Thursday, February 22, 2007

You've reach the Wannabe Writer

You've found the former home of the Wannabe Writer. She has moved and no longer exists. She thought of herself as a Wannabe Writer and now she considers herself a Writer. She finally recognizes herself as a writer and is moving on to a new blog, new experiences and new writing projects. Follow her to the new blog!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


March 1st will start another crazy competition from the founders of National Novel Writing Month. March has been dubbed NaNoEdMo and I'm encouraging EVERYONE to sign up and make a pact to spend 50 hours in March editing your writing. Got a NaNoNovel from 2006 that needs work? Now is the time! How about a couple of magazine articles that need tweaks? Do it in March!

I'm already signed up and am waiting to add you all to my "buddy list." (I think EdMo has buddies...)

Go here now... :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing Contests

My article and essay writing instructor mentions writing contests frequently in class. She encourages the students to enter numerous writing contests and thinks that the often $10 and up entry fees are worth it. Me? I'm not so sure. I'm on the fence about shooting work off to writing contests unless I feel strongly that I have a good piece. Many contests require the entries come via snail mail, which feels outdated but I don't mind that too much. Reading the microscopic and lengthy rules, however, can really take time. I usually only enter 1-2 contests per year and try to do ones that are without entry fees- like many writing contests for students.

What's your take on writing contests?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Check out this blog

My M& much fun...
Here's a great blog and what a nice surprise to be mentioned in a fellow writer's post. Thanks Jess for the support and I'm willing good wishes back your way! :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Personal Pieces

A couple of weeks ago I did my first nonfiction workshop at school. Weeks before, while trying to decide my topic, I debated with myself about how personal to go. I wanted to go beyond the "I love pink" personal and delve into something deeper and more private. I was bold when I sat alone at home and wrote the piece, but when it got to handing out my papers to 25 people, I began to regret workshopping something that everyone would know about my life. It was too late and no time to revise. I handed out the papers and went with it. I was so, so nervous before the workshop and was taken aback by the support and constructiveness of the comments I received. My second and final workshop is in the middle of March and after workshopping something personal the first round, I've decided to go with that theme again.

How much personal writing are you willing to share with others? Do you have insecurities about publishing details about your life? Or, do you write what you feel and let it go?

Saturday, February 17, 2007


So, as you may notice on my sidebar it reads "revisions!" and that's not a joke. :) I estimate that I spent 75% of my writing time working on new material and a good 25% revising or reshifting the focus of a piece. For example, I had a query letter that I targeted for a teen mag for girls. Great, got that out and I'm supposed to wait for 3 months for a reply. Now what? The query is timely, it's an excellent story and I've found at least 10 additional markets for the query. What's a girl to do, you ask? Refocus the query. The initial query I pitched shifted the focus from a teen story to a regional piece for local mags in the girl's state. Then, keep branching out from there are there are no overlapping queries. I have yet to send those queries but you get the idea.

When not working on mag queries, I've shifted my focus to my YA manuscript. Revising that baby is one-thousand percent different than doing a mag article. Obviously it's much longer but there are other things to consider that have nothing to do with journalism. Is the piece original? Fun? Creative? Do I call one character Bill at the begining and 75 pages later call him Ted? That's where the character sheets come in handy. I found some on a great Website and spend way too much time filling in the blanks. I wonder what my character sheet would like like? :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Quick Announcement

One week from today, my blog address will no longer be as I will be switching to Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly, thank you! :)

Good and bad reactions

What an insane week! I have barely had time to sleep as I've been juggling writing for magazines, working on my novel draft, writing papers for school and preparing for midterms. I see people my age partying until 3am and I'm lucky if I can stay awake long enough to see Letterman. :)

So, I've been doing a lot of talking/e-mailing about my recent big news. The reactions I've been getting when I exclaim "I got an agent!" have been quite varied. One of the first people I called was my grandma. She encouraged my writing from the start and is always in my corner. She cried and then laughed uncontrollably with happiness. (Hey, she's 84, what can you expect?) :)

I sent a couple of e-mails to friends I haven't talked to in a few months and I got a "shut up!" and a "no way! OMG!"

Then, I made a phone call to someone (a relative) who will not be identified and that person had no excitement, interest or desire to hear about the amazing opportunity I had been given. The first questions I got were "Are you sure the agent is legit? Are you giving this "agent" money?" There wasn't an "aw, I'm proud of you" or a "you've worked hard and I'm glad you're doing well." That never came. I was cut off and told that person was busy and would call later. We're going on 2 weeks now and the call still hasn't come. Life's funny that way, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

College Major

There seems to always be an ongoing discussion in writing forums, classrooms and writing groups about the "best" major to have in college to be a writer. I've heard people swear that only creative writing majors ever succeed as writers and I've heard others say that doing the opposite major (math or science) kept them from getting burned out with writing. I started out as a creative writing major and soon switched to literature. My reasoning? If I wanted to write a great novel, I desperately needed to read and study great novels.

So, what was/is your college major? Do you think it had/has any impact on your writing?

Monday, February 12, 2007


Brrr!!! I'm cold when it's 65 degrees and it looks well below that in these amazing photos. I've never seen anything like this, even in my many Illinois winters. Icicles are simply gorgeous though I'm sure I wouldn't be thrilled if that were my car in the photo.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

first draft or revision

I've read more articles than I can count on the battle among writers who toss around the question that a first draft is easier or harder than a revision. Personally, first drafts aren't my thing. Getting the first draft down can be physically painful at times and I long for the draft to be finished so I can go back and revise. Anyone else feel the same or different?

In other news, I got a nice, pink letter in the mail from Sweet 16 yesterday confirming that the mag bought my quiz and that its publication date is undetermined. I immediately queried them again, so we'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What are you reading?

In between furious writing sessions and school work, I'm trying to do more personal reading. Usually, my books consist of textbooks and classics for my literature classes but I've tried to make time to read for fun. The question of the day: what are you reading now and do you like it?

Friday, February 09, 2007

1000th Viewer

The thousandth viewer of my blog is....someone from Honduras! I wish I had a prize...sorry! :) More blogging to come!


I'm short on blogging time but I want to ask a question: What's the last thing you wrote? A letter? An e-mail? Academic paper? I'll start: the last thing I wrote was an e-mail to my professor. Next?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Big Thanks

The support I've received from my blogging and writing friends has been nothing short of amazing. You all are wonderful and thank you for sharing my joy over finding an agent who fits me and my vision. I truly, deeply appreciate the congratulations and I'm much happier now to have shared my news with everyone!

I'm going to be spending a lot of time writing over the next several weeks but I will still be updating my blog frequently.

Taking a note from Diana Peterfreund's blog, do any of you have good news to share since that seems to be a theme this week?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


So, here's the deal.

I have been biting my tongue for a couple of weeks now because I've been bursting to tell everyone who reads my blog some big news. As many of you know, I started looking for an agent in January for my YA manuscript. Well, after 3 query letters, I'm beyond pleased to report that I have signed with a brilliant, lovely NYC agent!! At this time, I cannot release the agency's name or the name of my agent, but I assure you that it's an amazing place and I can't wait to reveal the name at a later date.

I'm going to be working harder than ever and will keep everyone updated on my manuscript's progress. It has been SO hard not to share this with my blogging and writing friends, but I finally felt ready to do so.

The moral of the story- if you want something, you CAN make it happen!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

an author in mourning

How very sad...Rowling mourns, celebrates Potter's end

July 21, however, cannot come fast enough for me in a bittersweet way!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Picture Dilemma

A while ago, I read in a writing book that writers who put his/her picture on his/her Website greatly increased traffic, business and developed a more personal relationship with the writer. So, I went with it and after debating about putting my face on my Website, I did so. A couple of days ago, I read an article online that said writers should be wary about putting a photo online. So, what to do? I struck a compromise and played with a photo until it was clear but not as easy to pick me out of a crowd. Once again, I've noticed that there is an abundance of conflicting advice given to writers about promotion and self-marketing.

Anyone else have thoughts about the safety of putting a clear photo on a personal Website or blog?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Productive Pen

I Googled myself and just found a nice blog entry about me. How weird is that? Check it out here and enjoy the blog, "A Productive Pen." :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007


This is my second post for today since I couldn't wait until tomorrow...I just learned that a quiz I submitted on spec was purchased by Guideposts Sweet 16! I've been trying to crack this market for over a year and it is my best credit to date. :) Woo hoo! When I find out the publication date, I'll let you know.

New article online

Good morning!

I'm off to class but here's the link for my article in Kid Magazine Writers! Hope you enjoy it!