Writing Update

So we had another crisis in our household with my elderly father. Yesterday drained me emotionally with all the tumult associated with it. The day included a doctor’s visit, but no solution. Today will continue with more tests.
Consequently, I am feeling distracted and not very grounded. I find it difficult to concentrate on my writing.
So I wonder how other people get over this? Those who are prolific writers who stick to the “butt in chair” theory, how do they set aside the crises in their life and concentrate on their writing?
There are some who say that life gets in the way sometimes, and that you should not beat yourself up for not being productive every day.
For now I am just concentrating on other things, such as doing my courses. I am getting some valuable feedback in my children’s writer’s course. I have decided that I am going to turn my three little jars story from a picture book into an emergent reader. It has changed a lot since I first posted the idea (when it was actually a magazine story.) Now there is only one little jar and one big jar as main characters.
The nonfiction course has also been helpful. The last lesson we went through an interesting exercise on Amazon. Not only can you find comp titles on Amazon, but you can also find out how many books are in the category you are writing. For example, I am also working on an emergent reader related to veterinarians. There are 80 children’s books on this career posted on Amazon today. Where did I discover that? You can figure that out by looking at the top left corner list. Luckily, I have a spin on mine that makes it unique.
I am also preparing for my first SCBWI Canada East conference at the end of the month. It is exciting! I am busy preparing my pitches and questions for editors and agents as well as researching editors and agents. Here’s an interesting article I came across about Heather Alexander, literary agent at Pippin Properties.

Tomorrow is our last day in the Word by Word book club. I will miss studying “Yes You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books”. Lately I have spent some time typing out some published books, so that I can make comparisons to my manuscripts. I realize that I also need to work on my weakness, which is plot arcs. I will go back and review those exercises.

Finally, I am reading “Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke. Now I prefer to read shorter books (like beginning readers or picture books), but I really enjoy Cornelia Funke’s picture books, so I thought I would read one of her longer books, one recommended by my children’s writing course instructor. If you have never read any of her picture books, such as “The Princess Knight”, “Princess Pigsty” or “Pirate Girl”, I highly recommend them, especially if you are looking for an alternative princess book. “Princess Knight” is especially a favourite of mine and my daughter.

So what are you up to these days?

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