Friday, August 20, 2010

Spider Poetry for Friday

This small spider, which you probably can't even see, wove an enormous web in the bush beside my front door and laid her eggs in the white web casing.

And this monster is beneath the eave at the back door.

So for Poetry Friday, here are gossamer words from Walt Whitman. I hope they encourage you to launch for into new ventures.

A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I marked where on a promontory it stood isolated,
Marked how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be formed, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

More Poetry Friday hosted by Laura at Teach Poetry K-12.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Promoting Your Writing By Speaking

I've been trying to find my rhythm, balancing all the the balls in the air, as school and my business commitments kick in. Keeping up my exercise routine is vital in this season of driving and sitting. During my walking time recently, I've listened to a series of teleseminars, called "Promoting Your Writing By Speaking."

Randy Ingermanson hosted the teleseminar interviews with Mary Byers in an informative question and answer format. Mary has been a professional speaker for over twenty years. She is also an author. One of her books resulted from an editor who heard her speak and offered her a contract to write a book on the topic. Mary makes as much in three speaking engagements as she does writing a book. Her perspective on splitting her time between writing and speaking is valuable for writers who spend a lot of time in school visits.

Although Mary is not a children's author and her speaking engagements are not centered around author visits to schools, her advice for building your speaking business is rock solid.

Session one gives information on developing topics and identifying your audience. In session two, Mary talks about setting fees. Session three gives tips on preparing for your speaking engagement. The final session covers ways to grow your speaking business.

All four sessions are available on Randy's Advanced Fiction Writing website.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The First Thing to Go

Summer is practically over, despite the fact that it's still 100 degrees outside, and I am once again struggling to manage a busy schedule in which I wear numerous hats. This was one of those weeks when all the hats collided.
  • School staffs are back in their buildings and I've begun calling on customers. This week I saw two principals, a reading coach, a literacy specialist, a preK director and held an open house for all the teachers at school. It was a difficult week for many. A lot of people needed a listening ear.
  • It's magazine deadline for the Bugler, so I'm making sure all the files are in order, proofed, lay-out instructions provided, etc., so everything can go to the publisher. I have to nudge my boss to nudge the commanding general to please send me his column so I can get it in the magazine. Not that he actually writes it himself, of course, but the nudging is still necessary.
  • Sent a proposal off to a new publisher for a set of books.
  • Met with my fabulous critique group who gave me some much needed direction for reworking my current manuscript.
Managing my schedule is always a challenge. That's probably true for most of us. I find that the first thing to go when schedule demands tighten is my writing time. Over the summer, I enjoyed having multiple hours most days to work on writing projects. Now that "normal work" is intruding again, I'm working hard to keep those writing slots scheduled, unmovable, high on the priority list. This little blog post may be the only "actual" writing I've done all week, but I'm determined that's going to change.

Here, for Poetry Friday, is a thought on time from the Hebrew poet-king, David.

Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.
Psalm 39:4-5

For more Poetry Friday posts, visit Laura over at Author Amok.