Sunday, April 10, 2011

Writers block

This has been a rough couple of weeks. My pregnancy is going well, but I sometimes feel like I've been run over by a freight train. As a result, I haven't done much writing. To top it off, the kids brought home some kind of sickness (who knows what). There are flu-like symptoms combined with stuffy and runny noses as well as fever and all around weakness. Guess what? I got it all!!! Except for the upset stomach-thankfully. It's a good thing Mack is a good baby. She has reminded me that I'm still alive and that I need to take care of us! Kyler has been my little helper and has brought me cans of soup to make me feel better. I hope there's not an emergency soon because my food storage is scattered all over because of his mindful ministrations.

This illness my kids so lovingly bestowed upon me has opened the creative doors again and has enabled me to write - mostly because I don't feel that I can physically DO much of anything else. I've written several scenes in a couple of the smaller books and keep thinking of exactly how to weave the ending for one of the books that is almost finished. Several good ideas have appeared.

Another idea popped into my head this morning and I've been typing furiously trying to stay on top of the ideas that are flowing like water over the falls at Yellowstone.

The kids decided to play in their room today because mommy's head is about to explode. They have played hide-n-seek, pillow fights and something to do with forts. They also made a human bridge from bunkbed to bunkbed across their room and convinced their brother to cross the bridge. Apparently, he was successful the first couple of times, but the last time they attempted it, the bridge broke and the 2 year old went tumbling to the ground. I thought for sure it would mean another trip to the ER (30 miles away) but they were up and playing again after an amazingly minimal amount of crying - a bag of chips helped too. Kids are amazingly resiliant.

My boy have been amazingly supportive of my writing. They are excited that mom has written a book and that it will have a shiny cover on it with cool pictures (of some sort). AND they are hoping that Covenant Communications decides to pick it up and make it part of their audio library so they can listen to the chimes and hear "Welcome to Covenant Communications Audio Library. We are pleased to present 'A Little Push to Happiness' written by Stephanie Walton Nelson."

I can't wait to meet with the editor to see if we can make their dream a reality!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

After listening to the review of a fellow student’s query letter, I decided mine was TOTALLY wrong. I quickly pulled up the files for my pitch, synopsis and author bio and re-created the wheel - so to speak. It took about 5 minutes and my revised query letter was done. Although Mary still had me revise it, the revisions were much less intensive. Realistically, I hadn’t really put my voice into the first version-it was more business-like. Since the second version was spur of the moment, I really had to put myself in it to make everything work and come out the way I wanted. Thanks to Mary for helping hash out the sentence to lead into my questions for the agent/editor.

After my query letter, I read not quite two pages of my manuscript. The assignment was to pick a segment that was dialogue rich. This was actually a segment that I have gotten several comments and complaints (for lack of a better word) about. I had carefully analyzed the suggestions and feedback I got from my selected readers and decided to leave the segment the way it was because I am the author and I really like it the way it is. The other students really liked the segment the way it is also. There were some minor fixes that needed to happen, but otherwise, it was good. At this point, I’m really glad I left it the way it was.

I’m amazed at all the insight and feedback I’m receiving at every class! Everyone is awesome & really supportive. I’m very glad I decided to take this class. I’m grateful for my sister who continually pushes me. I’m especially grateful to my mother for taking my kids while I drive there, attend the class and drive home. This process takes a good 4 ½ to 5 hours every night. She is amazing and has been so supportive of my writing.

Another good thing that happened this week… As I was browsing several websites and face book links doing some research, I found that one of the classes at the writer’s conference I’m attending was accepting submissions for the class “Simulating the Slush Pile”. I hurriedly copied, pasted & formatted the first three pages of my manuscript and attached them to an email. I figured that since they had opened up submissions on the first of April, they would have a full house by the time my email was received on the 4th. However, late that afternoon, I received an email stating that they had accepted my submission as one of the “slush pile”. I’m really excited to see what they say about mine in comparison to the others that will be showcased in this class.

I was literally doing the happy dance as seen on those Snoopy cartoons! My sisters and mother have all rejoiced with me. He husband seemed slightly confused, but congratulated me all the same. I think he’s in shock that I’m leaving him with the kids for three days. He’ll do just fine! Everything will be fine!

Another awesome thing, on the 5th of May, my teacher’s book will be released! I’m really excited to see what she’s going through - the trials as well as the successes. Mary has been an amazing example! I am kinda bummed that there are only 2 more classes over the next three weeks. I’m sad to see it come to an end, but I’m excited because of all the tools we are getting handed to us. This experience, so far, has been nothing short of an exciting journey. I can’t wait to see where the next bend in the road takes me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I found a fun contest today! MormonMommyWriters is hosting a cliche contest. We are to write a 3500 short story using commonly used cliches. This should be fun. I'm already having fun with it. I've made my sister, Niki, laugh several times this morning.

Contest details can be found at