Friday, August 14, 2009

Me: An Award Winning Writer

One of my favorite blogs to read is by literary agent, Rachelle Gardner. She offers so many tips and strategies for the writer, that if you aspire to take it to the next level I highly recommend her blog.

On Tuesday she posted about what NOT to say in your query letter. One of the things is how long you've been writing, "Since I was a young girl I've enjoyed writing." The fact is, how long you've been writing is not as relevant as how good a writer you are. Then to allow us to get it out of our system, she encouraged us to leave comments on how long we've been writing.

I commented that I've only written for publication for about 2 years. Later, when I went back to read other comments and read all these "since grade school" comments, I remembered something. In 2nd grade I won the writing contest in my class! And it was published in the school newsletter!

Now the problem with this wonderful memory is that I can't put it in my next query letter. No one cares. But you know where I can share it? RIGHT HERE! So, I won the creative writing contest in my 2nd grade class, and here is my true & real entry:

Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern, in the air,
Jack-lantern, Jack-o-lantern, give me a stare.
Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern, on a stick,
Jack-0-lantern, Jack-o-lantern, quick, quick, quick.

Please do not ask me what this means, I have no idea. Why was the pumpkin in the air, or on a stick or in a hurry? I don't know. But what I do know it this...

I am a published, award-winning writer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Here are my 5 things this week:

1. I'm thankful to be home! The conference was fun, but in the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home!" And that girl knew a good pair of shoes when she saw them, not unlike me.

2. I'm thankful for the friends I got to spend time with on my trip, and for the ones I didn't but who supported me like Sue J & Sharon. Plus those that helped out with my kids at home too.

3. I'm thankful for my new freelance writing position. It's going great. If you have ideas for me to use, let me know. And if you haven't checked it out yet, check it out. Subscribe even!

4. I'm thankful I've done all the back-to-school shopping for my kids. Woo! It's so fun picking out new back packs, lunchboxes, folders and notebooks. There is nothing like a fresh start and a new beginning.

5. I'm thankful for Jesus who provides me a fresh start and new beginning every day!
Lamentations 3:22-23 God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. (The Message)
What are you thankful for this week?

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Get a Piece of the Rock

"Get a piece of the rock" is the slogan of Prudential Life Insurance. But it's also a great slogan for Christians!

As Christians we are called to be living stones in 1 Peter 2. Of course, we living stones need a Cornerstone. The cornerstone is the essential stone...the cornerstone is of course Jesus. Together with our Cornerstone, we living stones build a spiritual house that is the church. We are blessed by the Cornerstone.

But Peter also warns that to non-believers the Cornerstone will become a capstone, that is the finishing stone. Peter quotes scripture saying "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." Jesus is the Rock that will make unbelievers fall.

Peter knows about Rocks. Peters original name was Simon, but Jesus renamed him Peter, which means rock, because Peter was the rock that the church would be built upon. Yet Peter knew that even though he was a rock, a living stone, that Jesus was the Cornerstone.

"The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord," is how the old hymn goes. Peter says come to the Living Stone. As for me, I'll remind you to Get a Piece of the Rock!

Matthew 16:17,18 -- Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it

1 Peter 2:4-8 -- As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.
But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone," and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."
They stumble because they disobey the message—
which is also what they were destined for.

Chatty Kelly

If you liked this post, check out my post called Rockin' that lists possible Christian bumper stickers!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back From Philly

Wow! What a whirlwind trip to Philly. There were ups & downs along the way, to be sure. The trip down with Sonya & Laurie was great, and it was so wonderful to have these ladies companionship on the trip.

I was blessed by Sharon who lives in the Philly area. She was away on vacation, so we didn't get to meet, but she had a WONDERFUL gift bag waiting at the hotel for me. Talk about an inviting welcome! Thank you Sharon. Notice the bag says "Sisters in Christ."

These are the goodies from the bag. And the devotional book is actually one I was planning on getting! So exciting. Do you see that is Starbucks coffee? Mmmm.

The actually conference was tough. It's hard to show someone your work, your PASSION, your "baby," and have them not love it. I had a "practice your pitch" session on Wed night and the faculty member said "You hit it out of the park!" and all the other class members loved my book idea, so when I met with an editor, giving the same pitch, and he looked at me said, "What is your second you have another idea?" it was rather dejecting! What? What is my 2nd idea? Do you hate the first one so much you can't even comment on it?

Truly he didn't like the idea. Luckily I had another idea (which in my mind was MUCH weaker than the first) and he said he could see that one becoming a book with 3,000 copies distributed. This wasn't good news to me, as I wasn't excited about my 2nd idea at all. On to the next meeting!

I meet with another editor who said they only take 12 books a year, so right away my chances there was SLIM and they take "deeper living" books, and my book isn't deep at all! On to the next meeting!

The next guy was very encouraging and offered helpful ideas and told me to email him the book. He was funny and I enjoyed this meeting a lot.

Finally, I had my last meeting. Praise the Lord, the editor was "intrigued" by my idea and wanted to take it back to his publishing board. Yay! He was very honest and said that my idea would be a resounding yes, or he'd be laughed out of the room. So my idea is either very good...or very not good. ;-)

Finally, in one my panel meetings, an agent said something very reassuring. She talked about a wonderful book she'd been pitched a while back, "Devotions at Disney." The author had made devotions based on the rides at Disney World, where parents could do devos with their kids every morning before they hit the park. She thought this was a great idea. But because Disney wasn't behind it, the book could never be published. A great idea, but just not doable. She likened my book idea to that one.

The BEST thing about the conference was friendships. My friend Sonya & I got to spend 4 days together! It was wonderful! Unbelievably, I didn't take any photos of us, so I borrowed this one Sonya took, from her blog.

Laurie & I, below, got to know each other better at the conference. I feel blessed to have been able to encourage her. She has a beautiful spirit!

Leslie actually got to spend more time with Sonya than with me. They both attended the same general session. Leslie is so upbeat and it was fun to spend time together.

Kelli was at She Speaks last year, though I don't think we met. But we connected through blogging and it was so great to spend time with her this trip. She is a neat person, and I would have loved to have been able to spend more time with her! (Although she asked if I wanted her to stoop down for the picture! Ha! She isn't THAT much taller than I am, is she??)

The best part of the conference was on Friday night when we all went to dinner, along with new friends Susan and Shelley. Well, we ended up closing down the cafeteria! The time went so fast, that the staff actually asked us to leave so they could lock up. The time flew as we were sharing and laughing, and being sisters in the Christ...just like Sharon's gift bag said!

You know, that is what it's really about. Yes, I learned a lot. But my sisters made it all worthwhile!

Chatty Kelly