Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Writer's Digest Conference

I'll be attendng the Writer's Digest Conference at the Jacob K. Jvits Convention Center in NYC on Wednesday, May 30th.

Jodi Picoult, The New York Times best-selling novelist will be the keynote speaker and there will be three sets of breakout sessions to attend on various topics.

I'm especially looking forward to attending the session: "Get Known Before the Book Deal," presented by Christina Katz, Writer Mama author. The book was wonderful and I'm sure it will be inspirational to meet her in person.

Additional sessions that I plan on attending are:

"Pointers from Glimmer Train," presented by Linda Swanson-Davis, co-editor of Glimmer Train Stories (learn about all things related to short stories, including what to do before you submit, the pros and cons of competitions, common problems with stories from the editors' perspective, and how to find your stories' strengths.

"What's in Your Locker: Tools for Writing the YA Novel," presented by K.L. Going, award winning YA novelist.

The day will wrap with a Pitch Slam session where more than 60 agents and editors will be available to meet with attendees on a one-to-one basis to discuss your book project.

Have an aspiring day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Wishing you all a Happy Memorial Day weekend.

My eldest daughter had the privilege this past week to meet three veterans at a school assembly and enjoyed learning about their experiences in the military service. She was astounded to hear how long they were away from their families and friends for extended periods of times. She was also touched by their bravery of putting their lives on the line to protect our country.

Lets take the time out to remember the veterans this weekend. Whether it be attending a parade, flying your American Flag or saying a prayer for the military service people.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Smiling vs. Frowning

It has been said that it takes the face more effort to frown then to smile? Whether this is true or not, try smiling more often. Especially, when you greet someone, smile when you say hello. Smiling and being friendly is contagious. Try it...you may find that you are in a better mood throughout the day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Writer's Road

The writer's road can be more like a roller coaster with its constant ups and downs, but persistence is key:

In most cases the road to publication is long. But don't concentrate on getting published. Concentrate on writing the best work you are capable of. When you send a manuscript out, begin something new.

Now get moving on polishing your latest manuscript and get it out in the mail....blessing it with your positive thoughts for acceptance.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What you Expect, You Fulfill!

In times of frustration of fine-tuning your latest manuscript for submission it is sometimes difficult to remain positive during the process. However, my second mantra that I refer to in getting me back on track during these times is:

What you expect, you fulfill. Think of yourself as a writer who will publish, and often, who will be respected and read, who will have financial returns for your writing investment.

Best wishes for your continued steps to a writer's life!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Personal Mantra

I have several personal mantra's tacked up along side my computer screen.

The first being:

"Let me listen to criticism that I can benefit from and let me forget the rest!"

This mantra is so very true, but when our personal feelings get in the way sometimes it is difficult to sort out what is useful and what is not.

Whenever, you attend a critique session and your piece is discussed take detailed notes.

However, plan on putting them to the side until the emotional factor is calmed down (at least a week), then revisit your notes and go about your changes with an open mind and heart. What you saw as a negative factor at the time may very well be one of the best suggestions made.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Queries & Interviews

As you know I am a member of the Children's Writer's Coaching Club and the group gave me valuable information on queries and interview requests. They felt that it was key to secure the interview before mailing out the query letter (this will give a great hook for the query and the article when being able to quote an expert in the field).

I then contacted an expert in the field that I am researching an article for and to my absolute delight he responded back favorably within a few hours. I can hardly wait to fine-tune my query letter and send it out. Now onto tweaking my interview questions for next weeks interview.

I'll keep you posted as to how the interview goes and how the query was responded to.

Here's to your inspiration!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Children's Writers Coaching Club

I'm a new member of the Children's Writers Coaching Club this month and will be attending my first critique session with the group this evening. I am looking forward to meeting members of the group and presenting my manuscript short story, The Frozen Vacation. I'm sure that I will walk away with valuable insight and suggestions for my story. I best get going the call is ready to start in a few moments.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Manic Monday

I'm having one of those days that we all unfortunately have.

I had what I thought in place a great game plan to start off the week. Spend time working at my regular office job and then plunge into my tasks planned for my writing. That all got thrown out the window when my youngest daughter woke up this morning with her right eye swollen shut from an allergic reaction to pollen and stayed home today from school.

Alas, spent quite some time waiting at the doctor's office. The doctor gave her eye drops and she is now doing better.

The deadline that was looming for my office job was met in time...but has left hardly any time to dedicate to my writing.

At this point, since my mom duties of cooking dinner and checking homework and spending time with the girl's are calling, I thought I would at least get my latest post up. Also, I'm going to re-review my game plan for tomorrow and hopefully will have more success!

We have to keep in mind that we will ride over these bumps and will get back on track.

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. The weather was glorious on the East Coast!

Friday, May 11, 2007

To Be Published!

I am thrilled to let you know that my article, "Trouble in the Park" will be published in the June 2007 ezine Long Story Short (http://www.LongStoryShort.us).

There are two main focuses addressed in the story; the first on creating a petition about getting a rule changed and the second is the frustration of the main character not being taken seriously because of her age.

This is my second published article.

The first is an article about jellyfished entitled, "What's Not A Fish, But Is Called A Fish" which will be published in the July 2007 issue of Stories for Children Magazine (http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com).

Both came from assignment work at the ICL.

Workshop Attendance

I'll be attending the Writer's Digest at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on Wednesday, May 30th. There are fabulous speakers scheduled and there are breakout sessions scheduled throughout the day, giving you the chance to select what best suits your needs. Towards the end of the day each attendee will have the opportunity to give a 3-minute pitch slam to an agent or editor. More information can be found at: http://www.writersdigest.com/bea/.

I have been working on my pitch slam for a historical fiction idea that I came up with during my course at the ICL. It originally started out as a short story, but there is definite potential for a young adult novel.

Anyone that is visiting, if you are attending the conference, please let me know, I would love to meet you in person.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy inspirations!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Remain Focused is the Key

With so many outside interferences in our lives...how can one remain focused on the task at hand? Whether it be fine-tuning a magazine article, marketing and connecting with other writers, researching different markets to query or send a manuscript to. The tasks are endless, but exhilarating.

I have found it most helpful to keep a few different To Do lists; such as Work In Progress, Reading Material, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly Goals, Follow-up and General To do items. I find immense satisfaction in finishing a task and crossing it off a particular list. It reminds me that I have made yet another small step for writers kind in achieving my writing and publishing aspirations.

Yesterday, I finally checked off creating a blog and joining a monthly writer's coaching group on my To Do list. Even though these two tasks were not completed manuscripts or queries it still is a very important aspect of getting my presence known.


Hi...my name is Donna McDine.

This is my first time setting up a blog and I hope this will be a great avenue in getting in contact with fellow writers and possibly editors, agents and publishers.

In January 2006, I jumped in feet first with the Writing for Children and Teenagers course through the Institute of Children's Literature. I am now a gradudate of the course and have several magazines articles out for consideration. My first article, entitled, What's Not A Fish, But Is Called A Fish," will be published in the July 2007 issue of Stories for Children Ezine -

Looking forward to the wonderful Spring weather that has finally arrived on the East Coast!