Friday, October 31, 2008

Poetry Friday - Halloween 2008 Edition

Well, it's probably a bit lame to post the same poem as last Halloween, but I will anyway since it was not part of Poetry Friday last year. The poem received honorable mention in an SCBWI online contest. Click on the link, select previous contest #8 and you can read the winning entries too.

by James Danielson

Don't cross my path on Halloween night
Or your right will turn left, and your left will turn right.
Your limbs will be sucked through your body in route
To turning your bones and your skin inside out.
Your eyeballs will dangle and bounce to and fro,
Occasionally hitting your liver or toe.
Even your thoughts will turn backwards a lot.
If you say the word TONS, you'll be covered with SNOT.
There's only one way to cancel this spell,
A bag full of candy, and all will be well.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week at Poetry for Children. Thank goes out to Sylvia for hosting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lisa Yee's Contest

I'd like to point everyone over to Lisa Yee's blog to join in the fun of her Bodacious Book Title Contest.

It's fun! There are prizes! Mostly it's fun. (If I were really worried about the prizes would I be encouraging more compitition????)

You can enter as many times as you want. I have three entries -- two are already Newbery winners, the third just came out. Who knows. A year from now all three may be Newbery winners!

Now click on over, read the rules and join in.

Friday, October 24, 2008


While the rest of the writing world gears up for NaNoWriMo, I am on a personal quest I will call LoNoRevMo (LOcal NOvel REVision MOnth).

I have been treading water with my current revision so long I don't even want to admit it. Every time I think I've found the way to fix it, roadblocks pop up. A member of my face-to-face crit group told me months ago to switch my MS to first person. She liked my main character's voice (in a blog writen by the main character), so why not just write it first person. Sure, there's an issue to be dealt with, but basically I was too lazy to admit she was right. (JK we're about to see!)

I have a plan!

Phase #1: Use find replace to do as many mechanics changes as possible. These are not why we change to 1st person from 3rd, but seem necessary. (for example, "said Cammy" becomes "I said") Every "Cammy" will not become "I", but they can be gone through and change or find next can be clicked.

Phase #2: Proof the MS from changes in Phase #1 and make remaining mechanics changes.

Phase #3: (and this IS why we change to 1st person) Inject Cammy's voice and POV into the MS.

The schedule is:

Phases #1 and #2: Done by end of next weekend (Nov 2)

Phase #3: First revision done by end of November, which is LoNoRevMo.

I'll keep you posted!

LoNoRevMo started tonight.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prairie Writer's Day IV

The 4th annual Prairie Writer's Day sponsered by Illinois-SCBWI is coming up this November 15th -- less than a month away! Here's the lineup:

Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine Books
Martha Mihalick of Greenwillow Books
Caroline Meckler of Wendy Lamb Books
Agent Jennifer Rofe of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Industry Consultant Harold Underdown
Author Sharon Darrow

I've spent the evening looking for their blogs and websites, and you'll notice a lot of "clickable" names above. Cheryl Klein actually blogged about PWD a couple days ago! Everyone else attending PWD has probably been visiting these sites for months, so.......time for me to catch up. (And in case you haven't, maybe the links will help out.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roadtrip -- Peoria via Champaign (and back again)

It was a great weekend! We had the pleasure of attending an awards banquet for the Illinois Council of Teacher's of Mathmatics where our daughter (a college senior) was awarded a scholarship. It's been a while. There was a flurry of banquets back in our kids high school days, but this is the first in a long time. It's not that there haven't been other scholarships in the interum -- just no banquets.

Here are a few random comments from the weekend:

1) The banquet was held at the Hotel Pere Marquet which is a very cool, old hotel in downtown Peoria. The list of past guests included US presidents, VPs and many celebrities. We stayed there last night and although our room was great (we reserved a room and got a junior suite!), I'm guessing the former Presidents had even nicer rooms. Since this is a writer's blog, I point out that the view out the window was the Peoria Public Library. Now that was my perspective. My wife looked a little different direction and saw the view of the river. My daughter I believe mentioned that the bars across the the street were probably frequented by her brother when he was attending Bradley University.

2) Go Illinois!!! (They just beat Indiana in a night football game 55-13). Which brings up why we had to have our daughter back by around Noon for the Block I tailgate. She's a big time U of I sports fan.

3) Back to the banquet. It was refreshing to see the dedication of math teachers in the ICTM. Thanks for Kelly's scholarship -- I foresee her as a future active member!

4) It was a new experience to have Kelly buy us a drink at the bar afterward. For the record -- yes, she is 21 and no, I couldn't convince the waitress to card me.

5) WooHoo! We have another banquet in less than a month for another scholarship. This one will be brunch. Go Kelly!! Scholarship, food -- life is good.

6) I went by the site of the Darcy Pattison revision retreat (Feb 27, 2009) this morning when we brought Kelly back -- I'm enrolled, excited and revising.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Super Saturday -- part 2

I've had multiple comments today on how the Kelly Herold program yesterday was informative and got the attendees really thinking about blogging. The ultimate example of the value of yesterday's talk, however, is Gail Piernas-Davenport's new blog. Be sure to check it out!

There are a lot of things I gained personally from the program, but I'll give you two things tonight.

1) I need to stop calling myself Jim D. I am Jim Danielson. Part of the reason we as writers blog is to know each other -- why should there be a mystery? In fact I maybe should be James Danielson since that's the name on my submissions. Maybe I'll start at Jim Danielson and work myself to James (or submit as Jim?).

2) Change the beginning of my MG novel again. Kelly was asked if kids blog. The answer is they prefer community type platforms such as facebook. My MC was blogging on page one -- oops! I figured out the change today and it's full speed ahead with revisions starting tomorrow.

Jim Danielson
(I'm changing the "Jim D" right after this post)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Super Saturday

While other Chicagoans where preparing for the Chicago Marathon tomorrow, I had the great honor to listen to a fantastic presentation by the Kidslitosphere's own Kelly Herold .

It was a small SCBWI program -- a dozen of us. Only three of us currently blog, but after listening to Kelly today, we might be up to four or five by now!

Here are a few pictures to share from the day:

Kim, Corie, Jenn, Gail and Kelly.

Kelly and my SCBWI Co-Network Rep Corie.

Heather, Kelly and April.