Author: Kathleen Gorman (page 1 of 2)

Author update

Working on a new picture book manuscript. Something a started years ago and since then the character has a new name, and the direction has changed two times. I love my critique groups. Wonderful, supportive, imaginative thinkers! Things are missing, Anna Jo is on the move. Anna Jo is named after my mom Anna Josephine (RIP Mom )

Relationship between author and editor

I read an article last night on the relationship between an author and an editor. Very interesting. I as an author am learning to be very humble. This manuscript is my baby and my knowledgeable editorial team of Audra and Dan are taking it and giving it wings to soar. Even if I keep turning to them saying “Yeah, but,” and “Can we keep this sentence?” They are being patient with me. Ah the life of a writer.

One manuscript’s journey

I decided to write about the steps it took to get one manuscript accepted for publication. Not sure of the title yet so for now I will call it Middle Grade 1 (MG1).
MG1 was born the summer of 2012 in the city of Sedona, Arizona. The seed was planted during a trip to the Wupatki Ruins. Something spoke to me that day, not sure what but I felt the urge to write. My husband, Bill and I were on vacation to a place he always wanted to see. Me, I the ocean was calling, but I settled for the desert. We had already visited the town a few times, had walked through shops, journeyed the places where our map directed us to see if we could feel what others felt when traveling to various locations of Vortex. We read all the information about what could happen to one upon being in tune with the spiritual experience. Well, at one location it really did happen. The peace was amazing.

My only problem was the sun. Too much time in the sun is one of my migraine triggers. and yes I suffered a few. The day we planned a golf excursion I told Bill to go. I couldn’t. Instead, I pulled out my computer and started typing. The words started to flow. No, there was no outline, just a tiny seed that started to grow. Before I knew it I had several pages and the beginnings of a middle grade chapter book.

I wrote from family experience, professional experience and conversations with friends. Through all this I created a boy,who had anger issues. A boy who appeared to care more about himself, he never took time to see what was going on around him.  No, I do not know any one individual like this, his character just seem to evolve over time.

Being part of a critique group I would read chapters in group and take notes on the feedback given. I wrote off and on for several years. On one trip to Portland, Oregon I participated in a round table talk and pitched my story. Although the agent liked the idea and asked to see it, this was MG1’s first rejection.   There were many more rejections in MG1’s journey.

When I became disappointed, I would put MG1 “to bed,” and work on other stories. Four years later I am happy to announce that MG1 caught the interest on one publisher. I am working with the publisher, and one of his editors, my seed has grown, and now I am going through another process of watching it take on a new form. Before going to the editor, I read the whole manuscript, a chapter a day to the two sixth grade classes at Sierra View Elementary School. The kids did an amazing job of “editing,” they gave the boy a twelve year old voice when I couldn’t. These kids took ownership of the story. Now my editor, with the help of my publisher are breathing new life into MG1. I am learning patience, and listening to suggestions and watching cuts take place. The cuts are something new to me. I am used to people suggesting ways to add on to make the story stronger or better, now I am learning through cuts how to make the story stronger. I tend to lecture too much when talking and I guess I do the same in my writing. I think it comes from teaching.

When MG1 goes from being a manuscript to a book I will make the announcement.

Now on to another project that has been taking a nap for a while.

Book Signings, Craft Faires, and More!

November 2016,

This has been a fantastic year.  Not only for me but for several of my writing buddies. Dreams have come true, adventures have been shared, champagne opened for celebrating along with a bit of Irish Whiskey!

Attending writing workshops, and conferences along with critique groups are ways that I feel I have been able to grow as a writer.

Some manuscripts are being put to rest for a while. Poor Kiwi, she keeps changing her story, changing her friends, and changing her problems along with coming up with new solutions. Her story is one I need to come back to with fresh eyes. I have others that are being tweaked, revised and resubmitted.

Many of my friends are on this same journey with me. We all write, revise, submit, attend workshops, conferences, craft fairs, and book festivals together. So glad I share this journey with such a wonderful writing family.  Blessed to know Janice, Pat, Anne, Karen, Gayle, Tom and Fran, and Dan and Peggy.

Now the writing journey: You know the purpose for this blog. Kiwi, my mini Aussie is stuck in a rut. She has tried many adventures, She has met many authors in the past several years. Some love her. Yay! Others find ways to improve her story. Ok we can deal with this. And still she has received the words “Not quite right for our company.” Not really a “rejected” note. This is something Kiwi can live with. But she did tell me she was ready to take a nap for a while.

Then there is my Hopi Indian story. A middle grade chapter book. I keep adding new chapters trying to make it a stronger story. I hope to have it done soon.

I am looking at new adventures to use for inspiration. I listen to stories told by others. I am reading memoirs of two uncles, rich with detail.

Where to start? I don’t know. Where ever my heart leads me.

May your heart lead you on a journey full of loving, tender memories. CozsKWAUkAEgoNf[1]

SCWBI Summer Conference

 

Interesting mists and glares

13902695_10209727073804251_5494966545934769630_n[1]Kara Lucas, me and Karen Moore.CozsKWAUkAEgoNf[1]

Being a participant in my second summer conference was almost as good as my first summer conference. I only wish my poor body was excited about being at the Biltmore as my heart, spirit, and mind were. At the moment I am plagued by lower back and left hip problems. Oh and let’s not forget the ever popular diverticulitis recurrence. But putting my maladies aside, I traveled with my favorite writing buddies and we met some wonderful writers and illustrators and also made new friends. Not to mention attending some great sessions and listening to a few very inspiring key note speakers.
Believe or not but, I even had some time to write, and work on curriculum for some soon to be published books. Writing and teaching, just two of my favorite passions, were inspired by the atmosphere at the Biltmore.
And. . . I can’t forgot the evening of going on a ghost hunt. Did you know the Biltmore is haunted? We were on the ninth floor. This is one of the floors believed to be haunted by a young girl. We didn’t meet her or any other ghosts but, I am sure there were a few spirits in some of the pictures I took over the week end.

Broken Bones

“What happened to your foot Miss Kathy?” I get asked that question daily. Two weeks ago I tripped and fell, broke a bone in my foot. I always reply “I broke my foot.”

Next question, “What is that thing?” they ask pointing to the scooter parked beside my desk. “That is my scooter. It helps me get from my car to my classroom.”  “Why?” they continue. sometimes they are just a bit too inquisitive for me, but I smile and continue to answer their questions. “Because the doctor doesn’t want me to walk very far on my foot.” And their reply, “Oh.” Good enough for me.

I can now honestly  say I have been hurt from head to toe.

The next step for me is to see if I can take this broken bone and turn it into a story or two.

 

What happens when your plate is full?

Question I struggle with more and more is what happens when my plate is full?  Well I know when my plate starts getting too full I tend to just stop. Seriously, I just stop, as in writing,  sewing, crocheting, basically anything I truly enjoy goes on a back burner until I figure out how to move on. I have many jobs that must remain on my plate, Reading Lab, new teachers and BTSA are the essential on my list of must be done now. I am not complaining I really enjoy all of it.

I spent this past weekend visiting with cousins I haven’t seen in a while. The time was well spent. There was much laughter, a few tears shed, some reminiscing about our parents, and stories shared. During the afternoon, my cousin, Jill told me a story about one of her treasured stuffed animals.  Her story helped me shake the cobwebs out of the recesses of my brain. Once again my imagination soars!

 

SCBWI Writer’s Conference Summer 2015

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Society of Children’s Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) summer conference in Los Angeles. My roomies for the weekend were Karen Moore and Cindy Prieto. We are members of the “Sassy Scribes” a local critique group.  We had an awesome, time. The conference was a great learning experience. I think we all came away with new ideas, and new techniques.

I felt this conference left me with the same rejuvenating feelings I remember having after returning from attending reading conferences years ago.

So many memorable events, schmoozing, bonding, sharing, learning, writing, and critiquing. Everything a writer and illustrator of any level could possibly hope for and more.

Some of the most important facts I learned (not including where the food court at the mall is located), creating stories with timeless elements, and memorable characters. Developing stories that combine voice, character, and plot. Mind you, although I took lots of notes, the difficult part will be writing and keeping these necessary details in my thought process as I create.

Who were the most inspirational speakers? I loved listening to and watching Mem Fox. She is a wonderful, creative, imaginative writer, and a very talented story teller.

Dan Santat was such an awe inspiring speaker. Made me stop and think about values, and what is important. Kind of don’t sweat the small stuff but listen to your inner voice and follow your dreams. We all have them sometimes it takes courage to step outside the comfortable box known as life that we create and move into uncharted waters. In my case this involves honing my writing skills, creating stories and then the process of submitting and waiting by mailbox or computer to hear or read about the fate of a manuscript. Right now I feel like I am one of the lucky ones because I have a publisher interested in my first story, “How Far Is Heaven?” Dan Dunklee has been an outstanding publisher and supporter.

I also learned that it normally doesn’t happen overnight. Many years of blood, sweat, and tears go into a project.

 

Inspiration comes from all around

I am not one to be preachy, but this picture taken yesterday evening is what I think of when I think of God. I see this and I think of God’s creations. Yes nature’s wonders with storms, hurricanes, and weather fronts might have a little to do with it but in my opinion it is all God. I see what He does for us. I think about my life. I sometimes wonder, does He hear me? But then I read a devotional like yesterday’s and yes He does. His words humble me the prayer at the end “Father, help me remember that the only way is down when I start thinking too highly of myself.” And “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” 1 Cor. 10:12

These remind me of where I am and what I need to think about. Yes I move forward but I do it with God’s help. These verses help me understand that yes God is here, yes he hears me, and yes he will answer when I am in need. Just don’t become over zealous and forget who I am.

To reinforce my feelings about loved ones now gone The Old Rugged Cross comes on and as I listen to the words and enjoy the music I know my father is very close and always will be. This was his favorite song, it still gives me chills, tears, and joy at the same time

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Happiness is…..

Happiness comes in many forms. This past week I can say happiness is seeing a copy of what my first published book might look like. Also knowing how close to real this journey truly is when I am typing out my dedication page. September will be here before I know it. Can’t wait.

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