Monthly Archives: August 2014

#6 Writing Prompt

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It’s the first day of school and Mom drops you off at the entrance. Once you find your room and sit down at your desk, you notice your shoes are not a matched pair.

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If I Only Had a Dream Vault

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         I wish I had a Dream Vault where I could store all my dreams. It would be jammed full of pink gorillas, orange tabby cats who rode adult-sized bicycles, and many other oddities. If I only had a Dream Vault, I’d be a famous author of the most bizarre picture books ever written. Or at least comparable.

     Unfortunately, I don’t. Unfortunately, I don’t even keep a Dream Journal, though I’ve tried. I kept a notebook next to my bed for quite some time. I was able to save a few dreams, but not many.

     The best time to write down a dream is right after you have it. You sit up in bed and turn on your light, reach for your journal and pen, and start writing, right? Well… it’s not that easy, at least not for me. I lay comfortably on my side and think about turning on the light. My pillow feels so soft, my sheets and blankets are so warm and snuggly. I close my eyes to rest them only for a moment before switching on the blinding light. Too late. I’m back asleep. And the dream is either lost, or scattered bits and pieces already fading away into Forgetfulville.

     Earlier this morning, I remember dreaming about something and I also recall thinking in my sleep, “This would make a good children’s picture book!” But do you think I can remember it now? I’m left with only shards, unable to piece my best-seller back together.

     So far, I have a crow eating a lettuce sandwich, a hungry me asking the crow for a bite, and the crow saying no, but he gives me lettuce seeds to plant so I can grow my own lettuce. Supposedly, the lettuce will grow right away and be ready to eat in three days. I know there was more to it, but where did it escape to? Whatever it was, I do remember it made the story much more interesting. If only I had a Dream Vault!

     Stuart Little by E.B. White was created from a dream about a tiny boy with a face rather like a mouse. The author, however, only wrote a few episodes about him and that-was-that till two decades later after he’d gathered his stories together and published  Stuart Little , E.B. White’s first children’s book.

     The Twilight Series, written by Stephenie Meyer, was inspired by a dream she had of a sparkly vampire laying in a field next to a human teen-aged girl.

     The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde was inspired by a dream Robert Louis Stevenson had of a doctor with split personalities.

     Will I write a book based on my dreams? Will you?

     If only I had a Dream Vault…

Too Many Directions!

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   Sometimes I feel like I’m going in too many directions at once!

     I have a problem saying no to people, for one thing. And at the time, I really wanted to say yes because I like to be involved and be helpful. Then, after a while, I begin to feel overwhelmed and I freeze up.

  • I’m no longer creative.

  • I’m no longer inspired.

  • I’m not writing.

  • All I can think about are my commitments and I have to follow through.

     Do you make promises and then later wish you hadn’t?

     I’ve discovered, however, the best way to tackle too many commitments is to write them down by priority. Then check each one off as they are completed.

     Next time someone asks me for help, I’ll try to remember it’s okay to say no. But knowing me, I’ll most likely say… Sure, I’ll be glad to help out!

 

 

Simultaneous vs. Multiple — Oops!

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     I sent a picture book manuscript out over a week ago, to three different publishers. That is called a simultaneous submission, though I may have put multiple submission by mistake!!! Hopefully, that will be overlooked. I used to think they were the same thing, but they aren’t. Simultaneous means you sent the same manuscript to more than one publisher at the same time. Multiple means you are sending other manuscripts to the same publisher, too. This can be confusing.

     So why did I type This is a multiple submission? How could I have made that error? I spent days coming up with the perfect cover letter and felt very satisfied by the time I’d perfected it to my liking. And the thing is, the publishing house that gets back with me the quickest, takes 6 – 8 weeks from when they receive it. The others I sent are a three month wait and a six month wait. And it’s one of my best pieces I’ve ever written.

     I’m so disappointed in myself for overlooking this. What I should have done was stepped away for a day or two before sending it off, then reread the cover letter. I was in such a hurry to send it off because the sooner it’s out there, the sooner I’ll hear back, right? Slow down, Vicki! A few extra days wouldn’t have hurt.

     Well, now I must be patient. Perhaps it won’t matter either way. And there’s nothing I can do about it.

     Lesson learned.