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Where did you live? And for how long? Was it recently?

It's been quite a while since I actually lived in Japan, though I usually fit in a shortish trip every year for research of different kinds. I lived in Kakamigahara-shi in Gifu for a year about twenty years ago, as an exchange student, then went back for a year in Kyoto during uni and another 18 months in Gifu and Kobe during my PhD. I've spent a few months at a time in Tokyo but don't consider myself to have really lived there. It's not a place I'd ever want to settle!

Good luck with your cutting. I am in slash-and-burn mode myself at the moment. I find it at once extremely frustrating and very satisfying. In fact that sums up how I'm finding writing in general of late!
#2161 - January 19, 2009, 03:53 AM

Kappa

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Hello Lunchbox and MegM, that is so neat you've both been and lived in Japan. Yeah, it was difficult at first. I really had to find my niche. Believe it or not, I think living in a small town helps. I don't think I could live in Tokyo or Yokohama...Kyoto..that's another story, so gorgeous and I love temples.

t

PS I cut my 53,000-word first draft down to 30,000. It was painful as a bunch of my (*ahem*) belly-slapping jokes got sacrificed in the process. But it will move so much faster now.

PPS Lunchbox, I mentioned it elsewhere on this board but you and I have the same agent.
#2162 - January 19, 2009, 03:17 PM

Hello Lunchbox and MegM, that is so neat you've both been and lived in Japan. Yeah, it was difficult at first. I really had to find my niche. Believe it or not, I think living in a small town helps. I don't think I could live in Tokyo or Yokohama...Kyoto..that's another story, so gorgeous and I love temples.

t

PS I cut my 53,000-word first draft down to 30,000. It was painful as a bunch of my (*ahem*) belly-slapping jokes got sacrificed in the process. But it will move so much faster now.

PPS Lunchbox, I mentioned it elsewhere on this board but you and I have the same agent.

I had a great time in Japan.  For me, it was a bigger culture shock coming home after two years than when I first went over there.  America is so big and spacious--I got so used to everything being crowded.  Americans are also so casual compared to the Japanese.  For the first few days that American informality seemed almost rude.  And it took weeks before I could go into the house without taking my shoes off first.  And it was hard speaking English without throwing in Japanese words.  But it was wonderful to associate with such fine people, and learn a different way of thinking, in addition to the spiritual benefits I gained from my missionary service.

My first book required about the same amount of slash-style editing.  My first submitted draft was well over 50,000 words and my editor had me pare it down about 40%, and it really did help the story move better.  Editors are generally smart people.

Yes, Ethan Ellenberg is a good agent, extremely busy and deservedly so.  I'm waiting to hear from him about my most recent submission.  Every time the phone rings I just about run over my kids to check the caller ID.  He'll keep his remarks brief and to the point and tell me exactly what he thinks, good or bad.  I appreciate that kind of honesty.  And he has gone to bat for me pretty well so far with my publisher--I think he had a lot to do with convincing them to release Lunchbox and the Aliens in paperback this spring.  Nothing beats having an influential person who believes in your work.

#2163 - January 19, 2009, 07:41 PM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

Chris_YAandFilm

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...and hide from the camera itself...it seems... ha ha ha :dr

Hey, in my defense the flash is really bright.

Someday I'll go to another country, but until then my characters will have to travel for me. Luckies. (or is it Luckys?)
#2164 - January 19, 2009, 11:45 PM

Kappa

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Lunchbox, yes, I adore Ethan, as well. We've only talked once on the phone and I almost puked I was so nervous. It was "The Call" and like you mentioned when you're living in another culture your mother language speaking skills suffer. I don't even speak English every day. Needless to say, I made Mr. E. laugh on more than one occasion with my crazy English. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one have to cut out nearly half a story.

And Chris...yeah, the flash...it was bright :ahh :hahaha
#2165 - January 20, 2009, 02:17 AM

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Hello everyone and I hope you're all having a wonderful day. My name is Tyson, I'm twenty years old, I hail from the very hot; sometimes wet but always beautiful caribbean island of Trinidad and I'm a new and upcoming writer of Middle Grade Fantasy. I've been writing my novel since I was fifteen years old and I've finally completed the first book of ten.
For over a year now I have been trying to get an agent but to no avail. I am unemployed, living with my parents and my trust fund. I spend most of my time writing, trying to perfect my craft and my story. Only recently have I begun to enter competitions, thus far I have entered the WD Short Short Story Competition and I plan on entering a few more of WD's competitions in the coming months, I trust them and entering is cheap. Its also a great way for me to get my name out there and that of my novel. I have derived short stories from my novel using some of the auxillary characters and molded them into heartwarming tales of trials and adversities that focuses on real issues that occur in the real world. Hopefully I'll be able to share one of my stories with you.

I absolutely adore writing for children and I intend on making an honest living out of it. However, living in my part of the globe has made this dream very difficult. There are no literary agencies in my country, no critiquing services, no conferences, workshops, critique groups or even abundant novelists. I am practically the only children's fantasy writer in my country and it is very frustrating.
I have no one to talk to, no one to share my joys and sorrows with, no one to tell me I need to make my characters smarter or taller--gorgeous or humorously inclined. I feel like a rose amongst a field of ordinary flowers, a star in the morning sky; like a candle in the blushing wind.
You have no idea how long I have searched for a place like this, I am so happy that I have finally found people who share my passion for Children's Writing and I must admit it feels damn good.
I look forward to building lasting relationships with all of you, ones that will last a lifetime and beyond.

I am here to get as much information as I can regarding this industry and dont worry, I won't be pestering anyone regarding mentoring, referrals or anything of that sort. I wish to achieve success the hard way, that way it will make the reward oh sooo much sweeter.

I look forward to chatting with you and the fact that most of you are women makes it even better. Who knows, I might even get a date.
(Please dont give me that look, it was only a joke.)

See Ya Around
TyDM
#2166 - January 26, 2009, 08:22 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Welcome, Tyson!  What an interesting bio. This is a great place to hang out. I've learned so much from the people on this forum.  And I'm glad that the estrogen dominated feel of the board didn't scare you off.  Glad to meet you. :welcome
#2167 - January 26, 2009, 08:51 PM
HANNAH & THE SPINDLE WHORL  (Ronsdale, 2010)
HANNAH & THE SALISH SEA (Ronsdale, 2013)
http://carolanneshaw.com

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Welcome, Tyson!  What an interesting bio. This is a great place to hang out. I've learned so much from the people on this forum.  And I'm glad that the estrogen dominated feel of the board didn't scare you off.  Glad to meet you. :welcome
Ha, Ha, are you kidding what guy will get upset or pass up being in a room full of beautiful ladies. I must say, it seems that most Children's writers are women, I mean where are all the dudes. The only good male children's writer I know of is James Orville--he's absolutely amazing--but I guess most men find this genre a bit. . .dare I say emasculating.
They prefer to write about experiences or facts rather than juvenile annotations of the mind, which irrevocably delves into the territory of MG, YA and Fantasy. And of course there are the exceptions like myself, Mr. Orville, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkein.
So. . .yeah, you ladies better watch out, cause there's a new Children's writer in town and he aint got boobs!  :pp
#2168 - January 26, 2009, 09:42 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Not a drop of estrogen in my writing--just weird stuff that boys like.
#2169 - January 26, 2009, 10:49 PM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

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Not a drop of estrogen in my writing--just weird stuff that boys like.
Well. . .although my novel is a MG boy book, I still must add a girl to the team of the main characters. Girls are people too and just because they are more than always considered weaker than boys, need not mean that they cannot throw down a blitz combo or fight like the dudes they are allied with.
Believe me I know not to underestimate the power of a woman, I still have the black eye to prove it.

But on a business note, adding girls to a boy book makes it an all rounder. When amongst boys they exude woman power, independence and strength--girls can't get enough of that. When coupled with girls they embody mystery and sheer fabricated drama--girls can't get enough of that. When both genders are paired together they spark love, invite emotion and hidden desires--girls can't get enough of that.
In essence, boys will be drawn to a book as long as there are dragons and bloodshed, but girls are a lot more difficult to market too. They require. . .more and they often relate to a girl character, especially if she is fashioned after all of the above. We boys may be cool, but girls rock! Always add an interesting girl to your boy book, in this market in these times you need to appeal to them both.
#2170 - January 27, 2009, 08:35 AM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

In the one I just finished, my MC has an annoying little sister.  Does that count?
#2171 - January 27, 2009, 09:20 AM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

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In the one I just finished, my MC has an annoying little sister.  Does that count?
Ha, Ha, Ummm, an annoying little sister, eh? Well I don't think so, unless she rolls with the guys on a regular basis, is a love interest, and or commands a particular scene in a Dakota Fanning kinda way, then I don't think that counts as appealing to the masses, its still a boy book. :cry2 Not to mention an annoying little sister? I think most girls 10 and up who read your book won't even acknowledge her.
#2172 - January 27, 2009, 10:03 AM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Well, according to my MC, she's the reason they invented cootie shots.  It will be a lot of fun trying to get this one past all of the female editors out there.
#2173 - January 27, 2009, 10:35 AM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

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Well, according to my MC, she's the reason they invented cootie shots.  It will be a lot of fun trying to get this one past all of the female editors out there.
:lol Yep, but hey humorous anti-feminist remarks by kid boys. DUDE, TOOOOOTAAALLLL kid magnet. Makes me want to read their bickering. Should be fun.
#2174 - January 27, 2009, 10:51 AM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Kappa

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Circle, circle, dot, dot, dot.
Now I've got my cootie shot.

I remember doing that...for real.  :crazy
#2175 - January 29, 2009, 02:42 AM

GeorgiaW

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Georgia McBride - YA writer who just completed first manuscript in a series and is actively seeking representation.  Former artist manager in music industry and product marketing professional; I have only recently started writing full-time.  38 year old mother of 2 humans and 3 Chihuahuas interested in networking with others in the publishing/media industry.  I am specificly interested in small critique groups, small genre support groups and mentoring support.  I live in the Raleigh area of NC.

Cheers-
Georgia
#2176 - January 29, 2009, 10:32 AM

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Hi Georgia, its so very nice to meet you. I'm new here too and I must say I'm in love with the people here (the fact that their all pretty ladies is a plus) and they'll help you with anything you desire.
Hope you enjoy your time here, see ya in the forums.

TYDM

P.S. I find it funny that you refer to your kids as just plain old humans. It must be hilarious when you give an order to them. "Human go do your homework!" Ha, ha that's a riot.  BDW what genre do you write for.
#2177 - January 29, 2009, 04:02 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Type/Sleep/Type
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Girls are people too

 :dr Welcome to the board, Tyson.
#2178 - January 29, 2009, 06:11 PM
THROUGH TO YOU
Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins

http://emilyhainsworth.com/
http://www.twitter.com/Emily_YA

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Thank you Emily. And do mind my asking. I am not quite certain why it is you find "Girls are people too" so funny?
#2179 - January 29, 2009, 06:54 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Hi, Georgia-- welcome to the board!  :broccoli
#2180 - January 29, 2009, 06:57 PM
http://twitter.com/rachelgrinti
CLAWS, Chicken House 2012
JALA'S MASK, Pyr, November 4, 2014

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Thank you Emily. And do mind my asking. I am not quite certain why it is you find "Girls are people too" so funny?

Tyson, I think it was the context it was in...but maybe you have to be a girl to understand. ;)
#2181 - January 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
THROUGH TO YOU
Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins

http://emilyhainsworth.com/
http://www.twitter.com/Emily_YA

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 :hiding

Hi everyone,  I am coming out of hiding a little late in the game, but have finally found the nerve and the time to join the crowd.  Most of my good friends who are writers are already members here!

My name is Kami and I've been writing for a number of years.  I write both poetry and prose for middle graders down to very young readers.  I spent my first few years submitting to and being published in children's magazines.  I loved seeing how the illustrators pictured my words! Hats off to illustators everywhere.

Because there are only so many hours in a day, and so many of those hours are spent with my children, I stopped subbing to mags about two years ago and focussed 100% of my writing time to completing some book manuscripts.  I am very excited that two of those books (both early chapter books) are being published by Putnam in 2010 and 2011.  I just completed the second book this past summer and have been working furiously on a middle grade novel ever since.  I do not have an agent to give me guidance, so I am anxious to see what kind of response this manuscript will receive. 

As a children's writer, I feel a bit isolated professionally because we live in Beaufort SC, which is very beautiful but fairly remote.  I am excited about connecting with wonderful writers from all over through this site.

Thanks for reading!

Kami

#2182 - February 02, 2009, 09:56 AM
THE BOY PROBLEM, Scholastic 2014
THE BOY PROJECT, Scholastic 2012

blog: www.nerdychicksrule.com
website: www.kamikinard.com
twitter: @kamikinard

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 :star2 :star2 Welcome to the Blueboards Kami. :star2 :star2 You seem like a very hardworking mother and I applaud you for your success.  :star2 Here you will find all sorts of interesting, talented, pretty and intelligent people much like yourself and with whom you can connect with. Hope You have a great time here and I'll see ya in the forums!!  :star2

TyDM
#2183 - February 02, 2009, 12:10 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

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Yay, Kami's finally here!!
#2184 - February 02, 2009, 12:12 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

GeorgiaW

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Yes Tyson.  In my world you have to be clear about the order and your place in it.  As I am capable of mothering humans and canines, this is very important! LOL! When the order is disrupted we all pay dearly.  And, I would never refer to them as "just plain old humans."  They are capable of greatness, limited only by their lack of world experience and size at the moment.  :-)

Cheers-
Georgia


Hi Georgia, its so very nice to meet you. I'm new here too and I must say I'm in love with the people here (the fact that their all pretty ladies is a plus) and they'll help you with anything you desire.
Hope you enjoy your time here, see ya in the forums.

TYDM

P.S. I find it funny that you refer to your kids as just plain old humans. It must be hilarious when you give an order to them. "Human go do your homework!" Ha, ha that's a riot.  BDW what genre do you write for.
#2185 - February 02, 2009, 01:07 PM

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 :wow You sound just like wise old mother goose. (Not that you're old, just wanted to make that clear) I especially adore your quote: "They are capable of greatness, limited only by their lack of world experience and size at the moment." Wow, that's some really powerful stuff. I can tell that you love your children with all your heart. *Sniff,* makes me appreciate my mom more than ever! I'm going to give her a hug and tell her how much I love her. Thank you for inspiring and for sharing your words of wisdom.
#2186 - February 02, 2009, 02:48 PM
Wannabe Middle Grade Fantasy author and total superhero geek

http://tdmcfrost.blogspot.com/

Sudo Nimm

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 :welcome :welcome :welcome :welcome :welcome
Terrie, Chris, Tyson, Georgia, and Kami!!
#2187 - February 02, 2009, 07:40 PM

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 :thankyou

Thanks for the welcome, all!  I really am looking forward to getting to know other writers.  When I went to Chautauqua a few years ago I was amazed at how many people already knew each other through these boards.  I hadn't even heard of the blue boards at that point.  What a great way to connect.

Thanks AM, in particular, for pushing me forward! 

 :hearts

Kami
#2188 - February 03, 2009, 09:08 AM
THE BOY PROBLEM, Scholastic 2014
THE BOY PROJECT, Scholastic 2012

blog: www.nerdychicksrule.com
website: www.kamikinard.com
twitter: @kamikinard

SB

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Just wanted to pop in and introduce myself -- my name is Sara.  I've been a long (looong) time lurker on these boards and thought it was time to come out of my hidey-hole(!).
 :hiding

*waves to all the nice people*
#2189 - February 05, 2009, 09:02 PM

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Welcome, Sara! :)
#2190 - February 06, 2009, 05:37 AM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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