Beautiful Blogger

I’m blushing.

And not just because
Faith Hough, a critique bud, honored me with a blog award, but because it’s been too long since I’ve posted. So Faith, thanks for the nod and the cyber-kick in the pants : )

Down to business, according to the rules, I must share one meaningful and one random thing that makes my life beautiful.Then, I get to pass this award on to a few others.

Coffee (for me) is a beautiful (random) thing. Anyone who knows me, including the Old Saybrook, CT Starbucks’ staff, knows that I can’t live without coffee anymore that Bella can live without Edward.

On to things meaningful. Today I was outside cleaning up my garden (both terms I use loosely . . . just saying). When I pulled an inch high sapling from the ground I was amazed. This small sprouted acorn, seemingly insignificant will someday (if I hadn’t pulled it out of the soil, that is) grow into something wonderful, something huge, something larger than me, in fact.

Yeah, yeah, you’re probably saying, no kidding, heard it before . . . But wait.

So next I thought, you know . . . this acorn is like my writing. The ideas I choose to give time to and nurture will grow, just like this acorn will grow into a tree.

Again, blah, blah, blah, but I'm still not done.
The next thing I thought had to do with what Lisa Papademetriou said during her talk at the NESCBWI Conference I attended this weekend. It is impossible to rush growth. The caterpillar can’t become a butterfly any faster, an acorn can’t become a tree any faster, and a well written, good, page turning novel is no different.

All need to go through a certain process.

No matter what we do, how fast we write, we have to get through the discovery draft, if we dare to do as Cynthia Leitich Smith does (the Key Note Speaker at NESCBWI Conference, who also happens to have an amazing blog) we then press the delete key and start over (yeah, um, no, I can't do that yet). Next we go to the critique group and gather feedback. And then comes the hardest part: the setting-it-aside stage (cocoon stage, make-it-into-a-butterfly stage. Get it? Yeah.) And then comes the seemingly endless revisions, the inevitable rejections, more revisions, until finally we have something strong and wonderful and larger than we are. That's right, just like the little acorn.
I know this is not a new concept, but it is one I think, at least for me, we forget sometimes. We want so much to get to our goal that we forget or get frustrated that it isn't happened fast enough. So the acorn will from now on be my reminder to embrace the process.

Now, on to the passing of the award..........................

First I’d like to honor my good friend Kiki Hamilton who keeps me sane in this lonely world of writing. Kiki's debut YA novel comes out in 2011, THE FAERIE RING. I've read it, it rocks! If you like Melissa Marr, you'll love Kiki Hamilton.

Next up are a few of my wonderful critique partners who have been a big help in shaping my wips: Nandini and Katia.

Another is someone I 'met' through Facebook and whose blog I have enjoyed since: Shelli Johannes Wells.
The shear volume and quality of her posts are amazing.

When I went to the Central Ohio SCBWI Conference in October I met Cinda Chima, and was so excited to to see her at NESCBWI Conference this weekend. After visiting her blog, I wanted to add her here as well. Great to see you in Ohio and in MA!! Best of luck with book two THE EXILED QUEEN coming out in September, 2010.

And finally, the two woman who are as good at teaching as they are at writing. Both have given me so much of their time and support, and I have learned so much from them both. They are:
Below: Sarah (left) and Uma
Uma Krishnaswami, who has many published works. Her newest:THE ROAD TO SUNNY VILLA, to be published in 2011by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Sarah Aronson’s second book will be out in 2011 by Dial, a middle-grade titled BEYOND LUCKY. Her fist book was titled HEAD CASE, a very intense and well written book.Sarah has a collaborative blog, Through The Tollbooth, that explores the craft of writing in a plethora of ways.

I had the pleasure of meeting both of these amazing woman in the flesh at Vermont College Annual Novel Writer's Retreat, which I attended this year and last.

Hope you all will enjoy the blogs I mentioned above as much as I do!


  1. Hi Paula, Thanks for the award! It was great to see you at the conference on Saturday. Wish we had time to chat a bit more, but it was fun nonetheless. Hope the kids enjoyed the waterpark!

  2. It was great to see you too, Nandini. Enjoy your travels!

    Nandini and Shelli, you are most welcome! Look forward to seeing who you pass it on to.

  3. Hi, Paula! I'm glad to know I'm good for something, even if it is a cyber-kick. Doesn't that make me sound like some kind of a cyber-super-hero? ;)
    I really enjoyed checking out all the other blogs...
    ...and thank you for your inspiring comments on growth. That is exactly what I needed to hear right now, as usual.
    You're the best!

  4. HAHAHA, I love it! Faith the cyber-super-hero. Thanks again for the award : )

  5. Hi, Paula: can I call myself "award-winning blogger Cinda Williams Chima" now?

  6. I love Starbucks. A little too much. Congrats to you and the other award winners. :)

    Sounds like you've met some great people. Thank goodness for conferences and the Internet! They both make it so easy to interact with other people in the writing community.

  7. So true, Dawn. I don't know if I would be where I am if it wasn't for my cyber-writer buds.

  8. I have that same Starbucks coffee cup! The one that looks like their disposable plastic ones but it's actually reusable.

    I can't live with coffee either. I've quit caffeine before, but the allure of coffee always brings me right back to it.

    Thanks for joining my blog! I'm officially following yours too now!:-)


  9. Thanks, Kay for coming by.Good luck with your writing.


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