Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Question(s) of the Day

I'm swamped with start-of-the-term stuff right now (I'll have to do a grammar post at some future date . . .). Apologies all around, but this is going to have to be a short post. However, short can still be fun right?

  1. Check out former chapter member Jenny Gilliam's first release, The Wedding War, at The Wild Rose Press. (And while you're there, see how Paty's and Karen's books continue to climb the top seller charts!)
  2. Let me tell you a story . . . Need a cute baby fix? Check out Miss Tavy wearing the adorable outfit that Paty got her.
  3. There. See. I smile. Need more cute baby to distract you from my abhorrent lack of content this morning? Tavy in her easter dress.
  4. Darn. This is a writing blog. I better return to writing related stuff. My first question of the day: When was the first time someone praised your writing? Was it a poem in First Grade? A paper in high school? A letter for work? I'm reading a book right now about the power of praise, so I'm curious about our own experiences with praise and how it's shaped us as writers.
  5. Question two of the day: I'd like to add more book reviews to my to-do list. I know, I know, I'm a glutton for punishment, but I've truly enjoyed my reviews for and other one-off reviews I've been asked to do. In fact, I'll be reviewing Elizabeth Lyons' newest writing book in my next post here. Anyway, I'm wondering what your favorite book review sites are, and if you have information/advice on doing romance reviews.
I promise more content next time! I'm enjoying Elizabeth Lyons' book immensely, and I can't wait to share it with you! Until then, keep churning out the pages---everyone is doing amazing on the challenge!


Elisabeth Naughton said...

Aw, Wavy. She is just adorable. Love the pics. How did she do on the trip home over Easter? Do you have a traveler or not?

I have zilch on reviewer sites or info on reviewing books. Haven't been there or done that (yet). I bow to the rest of you and your plethora of knowledge.

As for writing praise...I don't remember the first time I got any that stuck with me. Let's see. I do remember the bad stuff - like my first grade teacher putting big red check marks next to my name on all my papers because she thought I didn't know how to spell my name correctly .(Yes, she was an old hag and my mother had to finally go in and explain that EliSabeth is a family name, hence, no "z".) My 11th grade English teacher used to praise my writing all the time - but it never registered because I fondly remember that class as being the "chain gang". I'd transferred to a new high school that year and got stuck in a regular English class (my old school didn't have AP classes so I didn't even know to sign up for those) and just about every student in that class was a senior (or much older), felon or ganger who had failed the year before and was being forced to retake the class. My writing "glowed" in comparison. In college I wrote all my friend's (and hubby's) term papers for them, but that was simply because I did it better than everyone else. And hey, if we all got done sooner, it meant more time to go out and party.

But REAL writing praise? That's tough. The first fiction writing praise - and the first one that meant anything to me - was a mom friend of mine who read my very first manuscript (which, in retrospect, was pure crap) and gave me oodles of encouragement and praise. I'll never forget the way that felt. She's the very first person I told I was writing, and if she'd been honest and said it sucked (I've told her this and she laughs and says, "no way!"), honestly, I don't know if I'd have kept writing. She hasn't read any of my stuff lately - she's very busy with her own life these days - but I can't wait to give her my first release and prove to her how far I've come. The really great part is that she lives in Washington DC, so next year when I go to the RWA conference and my book is out, I can give it to her in person.

Great blog. Man...really took me back. Good luck with school this term.

Lori Barber said...

Wavy, Thanks for pictures of Miss Tavy, and your fun blog.

I can't offer any advice or help on reviewer sites or info on reviewing books. I haven't taken a peek into them.

A high school English teacher wrote a wonderful and encouraging comment on one of my papers and I saved it until a few years ago when I was in a major cleaning spree.

My husband always praises my writing. He's a great source of encouragement in my life.

Positive comments stretch a long way. Negative comments can triple the distance.

Genene said...

Aww...Tavy is adorable and, man, has she grown!

First praise? I don't remember any in younger years. I got quite a few compliments on articles I wrote for the newsletter when I was working for child welfare.

Still waiting for reviews on the book. Don't know if I really want to know, though, so haven't really checked out review sites. :)

Paty Jager said...

Tavy is a cutie!

Praise- The first time I realized my writing could move people was in a high school English class. We had to pick a historical figure and write a fictional piece about. I picked Joan of Arc burning at the stake. The teacher read my story to the whole class. When she finished not a sound was emitted. Even the class clown didn't have a thing to say. That's when I learned the power of words.

My first actual praise was from a friend. I was taking a college writing class and had just written my procedural essay. It was sitting on the counter when my friend arrived at my house. She picked it up and read it. Then said, "Yum, I'm hungry!" I'd written it on how to make a ham sandwich.

Then all the rejections- yes rejections- I've received with "I love it, enjoyed it but" have been the catalyst that kept me writing. I figured if they loved/enjoyed it the writing was there it just wasn't what they were looking for.

As for reviewers- there are tons of them online. TWRP sends our releases to nine of them. There is Romance Bistro, Talking Two Lips, Fallen Angel Reviews, CataRomance, Long and Short Romance, oh I can't think of all of them. If you want all of them let me know Wavy and I'll e-mail them to you.

Fun blog!

Karen Duvall said...

Hey, Wavy! Good to see you blogging again. Tavy is a little darling. I just want to hug the stuffing out of her. 8^)

Praise; well, I'd have to say it was my mom. She always, always praised me about everything I did, be it painting or writing, since I did both avidly while growing up. My teachers praised my writing since I was in the second grade. I took all this praise for granted while growing up and used it to my selfish advantage. I had a 4.0 in college because I knew how to bullshit my way through essay questions on final exams. 8^)

I used to take summer classes at the local college during my high school years for additional credits and my favorites were the creative writing classes. My professors were very complimentary and really encouraged me to take my writing further. But I didn't. I went on to art school instead.

Flo Moyer said...

I love the pictures!

First praise: From the teacher, for a two page mystery story, "A Trunk in the Attic". I keep thinking it was third grade. The story got an A. (That was the top grade back then.) That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I don't remember ever not wanting to be one. :-)

No really opinions on review sites. :-)

wavybrains said...

Eli--Tavy did great on the trip home. Unlike here where she HATES the carseat, she did really well there in the car back and forth between Grandmas. The flights were pretty decent--only small bit of fussy.

I took one chain-ganger class. I remember it fondly b/c I got many of my YA characters there . . .

wavybrains said...

Lori--I think spouse comments are really important. My DH doesn't read my work, but he is very supportive of it.

wavybrains said...

Genene--it's amazing how important work related praise is. After tons of academic praise, I received some pretty harsh critique on my first job. It took me a long time to recover.

Barbara said...

Thanks for giving me my baby fix, Wavy! Tavy is a beauty.

I always got A's in English classes, but I don't think I really knew I was a good writer until I won 44th prize in the article category in a Writer's Digest contest in the early 1970s.

As for review sites, you might look at Writers Read. Are you looking for sites that pay reviewers? I don't know if Writers Read pays for their reviews.

Alice Sharpe said...

Tavy is beautiful! Look at her complexion! She's gorgeous! All pink and white like a piece of taffy.
Yum, good enough to eat as my Mom used to say about each of my kids and which didn't really strike me as kind of gross until this very moment.

My mother was like Karen's. Full of praise -- still is. I gave an English teacher a bunch of my poems in high school and he kindly commented on them. Later, when I was in his class, he had us all write a sonnet and chose mine to read first, probably because he knew I was interested in poetry. After he read it, Rocky, one heck of a cute guy, said, "Ah, no, come on, Robert Frost wrote that." I loved that boy!

I have always tried to issue praise to my children knowing the world will be happy to knock them down a notch at any time. But I also feel praise without substance is hollow and a child knows it, so I praised on merit.

No idea about review sites. But Genene, I know what you mean about approaching reviews carefully and with trepidation. I've received far more good reviews than poor but it's the poor ones that stick with me. And frankly, there have only been two -- but still! For that reason, I am not a big fan of researching everything everyone has to say about me. Remember, take the good, weigh the bad, consider the source, and always keep in mind that any given review expresses one person's opinion and no more (of course, this means you have to remember good reviews are only one person's opinion, as well. Bottom line -- take it all with a grain of salt if you can.)

And Eli, how wonderful that you get to hand that special lady a book! Happy days!