Thursday, January 27, 2011

This and That Thursday


Life is flying by way too fast. I swear I just wrote a This and That Thursday, and here it is again.

My sixth grade son was in the 6th-8th grade spelling bee last week. I'm so proud of him. He was knocked out with the word sashay. He spelled it sachet. Another friend's son at a junior high school in another town also missed sashay, too! Of course now that word is frequently used in this house.

My third grader won her class spelling bee and will be competing in her grade's spelling bee next month. She was so excited to tell us, especially after seeing her big brother compete.

So I will have my kids edit my manuscript for spelling errors. Cheap labor! I will pay them in Skittles! One candy per error. That's fair, right? And if I'm a good speller, not too many cavities will come from this.

I can't leave my little guy out. My kindergartener can spell fun. As in how do you spell Xbox Batman Lego game? F-U-N! Yes, he says this about everything...

1. Just about done with the revisions of my middle grade. Almost there...

2. I've been to The Practice Room a few times in the last few weeks. You go to the blog at a scheduled time (see blog for the weekly schedule), set your goal, write (or revise or whatever), then meet up and chat about your writing (and other inane things). It's very motivating, and having writers that get you and support you makes it even more worthwhile and fun.

3. I also started a writing project with Jon Arntson that I'm excited about. It will be good to have someone to set goals and stay focused with.

4. I participated in another wonderful WriteOnCon chat on Monday with the lovely agents of Pippin. These chats are so informative! Follow the WriteOnCon blog so you know when the next event pops up!

5. I receive Possession author, Elana Johnson's email newsletter. (Do you? You should.) I discovered that she offers her fabulous From Query to the Call e-book for FREE on her website. It's so amazing and helpful just as Elana is so amazing and helpful. Thanks, Elana!

6. I recently signed up to participate in the the second annual PICTURE BOOK MARATHON—a sort of NaNoWriMo for picture book writers.

"Participants write 26 picture books during the month. Since February has 28 days, this leaves two well-deserved rest days. Marathon "training" emails will start in mid-January for those who sign up. There is no cost to join, your email won't be shared with anyone, and you don't post your work. The marathon is simply a motivational tool to jumpstart your writing. Visit for more details and to sign up. The deadline to join is January 30."

I realize I won't actually write 26. But it will motivate me to write several rough drafts. I miss writing picture books, so this will be a great jumpstart for me to brainstorm ideas and play with my long picture book idea list I already have.
Are any of you participating?

Thank you to Dezmond at Hollywood Spy for awarding me the Heart Award at his fabulous awards party. Dezz just had his 300,000th visitor!

Thank you to Patricia Timms for awarding me the Life Is Good award. Indeed it is.

Thank you to Christy at Christy's Creative Space for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award! Which seems ironic as I type this in my mismatched jammies with a sweatshirt on top.
For both awards, I was supposed to write things about myself, but I think this post is already too long, so I will give you this 2008 post with random facts about me.

And a THANK YOU to Shelley at Storyqueen's Castle. I won her book Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace at her blog last week. I can't wait to read it!!
Also go to Candyland and check out her sidebar. Do it!


1. Shelli at Market My Words is having a Pay It Forward contest. Check this post for details. Shelli is giving away query critiques plus a chance for her to recommend one lucky writer to her agent! Look for special Pay It Forward posts on Monday to celebrate writers who help fellow writers!

2. Carolina Valdez Miller is giving away a signed copy of XVI! Contest ends today!!! Carol is also giving away a signed copy of The Liar Society by the Roeker sisters!!!!!!!!!!!! That gal is sure generous! That giveaway ends Feb. 3.

3. Wendy at Musings from Down Under is having her first blog contest! Guess her middle name by tomorrow to win!

4. Lydia at The Word is My Oyster is giving away chicken pox or a gift card! Her contest ends February 4!

So, do you want some snoo?
What? What's snoo?
Nothin'. What's snoo with you? Seriously, tell me. What's new with you?


Jonathon Arntson said...

1. Revisions...congrats. I must say, you looked very put together yesterday, despite the common look of harried and frayed by this time in revisions. I hope I will look as great as you did when I get to that point.

2. GO TPR!

3. :P

4. It's hard for me to watch the agents since I have nothing to query... I'd better get on that, huh?

5. Isn't that great! FQ2C is an excellent resource. I think it's fascinating that she opted to make the ebook free, but start charging for her editing/critiquing services. I have been on a few of her hands on critiques and man oh man she is so worth whatever price she charges! Plus, she's hilarious, so you get a comedy show and a crit for the price of one.

6. 26 books?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Like, how is that even possible? Okay, so perhaps I can take your level-headed approach and just write however many I can. When I look at my PB graveyard and see that there are 90 unfinished/poorly-finished books in there, I think I could come up with a lot more and see if that motivates me to finish my prized PB: Roy G. Biv.

Awards: FUN!

Contests: UBER FUN!

Snoo: SEUSS?!

Marisa Hopkins said...

YAY to your kids and their spelling!!! That is just so great! And ahaha, skittles - yes, that sounds like a great deal :)

26 PBs!! Insanity!! I'm working on a PB at the moment. Just one story and a dummy, though. Hard work, but not as intimidating as 26 books!!!

Good luck, Kelly!!

DEZMOND said...

what is a "sashay" :))

Candyland said...

New. Meds. Tomorrow. That is all.

Lola Sharp said...

Awwww, yay for your adorable child laborers! :)

Tell them to sashay on over here, I'll pay them in M&Ms! ;)

Congrats on all your well deserved awards. :)

Nothing snoo with me. Well, I woke up to over a foot of snow this morning.

Hugs, lots of hugs,

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Love the Skittles idea! Who wouldn't work for yummy Skittles? Congrats on the awards and the almost done WIP--it does take a while, doesn't it?

Matthew Rush said...

Not much new going on around here, but lots of great news for you!

Stephanie Blake said...

Congrats on the great little spellers! The one word I can never spell is vacuum. It's a weird word.

Thanks for the links!

Great job on the revisions!

Kelly said...

Jon- Ha! I only looked put together because I knew I was taking the kids shopping after school for shoes. Otherwise I would have been in sweats! Good talking to you!
Marisa - Ha! I'm actually just kidding about the editing by them. But I will have them peruse it and give them a treat if they do find a mistake!
Dezmond - Sashay is to walk or glide along casually or in a showy way. A sachet is a small bag containing perfumed powder.
Candace - Have a blast!
Lola - Yeah, I'm sure they'd like M&M's too. Maybe I'll pay myself too for every fix it I do!
Cynthia - Yes, this has taken me way too long. I do love it, but I'm ready to set it free! :)
Matthew - Fun stuff going on among the routine stuff!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Hmm. I can't write 26 polished PBs in February, but I think I can try to do 26 roughs. Okay! You've convinced me with your enthusiasm!

I lost the school spelling bee when I was in fourth grade. I came in second after I misspelled "inseam" - I spelled it, "inseem." If only I'd asked for a definition! That moment will haunt me until my dying day.

Your kids sound awesome; you have a right to be proud!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll work for Hot Tamales...

Beth said...

What a great post! Congratulations to your wonderful spellers, and thanks for all the contest links!

Kelly said...

Ishta- Yeah, I definitely know they will be rough drafts, and I'll be glad to get five pb's out of it. Heck, ONE!
Alex - If I had to choose, I would work for peanut M&Ms. And I might just do that to reward myself when I'm done with revisions~
Beth - Thanks, Beth! Proud of my offspring!

MotherReader said...

How did Comment Challenge work out for you? Even if you didn't make the five-a-day goal, come by the Finish Line at

Rena said...

I love that your kids love spelling. Nathan loves it, too, but Neil hates it. He's just lazy when it comes to writing his words down. Love the idea about paying them in Skittles. Sounds fair to me!

Kim Kasch said...

Here's what's new in my zoo:

1) Got a cold :(
2) Signed up for a 9.3 mile run :)
3) Going to see The Rite this wend :)
4) Ah-ah-ah-choo that's what's new in my zoo ;)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I wish I could spell. I love spell check! It was a good thing that I taught third and fourth grade...I could usually spell all of their spelling wordz.

Thanks for all the info. I signed up for the picture book marathon. I'll be in the Dominican part of February, but I can't think of a better place to sit with my ideas notebook and write stories on the beach. :)

And YAY for Candyland!!!!!!!!!!!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Ugh Kelly I identify with you on the time flying thing. I have three kids and my youngest is now already four. That's almost kindergarten!! Their accomplishments blow me away daily and like you, I'm trying to soak it all in. Great post - you have so much good stuff going on!!!

Missed Periods said...

Thank you for giving birth to good spellers. I don't think my college students can spell "fun."

Laura Pauling said...

Sounds like you've got a lot going on! Along with querying right? Or getting pretty close to it. Enjoy all the writing projects. And congrats to Candy!

miss mooty said...

Thanks for the helpful info and more importantly the inspiration! Will wish you well on your PB challenge and will use your motivation to help me to dust off my PB's and get them going...somewhere!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Holy schmokes, lots going on!! Your kiddos are brilliant, first of all. Huge congrats on having such super stars!

Thank you for mentioning my contests! thank you for all the links and terrific information! Congrats on getting so close to the end of your revisions!! Woo-hooo!!! That's great news! And so happy you're working with J! He's such a sweetheart! I <3 you guys!

Elana Johnson said...

This was some awesome this and that! Thanks for mentioning me and the ebook. You are amazing.

Hema P. said...

You packed some fabulous stuff into your post, Kelly! Thanks for sharing all the info!

Congratulations on getting there with your MG. I know that's not a small feat.

Good luck to your daughter with the spelling bee. You got some cool kids! Of course, cool mom begets cool kids! :)

The Happy Whisk said...

Payment in Skittles. Fantastic.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Your kids are so different from mine. We have definite spelling issues here in this house. And if I had them check spelling errors I think we'd be making lots of trips to the dentist (assuming my kids could recognize the guaranteed plethora of errors). But all that aside, we so love new people at the practice room and the folks that regularly come are grand too. I love to see you there and thanks so much for mentioning it.

You are a girl with a lot of this and a lot of that going on!

Anita said...

That was a fast week for me too. I've been brainstorming ways to collaborate with Jonathon and I think I've got I just have to find the time. Time? Where are you.

Congrats to your kiddos on the spelling has gotten much worse with the auto spell check's making me stoopid.

Tara said...

I was in my first spelling bee as a 6th grader. Good for you on finding cheap spell checkers ;)

Kelly said...

MotherReader - Thanks for a great challenge!
Rena - My 8 yr old is currently reading my manuscript hoping for some mistakes to correct.
Kim - Feel better!!
Sharon - You lucky girl! Have fun on your vacay!
Lindsay - It seriously flies by. I will freak out when my oldest goes to high school (in 2 yrs!).
Missed P- They probably spell it PHUN!
Thanks, Laura!
Miss Mooty - Good luck with your pb's!
Carol - Thank YOU for all the great contests and fun vlogs!
Elana - You are so generous for giving it away!
Hema - Thank you for your help in my mg!
Happy - I also get motivated by sweets!
Tina- I have been busy. It makes winter go by faster!
Anita - Seriously. The time fliiiiiiiiiiiiies. And it's gone.
Tara - Cute, cheap, and I get to hug and squeeze them when they are done!

Robert Guthrie said...

Thank you for the shower of information!

Spelling... in the second grade I was one of four students in my school selected to learn algebra, but they also sent me to the learning center to help with my atrocious spelling... smart or...? I respect and fear all good spellers.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on all you do. Of course, you're so busy that no wonder the time zips past. Yay for you!

Yaya' s Home said...

Whoa! So much goin' on! I'm so impressed by your three little Spelling Experts. I can't imagine where they could've inherited such talent.

I love the way you break down alla' the information in your post into categories. Very smart move. Makes me wonder, though, where you ever find time to write? If I were to post so much helpful information I would still be writing, six weeks past a month 'uh Sundays. Keep doin' all you do, but if I were you, I'd sit down for some of it.

~ Yaya