Monday, March 29, 2010

By The Way ...

By The Way ...

I'm looking for a Children's Book Illustrator.

I have one published book which has been out since 2000, is in its Second Edition, and still being sold. The illustrator was one the publisher provided. The sequel is nearing completion and almost ready ...

I'm searching for a talented artist with a desire, a passion, a love for drawing for children, someone just out of art school, someone who is looking for their first publishing credit, someone who would be thrilled to see their name on a children's book as illustrator. As the author, It is my dream to have all of my books illustrated by the same artist. If we can work out a partnership, based on this first book together, I have eight more books I want to publish.

I wondered if this was the proper venue to make this announcement and request, but heck, I figured ... why not try?

If you feel this message is speaking to you, please contact me so we can talk.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Favorite Quotations on Writing

"All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things." ~Bobby Knight

"The waste basket is the writer's best friend." ~Isaac Singer

"Fairy tales are more than true:  not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." ~G.K. Chesterton

"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make."
~Truman Capote

"When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am a grownup, they call me a writer."
~Isaac Singer

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."
~Gene Fowler

"A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meaning right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator." ~Anonymous

"I finally know what I want to be when I grow up." ~C.J. Heck

"The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anais Nin

"Poetry ... is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess
about what was seen during a moment." ~Carl Sandburg

"Thou shalt not' is soon forgotten, but 'Once upon a time' lasts forever." ~Philip Pullman

"There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories." ~Ursula K. LeGuin

"The tale is often wiser than the teller." ~Susan Fletcher

"If a book comes from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts." ~Thomas Carlyle

"Of course it's true, but it may not have happened." ~Patricia Polacco's grandmother

"As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time
are those who have given me something to say." ~Katherine Paterson

"It's a fair-sized job to write a book that people can be bothered just to read; when they begin to steal copies, you are really getting someplace." ~Ruth Stout

"You see, I was one of those people who do not believe in enchantments. And because of that, I must suffer to be enchanted myself, and to be chained and push this millstone around." ~Richard Kennedy

"Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." ~C.S. Lewis

"Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own." ~Carol Burnett

"Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it's so hurtful to think about writing." ~Heather Armstrong

"The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block." ~Inigo DeLeon

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist." ~Isaac Isimov

"Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money." ~Jules Renard

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it." ~Leo Rosten

"First you're an unknown, then you write one book and you move up to obscurity." ~Martin Myers

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." ~Peter De Vries

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Thoughts for a Friday Afternoon

Books, books, books ... I want to be published!

You want to get published.  You're new at this.  You're having a difficult time getting noticed and you feel like screaming "uncle!" and just throwing in the towel ... and yet you have a burning need, a hunger, to get published and you want it so bad that you can taste it!

I understand, I really do.  It's tough and, because it's a publisher's market out there, it's getting tougher all the time.

Well I could encourage you to rewrite.  I could just as easily encourage you to edit, edit, and edit some more ... but today I've decided to remind of one simple thing:  the magic word here is perseverance.
Perseverance.  Remember this word when you're feeling down:  It only takes one "yes" and you're published. 

It doesn't matter whether it's an article in a newspaper, a short story in a magazine, or one poem in a textbook.  You are published.

Each publishing credit you achieve is one more validation to other publishers and editors that they should look at your work, too.  It's also a validation to you that your work is good.

Be persistent.  Persevere ...

Have a nice weekend!

An Article that Might Help you get Started:

So, You Want to be Published ...

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

There's No Pride in Prejudice

Viva La Difference!

by CJ Heck

Children aren’t born as bigots. But when children are born into prejudice, they can become bigots.

Was that too strong? I hope not.  I think sometimes you have to be bold and upfront when you feel strongly about something as important as social injustice and intolerance for people's differences.

Of course this is only my personal opinion and you know what they say, “Opinions are like ... er ... noses … everyone has one.” 

I grew up in a small town in Ohio, almost in the center of the state. Heck, it was so small that if my high school graduating class had more than a hundred fifty students, I’ll be a monkey’s aunt.   But, I digress ...

My hometown looked just like the town in the movie, "Back To The Future". We had a ten pin bowling alley, a pool hall where the rowdies hung out, a movie theater with 25-cent Saturday afternoon matinees, a couple of pizza shops and a root beer stand for dates, and the infamous drive-in movie -- but this was off-limits to most of us until we were almost grownups ourselves. Our quaint little Main Street was even centered around a similar picturesque white-domed brick town hall building -- and it also had a big clock, just like in the movie.

Other than the senior citizen trailer park down by the river, there wasn’t really a north or south side of the tracks in my hometown. What we did have was an area just outside of town where most of the rowdies lived. Obviously, not everyone who lived there was a rowdie, and Lord knows, there are rowdies in every socioeconomic group everywhere across the country.

Anyway, my point is, in my hometown, the rowdies were the tough kids, the ones who were always in trouble with police. Our parents (and everyone else in authority) used them as an example to keep us from getting into trouble, like when people say, “You’d better be good or the Boogie Man will get you.”  Parents changed it a little and what we heard was, “You’d better be good or you’ll end up as a rowdie!"

For most of us, that was enough to mend our ways. Those kids were the real town toughies, the bullies in school who beat you up, and the ones we were most eager to stay away from.

Isn’t it shameful that the color of a person’s skin, their sexual preference, how rich or poor they are, or what their religious beliefs might be, have become more significant than the behavior of the rowdies in our towns and cities? Sometimes I think the whole world has gone nuts. It’s depressing.  Prejudice causes more hurt and resentment than crime does.

I, for one, would love to go back to a simpler, more gentle time, when the town's  rowdies were the ones we didn’t want our children and grandchildren to play with ...

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck