I am driving in from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Will you be there? I hope so. We have some wonderful things planned.
We have Iris M Williams, Brittany Reese, Janis Kearney, and ME lined up for sessions that will give you the head start you need in the publishing world. I can promise there will be lots of discussion!
I may have a very special surprise with me. I’m not sure, yet.
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On Saturday, April 9th, Gene and I will be celebrating our “best friends” anniversary. We’ve been best friends for 30 years, now. Because of the trust that grew from that friendship, we will also be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in August. So, we have always called April 9th our FAMILY APPRECIATION DAY and encouraged others to use it for that, as well. Buy a simple, inexpensive gift for each of your family members, or go somewhere special together, just to celebrate how lucky you are to have each other. A single rose, a good book, a tank of gasoline, or just an afternoon free of housework can do wonders for a person. Show them how much you appreciate all of them. Make it an annual event… every April 9th. That’s when you’ll see we are celebrating. Always.
To my wonderful husband… If you happen to read this, I’m still very thankful for every year we’ve had together. I couldn’t think of a more handsome, more wonderful man to spend my life with. (I hope that’s okay with you.) I’m sorry I won’t be home until late, but you will be on my mind all day and I’ll be looking forward to hearing your voice on the phone! I love you!
This year’s event is brought to you by Tulsa Area Children’s Book Writers and Designing the World with Words.
Also… – COMING ON APRIL 8TH AND 9TH –
In one fabulous weekend, learn how to take your manuscript from the first draft to book signing. Register soon! Time is running out! (Click on the flyer for more info.)
As the organizer of Tulsa Area Children’s Book Writers, I started a new thing, last year. I decided to introduce my writers to some local illustrators and give them an opportunity to ask questions. It’s back this year and open to the world.
To all authors, publishers, illustrators – anyone who wants to know:
Meet the illustrators this coming Monday evening and bring all your questions! Learn how the illustrators work with your books in different publishing settings. This is a FREE event.
Monday, March 14th, 7:00 PM
Martin Regional Library (Auditorium)
2601 S. Garnett, Tulsa, OK
If you are a writer, illustrator, editor, publisher, or just curious about the process, you should attend some area conferences and workshops. I have a page on this website (EVENTS) that shows all the events I plan to attend, this year. I also have another page (LINKS) where I post links to many other area events, too. The links to these pages are at the top. (Look up!)
I have a lot of projects coming up. The Adventures of Dayton Barneswill be published very soon. I’m currently planning some workshops for this year. I’m putting together some new sessions I’m very excited to offer. Of course, my workshop site is at http://jespiddlin.com/designingtheworldwithwords . Keep an eye on that website for updates with new workshops as I plan them. Right now, all my workshops are in-person.
The little pop-up tent work space did not give me a permanent enough station to use it whenever I needed. We had too much rain and rushing water, so I had to put it away for a couple of weeks and work indoors. I accomplished very little writing and editing with the grandkids and their parents here. I am not complaining. We all need a place to go once or twice in our lives and I’m thankful to be able to help them through this period. But I had to find a way to work around them. I still have the tent for times when I need to work away from home, but it wasn’t quite what I needed here at home.
I decided to build a small “office” on our concrete slab, out back. We built the walls in our living room, with 7 people wandering back and forth. When the walls were finished, we took it outside and assembled it. The office doesn’t look like much, but it allows me to stay outside in rain, shine, wind, all night, etc. We have had coyotes, a bobcat… lots of critters walk by that building at night, when I’m working. (With the bobcat out and about, I’m glad I’m not sitting in that little pop-up tent.) My office is a tiny 4 ft. x 8 ft. building. My husband and I both use it and love the privacy. The sounds of nature are a great joy, also. In this picture, it’s still being built, but you get the idea. I love my little office and spend a lot of time out there.
I’ve been promoted to Children’s Corner Imprint Editor at 4RV Publishing. It has been a wonderful move for me, although I’m still adapting. I love my job!
I’ve got my own car to get around town, now. I love having my freedom, again.
Our son and his family have temporarily joined our household. I love having them here, but it does put a little crimp in my work time. I’m still learning to work around everyone and all the activities.
I have acquired a new “writing room.” When the weather permits, this is my private space to work. It is small, but warm and offers windows and a door to let the sun or breeze in, so the claustrophobia monster doesn’t disturb my progress.
Moments ago, I added a new page with links to books I’ve edited, or helped edit, etc. Click on the Edits link, above, to learn more.
This is such an exciting time of year! I love the autumn. It is a sign of things coming soon… Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, cooler weather, long hours writing great stories, and snow ice cream. I love my snow ice cream. But in Oklahoma, we only get enough snow every four or five years. I have my fingers crossed for this year. In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to insulate our home for cold weather. How about you?
This Saturday, October 24, 2015, I’m holding a workshop for folks who want to write a novel in 30 days. This is the last workshop for the year, so don’t miss it. (Click here for more info.) If you’ve written a novel in a month, please bring some helpful notes explaining how you made it all the way to the end. This workshop will be more about sharing and helping each other. We’ll have a table or two for you to leave copies for others to take.
In recent months, many things have been happening for me. I’ve been holding more workshops, attending great conferences, winning some writing awards, and working hard to bring The Adventures of Dayton Barnes to the market very soon.
Next year, thanks to a good deal of interest, I’m expecting to hold a few of my workshops online. Hope to see you there.
Include the setting in the dialogue. Let your characters use that setting. Have them pick up the piece of paper they are talking about, stare at a picture on the wall, or spill a drink on new clothes.
People don’t just talk with their eyes closed, in the dark. There are things all around us. We move within that space and use those things. Let your characters do the same. Let them “experience” their surroundings the same way we do. When you go back to edit your work, don’t forget to make sure you activated all the readers’ senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) through the characters.