Monday, September 3, 2012

Gearing Up to Get an Agent

I'm VERY excited to be part of Gearing Up to Get an Agent! Also known as GUTGAA. On Twitter, just use the acronym with a hashtag. You can find details about the whole thing at Deana Barnhart's blog -- things like the schedule and the participaters. Today is introduction day, so I'm following the questions suggested by Deana. Here we go . . .

Where do you write?
On my laptop, which I don't actually use as a laptop because I sit at my desk when I write.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down, and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
The staircase climbing to the second story of my home. Much more interesting would be looking to my right. My beautiful book hutch, filled with my very favorite books, sits there.

Favorite time to write?
Late afternoon with a break for supper and then into the early evening. I'm not sure it's my favorite time for writing; it's just what works.

Drink of choice while writing?
I'm not allowed to have beverages anywhere near my computer (self-made and self-enforced rule). Things around me have a tendency to spill, and my computer doesn't enjoy being wet or sticky, so I take water breaks in the kitchen followed by a handful of dark chocolate M&Ms. Coffee, however, is never a drink of my choice, and this seems to break many a writerly rule.

When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Music distracts me, but neither is it completely silent when I write. My husband is often watching football or other sports while working on his teacherly stuff (my desk is located in a space open to our main living area), my kids are hustling about, and there is general hubbub.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
The middle grade novel Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. Its mystery, voice, characters, and small town setting hit hard at my heart. I wanted to write a book that would hit readers the same way.

What's your most valuable writing tip?
Just keep writing. If you have stories living inside you, they won't come out until you write them. They might really stink at first, but with time (and revision!), writing improves. Who will tell your stories if you don't?

30 comments:

  1. Again, I'm struck by how many writers are inspired by reading other writers' words - I think that's cool!

    Have a great GUTGAA!

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  2. I use my laptop the same way. Loved learning more about your writer process. Good luck with GUTGAA!

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  3. Hey there fellow gutgaan! I should really follow your rule about no drinks near the computers, but I'm a risk taker at heart. Living on the edge. :)

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  4. So very true, just keep writing!! I'm getting back to that this month. Yay!

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  5. Wow, there's a whole bunch of GUTGAANs, and a whole bunch of agents!! I hope it's a fun ride.

    I love your final answer, because it's so true. You have to keep writing through all the disappointments and challenges and, with time, writing does improve. As you say: who will tell your stories if you don't?

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  6. That's exactly why I don't drink at the computer. Honestly, I think it would be hard to do a lot of writing with a laptop directly on my lap. I know a lot of people do it. I'm just not sure it would work for me.

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  7. The mention of dark chocolate M&Ms seriously made my mouth water. ;) I love that you won't drink near your laptop - that's a rule I should enforce for myself!

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  8. I'm not a coffee drink either, which doesn't seem to fit with being a teacher or a writer! And I'm working on making writing an every day thing, too. Sometimes it's way easier to veg in front of the TV when you're exhausted. And I have spilled Dr. Pepper all over a laptop...not fun, but leaving it upside down for two weeks actually helped it, and it recovered. I need to have the same no-drink rule as you.
    -Jenna

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  9. I've never tried dark chocolate M&Ms. I like the peanut M&Ms in my movie theater popcorn. Ok, so random, lol. It is very nice to meet you.

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  10. Love this! Things around me have a tendency to spill, and my computer doesn't enjoy being wet or sticky, so I take water breaks in the kitchen followed by a handful of dark chocolate M&Ms.

    Dark Chocolate M&Ms. Yum! :)

    And I'm with you on the coffee. Ick!

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  11. Dear Barbara,

    Nice to meet you on the blog hop. I enjoyed your answers to the GUTGAA questions. I'm a former English teacher turned TSS, and a YA author. With four boys we've got general hubbub in our house as well. Happy writing!

    Warm regards,

    Don #138

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  12. I do love hutches. One of my friends is restoring an early 1900s hutch, and I want it! Following you, and it's very nice to meet you!

    AA
    http://anallegedauthor.blogspot.com/

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  13. Loved your post, I hadn't heard of GUTGAA, sounds interesting! No coffee for me either! :)

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  14. It's nice to meet you! I really like your writing tip, and it's so true. I hope to see you around GUTGAA. :))

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  15. Hi Barbara! Thanks for visiting my blog. I've followed you back. Dark chocolate is so much better than coffee :)

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  16. Good luck with GUTGAA. I like your writing tip, that's what I do...just keep writing. And I am getting better.

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  17. Ooh, good luck with GUTGAA! Cute acronym, to boot!

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  18. I just started reading Three Times Lucky! Can't wait to finish now :)

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  19. Nice to meet you. That's great that you have a no liquid around your computer rule. I should do that too, but it doesn't happen. Middle grade is such a fun genre. It sounds like it is what you love. Nice to meet you.

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  20. Hi,
    Stopping by of the GUTGAA bloghop. I love your writing tip. The general hubbub thing applies to my home, too. Best of luck! I deleted the earlier comment by mistake. Sorry.

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  21. Loved getting this snapshot of your life! Just thought I'd update you on my WIP since your editing- I've restarted it where you suggested and with the help of my new critique partner I only see it getting better.

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  22. I haven't heard of this blogfest yet but it makes me yearn to have something polished enough to participate! I love how it includes this getting to know you part, too. Hmmm, my favorite place to write is next to my bookshelf too.

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  23. I must be one of the few writers who prefer a desktop. I love having a set space to work. Have fun with GUTGAA!

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  24. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't really drink while writing. My dear '93 Mac's monitor short-circuited or something when a cup of water holding a flower tipped over, back in May 2002. I'm sure if that hadn't happened, I might still be enjoying that machine today, and not just have the hard drive up in the closet.

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  25. I am exactly the same with my laptop! It is nice to know that I can take it somewhere if need be:) And I love your no drink around the computer rule. It's one that I should have!

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  26. Hi Barbara, I have a rule about liquids and my laptop too - enforced by hubby after my last one ended up with a wave of tea on the inside of the screen. It was kind of pretty but made seeing the words on the screen difficult. :/ Good advice :)

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  27. Yay! Another middle grader! Are you a member of SCBWI?

    Nice to meet you through GUTGAA~
    Heather

    themysteryofwriting.wordpress.com
    midwesternfarmgirl.wordpress.com

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  28. I'm not a coffee drinker either. I prefer to get my caffeine in chocolate form. :) Nice to meet you! New follower.

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Comments. Yay! They're almost as good as chocolate. Almost.