February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Flash Fiction Contest

Our Feb 15th event is just a week away. It is going to be fabulous, if I do say so myself. I am so excited to meet some of our new members and to see some familiar faces.

We have lots of fun games planned and I imagine the library will never have been so loud and raucous.

We are even having a flash fiction contest. Flash Fiction is a short piece of work that is a complete story. It must have a beginning, middle, end, conflict, and resolution. Have you begun working on your piece?

Here are the rules and some questions answered...
  1. Your short fiction piece cannot exceed 250 words, not even by a single word. This INCLUDES the words from the sentence starter, but DOES NOT include the words in your title.
  2. It must contain, a beginning, middle, end, problem, and a resolution
  3. It must begin with these two sentences…
    It wasn't that Harley was afraid. Not exactly
  4. Your story must fit into one of the following categories….
    humor, thriller, fantasy, realistic fiction, or historic fiction.
  5. It can be written for any age range: picture book, chapter book, middle grade novel, tween novel, young adult novel.

You must:

  1. Print and bring two copies. One copy will be read aloud by a volunteer (other than yourself) and one copy will be on display for votes.
  3. On the top of your submission, include your title, word count, intended age range, and genre (but again, no name) For ex.
Clash of Thunder, 250 words, middle grade, horror

There will be two winners per category, a 1st place and 2nd place. All winners will choose from a variety of prizes.

Prizes include:
A gift certif. to Wegmans
A gift certif. to Zanya's Day Spa
Bottles of wines
How to books
A candle basket
An illustrators gift basket
And more.

Please do not wrap gifts so winners can see the items in order to make their selection.

Each member can only enter the contest once. Sorry.

If you will be unable to attend, you can still place your flash fiction piece here under the comments sections, but winners and prizes will only be chosen by those who attend. Still, it is a great exercise and I hope you give it a shot!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2009 Winner of the Tomie DePaola Portfolio Award goes to...

Congratulations to our very own...

Leeza was named the winner of the 2009 Tomie DePaola Portfolio Award at this year's NYC SCBWI Winter Conference. I know Leeza must still be floating in the stratosphere somewhere but she floated down briefly to tell me what winning felt like to her...
After the shock and delight of receiving the award, I think I truly felt like winning was a sign that I was finally on the right track. I've spent the past few years wondering where I could fit in, what my style was, where I was headed, and even if children's books was the right path for me. For the past twelve months though, this has all started to come together and shown me my desires and passions for working in children's literature. I spent many an early day and late night sketching, painting, doodling, researching, networking, crying and illustrating -- and somewhere in that time, everything clicked. To have two such prestigious names in the children's book world -- legendary Tomie dePaola and Penguin Putnam's art director Cecilia Yung -- describe my work as "Fresh" and "Superlative" is the icing on the cake. I cannot express my gratitude enough to them or to everyone who has been a part of my life since I began this wonderful journey. The feeling is simply AWESOME!
I am so very proud of Leeza's growth, determination, and stamina! And I admire her talent and positive disposition in life and art. I feel very lucky to know her, to be her friend, and to know that she is my friend too, and to have her a part of HCCyWIG.

Please join me in congratulating Leeza in this awe inspiring accomplishment!

Always remember, if you stick with it, eventually, you will break in!