Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let's Go to the Hop!




Oh, baby, let’s go to the hop and the GROG Launch party when you need to cool your dancin’ shoes. (Don’t forget to comment  starting today to WIN FABULOUS PRIZES! See the rafflecopter on the right side of this post.) Kudos to Cathy C. Hall, who invited me on this writing process blog tour! Her blog theme is so clever and she has a fractured fishy tale to tell. Cathy invited me to answer a couple questions on the writing process. So let’s hop to it!
1. What am I working on?
I just finished my sixth draft of THE TWELVE DANCING WALRUSES, a fractured fairy tale, for Susanna Leonard Hill’s March Madness Spring Contest. I am researching two non-fiction projects: one on Gertrude Divine Webster, a founder of the Desert Botanical Gardens, and also a bio on Mary Colter, architect of many buildings at the Grand Canyon. Another NF topic on the horizon featured the Hohokam Indians who engineered the canal system that feeds Phoenix, AZ.  In July I’ll meet other NF tribe members at WOW Retreat in GA hosted by KristenMcGill Fulton. I belong to 12x12 and am proud that I’m 3/3 on draft & revision deadlines. Finally, I interviewed a group of watch/clock experts for a WIP I call ABOUT TIME, a NF science piece with STEM influences.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work is eclectic and evolving. I’m drawn to topics about which I know next to nothing. I also write on subjects I wish were on the library shelves when I was a kid. I like discovering topics about women who were first in their field – hence Gertrude & Mary’s bios. As a new writer, I’m experimenting with fiction, non-fiction, biographies and even poetry to find my genre sweet spot. My picture books feature animal characters only and one of my picture books may morph into an early chapter book, especially after viewing Mira Riesberg’s Chapter Book Alchemist intro webinar last Friday.
3. Why do I write what I do?
As a former teacher/school librarian, I want to write books that give kids hope and make them laugh. With my NF material, I aim to teach a new idea in a unique way. I am very conscious of the quiet kids, the loners, the outsiders. I want to champion them in my work, too.
4.  How does your writing process work?
My process is still being discovered. I’ve been writing seriously for one year so I don’t have a true method yet. I’m learning what my process is and I’m OK w/that. Here’s what tends to happen: 
1. Feed the brain with coffee, Facebook, blogs, the newspaper, and reading in my genre. 
2. Research topics even if it’s a fiction picture book. 
3. Draft one comes fast, but crits/revisions slow me down and I ruminate. 
4. Rumination is walking the dog, talking nonstop to my hubs about a project, discussing sticking points with other writers, and taking a break for a few days. 
5. When I’m refreshed, I puzzle out whatever isn’t working and rewrite and repeat
6. When a story gels, I read it at the Dog-eared Pages, my fav bookstore run by YA author Anna Questerly, during Open Mic, or I send it to a contest or a computer file. I am waiting to submit my work, preferring to master the craft of writing first.

Now two GROGers hop on the blog train. Dance  over next Monday, April 7 to meet Jan Godown Annino on her blog and Suzy Leopold. Jan wrote the award-winning book, SHE SANG PROMISE: THE STORY OF BETTY MAE JUMPER, SEMINOLE TRIBAL LEADER. Suzy Leopold is an educator who reads and writes with students everyday. She is a writer and a creative painter (Suzy's art is one of our fab prizes, so be sure to comment on this post.) and one of my esteemed critique partners! Check out Suzy's blog for tips on her writing process, too. 
Comment to share your writing process, what you're working on and how your writing is unique. GROG ON. 

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25 comments:

  1. You're working on a lot of neat projects, Kathy. I hope you're "discovered" soon!

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    1. TY, Tina. I am working hard, but it is fun!

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  2. 12 dancing walruses and the march madness comp are both fabulous. I read all the stories each night before bed.

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    1. Did you write one, too, Cecilia? TY.

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    2. yes Kathy Halsey I wrote Goldilocks and the Jolly Homonym :)

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  3. Why is my writing unique? Because I'm never bored. I can write, research, exercise, celebrate, make snow people, play, pray, socialize, read to kids, pray, critique, schmooze,be a friend, volunteer, attend NESCBWI, still get excited about everyday things and on and on and on.....and just completed Kristen McGill Fulton's non fiction class that has given my writing new meaning. Recommend it to everyone wanting to give life to their non fiction manuscripts. Thanks for this post and contest.

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    1. Mona, so true- never bored when you are a writer!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your "process"... I am discovering my process, too, so reading your post was very encouraging and gave me some good ideas!

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    1. Jane, discovery and knowing how your process works are key to being productive. I'm still getting there.

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  5. Great book topics--can't wait to read them when they hit the shelves! Just like you, I write books about subjects I wish I could have read as a kid--mostly animals, who provide endless ideas.

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    1. Animal author, I am thinking of a series about my dog Wile E Coy-origi. TY for stopping by.

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    2. My corgi friends will love that! And my picture book "Maggie's Second Chance: A Gentle Dog's Rescue" was based on dog #3--the one I never knew I needed!

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  6. Kathy, so much fun to hear about your projects! Party on!

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  7. Will have to check out that canal when we go to Phoenix next spring. I grew up around the Erie Canal and did some NF articles on that interesting place. Low bridge, everybody down!

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    1. Mary, it is throughout PHX, but you have to go to the Pueblo Grande Museum downtown.

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  8. Thanks for sharing the information! I am also in the discovery mode - finding that I'm drawn to NF, along with lots of ruminating, stewing, brewing and agonizing before it comes out.

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  9. Glad to be a part of this awesome launch party for such an awesome blog! Thanks for making this happen!

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  10. I write by the seat of my pants normally, but this time I am working with a rough outline. I am working on a middle grade novel "The Day My shadow Tried to Kill Me" and I'm not sure how it is unique other than that I tend to give my main characters backgrounds that are anything but ordinary and my stories tend to have unusual supporting characters.

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  11. I share your enthusiasm for writing about women, or men, or kids, or even animals who were the "firsts" to try or do anything. There's something incredibly appealing about that can-do pioneer attitude!

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  12. Fun! This is nice! :) YAY! :D Great post Ms. Halsey! :)

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  13. Yay! I'm really excited about all the great stuff happening here! Thank you all for putting this blog together :)

    I'm a seat of the pants kind of writer with a touch of plotting once I get an idea. Currently I'm working on a children's concept book that is specific for young Muslim children ages 3-5.

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  14. There is so much going on here. And there's so much going on with you. Boy, are you busy! I LOVE your enthusiasm for writing. So glad you enter Susanna's contest. You've got mad skills, lady! Looking forward to engaging on this grog.

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  15. What an impressive list of Writing Things To Do! Thanks for sharing your writing process, Kathy, and joining the blog chain. I think you nailed the particulars, by the way. ;-)

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  16. Fun to hear about your process. I can't wait to see those finished projects,too. Happy writing!

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  17. Thanks for sharing - wonderful post.

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