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Inspiration for magazine writers

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I just posted what's below on LJ, but I thought that some of you who write for mags might find it inspiring, so here goes:

At the end of 2004, I had an idea for a story about a little girl who loved science. The main character was Karly, and she spends her days digging in the dirt, hoping to grow up to be a geologist, an archeologist, or a paleontologist. She has a twin sister, Jessie, who's somewhat of a girly-girl, and who stays as far away from dirt as possible. As the story goes, Jessie makes fun of Karly's collection of rocks, fossils, and other favorite science-related objects, but in the end it's Karly who saves the day. She comes up with terrific ideas for Jessie's diorama, and the two live happily ever after.

Does the story above sound a little familiar? This was the seed that grew into SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD. Sure, the plot is different, but the basic idea of a science-loving girl is the same. In SAMANTHA, the sisters are not twins--Sam is five years younger than Jen, but their interaction is similiar to the two girls in the magazine story.

I enjoyed rereading this short piece because it took me back to the time when I was trying so hard to get publication credits. I remember dreaming of having a book on the shelves. I can see now how that little story was a small step to success.

I sold "Family Science" to Hopscotch For Girls  in 2006, and it appears this month in their August/September issue.

Bottom line: If you love to write for magazines, keep doing it even though the pay isn't great and it may be years before you see your work in print. What you write may be a really cool nugget that you can expand into something different.

 :ladder
#1 - July 30, 2011, 09:55 AM

Great story, Nancy! And the writing inspiration is especially helpful to me today.

Can't wait to see your piece in Hopscotch next month!

CONGRATULATIONS!
#2 - July 30, 2011, 10:07 AM
THESE THINGS COUNT! award-winning nature series Albert Whitman
TWIGS (YA)  Merit Press
www.alisonashleyformento.com

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Wonderful story, Nancy. Yes, ideas can blossom and take an author in multiple writing directions. I know I've written poems, and even puzzles, that have later inspired the beginnings of a short story.

And like Alison, I can't wait to see your story in Hopscotch next month. In fact, I'll be in that issue as well, with a puzzle.
 
#3 - July 30, 2011, 10:27 AM
http://www.guybelleranti.com/
Sheep's Caps and Coats (the 6th book in my Farm Friends level reader series), August 2019, RR Books

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Congrats, Nancy. Hard writing does pay off!  :cheerleader
#4 - July 30, 2011, 10:42 AM

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Nancy, When I was reading your post, I didn't notice who had posted it. All I could think is, "Wow, this sounds an awful lot like Nancy's book." Imagine how relieved I was to find out it was you who had written the article. Laurie
#5 - July 30, 2011, 10:47 AM
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Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
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 :hearts  Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on your story! Great inspiration.
~Tina
#6 - July 30, 2011, 09:50 PM
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congratulations! I always love to know the story behind the story.
amy
#7 - July 31, 2011, 06:54 AM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
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What fun to hear about the beginning ideas for your mg.  I enjoyed reading SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD and really appreciated having a heroine that liked science!

Congrats on both your article and novel, Nan.  :star2
#8 - August 01, 2011, 06:11 AM

I loved reading your success story! Thanks for the inspiration, Nan!
#9 - August 01, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Hey there, Guy!
I'm looking at your puzzle right now. VERY nice! Must have been a challenge to get all those tough science words in there. Kudos to you!!
#10 - August 01, 2011, 02:38 PM

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Great insight. I love writing for magazines for the same reasons ... and more.
Vijaya
#11 - August 01, 2011, 03:09 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
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I just read your story, Nancy, and it's adorable! I have an article in that issue as well that I sold way back when. I totally agree about the magazine writing! Congrats!
#12 - August 02, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Wonderful story, Nancy!   I write mostly for magazines and I LOVE it!  It's inspiring to see how your magazine story took on a whole new life.  Awesome!

~Carol
#13 - August 03, 2011, 12:13 PM

Annette, I saw yours, but totally forgot you were a Blueboarder! Very interesting article. My daughter loved it.
#14 - August 03, 2011, 02:05 PM

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Thanks, Nancy. Yes, it was a fun challenge getting all those "ologies" in. I love making puzzles -- and solving them, too.


Hey there, Guy!
I'm looking at your puzzle right now. VERY nice! Must have been a challenge to get all those tough science words in there. Kudos to you!!
#15 - August 05, 2011, 09:28 AM
http://www.guybelleranti.com/
Sheep's Caps and Coats (the 6th book in my Farm Friends level reader series), August 2019, RR Books

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Contratulations on the light stick article, Annette. An interesting piece, and I learned a bit, too!
#16 - August 05, 2011, 09:31 AM
http://www.guybelleranti.com/
Sheep's Caps and Coats (the 6th book in my Farm Friends level reader series), August 2019, RR Books

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