Words to Live By

Putting crayons in the dryer is an ineffective way of dying fabrics.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Late Ready, Set, Write! Week 8

So my doctor is testing my nerves. ^_^ Literally testing to see if something is wrong with my nervous system. It is 

HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS

My goals for last week:

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Write some articles for the SCBWI Bulletin.
Work on new black and white spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 


So not much got done in this list. I wrote two articles for the bulletin, but still need to edit. I have a third that I am in the process for writing. I'm hoping to send them off soon... maybe one at a time.

MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Write some articles for the SCBWI Bulletin.
Work on new black and white spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 


My goals are all the same this week. I'm not feeling great, but I'm going to try to get as much done as possible. Wish me luck.

A FAVOURITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED

Just so very tired! Again.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED THIS WEEK

Iron, nerve stuff and a crazy kid.

SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP

That I might actually be able to write an article that gets published. 

This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, and Jamie Morrow. Please visit their blogs to help continue great events such as this!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Interview With Cynthia Kennedy Henzel

Cynthia Henzel and Her Grandson
Cynthia Kennedy Henzel is a writer, gardener, cook, and avid reader. She loves traveling, learning, remodeling her house, and the outdoors. Her past jobs have included salesman, librarian, teacher accountant, educational content developer and (of course) writer. It is these things, that help Cynthia write both Nonfiction and Fiction alike. Her middle grade novel, Myth Rider is coming out in February 2015. She also has several more books coming soon including "Unglued", "Neil deGrasse Tyson", "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" "Focus Books -- Energy", "The Great Land Run", and "Focus Books -- Books Earth, Moon, and Sun". You can see the rest of Cynthias books on her website here!

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Dani: Other than writing, what are some of your interests?
Reading a-z (2014)

Cynthia: I have way too many! I love to travel and have been to 48 states and over 30 countries. I like to remodel houses. Garden. Spend time with the grandkids. Read about science and history. Cook especially making bread. I'm learning more about sports, especially hockey and soccer.


Dani: What's the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?
Cynthia: In the summer in Tucson, I go outside! It's going to be too hot in a couple of hours to do anything outdoors. In winter, I usually start writing after the first cup of coffee.

Caramel Tree 2014

Dani: You mostly work in nonfiction. How many hours of research goes into each book?

Cynthia: It depends on the timeline I'm given and the subject. I tend to over-research. For a very short forthcoming biography of Neil deGrasse Tyson I will likely read 5 or 6 books and spend a couple of hours to a day on the Internet, then contact him if I have questions.


Caramel Tree 2014
Dani: Could you give us some information about getting into nonfiction books?

Cynthia: I worked as an science education consultant with a NASA program and had written some stories for children's magazines so had some credits. When I started writing full time I put in submissions to everywhere I could find. Very few came to anything, but I did get a few hits. Having an area of expertise -- I've got an MS in Geography -- was helpful.



Dani: Congratulations for having so many new books coming out. Could you please tell us about them?
Coming Soon in 2014!
Cynthia: I'm working on a lot of things right now. I've got 2 series of K-2 science books, Energy and Earth, Moon, and Sun, for Science a-z. An historical fiction, The Great Land Run, is coming from Reading a-z and I'm working on the Tyson biography for them. I'm doing a condensation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for Caramel Tree. And, my first middle grade novel, Myth Rider, is coming out next February so I'm finishing the editing.


Dani: Which one of new books was most difficult to write?
Cynthia: Definitely Myth Rider. It is historical fiction set in the country of Georgia and in Oklahoma so there was a lot of research. It has an unusual format and several twists. I worked on it several years.




Cynthia scuba diving in Maldives

Dani: What are you writing about now?

Cynthia: I'm working on another mg novel that is set in Maldives. (That's me in the scuba diving picture) It is magical realism and touches on global warming. I also have an historical mg set in Ukraine that is out on submission. I went to Mongolia about a year and a half ago and have started playing with another novel that will be set there.



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Follow Cynthia!

Blog/Webpage: http://www.cynthiakennedyhenzel.com/

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Picture Book Layout

I've been searching the web lately and I can't seem to find anything like this to share with my fellow illustrators. When I have found it the images were too small to use or not the correct shape (if you want a square layout go to Once Upon A Sketch). I also wanted something I could distribute to other illustrators.

My illustration teacher, Dominic Catalano, had something very similar to this that he gave us as handouts. This is a very basic design that can be used to create thumbnails for your picturebook layouts. I refrained from writing any more than the basics on these pages so you can feel free to create as you'd like. Also you may not be using all of these pages (see the link below) but I didn't want to put any marks on this sheet.

I will reffer you to Tara Lazar's website which has tips on how to layout your dummy: http://taralazar.com/2009/02/22/picture-book-construction-know-your-layout/

I ask that you link to my pages when sharing this information. They both have the same information on these. Be sure to print these in landscape and not the portrait setting. If you have any issues with either of these please let me know!

JPEG:

PDF: Picture Book Layout (Hosted on my personal webpage)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ready. Set. Write! Week 7

So I'm not doing so great with the iron. Apparently doing cardio is too much for me with the iron (sharp stabbing pains). Not that I'm going to stop trying. It's also made me very tired all week, so I haven't gotten much done. 

HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS

My goals for last week:

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Work on new spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 


I didn't really work on any of these this week. My day off was spent mostly in correspondence to other writers/illustrators. I got to do a cover reveal this week so that was fun! Another interview came back to me this week, so I have interviews for the next two weeks. I also got word that my bio/writer's journey is going to be published on August 5 on Julie Hedlund's blog.

I was able to take my dummy to my SCBWI Illustrator's meeting and get good feedback there. I'm thinking about attending the writer's meeting next week. I may just bring a different manuscript to this meeting.

MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Write some articles for the SCBWI Bulletin.
Work on new black and white spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 


My goals aren't changing too much this week. I am going to try to write some articles for the Bulletin this week. I have been meaning to do so for a long time. I have ideas for several articles and I need to get them written down!

A FAVOURITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED

Just so very tired!

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED THIS WEEK

Iron and a crazy kid.

SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP

Even though I'm getting changes suggested to me I think it's almost ready.

This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, and Jamie Morrow. Please visit their blogs to help continue great events such as this!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT

A thanks to Jesi Lea Ryan who was so nice to share this cover reveal with us!

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Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT

Another fabulous cover by Damonza! What do you think?

NINE BY NIGHT


About NINE BY NIGHT

"From vampires to empaths, to the grim reaper himself, this bundle will keep you on the edge of your seat. I dare you to try and put it down!" SHANNON MAYER - author of THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS and THE NEVERMORE TRILOGY

Nine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names—and chances—while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.
Over two-thousand pages of epic reading await! Let the adventures begin.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE, WITCH HUNT –– Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead...for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA's most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON, DEATH’S SERVANT –– Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon's embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER, TORRENT –– When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP, SPARK –– What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON, DEATH TIMES TWO –– The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed—and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI, ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 –– Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET, JUSTICE CALLING –– Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she's finally safe. As long as she doesn't use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN, ARCADIA’S GIFT –– Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND, WILD NIGHT ROAD –– One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

NINE BY NIGHT releases 8/03/2014 on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other e-book retailers.

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Nine By Night

Friday, July 18, 2014

Interview With Marcia Strykowski

Marcia Strykowski is a writer of Teen Fiction novels. Her first novel "Call Me Amy" was published in 2013. This book focuses on the life of Amy a teenager who finds a wounded young seal pup and the relationships that form surrounding this pup. Marcia's second novel "Amy's Choice" is the continuation of Amy's story. "Amy's Choice" deals with the strong decisions she must make in regards to the relationships she has made (both new and old).

Her website is reminiscent of a lovely day at the beach. Everything about her website and blog shows her natural affinity for the ocean. I can almost hear the waves splashing up against the side of my house as I do this interview. I know I haven't done justice in describing Marcia's books so I'll allow her to tell you more!

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Dani: When you were a kid what was your dream job?

Marcia: Hmm, a tough question right off the bat. :) But I’m glad for it, because it’s made me remember how interested I was in puppetry when I was a kid. For years, I thought it would be awesome to be part of a puppet troupe, from making the puppets to performing. Now that I reminisce, I still think it would be great fun.

Dani: Red or blue?

Marcia: I guess I’ll choose red. I’ve always loved bright fire-engine red, although in the last few years, I’m partial to a variety of blue shades, too (as shown by my very blue website).


Dani: What inspired you to write your Amy books?

Marcia: The setting for Call Me Amy and Amy’s Choice developed from strong memories of my grandparents’ home on the coast of Maine. Amy started out as a short story, but kept evolving until eventually it became two ‘tween’ novels. Once I got started, I felt motivated to tell Amy’s story and how she finds the courage to speak up and believe in herself.



Dani: How did you do the research for “Call me Amy” and “Amy's Choice”?

Marcia: I did a lot of online checking to make sure everything was true to the setting and time period. I also used one of those novelty-type calendars that displays important events, music, TV shows, etc. of 1973. Between the two books, I attended a seal release where, after much nurturing, the recovered seal pups are returned to the ocean—my favorite kind of research! The photograph shows the first seal heading down to the water.


Dani: Which of these two books was hardest to write?

Marcia: Book one, Call Me Amy, took forever to write, partly because I kept putting it down and partly because I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, at first. Book two, Amy’s Choice, pretty much wrote itself in less than a year.


Dani: Are your future books going to focus on Amy, or do you have something new in mind?

Marcia: I am working on something new for the same age group. My third novel will have a completely different setting and characters. It will feature a boy with a unique pastime who lives in a big city.



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Follow Marcia:

Website: http://marciastrykowski.com/
Call Me Amy: http://marciastrykowski.com/call-me-amy/
Amy's Choice: http://marciastrykowski.com/amys-choice/


Monday, July 14, 2014

Ready, Set, Write! Week 6

I got a surprise on Friday. The Dr. told me I had low iron. I've been weak lately but I didn't think it was that bad! I also ended up going to the ER Sunday because of a nasty combination of taking iron pills, having a sinus headache and overheating (I thought it was something more than this). 

Because of my current exhaustion levels I've decided to do only one update post a week (no What's Up Wednesday! for the summer). I'm also going to still do a weekly drawing, but I think I'm going to have to use that to show process drawings as well as full drawings. Okay, let's get on with the show!

HOW I DID ON LAST WEEK'S GOALS

My goals for last week:

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Work on new spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 

Finish up this contest entry.

I just realized that I didn't finish last week's goals for last week... or at least I didn't finish my sentence. All I posted was: "I did work on some greeting cards this week for a contest. yo" I rarely use the term "yo" but maybe it's an inner voice trying to tell me something!

I finished scanning my dummy and sent it out to my group. I wasn't able to work on any layout illustrations or spot illustrations. I was able to come up with some questions even though I didn't send out any new interview questions. I was going to do three contest entries, but I only ended up with one. One is still achieving something!

MY GOAL(S) FOR THIS WEEK

Continue to work on dummies and layout illustrations.
Work on new spot illustrations.
Send out interview questions. 


My goals this week are going to stay the same as last week minus the contest entry that's already done!

A FAVOURITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED

"I did work on some greeting cards this week for a contest. yo" 

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED THIS WEEK

Having low iron and just feeling exhausted!

SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP

I scanned, sent out and got some feedback on my first dummy!

This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerKaty UppermanErin Funk, and Jamie Morrow. Please visit their blogs to help continue great events such as this!