Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip # 10: Join the Conference!

That's right. There's no better way to make contacts, sharpen your skills and learn about the craft than to attend a writer's conference. I know, I know. The cash flow isn't there to attend as many as you'd wish. That's why I've been attending the Muse Online Writer's Conference the past few years. It's perfect for my situation. I can attend it from home and the best part is: it's free!

This year the conference runs from October 12, 2009-October 18, 2009, however the deadline to register is August 1, 2009. The director of the conference made it clear: NO EXCEPTIONS. So, if you'd like to attend the conference, head on over to the Muse Group and sign up - before August 1.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jen's Writing Tip# 9 How Exciting!

We all know great things happen in our stories and articles. We want our readers to pick up on it. Chances are, if they're following the story, they will pick up on the excitement.

As authors, we are tempted to put in expressive punctuation to emphasize our point. The most over used punctuation mark? The exclamation point. We use exclamation point to show excitement. Something out of the ordinary is happening. Or something wonderful, or scary. It is fine to use these powerful helpers sparingly. In fact, when used in moderation, it can make that line perfect.

However, we should be careful not to over use them. If you have a simple statement like, "Go find the dog," you should end that with a period. Could you imagine your sister or brother saying to you, "Go find the dog!" I have this vision of someone standing in front of me yelling loudly. Do we do that when we talk to each other ?

So how often should you use them? My advice would be one or two per manuscript, depending on the length. For anywhere between 500- 1000 words use one - maybe. Remember, you want that punctuation mark to do its job - show excitement. How exciting can something be if every other sentence ends with an exclamation point?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Cure for Summer Boredom

My friend Zebee at Laughing Zebra Children's Books has something wonderful in store for you this summer. Pretty soon those of us who have school-age children will find that the novelty of summer vacation is wearing off and boredom sets in. If that's true in your household, consider signing them up for this educational activity. There's something new each week. My friends over at Zebee's was kind enough to send me all the info.

Here's what they told me:

Just In Time to Beat Summer Time Boredom: Zebee’s Summer Zoo Camp is Almost Here!

Sign up today. Keep your child happily busy all summer long.

V Zoo, Cyber Space – July 1, 2009 -- Calling all parents, teachers and caregivers with children between the ages of 5 and 8. Do you need some fun educational activities for your children this summer? Can’t afford to send them off to a zoo camp? We have the answer. Starting July 6, 2009 we are holding a Virtual Summer Zoo Camp. It’s online and it’s totally FREE. All you have to do is sign up.

Eight weeks of Zoo animal fun!

July 6-12 Meerkat Mania

July 13-17 Leaping Lizards

July 20-24 Virtuous Vultures

July 27-31 Fascinating Frogs

August 3-7 Observant Okapis

August 10-14 Playful Penguins

August 17-21 Slithery Snakes

August 24-28 Amazing Antelope

We will be giving away some prizes too, all FREE.

What else will this summer camp have? There will be Games, Animal Trivia, Arts and Crafts and all kinds of Puzzles.

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to Zebee’s Summer Zoo Camp and sign up today.

Permission to Reprint:

Journalists, newsletter publishers, bloggers and others: You may reprint this to help spread the word. We here at Laughing Zebra – Books for Children thank you

So there you have it. Something to do when your child says to you, "I'm boooored." Feel free to post a comment here about your experience once the camp starts.

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