Let Your Words Flow

Let Your Words Flow
Let Your Words Flow

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Not sure how much time I will have the next few days, so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa brings me a new battery for my computer. I have to drag a cord around because the old one will not hold a charge. It has done well for the past two years, but all things must end.

What is on your Dear Santa, this is what I need for my writing list?

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More on rejection letters

I made the comment about my last post about rejection letters, "I guess the only way to avoid them is to stop writing. I kinda like them." I used to love to play computer games. From Zork to Zak McKrackan and the Alien Mindbenders. I put a lot of time into them. Most of the time I would get a "Game Over." Sometimes I would get a "You Win!" Of course it made me feel good to win. I can't show you that I won or lost, I can only tell you. What do I have to show for my time? Nothing.

Now I spend most of my free time writing. Now I get to make up the adventures. I have put a lot of time into writing, but I have proof that I did it. I even have official "Game Over" documents in the form of rejection letters. Just like in the computer games, I can start over by resubmitting somewhere else. You can bet that the day I get a "You Win" acceptance, I will show the world.

If you have a favorite computer game, what was it? How much time did you spend on them?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rejection Letters.

What to with a rejection letter? Toss it? Frame it? File it? I say file it. I hear of struggling writers using them as wallpaper, but that would be a lot of letters.

 There are two things a writer must do to receive a rejection letter. First, you must submit, and second, you must include a SASE. I always make sure I use one large enough and with enough postage for my manuscript to be returned. This way I can file the actual MS with the letter, and know which version I submitted.

I started a notebook with page protectors to file all correspondence from every submission. It is nice to go through it every once in a while just to remind myself that I am actually producing and submitting.

Yes, I reject rejection so I always tweak each returned MS and find another place to submit.

Until next time, keep writing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free PB Edit!

Check out www.DearEditor.com for a chance to win a free PB Edit!
Hope all my PB Crit group sees this.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

PiBoIdMo - Still going

Okay, I haven't posted since the 18th. I am still getting ideas, but have been very busy at the Arts and Crafts show in downtown Gatlinburg. Only one more week to go! We carve bears with a chainsaw out on the street. It makes for a long day, but we get to meet a lot of people and we can tell them about our shop. We sell our carvings too.

As soon as the show is over, I will be writing more.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

PiBoIdMo day 18.

Thirty-four Ideas and counting. I think I have some good ones this year. I've started one, but cant wait to start writing on some of the others.

Chime in.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

PiBoIdMo day 17

Going strong. Even had an idea for a revision to fix the opening of an existing PB.
I have over 30 ideas, and still getting more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 12!

PiBoIdMo-ing along. I'm up to 19 Ideas.
Today I think I came up with my best so far. I can't wait to start writing on a lot of them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Still getting ideas

Getting new ideas for picture books everyday.  I like PiBoIdMo. It makes me really think about book ideas. I am even re-reading Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day six! I voted too!

Yes I have a new idea for each day so far. Actually got two today. And went to vote!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day Five!

Day five. Still on track!

For the last few days I have been trying to fix the second sentence of a WIP. It reminds me of when I read about finding the right words.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

PiBoIdMo day 3

It was late last night when I got Idea #2. I guess I am making it hard on myself by tossing out thoughts that aren't what I consider usable.

Maybe today's thought will come quicker.

Friday, November 2, 2012

PiBoIdMo day 2

Okay. I had a great idea for the first day. I am waiting for Idea # 2. I know it is coming I can feel it. I just don't know when it will actually pop into my head.

I'll wait.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

PiBoIdMo Day 1

PiBoIdMo is here. I have my first idea. Actually I have had it for a couple of days and it is bugging me to death wanting to be written. It's a selfish idea. It thinks it is the only one, but there will be more.

Yes, I have started a first draft, but don't tell the other ideas when they come.

Do your ideas bug you to write them?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Sign up for the 2012 PiBoIdMo at www.taralazar.com !

Also check out http://wardjenkins.com creator of the 2012 Logo!

Go for it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rolling along!

Finished revising a PB MS to sub to my critique group. They're the best! I'll even be on time with this one.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Juggling. Again.

Juggling. Again. Like many writers, I still have a “day job.” Though I devote at least a couple of hours each day to writing, I have not been posting as often as I would like on my blog. My goal for the year was to submit at least one story, or article a month. Though my blog site and Facebook page have not been getting a lot of attention, I am still on schedule. This month, I was able to send one out Friday, and one today.

My other day job is running a magic shop, and carving bears with a chainsaw. We are gearing up for our craft community’s Thanksgiving and Christmas shows trying to build inventory. October is a busy month here in Gatlinburg. Time is flying, so it should not be long before time slows down again. Until then, I will continue to steal a couple of hours each day to write. 

Have Fun!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writers Share Bear.

We have carved a bear to be passed around to writers. When he is presentable, I will post a photo of him. I am going to ask all my writer friends on here, my Facebook page, and WR to help in the naming process.

Once we have a name then he will be ready to begin his adventure. I will post more information later.

For those who don't know, he will be passed around the writing community. If you receive him, you get to have him for two weeks, then you must pass him to a writer friend of yours.  We will be able to see his travels on my Facebook page. Since we are writers, we must each write a short piece about our time with him.

More to come.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

YA Short Story Writing Contest

Be sure to check this out! The Children's Writer Short Story Writing Contest. - Just sayin'


Monday, September 24, 2012

A share bear for writers

It is official. We will be making a traveling share bear to pass around to writers!

For those who do not know about Smoky, our first share bear, he is in Virginia now.  We made a bear at our shop and gave him to a customer. They agreed to keep him for two weeks, then pass him to one of their friends.  Every two weeks, he goes to someone new. He has a Facebook page so everyone can update his status. If you want to check him out go to
Now we will be making one for writers to share.  
We will need help naming him. Be thinking of a name, when we get him finished, I will post a photo. You all can send in ideas for his/her name.
Have fun!

Monday, September 17, 2012

End of Good News Streak.

Okay, my run of luck is over. I got a rejection today. I always try to see the bright side, so, this means that I have an article ready to send back our, after just a little tweaking. - This will keep me on track with my goal of sending at least one submission per month. I should get at least two out this month, then I'll be one ahead!

What's on your mind?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting the kids out of the graveyard.

You know how kids are. I sent two of mine into a graveyard at about 15 till midnight and, well, I thought I would never get them out.

Actually I left them there. That will teach them to go scratching around in a bone orchard chanting some witches spell they threw together. What were they thinking?

Well, I finally got Rodney and Max out. These two characters may be the death of me. I can't let anything happen to Rodney, he has a very important talent show to get ready for. But then again, some things even the author can't prevent. Ya know? Right?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More great news today!

My last post was about receiving rejection letters. My streak of good news continues. No rejections today.

How is your news today?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Some say that no news is good news. I guess it all depends on what you are waiting to hear about. If you are waiting to hear from an editor  no news is better than a rejection. I guess I have had great news every day for the last few weeks - no rejections. I have been sending out at least one sub per month.  It is starting to feel like I am playing the game where you keep stacking blocks up to see how high you can go before they all come tumbling down. I guess the big crusher would be to get a bunch of rejections all in the same day.

So far, no news is good news.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Move your lips & Don't like words

I usually try to read at least three or more sources on anything.  You get a lot of repeat information. Standard stuff that is basic.  Then you get extra stuff from each author. Through the years I have read a lot of books on writing.  In the last couple of weeks I have come across "move your lips" more than a couple of times form three of four different places.  Authors suggesting that, as we proof and edit, we move our lips. I have always known to read what I write aloud, but it is strange that I have hit upon this phrase so many times.  Something to think about.  We should move our lips as we read to ourselves. Even if we are not reading out loud.

My - don't like - word or phrase this week is: Torrent. Not the computer download stuff.  I've come across it about a dozen times.  It's starting to move up there to another one I don't like, and hope to never use: A long moment.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Highlights Foundation Workshop

I got to attend a Highlights workshop at the beginning of the month.  It was the condensed nonfiction workshop with Peter Jacobi.  He is great, he is like an editors editor.  He writes articles to teach editors.

Those who know me, know I have been working on articles to sub to Highlights for Children.  One of the highlights of my trip was the evening Senior Editor, Debra Hess, came by for dinner.  I had been in touch with her through emails, but it was great getting to meet, and talk with her.

From left to right - Rick (that's me) Peter Jacobi, and Debra Hess.
They are all so nice. They are all down to earth, real people.

Family Reunion

Had a great time this past Saturday at my wife's family reunion. We got to take a day off from the shop, thanks to my son, Tylor.  Had fun all day at one of the local city parks.  It was refreshing being outside all day and not having to work or run a chainsaw.  I got some ideas for story content just watching, and listening to everyone.

(left) Harry Stock from PA, and (right) ME from TN

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My first writer's workshop at Highlights!

Okay, I love the Highlights Founders Workshops.  I attended the one above from Jun 3-6. The leader was Peter P. Jacobi.  He has done it all! Yes, everything Nonfiction and article writing.  My favorite part was the section on interviews.  Last week I was asking questions about interviews on The Writers Retreat boards.

This was great.  More to come!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Guess What!

If you are following me, keep checking back.  I have a surprise. That's all for now.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Writers workshop game!

I am seeking information from those of you who have attended workshops, or conferences. This will be valuable information for those of us who have not.  I have also posted this on Writers Retreat.

Okay, it’s like the old game – I went on a picnic and took…  You do not have to list everything the last person took, just what you took.

For this game list what you took to a children’s writers’ workshop and what you wished you would have taken. (Things you forgot, or did not know to take until you were there.)

Sounds like fun.

Something like this.

I went to a workshop and took: My laptop, note pads, and 1 article MS.  I wish I would have taken other manuscripts and a synopsis of my WIP book.

Thanks all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What gives?

I think I have posted before about what we have to give up in daily life in order to have time to write. Since our busy season is upon us at the shop, I have less time for all the fun internet stuff that goes with my writing. Stuff like blogging, and FB.  I have even slowed down on my favorite board, the Writer's Retreat.

Just wanted you all to know, I am still around, still writing, and still pop in all those fun places from time to time, but come and go quickly and quietly.

Carry on. Have fun.

Don't forget to backup, again.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

E Reader!

Okay, I took the plunge and got a Kindle!  It is one of the cheaper ones, the Kindle Touch. Also got a great free short story from Amazon, The Imaginary Friend By Kelly Hashway.

I really didn't think I would like them.  My son brought one with him when he came home over Easter and got me interested.  I still love real books, but, I can't put this thing down.  It even does text to speech!  It's  not good for fiction, too computer sounding, but for text books and some of the free books on writing books from Amazon, it's pretty neat while doing dishes or other tasks around the house.  It does have an earphone jack.  Amazon has a ton of free books too! 

Along with our local library having downloadable audio books through the R.E.A.D.S. program, they also have Kindle books you can check out.  This is so neat!!!

So,  moving into the 'E-Age' is kinda neat.  (does the term 'E-Age' exist, or have I named an era?)

Still here

Wow! It's not march anymore.  Today is not Monday.  Wow.  Time flew.  I'll get back in the groove as soon as I can.

Have you ever been 'too bogged to blog?'

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ticking Time.

"Due to the fact that Monday comes on Tuesday this Wednesday my weekly Thursday blog will be on Friday this Saturday since Sunday is a holiday."

That's how my week is going.  Running late all week.  This is from a skit I saw Red Skeleton, one of my favorite TV comedians, do.  Of course he didn't have a blog, he was talking about a meeting.  I actually got to meet him in downtown Gatlinburg on April 3, 1980 I believe it was.

Any Way.  When you are running out of time, do you blog, even if you have nothing to say, or skip it?

I guess I post something just to stay active.  How 'bout you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Busy times!

Spring is here. This means creating inventory for the shop and art shows. It also means KEEP WRITING.  That's what late nights and early mornings are made for.

I am still working on my novel.  By the way I won a free first chapter edit from - DearEditor.com.

I did complete my ICL course.
    Here is something one of the instructors said about my 10B.  I am kinda proud of it.  She is talking about Rodney, one of my characters.
“. . . In middle grade and YA fiction, character voice is THE most important thing a writer has to do. You’ve got to nail this, because readers can spot falsity in a heartbeat—and there’s nothing an adolescent disdains more than an adult trying to talk down to them. That’s what some manuscripts I see do: I can hear the adult writer in every word. In writing for middle graders and teens, one should never hear the author. In fact, it’s best if you can convince readers that you, the author, don’t exist; that the character himself is writing the story. Using first person is one way to do that, but it also has to do with the way you use language, and the insights and perceptions you give a character. You nailed all those with Rodney. . . 

“. . .Rodney’s voice reminds me of  Gantos, and that’s saying a lot.” 
                                                        Nancy Butts
She was speaking about Jack Gantos.

I am also working on some pieces for Highlights.

I'm having a blast even though I haven't been bloggin' a lot lately.  I'll get back into it and visit you all.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Need help with you MS?

Hi, this is not my usual type of blog, but if you need help with your MS, check out this site:


Also be sure to check out my Facebook page at:


Monday, March 5, 2012

Win a free partial edit from Dear Editor

Check it out and spread the word.  Free partial edit today at:


Monday, February 27, 2012

Plot or Character?

Plot or character?  Do you like plot driven or character driven stories?