Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

Tip the Scales for Someone

justice     I carry bookmarks advertising Bird Face in case I run across a potential reader while on my errands.

“Would you like a bookmark?” I pulled one out of my purse and handed it to the lady registering me for some lab work at my local hospital. “My book was published in February.”

Her eyes lit up. “How exciting!” She went on to compliment me and ask questions (no one was waiting in line behind me). We had a nice little discussion.

Then she said, “I’d love for you to talk to the lady across the hall. She’s writing a book, and I know she’d like to meet you.”

I agreed, and Lady 1 accompanied me to Lady 2’s station and introduced me to her.

What a warm reception she gave me! We shared our feelings about the writing process and writing for young people in particular. Then we moved on to reading the kinds of books we like to write, and I suggested she look up the publishers of those books as a starting place for queries. She said she already had a query letter and proposal ready. There was more I wanted to tell her, and later I wished I’d mentioned joining writers guilds and critique groups. But if she already knew about queries and proposals, she perhaps belonged to one or more of those already.

As I was about to head to the lab, I added, “You just have to keep at it, keep working on your manuscript and querying. Never give up. That’s what the publishing professionals say. Sometimes talented writers don’t get published because they give up too soon.”

She replied, “Thank you very much. I’m so glad you stopped by to talk to me today. I had reached the  point where I really needed a push to keep going.” Her appreciation showed in her eyes and smile.

Needless to say, she made my day too.

When someone, writer or not, begins to doubt whether he or she will succeed and is weighing the pros and cons of continuing, who will tip the scales? Who will add one small encouraging fact or lend a helping hand that can make the pros outweigh the cons?

Maybe it will be you. And somewhere down the road, you will receive the same in return.

Have you recently kept someone from giving up on a dream? Has someone encouraged you and kept you from quitting? Please share how you helped or were helped.





Favorite Words

CrossedWords  We all have them. Words we combine with more ordinary ones to make our vocabulary unique to us.

Sometimes we pick up a word we hear from a family member or friend or a TV or radio personality. We like something about it. Could be the funny way it sounds or a memory it evokes. Maybe we learned it the hard way while doing a crossword puzzle. But we never forget it.

My favorite words are some I like the look of on a printed page. Behemoth and cacophony are two of them. I used them in Bird Face and thought they were just right for the scenes in which they appeared. In a few syllables, they describe what would otherwise have taken a phrase or entire sentence. So they’re efficient too.

Another author and critique partner of mine, Lisa, has me wanting to use a word I’ve noticed a couple of times in her writing: soporific. The opportunity may come along soon because I think Wendy would use it to describe mathematics.

Sometimes a word becomes so popular I grow tired of it. That happened with “salient.” Over a decade ago, it showed up everywhere. Then the fad died, so now I like it again.

What is a favorite word of yours and why do you like it? Do you have to make an effort to use it in writing or conversation, or does its use come naturally?




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