Monday, October 30, 2017

Scivener Day 1- Tools for writing

I have resisted trying out Scrivener for years.  I regularly hear about how awesome it is and well as how hard it is to use.  Being mainly a picture book author, Scrivener isn't something that I NEED every day.

But, then I went wrote my novel this summer.  Finally.

The novel is complicated.  It jumps from 1800's to 2017, includes layers of people, and varied as well as intertwining stories.  Plus, it has lots of artwork in it, no, not mine.

Enter NaNoWrimo and my desire to cross the finish line with this novel.
Enter Scrivener.

Here are my thoughts so far-

Thank goodness I took that one hour tutorial about some fun short cuts and neat things Scrivener is capable of, or I would have given up.

I very much recommend that you use YouTube, take a short class and read about the program before you start using it.  There are so many wonderful things it CAN do, but you won't know about them unless you read and learn about them.  All of the bells and whistles are not obvious.

So today, I spent about 3 hours on Scrivener.  I have to say, it was fun.  I did not do any writing or editing. 
I did-
Get my entire novel put into folders, by books, chapters.
I did a synopsis for each chapter that shows up on the really cool note card screen.
I color coded each chapter (important for me to see distribution of character and times, historical component)
I added a mock cover.
Wrote the title page and dedication.
Included my reference books on note cards
And marked each chapter as either first draft, second draft or TO DO.

Tomorrow I am going to see about layering in photo's of one of my main characters art pieces.
Being able to use them as a reference will be very helpful as will maps and wiki information on certain things.

Here is peek at some of my hard work from today.

I'll try to keep you updated the more I use and learn about this program.
One more day until  !

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Review- Sleep Tight Charlie by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo

Finding just the right book for your kids is like waving a magic wand and hoping that you said your spell just right. 

There are amazing books out there. 

There are Okay books out there and then, well there is everything else.

Put all of that to one side and let’s simple look at who your kid is.

Mine, is like yours unique. 

Mine like or unlike yours has particulars that align with Autism, Adoption, Learning disabilities, social issues and a very particular eye for aesthetic.

So, when I find a good book for her, I feel like I should share it with you all.

I found SLEEP TIGHT CHARLIE when doing a reading at Queen Anne Book Company for my little EGG.

I liked it immediately.

The illustrations are unique, almost film noir like, not overly colorful and bright, but alive and interesting.  The artist Kris Di Giacomo, is really good at leaving a lot of empty “negative space” so that the details, few as they are, really pop.  The details are very everyday but fascinating- a scissor mirror, bottles, clocks, and basic furniture.  Nothing feels crowded, the pages have room for imagination as well as the text.

What I love best about Michael Escoffier’s text is it’s simple (such a hard thing to do right) it’s got nice repetition and voice.

The story is clear.  The character is immediately likeable in his quirkiness.

What I love best about the story, are the patterns, simple, but detailed with a nice pacing.

And, I love the ending. In fact, I still enjoy the ending even now after having read it OVER and OVER and OVER again.  I get so caught up in reading the story that somehow the ending is still a surprise.

My daughter who needs repetition loves “Silly Charlie”.  Even acts out the book while I read it to her.  Sometimes she “reads” it to me from memory, always at random points during the day. 

The character, the story has successfully engrained itself in her life, seamlessly.
Good for Kids who make lists, need repetition.

Good for parents who like to do dramatic readings with sounds effects and tension.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Meet Meghan James of Korvo Creative Works an Editor, something every writer needs outside of ideas, a support system and critique group

Critique groups are awesome!  They are full of amazing people who support you, critique your writing and IF your lucky, help you with some editing.

BUT... If you're like me. Dyslexic or simple more of an idea person you NEED to find a great editor.

Sending out manuscripts before they are as clean as can be is a mistake.  

I have a friend, Meghan James of Korvo Creative Works, who is an amazing editor.  I decided to interview her here and share with you some of the fascinating things I found out.  I have turned to Meghan many times over this last year, seeking out what I believe is a uniquely effective Editing Eye for various projects and she has always been helpful.  Her attention to detail is “perfection” as is her ability to bridge genres.  Meghan is the one MUST HAVE for any writer wanting a polished manuscript. 

LNC-      You must love books, reading, and the overall adventure the written word can provide.  But why editing?  What drew you to this aspect of writing?

MJ-        You’re right, I absolutely adore books and reading. Family lore says I taught myself to read by age four. When I was considering my career change (I was previously a landscape architect), I spent some time thinking on my strengths and passions. Well, I love to read. Thus, how could I earn a living through reading? Editing was the obvious choice.

LNC-      Tell me about your certification process.  What was the most interesting thing you learned about editing? What more do you want to learn?

MJ-        I completed the Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington. I thought it was a very valuable program which taught me so much more than just the rules of grammar or punctuation. We were taught not only the nuts and bolts of editing but also our responsibilities as editors. Also, I had no idea just how widespread the field actually is. Editing plays a role in just about every document out there, from corporate communications to marketing materials to novels. As for me, I am currently brushing up my book layout skills. By the end of the year, I plan to offer layout services using InDesign.

LNC-      What is your favorite type of editing?  Or do you even have a favorite?

MJ-        I don’t have a favorite type of editing yet. Each stage of editing, from developmental to proofreading, offers different challenges and rewards. I get to look at the big picture stuff one day and the nit-picky details the next.

LNC-      What do you hope to provide to your clients?

MJ-        I want to help make sure my clients’ messages are coming through clearly. You have a story to tell, and I’m here to ensure your readers don’t get distracted from your story by misplaced commas or subject/pronoun disagreements. I don’t change your words into my words. I make sure your words are the best they can be.

LNC-      How long does it take you to edit a document?

MJ-        It depends on the type of editing and the length of the document. Proofreading goes faster than copy editing, which goes faster than developmental editing. One manuscript page is equivalent to 250 words. Proofreading is about 10 pages (2,500 words) per hour while developmental editing is about 1-2 pages (250-500 words) per hour.

LNC-      Are there layers to your editing process?  Can a client ask for a certain type of editing? If so, what are those parameters?

MJ-        Yes. Different types of editing are appropriate at different stages in the writing process. For example, if I’m looking at the structure of a story (character arcs, plot, etc.,) then I’m not at all worried about spelling or punctuation. When I’m preparing a proposal for a client, I’ll clearly define the scope of services. If a client is unsure about the different types of editing or what they might need for their work, I am happy to walk them through the process.

LNC-      How do you like to interact with a client? Email? Skype? Phone?

MJ-        I’m pretty flexible. I usually start via email, but I am available to chat over the phone or on Skype. And if a client is in the Seattle area, I can also meet in person.

LNC-      What is the best way to contact you about a potential job?

MJ-        I can be reached via email at

LNC-      What kind of wait time do you currently have?

MJ-        I am currently available and accepting clients.

LNC-      What is your price list?

MJ-        Different types of editing have different rates. I follow the EFA’s (Editorial Freelancers Association) suggested rates, which may be found at I will give an author a proposal with a flat fee based on the services they want and the number of words in the work. 
LNC-       Thank you Meghan, so so much for your time, your answers and insight and above all your amazing editing skills.  I can't wait for our next project together.

Monday, October 16, 2017

SCBWI Book Stop!

The Egg page is here!

Click HERE to visit and "LOVE" and or leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Writing while the world around you falls down- How to be a creative in hard times

I've been saying, "I just can't" a lot this last week.

I can't wrap my head around a beautiful man, a friend, a father, a husband taking his own life.  I just can't.

I can't go into one of my stories and find the hope it in, the joy in it, after that.

I can't wrap my heart around the innumerable ripples his loss will make in our world.

And nothing can be wrapped around the mass shooting in Vegas.


So, now what?  Curl up on the couch and give in?  Well, maybe for a day. 

Turn to my daughter and lap up the sound of her unencumbered laughter?  Yes, every day.

Sit in the sun and just let Autumn breathe through me with a nip of air and it's heavy fragrance?

Do it all. 

Feel all of the emotions.

Feel numb if you have to.

Do it all, and then, stand, open your eyes, breathe and get back to work.

It's Inktober right now. I find that IF ALL of those artists can make some magic every day.

So can I.

It's inspirational.

I find that even though my heart is numb, editing is something I can do, so I edit. 

And in doing so, my characters with their hearts beating, their voices growing stronger, help me to my feet again. 

SO I edit.

Push through.  Find your focus. Make art.  Bring joy.

And even though I have said, "I can't" today more often than I should.  I have found that my actions are more of, "I can". It's a dance right now one along side the other.

I discovered this poster the other day, Julie Hedlund of 12x12 had posted it.  I reposted it and will continue to keep going back to it as needed.

BREATHE everyone. 

Breathe and then, FOCUS. Then, go out and create. Make some beauty for others to share and take home in their hearts and their aching souls.