Thursday, June 21, 2012

Save The Lemmings! Cover Reveal by Kai Strand

As an author, one of my biggest dreams is to someday get published, but in the meantime, I'd like to shine the spotlight on a great friend and amazing author already seeing her dreams come true and congratulate her on the cover release of her upcoming book Save the Lemmings! :)

When Natalie’s Texty-Talky invention makes her an overnight sensation, the media digs until they find a way to smear her goody-goody image. When her best friends start believing what they read, Natalie’s sunny spirit is pushed to its limits. How will Natalie stop the lies and win her friends back? And who will SAVE THE LEMMINGS?

Kai Strand is the author of the children's book The Weaver. You can find her at her website here or on her blog here.

Strands of Thought - Children's Author, Kai Strand: Cover Reveal - Save The Lemmings by ME: Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards. The N.I.C.E. girl who doesn’t always finish last – though ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tips and Tricks when Self Editing

Do you ever get bogged down when editing? Find it all a little overwhelming? Try a few of these tips and tricks and see if editing your piece becomes a little simpler. :) Grab a pen and paper, as well as a copy of your story (or even article!) and lets get started!

To make things easier, start with just the first page of your manuscript. Go through each sentence and tally up how many words are in each one. I'd recommend recording the numbers at the end of each sentence, but it doesn't really matter where you write them down so long as you know where it is and can reference it easily. Do you have multiple sentences one right after another that are almost the same length? Try shortening or breaking them into two different sentences! Make sure you like the way they flow, but still be sure that you get some variation in there. :)

Next look at the first three words of each sentence. Do you notice any patterns? You want to avoid starting too many sentences the same way or else you'll sound like a broken record! If you find you've started two sentences that are next to each other with "I" then maybe try rewriting one so that it starts with something else. The goal is to make sure you aren't repeating a lot of the same sentence openings or, if you can, not repeating any at all.

Lastly, take your piece for a spin and read it out loud. How does it sound? Does it flow well? Does the dialogue sound natural? If you have a tape recorder, record yourself reading and listen to the playback. I don't recommend videoing though, only because you really want to listen to the words, not think about how funny it is to be watching yourself and asking, "Does my hair really stick up like that?" ;) Ask a good friend you trust to read it back to you and see how it sounds coming from someone who hasn't read it a million times. ;D

Did any of these tips help you? Have any tips you'd like to add? Share them in the comments below! ^^ :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I like maps. :) Not the kind that tells you where North Street and South Street cross, but book maps that usually show you the winding streets of a perilous city or where a kingdom sits nestled against a gargantuan mountainside. It seems like I'm forever making maps that are attached to one story or another. They help me, for lack of a better word, map out the story and world my characters live in. The map below is the one in which my current novel is set. For now it's mostly a rough map, but I plan to add to it as I fully flesh out my story world. ^^ :)

When I do finally get published, I hope you'll find a much prettier version just inside the cover of my book. ^^ :)

Do you have any habits that help you flesh out your story world? :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Adventures in Short Stories

Yesterday as I was editing and reediting the first chapter of my novel, I started to become a little bogged down and decided to step back and think about some long term goals. A novel, depending on the speed at which you write, can be a long endeavor! You have multiple chapters to fill, plenty of characters to flesh out, and after all that, you have editing. For a beginning writer like myself, it started to look like a rather daunting task! Working through my writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature I mostly wrote short stories. The whole time I kept thinking to myself, I don't like short stories. How can you become invested in a story that's only five pages long? Where's the build up? The plot? The adventure? The romance? I was simply not interested in such short works of fiction.

Now that I've been able to seriously commit to a full length novel, I'm beginning to see the value in short stories. When you've been working at the computer, hammering out all those little details, a short story is like a nice little breather. You can step away from that big daunting project, focus on something a little simpler, and just enjoy a shorter, less complicated piece of fiction. That's why I've decided to revive my first assignment for the Institute and make a true blue effort to get it published! ^^ :)

Strange Medicine, is a short story about two twins who go on a journey in New York to find a cure for their mother's sickness. After countless doctors have tried and failed to help, all seems lost until Tansy hears in her mother's whispering delirium, the name of a single doctor. Doctor Skiff. When Tansy and her brother Brett raid their mother's address book all they find are three words: Skiff Central Park. And so their adventure begins...

I heard somewhere that if you make a goal, you should either write it down somewhere you can see it or tell someone about it so why not do both? :) Getting Strange Medicine published is mine. What's yours? :)