Three Agent Night

No writing tonight because I have dedicated the past 2 1/2 hours to writing three Query letters to three literary agents. I took the time getting to know about the agents that I was choosing to write to. It has helped me so much to write a query that has more heart and care for the agents than I have down before, something I lacked.

I feel great about these three and one I wrote a couple of nights ago. Four agents that have a passion for Children’s Literature, that I hope I will get the joy of working with. Who would have thought, me of all writers, would rise out of the ashes of 2015 and be back in full force!?

Tonight, I took my oldest son, Lynden, to his first solo Trombone practice for competition. He did this last year and won a medal! This year, although it is his first practice with a piano playing with him, he did so wonderful and I am very excited to see him succeed with his music!

I also got to see my other boys and that top the days cake with icing! :P– I am so gosh darn blessed it isn’t funny, agent or no agent.

One other thing, thank you for staying here with me through all of this!! It means so much to have you read this and share this crazy ride with me. I hope that your Friday is magnificent and you are blessed!!

Live With Passion!!



The Time Is Set

Sitting at the lunch table, Mario asks Louis, Sindy and Cristena when they want to go back to Spyderia. Louis suggested going that night but Sindy explained that she couldn’t because she would be gone with her parents that night.
It was Cristena who mention going the following day, since it was Friday, they would be able to have no time limit. Louis and Sindy agreed to Cristenia idea and awaited Mario’s thoughts.
With all eyes on him, he decided to reschedule is spending the night with his grandparents to Sautrday night. He loved time with his grandparents but was very curious about going back to Spyderia also. So it was set that they would go to Mrs. Ragsby’s house after school the next day and find a way to return to the attic door.

*Not much happening today. I wrote my SCBWI Yahoo groups and asked if it was alright to query more than one agent at a time. Everyone suggested around five to start with and then wait and see what happens. So, I think I will sit down and work on that tomorrow evening and send out four more queries!

My middle sons gave me a fundraiser for his first grade class yesterday and I have to say that everything looks so good. I bought something and hope it helps his class.
So, until tomorrow, Live With Passion!!!!

The Boondock Kids Decide To Return To Spyderia!

At Red Hill Elementary, the children enter the lunch room through two bright red, swinging doors. One by one they all line up and take fish and macaroni with cheese. Mario, Louis, Sindy and Cristena  find an empty table in the far corner, near the windows and sit down to eat. Being very hungry, the four friends waste little time eating before Louis brings up the subject of Spyderia and the day before adventure that was had.

Louis asks everyone about Spyderia and the table takes turns speaking. Sindy wanted to believe it was a dream but being that everyone else had it, she knew it was impossible. Cristena was more excited when talking about the moment. It would be clear before long that everyone, though cautious wanted to return to Mrs. Ragsby’s house and see if the doorway was still there.

It could not be ignored that everyone wanted to go. Once the decision to return was made, a large weight had lifted off of the four friends and intrigue began to set in as lunch hour was ending.

*Wow, I can hardly remain awake! One eye is shut and I am misspelling words on every line! Grateful for spell check!! Today I signed my oldest son up for track and I am so very proud of him for reaching for more in life!! I know he will do amazing if he sets his mind to it!

Still looking to hear from the single literary agent that I emailed over the weekend. It takes time and I am grateful to wait and see! Ok, got to lay down, my body is beginning to quit on me. I hope you have an amazing Wednesday! Live With Passion!!


School Haze

The old, yellow school bus pulled up to Red Hill Elementary and opened its creaky door. Thatcher and Thomas hurried off with their classmates as Mario, Louis, Sindy and Cristena would the final four off. Each going to their own lockers, yet entering class together, Mrs. Nellenfelter noticed there lack energy for the day.
Then came shock, for Mrs. Nellenfelter acknowledged that Cristena was not only on time, but early.Making their was through the classroom and taking there seats in The Boondocks. It would take forever for the talk less morning to end. So much needed to be said.

Well, tonight, I took my youngest sons Cub Scout den to a local state park for a hick. What alot of great evening! Then home to a bowl of peas and greenbeans, mixed together.

Here’s to a wonderful Tuesday! Live With Passion!!!

For 12 Years, I Was Doing It Wrong!

Tonight, I sat down at my living room table and began reading links that were given to me by some amazing colleagues in my SCBWI Yahoo Group. What I found out was that I had been writing my query letter wrong for 12 years!

My practice in the past has been one copied query about Barney & Lexi and then sent out. What I was doing so wrong was that I was giving no attention to the literary agent I hoped would help guide my career but asking for their attention.

As I read the links that were generously provided, I found out that writing to many at one time, if discovered, can sour many agents because they can lose that personal connection from you since discovering you had none with them. Give to get is always the best policy.

After reading the articles, I sat down and read through some profiles of literary agents. In order to gain recognition, I must first recognize! I read until I came to an agent that needed to be my first choice.

Agent, Kerry Sparks of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency caught my attention as a lover of children’s literature. Being from rural Oregon originally, I found similar comparisons to Lawrenceville and how rural communities effect Barney & Lexi.

So, with some time, I sat and wrote my query. This time, I let Kerry know that she was the first one I was speaking with and not secretly shopping around behind her. I want to gain her trust and let her know that I took the time to read up on her before writing.

This query was written just for her, NOT a copied paper query that was given to many. Simple, happy and to the guts of the story, I was happy to send her the first 25 pages of Barney & Lexi. I know that Barney & Lexi are just as excited as I am!

So, as I close for the night, one eye is closing quickly, if you want attention, give attention. Give it first and Live With Passion!!!

No Write Night

Well, I had planned to write tonight, but instead, chose to sit down and begin hand writing myself a 2016 list of AAR agents. My goal is tomorrow night, sit down and begin emailing Barney & Lexi out and mail a copy or two out on Saturday. I have been turned down by many of the names that I have seen on the list but each one will get the two lost friends again. Why? Well, fact is, so agents don’t even read queries and toss handfuls away to lower the ‘slush’ pile load. I stopped at 50 agencies complete with names, addresses and email info. Here they come!!

I also wrote my SCWBI group on Yahoo and began seeking out thoughts on my query for B&L. I look forward to some great answers back tomorrow!

My subscription to Poets & Writers is running out and the cash is tight, I hope I can renew soon. I believe things will work out! 🙂

Last night, my oldest son spent the night with me. Wednesday nights are his night just us guys. He has Jazz Band every Thursday morning at 7a.m. and I take him to school to rehearse. I love my nights with him! I am far from a cook, therefore we had baked fish and cheese filled breadsticks, yum! He crashed before he could finish his meal though, so I sat and wrote last nights talk with you. I enjoy our talks as well! 🙂

My ‘Never Quit’ video is now on youtube and it is my hope that you or someone you know may stop by and become lifted by it. Click below to see it!

I spoke with my sons first grade teacher and am scheduled to read to the class this Spring!! I am so excited and just can not wait!! When he finds out, he will have a complete happy meltdown and ask about it for the next two months! 🙂

I also took an email from a local high school lit teacher who has asked if I will speak to her Children’s Lit class next Fall when the class begins. I and siked about that and can not wait!

I also took an email from the Lawrence County Historical Society and look to be rescheduled for my picture book lecture later this year. I can’t begin to tell you how I am ready to do this after having to cancel last year.

Well, that’s about it for tonight. I hope you have a wonderful Friday and find a way to be grateful and Live With Passion!


One Eye Open

As the old school bus made its way around Red Hill, picking up young students, Sindy could hardly stay awake. Once on the bus, she made her way to the back seat and fell asleep.
Louis stood at the tee intersection with other bus riders but stood alone and with his hoodie hood pulled over his head since, he too, had trouble staying awake with only a half a night’s sleep. Cristena, on time for once, arrived with a rare hoodie of her own on and it too was pulled over her head. She and Louis made small talk, hoping to keep one another going. Louis would ignore the bus driver as she mentioned his sluggish walk and Cristena made very little acknowledgement when the driver noticed she was on time for the bus.
Just up the road, Mario, Thatcher and Thomas sat at the curb out front of their house. Mario was asleep, leaning against Thatcher, which drove him nuts, however did nothing so he didn’t make his big brother upset. Thomas meanwhile, began tapping Mario on the cheek, hollering to wake up.

Mario woke as the bus came down the street and their mother brought his lunch out to him, saying if he were getting sick, she would pick him up at school if she needed to.

Mario made his way to the back and sat down next to Sindy, waking her. The four friends said little on the ride to school, mostly because of the shock still in the air.

Well, another great day and a couple more pages of The Boondock Kids done. I’m writing you on my phone tonight and am almost asleep myself! Have a blessed Thursday and I will be here tomorrow! Live With Passion