WOW!

I’m very excited to be speaking at this year’s WOW Conference, a day of leaders and champions. Will you be in the area? Come join us at the Blue Ocean Music Center in Salisbury, Massachusetts on April 5 and learn how you can become an Olympian gold medalist, a world-class leader, a successful entrepreneur, and a spousal serial killer (I mean, fiction writer!).

That’s what I’ll be talking about, my path to writing fiction, and tips and words of encouragement for you to find your own path to killing your significant other (I mean, to becoming a fiction writer!).

Read all about the conference here. It’s presented by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, and I’m so grateful they asked me to join the fun. Who knew so many women are interested in killing their partners? (I mean, writing fiction!)

Hope to see you in the audience!

credit: morguefile

credit: morguefile

 

Visit me at matter chatter

It’s been ages since I posted anything. I have several drafts on numerous subjects in varying degrees of completion, but the fact of the matter is I have this exciting new job where I get to wear big-girl clothes and drink coffee and have conversations with adults.

So, I’ve neglected to keep up the home blog. But, you can visit me, and many other terrific folks, at Matter Chatter, the blog for Matter Communications – my new employer.

I recently wrote about the power of twitter because it seems there are a lot of business folks who still think twitter is silly. I know, right? Okay, a lot of it is silly, but there is a huge amount of power in that odd, online soapbox. You can read my thoughts here. You can even tweet about it, if you’d like. 

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Yup, it’s NaNoWriMo time! That means it’s National Novel Writing Month, and over 200,000 people from around the world will attempt to write a novel (from idea to 50,000 words) in 30 days. I participated and crossed the finish line in 2008. And although it may sound like dental surgery to some of you, it was great brain-tingling fun, and I’m excited to participate again this year. I encourage any and all writers to give it a try. Laundry, grocery shopping, and blogging can wait. So, with that, I need to get back to my novel.

Oh, and here’s a little funny passed along from a writer friend:

 

Last of the UnDark Girls

First there was darkness, and this lasted for two hundred years. So when a little girl was born with a glow that lit the dingy, ill-painted room, the people in the village smiled and patted the father on the back. And when another girl was born glowing half a world away, it was declared a miracle. Within a few years, glowing girls lit the world’s darkest corners and deepest secrets.

But their light eventually became extinguished by greed, lust, and power, until all the glow girls had perished, except for four.

The world’s kind citizens feared for the remaining girls, so they built a factory prison of the strongest stone just for them, where they could light the world without corruption.

But light can’t be contained within stone walls, because in time even the strongest of stone cracks, and eventually, the girls escaped through fissures undetected by the earnest citizens.

They are the UnDark Girls, and I am writing their story, a dark fable based on the true story of the Radium Girls from the late 1920s.

“These gleamings, which seemed suspended in darkness, stirred us with new emotion and enchantment….The glowing tubes looked like faint, fairy lights.” —Marie Curie, discoverer of Radium

 

Bear Who Loves Halloween Winners!

The 10 winners for “The Great Halloween Bear Book Giveaway!!” are:

1. Aaron Coffin

2. Raven In A Blue Room

3. Wendy

4. Colleen

5. Wanda Thomas

6. Laura Kay

7. Tanya Ames

8. Mandy

9. Tracey Southerland

10. Heather E Stockwell

Please email your mailing address and personalization instructions to me by using the email button above. Thank you, and have a wonderful Halloween!

 

The Great Halloween Bear Book Giveaway!!

The much loved Bear Who Loves Halloween is BACK! And, we’ve got a Halloween give-away to celebrate.

Retailing for $15.95, I will be giving away ten, yes TEN, new copies to be signed and personalized for your trick-or-treater, and shipped in time for Halloween.

Recommended for very young children (2-5), The Bear Who Loves Halloween follows a young bear’s journey as he discovers the sweet and joyful customs of a holiday devoted to children of all ages.

Parents introducing Halloween to their children will love and appreciate the story’s unfolding without scary images or words. Children will love Jack the bear’s fun-filled adventure as they think about their own upcoming celebration.

According to one happy parent:

“This is an absolutely fantastic Halloween story. My kids adored it and have read it every day since we got it. As my son said, ‘Mom, could that happen to us? Wouldn’t it be just great if it did!’ Bravo Jennifer Karin Sidford for bringing a great story to kids everywhere!”

The hardcover book features full-color illustrations from celebrated artist Sam Kimball.

To enter, leave a comment telling us what your child plans to be for Halloween. That’s it! Multiple entries will be deleted, so please enter just once. With so many copies to give away, you have lots of chances to win! Winners will be selected via an automated WordPress plug-in.

Giveaway closes Oct. 12. Winners will be announced on Oct. 13. Be sure to check back on Oct. 13 to see if you won a copy of The Bear Who Loves Halloween.

Trick or Treat!

 

Meet My Fellowship

Although I’ve been a professional writer for over 25 years, novel writing is brand spanking new to me. Every day brings about a Lord of the Rings-sized challenge, with a finished novel about as likely as reaching the peaks of Mordor. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, however: don’t try to navigate the publishing landscape, filled with jagged rocks, harrowing crevasses, and even the occasional Orc, alone. Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, a very talented writer and professor, recruited me for a writer’s group, and I’m so grateful. They keep me going when I want to turn around and run home.

So with that, meet my fellowship, a talented, funny, and generous group of gals who have kept me from slipping under the spell of Sauron, a.k.a., really crappy writing. Here, each of them answers the following question:

Gift, chore, or hassle: what does the writer’s quest mean to you?

Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, author of Thirstyand many published essays

Kristin Bair O'Keeffe @kbairokeeffe

In my most grueling writerly moments, I’ve been known to proclaim, “I should have been a dentist,” but I don’t mean it. Partly because I could never stick my fingers into people’s mouths on a daily basis or ask them—with any genuine interest—about their flossing habits, but mostly because I absolutely love that I see the world in stories. Bright, brilliant, textured stories that keep me coming back to the page.

And while I believe that writing is a great gift in my life, it’s also my work…my job…my masonry. And like anyone with a job, I have to show up ready to complete the task. I can’t get out of it by scribbling a note that says, “Please excuse Kristin today. Her muse is taking a staycation.” So if you see me huddled over my keyboard chanting “Writerhead! Writerhead!” give a wave…and know that I’m doing the job I’ve been called to do.

Julie Long, author of Baby, an Owner’s Manual& several other books

Julie Long @julielongwrites

The actual craft of writing always feels like a gift to me. Even when I’m struggling with a scene. Even (like today) when it took me two hours to write one paragraph. Even when I’m entering tedious edits (I think of those as grooming a beloved pet — I don’t love the act but I love that darn dog, so wiping goop out of her eyes is a way to honor her). A long time ago my mother cautioned me to make sure I enjoyed the process, the journey, not just the destination. I thoroughly enjoy the process of writing, editing and revising.

Now the other aspects of the writer’s life? That’s another story. The agent search, the self promotion, the social media, the staying abreast of an industry in constant change — for me these things range from necessary chore to is-it-worth-it hassle to complete bewilderment!

Meredith Mileti, author of Aftertaste (launching this week!!)

Meredith Mileti @winsomechef

At various times it’s been both a chore and a hassle, but overall it’s a wonderful gift.  I feel tremendously lucky to be able to live the writer’s life.  And not just because I get to work in my pajamas and fuel my muse with tea and my favorite biscuits every day (undeniably a HUGE perk).  I’m a self-confessed junkie for the printed word.  (Happily, there are far worse things to be addicted to.)  I love laboring over words and sentences just as much as I love discovering my characters and devising situations that will challenge them, madden them and hopefully help them grow.

I can’t imagine tiring of the quest to create something that will make someone laugh, or perhaps think about the world in a different way. That said, there are many aspects of the writer’s life that are challenging and, at times, frustrating. I think it’s a particularly difficult time to be a new writer trying to break into the industry.  Publishing is changing so drastically and so rapidly that developing a plan of attack can sometimes feel like charting a course through maelstrom!   But there is nothing else I’d rather be doing.

Aren’t they wonderful? Yes. Yes they are.

So, find your brethren, lock arms, band together. It will save you, enlighten you, inspire you. And it will be spring in the Shire before you know it.

Click to watch Sam carry Frodo up Mordor. It’s awesome!