Monday, September 26, 2011

Top Ten Banned Books of the Year

An article came out about the Top Ten Banned Books of the Year.  It makes me so angry that books are banned at all.

Just because cigarettes are produced, you don't have to choose to smoke them.

Just because a movie is in the theater, you don't have to choose to see it.

Just because a big piece of chocolate is sitting in front of you, you don't have to eat it (however, we do have somewhat of an obligation to eat chocolate--the most important food group).

All kidding aside,  just because a book has been published, you don't have to choose to purchase or read it. But who are we to make that choice for someone else?  If the book is not of interest to you, or you find it offensive.. . .don't read it; but still allow others to make that decision for themselves.

I Clicked Submit Again!

After careful editing and reformatting, I have submitted another manuscript to the MeeGenius Author Challenge.  It feels great and scary at the same time.  I have been working for several years on both of the stories that I submitted.  They are like the 5th and 6th children that I never had, and now I am sending them out into the real world to make it on their own.  I can only hope that those who read my stories, think that I was a good parent to them.

I'll keep you posted on the progress. . . won't know anything until the end of November.  The waiting is the hardest part!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Joining the Write Stuff

Several of you have told me that you have tried to join The Write Stuff but it is not working.  All you need to do is to click on this link to the blog and on the right hand side there is a button that says 'Join this Site'

Please try again.  It should work.

Thanks for supporting the Write Stuff!

Happy Birthday Shel Silverstein!

Today would have been the 81st birthday of Shel Silverstein.

The world of children's literature lost a fantastic author, poet, illustrator, and songwriter when he passed away in 1999.  Look through your bookshelves and enjoy a Shel Silverstein story today. I find that his books are most enjoyable when shared with someone else.

Here are a few that are on my shelf at home:

The Giving Tree
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic
The Missing Piece
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
A Giraffe and A Half
Runny Babbit
Falling Up

Also, a new book has been released, Everything On It.  I can't wait to add it to my collection!

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Philosopy

“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.” 
 Ayn Rand

I am going to get a book published someday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week begins this Saturday, September 24 and runs through October 1.  Banned Book Week is designed to celebrate the First Amendment and the freedom that we have as Americans to read whatever we like.  Support Banned Book Week by talking with your children. . . and maybe share a banned book (or two) with them.  I have listed a just a few suggestions below.  How many of them have you read? Enjoy!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Catcher in the Rye
The Chocolate War
Flowers for Algernon
Harry Potter Books #1-7
The Lorax
Of Mice and Men
Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl
Harriet the Spy
A Light in the Attic
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
The Pigman
James and the Giant Peach
The Giving Tree
The Giver
A Wrinkle in Time
Where the Sidewalk Ends

A Fabulous Publishing Website

This morning as I was surfing the internet for news in children's publishing, I came across the website, Publishing Perspectives.  It is probably not new to everyone, but it is new to me.  It is an online daily newsletter about the world of book publishing.  The newsletter focuses on the digital age of books, and they just launched a new bi-weekly edition dedicated to children's books.  I can't wait to get my first email from them!

Take a look, this is a fabulous way to keep in touch with the latest in the industry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Down, One to Go!

I just clicked 'submit' and sent in the first of 2 manuscripts to the MeeGenius Author Challenge.  Please keep your fingers crossed (and toes, and any other parts that you are able to cross).  If I make it to the voting round, I will be sure to let you know.  I will need your votes to win!

It is an interesting experience entering a contest.  Not only do you, as an author, want to share your story and your creativity with others, but you have to follow someone else's rules.  Creative people aren't always very good at following restrictions put on them by someone else.  Character count, single spacing, triple spacing. . . .This certainly forces one to be very selective in the words chosen--make every letter count!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great Post Today. . . thanks Emma Dryden for Sharing!

Check this out!  Every author should join GoodReads!  I know that I will!

I found a new contest!

Good morning everyone!  In searching other writers' blogs this morning, I discovered a new contest that I am going to enter.  The MeeGenius Author Challenge 2011

I am really excited about it, and I hope that you will all cheer me on!  I am going to begin working on my manuscript today and will keep you posted on my progress.  In fact, I have a story that I have been working on for some time already that I believe would be perfect!

MeeGenius publishes e-books for children.  Now I know what you all are thinking, based on yesterday's post, you all know that I am a paper and pencil kind of gal.  However, I need a way to break into this industry so that my voice can be heard.  Children someday are going to be begging to hear Sandi Hershenson stories (let's all keep our fingers crossed).

Mark your calendars because from November 28-December 18 is the Manuscript Voting Round of the contest.  During this time the publishers will be counting the popular vote on the submitted stories.  All you will need to do is click the 'LIKE' button next to the story that you like the most--- I hope that it will be mine.  Don't worry, I will remind you to do it when the time comes.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Wheels are Turning. . .

Starting the blog last night has revived my excitement for writing.  I have been suffering from a sever case of writer's block lately, and this was just the right thing to get me going again.  I have been thinking about how to revise previous works, and my brain has been conjuring up new story ideas.  I keep checking back to see how many people are interested in my blog.  So far you have been responding on Facebook, but only 2 of my favorite writers have actually joined.  Come on, you can do it. . . you are in good company here!

Now that all of my children are back in school, I am really looking forward to working on my craft.  Writing has always been a hobby of mine.  In recent years, however, I have been taking it much more seriously.  I have been a participant in several different critique groups, both online and in person, as well as been an active member in SCBWI-LA (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators-Los Angeles).  I am bravely and cautiously submitting my manuscripts to editors, publishers, and agents all over the country.  Waiting by the mailbox for a letter or checking the inbox for an email with even the smallest amount of feedback can be absolute torture! Patience is not always my strong suit.

I find that attending weekend retreats with SCBWI to be extremely inspirational.   I love having no interruptions to simply write.  The critique sessions never feel long enough, and the lectures are so informative.  I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys writing.  Unfortunately, I missed my favorite retreat, the Working Writer's Retreat, last weekend.  Maybe next year.. .

I have even recently ventured into the world of writing for adults.  I entered the Life Lessons contest for Real Simple Magazine (a fantastic magazine, by the way).  My submission is in, and winners will be announced in January.  I will keep you posted on how that goes. . . wish me luck!  Maybe more contests are in my future.  If you see any that you think I might be interested in, please let me know.

I have actually even begun to focus on adult reading again.  With young children it is often difficult to find time to sit and read beyond easy readers.  I enjoy picking up a good novel and escaping into the story.  It is nice to pretend to be in a different time or place and block out all of my daily activities.  I hope that my reading is demonstrating to my children how to be adult readers some day as well, and not just focused on things that require electricity.

I am saddened by the fact that children spend a lot of time playing video games, texting, and watching TV (my own children are absolutely included in that group).  I think that there is something so special about sitting with a book in hand and feeling the texture of the page.  Soaking in the story in a non-electronic way.  I realize that e-books are the new trend, but I am sort of old fashioned on this one.  Hey, I still use a paper calendar--can't seem to use my Blackberry for much more than a phone.  I believe that e-books certainly have a purpose and a place.  For young children, however, I hope that they learn to appreciate the joys of snuggling under a blanket with a book.  Some of my most special memories with my own kids are around story time--teaching them to first turn a page, reading the same books over and over again, and calling the dog so that he doesn't miss story time before bed.  As soon as Benjie hears me say 'story time' he come running from anywhere in the house and jumps into my lap with no regard for blocking the pictures!

Let me know your thoughts. . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Inaugural Post!

Ok Everyone, here it goes!  I have never done this before, and I am a little nervous about taking on this great adventure.  I find it challenging to be a writer in so many ways, yet exciting in so many more.  I have written children's picture books for years, and every time that I share my work with others, I sit on pins and needles hoping for a positive response.  I am not quite sure how this blog is going to evolve, but I hope that you will be patient with me while I figure it out.  Check back in with me periodically as I update things. Wish me luck, and I invite you to come along for the ride!