THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Covering All The Bases

 

baseball

 

I wouldn’t consider myself the world’s best athlete growing up. I was incredibly shy and self-conscious about my appearance, so when I was forced to pick a sport to “master” during high school as part of my PE grade, I decided on soft ball.

I didn’t have the jump to play basketball, my sister cornered the gymnastics arena, and my brother was the boss of the football field. Surprisingly enough, I found that I was fairly adept at my chosen sport and ended up playing both short-stop or second base. I wasn’t superstar material by any means, but I always managed to cover the bases any time I stepped out on the playing field. Whether catching fly balls, stopping grounders, or even taking my turn at bat, I focused on multi tasking to get the job done.

Juggling an active writing career is very similar to covering second base. There are even times when juggling things like revisions, queries, contests, research, and other writing commitments cut into actual writing time and we find ourselves wondering how we are going to be able to cover all our writerly bases.

I don’t have all the answers, but as I go into this busy, busy summer season, I plan on keeping a few things in mind:

1. MAKE A WRITING PLAN & FOLLOW IT DAILY

 

I might only get to write for 15 minutes some days but I will focus all my energy during those 15 minutes on my latest project.

 

2. DO MY RESEARCH & NARROW MY AGENT LIST

 

Some of my queries need to be followed up on while other submissions need to be sent out.

3. TAKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY OCCASIONALLY

 

It’s hard for me sometimes to take time just for me but past experience has shown me I need ME time in order to be able to put my best effort into my writing.

Before you know it, summer will be gone and the kids will be back in school. The sounds of the crowd and the smell of popcorn will fade from the baseball field, but at least I will have something to show for covering all my writerly bases.

What about you? How do you plan to manage your busy summer and still get your writing in?

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: When Life Throws You A Curve Ball…Catch It!

 

baseball

 

When I was in high school I played a lot of baseball during my physical education class. I don’t know if my teacher just wasn’t creative enough to occupy our class time with anything else or if she had some grand scheme of trying to make me the next hometown slugger. Either way I didn’t mind it and was pretty good at playing the short stop/second base position. While I had to work hard at playing the game, my son had a natural talent for anything athletic and even did his stint as pitcher on one of the neighborhood community leagues when he was growing up. I guess you could say playing baseball runs in our family.

This morning I woke up thinking about what I would write today and realized my memories of playing baseball could help me in writing and with life in general.

 

BALL ONE…THE EASY PITCH

 

If you’ve ever watched a little kid’s baseball game, you’ll know the one I’m talking about. When kids are just starting out learning to play the game the balls come easy. It’s a time to focus on the goal of connecting with the ball and maybe getting to first base. Newbie writers get nervous about those first few stories they write just like those first few easy pitches thrown across the plate. Will I be good enough to play the game? Do I understand the rules? Will I ever score..or in a writer’s case, will I ever be brave enough to send my manuscript out into the world for others to see?

 

BALL TWO…THE CURVE BALL

 

As you become more experienced as a ball player…and a writer…then comes the chance of being thrown a curve ball. Just when you think you understand what is expected of you there is a new twist and you may find yourself fumbling at the plate. Are you going to strike out? Or will you look around and see how other players handle those curve balls? Over the years I’ve written a number of picture books. I even completed Mira Reisberg’s Chapter Book Alchemist course. During Mira’s course, the curve ball being thrown my way was in the form of a personal challenge to complete a chapter book manuscript during this course. Instead of backing down, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and write a creative nonfiction chapter book which is as polar opposite from what I usually write as my hitting average is to Babe Ruth’s. But guess what? I rose to the challenge and managed to hit that curve ball coming my way because I stayed focused on my writing goals and followed the rules of the game.

 

BALL THREE…THE WILD ONE

 

Then there are times when things are going too fast. When the pitcher…or LIFE…decides to throw you a wild pitch and all you can do is try to get out of the way. That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Something so shocking to me I still can’t get the image out of my mind. I tried to get out of the way of that crazy ball coming straight for me but instead ran right into it. Yeah it hurt and yeah I will feel the after effects for months to come, but you know what? At least I’m still in the game. For writers, it could be a rejection letter or writer’s block or even a bad business decision. But it’s what you do AFTER you get hit with the wild pitch that determines whether you’ll still be around at the bottom of the ninth or not.

BALL FOUR…THE LINE DRIVE

 

Finally, there is my favorite pitch. The line drive. Coming straight at you and you can either swing with all your might and send that puppy soaring into the bleachers or you can let it pass you by and strike out. Writing is a scary business. Even sometimes a fickle one where the rules of the game sometimes changes faster than we can keep up. But sometimes…just sometimes…the pitcher and batter and ball all line up and when THAT happens, a writer can hit a home run and send their manuscript out into the world for others to catch…

 

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donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: David A Adler

Satchel.jpg

 

Title: Satchel Paige Don’t Look Back
Author: David A Adler
Illustrator: Terry Widener
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc
Ages: 9-11

 

Synopsis:

 

Satchel Paige as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He wanted more than anything to make it into the “big show” but hen he began his career in the 1920’s, African Americans were excluded from the major leagues. That didn’t stop him from playing until he got the chance he’d been hoping for. And that was just the beginning…

 

Why you should read it:

 

Growing up and all the way through high school I played softball whenever I got the chance. Whether as a part of neighborhood kid gatherings or physical education roundups, I was good as shortstop or second base. But growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, I’d only heard of the great Babe Ruth…not Satchel Paige. Now kids of all ages can learn about one man’s determination to make the world look beyond the color of his skin to see his amazing talent as one of the best pitchers the game of baseball has ever seen.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 4 out of 5…think about it.

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!