Friday, July 30, 2010

Website for upcoming book DOGSLED DREAMS

My new website is up and ready for viewing.
Check out DOGSLED DREAMS here.

This site is dedicated to all things SLED DOG. It will be updated once a month after the book comes out. I plan to follow Jr. Mushers on the race circuit, have dogsledding videos, giveaways, fun facts and lots of other cool stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Sled Dogs article published

This month on the Dogs in Canada Magazine website, they are featuring an article I wrote on keeping sled dogs in the summer.

check it out here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What are copy edits?

I've heard the term copy edits before, but never really knew what it meant. Here's what copy edits mean when you are working with 4RV Publishing.

When the designer lays out the manuscript, the text does what it wants. It sometimes leaves things called "orphans". These are lonely little words left at the ends of paragraphs. It has never occurred to me until now to notice these when I read books.

Another thing that happens is names get hyphenated at the ends of lines. So the designer must go through and highlight all these annoying words that mess up the look of the page, and send them to the writer. The writer must come up with another way to say that sentence or paragraph so it behaves.

This can sometimes be painful when the PERFECT sentence must be changed to avoid a nasty orphan. But it is also another chance to change anything that you thought was perfect at the time, but months later, sounds sort of lame.  So this is a good thing. I'm loving this whole process.

Except when you suddenly notice that all the spelling is Canadian, and the publisher wants it American. Panic sets in when you realize that you don't really know all the words that are different and you google it and see that there are A LOT of words that we spell differently!  I may have to send the senior editor some chocolates.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Five Random things in my room

This is a fun meme - please consider yourself tagged if you are reading this. List five random things in your room. Go.

1. My bent-shaft paddle
This is one of my most treasured objects. It has been dipped in every lake in Quetico Park. It has won a few canoe races. If it ever broke, a little piece of my soul could very well shrivel up and drop off.

2. Frog collection
Yes. I'm openly admitting this.

3. Used dog toys
Strategically placed so that I step on them with bare feet whenever I get up.

4. Dead things
Replica of monster fish and snowy owl found on side of highway

5. Bowl of rocks
North Channel of Lake Huron grows Muse-Rocks. Look into their depths and be inspired.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Elevensies Cover Love

Lately there has been a lot of excitement over at my group of fellow authors The Elevensies. Covers are coming fast and furious in preparation for 2011 debut. I heart ALL of these covers. So delicious. Here's some that are ready for love:

 Julia Karr - XVI, spring 2011

Sara Bennett Wealer - Rival, February 2011

Carrie Harris - Bad Taste in Boys, July 2011

Amy Holder - The Lipstick Laws, Spring 2011

Kirsten Hubbard - Like Mandarin, Spring 2011

Ruta Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray, Mach 2011

Danette Vigilante - The Trouble with a Half Moon, January 2011

Ty Roth - So Shelly, February 2011

Crystal Allen - How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trohpy, Spring 2011

Lisa Desrochers - Personal Demons, SEPTEMBER 2010. That's in TWO MONTHS! Book two, Original Sin, due out in 2011.

And Randy Russell doesn't have a cover yet for Dead Rules, but he's got this awesome trailer.

Jack London? Very cool.

I write like
Jack London
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Fellow Elevensie member Randy Russell had this fun test on his blog. I tried it with two different ms and both times came up with this. Give it a try - it's good for your ego.

Thank you for all the cover love comments on the art for DOGSLED DREAMS. I have the best commenters!

Reading Challenge Update
I've definitely slowed down in my reading for the 100+ reading challenge, but here's where I'm at for books read in 2010:

1. hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (YA)
2. Tilly's Tale by Harry Porter (MG)
3. Lemur Troops and Critter Groups by Rena Jones (PB)
4. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (MG)
5. The Marshal Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall (NF)
6. Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress (NF)
7. Need by Carrie Jones (YA)
8. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume (MG)
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (MG)
10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (YA)
11. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner (YA)
12. Fire by Kristin Cashore (YA)
13. Captivate by Carrie Jones (YA)
14. Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen (NF)
15. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (YA)
16. Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (MG)
17. Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook (NF)
18. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (YA)
19. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (MG)
20. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (NF)
21. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (YA)
22. Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen (MG)
23. Percy Jackson, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (MG)
24. The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (YA)
25. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (YA)
26. Unwind by Neal Shusterman (YA)
27. The Island by Gary Paulsen (MG)
28. Shifter by Janice Hardy (MG)
29. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (YA)
30. Around the Rock, a Newfoundland Sea Kayak Journey by Ken Campbell (NF)
31. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
32. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (listened on CD)
33. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (MG)
34. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak (YA)
35. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
36. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (YA)
37. Take Joy by Jane Yolen (NF)
38. The Emerald Tablet by PJ Hoover (MG)
39. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
40. The Boy Who Spoke Dog by Clay Morgan (MG)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cover art for Dogsled Dreams

This is the full jacket art for DOGSLED DREAMS made by the talented Aidana, 4RV's art director. The text will be added after the designer finishes the layout of the book. If you can picture it, the cover will show the dogs, and the back of the book will have the sled and musher.

This is from a scene in the book when Rebecca is running the dogs at night in a snowstorm.

The illustrator will also be doing black and white drawings for each chapter. I hope to have a few of those to share with you as well.

Once the text is added to the art, I'll be able to start marketing. I plan on getting a professional trailer made, bookmarks, countdown widget, postcards and many other exciting ideas.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kayaking the south shore of Manitoulin Island

View Larger Map

We've made it back safely from our kayak trip to the Duck Islands! Here's a few shots of the gorgeousness that is Northern Lake Huron.
taking the water temp which was ten degrees Celcius!

Checking out a sunken ship. This is the bow.

Little Dude trying to entice me for a swim.

Our own private beach!

Overlooking our tents.

Another day in paradise.
We had competitions to see who could hold their arm under water for the longest. I lost at 20 seconds before the ache in my bone became too much. That's not a lot of time to hustle back into the kayak if I dumped. So the plan was to stay IN the kayak. Thankfully, the winds were kind.

Now it's back to work. I'm way behind on my blogging, writing and the thing I do for a living. But so worth it.

Thank you all for your awesome comments on my first vlog and agent news! You guys rock!