Saturday, October 31, 2009

Writer, Write for Yourself. Or, Trick for Treat?

I'm never not writing, you know. Even when I breeze past this blog every day for weeks without giving it so much as a sidelong glance. Even when I let my pet-project manuscripts languish on my desktop — or worse, in the depths of my iMac's complicated e-filing system.

I'm always writing lists, notes, business emails, personal emails, personal blogs, journal entries, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn updates, rough story ideas, and — of course — large word collections (aka articles, texts, and books) commissioned by outside entities (aka paying clients).

The whole writing various things for those outside entities is a good thing. In fact, it's THE thing, isn't it? I can say quite definitively that I do not wish to go without that.

But. I struggle with wanting to make more real time for the writing I want to do just because I want to do it. So today I did something I haven't in a very long time: I signed up for a writing class. A 12-weeker, besides! (Basically, it's an instructor-led critique group, so I'll get to really move on one of my YA novels.) I decided it's worth the investment because it sets me up to succeed in something done purely for myself. Because you'd better believe I will meet goals I've paid to declare.

And that, dear blog readers, is both trick AND treat for me.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cybils Nominations Are Open

The nomination period is under way for the 2009 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. Now through October 15, you can visit the main Cybils blog to learn about the awards and nominate your favorite titles in a number of categories (you can vote for one title per category).

As nominations keep rolling in, Round I judges are busy gathering initial selections, and they'll narrow the field over the next couple of months. This year I'm serving as a Round II judge for the Middle Grade/YA Nonfiction category — so later this year I'll help evaluate the Round I panel's "cream of the crop" short list of MG/YA nonfiction books published since October 16, 2008.

So . . . read any good kids' books lately? Of course you have. Now go add them to the list — we want to know which books you L-O-V-E LOVE!