Monday, July 30, 2012

Look, Writer, Something Shiny!

Summer usually passes in a blur for writer parents. Kids are out of school and must be ferried here and there. The refrigerator requires regular restocking with ice pops, watermelon, and string cheese. Visits to grandparents no longer take the over-the-river-and-through-the-woods route. Instead, they involve planes and layovers in Atlanta. What's more, despite parents' best efforts to keep kids occupied, the little buggers mutter "I'm bored" a dozen times a day.

For you writer moms and dads, here are three distractions to squeeze in after swim-team carpool and before you set up the slip-and slide.

You know you've compared your writing to that of well-known writers, but you're not a disinterested observer, are you? Why not ask a robot how your style compares to that of best-sellers? (Thanks to writer Alice McKenna Johnson for the link.)

If the entrepreneurship bug bites the kiddos hard, they might keep a lemonade stand going for more than an hour. In that case, check out this twenty-minute TED video of Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the memoir EAT, PRAY, LOVE. (Highly recommended by literary agent Janet Reid/via her blog)

If you're on Twitter, you know some writers promote their books every hour on the hour. Agent Rachelle Gardner features a funny but short anti-spamming video on her blog.

I'd have more, but summer fries my powers of concentration. Lemonade, anyone?


Anonymous said...

My shiny thing the next two weeks is OLYMPICS but I'm certainly going to try the first suggestion--the robot thingy. Thanks for the distraction!

Anonymous said...

That last comment and this one are from Jane Myers Perrine because I can never remember my password for the others ways to sign on.

Ginger Calem said...

Like Jane, my very shiny thing the next two weeks will be the Olympics. But for most of the summer, it's the lake and all the different things I can do on it.

Sarah Andre said...

I write like J.D. Salinger.
Wow...nice compliment, but I have to think the robot looks like a Magic 8 ball, LOL!

Shiny thing: Reading through my completely rewritten (4th time) WIP one more time so I can send it off to my agent and get it on the market by Fall.

Lark Howard said...

The robot is demented. I refuse to admit I write like him.

I enjoyed the TED video, Pat. I saw it a while back and thought it very thought provoking.

Summer. A season barely endured in Houston. Lemonade sounds good, especially with some raspberry Stoli. I'm in post-conference ween-myself-from-vices mode...very slowly.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jane! You're welcome under any sign-in moniker you choose. The Olympics are shiny, indeed. I always swear I'll watch, unmoved, as a host recounts an athlete's against-the-odds climb to Olympic Village, and I always cry like a baby.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Yes to the Olympics--and the lake, Ginger. Enjoy every minute.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Your shiny manuscript is the best distraction of all, Sarah. Good for you!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

The robot told me I write like Dan Brown, Lark. I am baffled but hope that means my pacing is quick.

Wasn't Elizabeth Gilbert outstanding? She's self-aware, self-deprecating, and injects confidence into every listener. Last week, you asked which author I'd like to hang out with for a day. I choose her.

There's a respberry Stoli? I have to get out more.

You're weaning yourself from vices? Where's the fun in that?

Lynette M Burrows said...

I write like Ursula K Le Guin! Fun! But, I don't have to have summer and kids to provide shiny distractions. Blogs, Twitter, the Olympics - big time right now - the day job, my dogs, shopping for books . . . You really don't want me to continue. LOL.

Now I'm going to check out Elizabeth Gilbert

Jennette Marie Powell said...

My daughter learned quickly not to say "I'm bored" because I always found something for her to do, like clean gerbil cages or put away dishes LOL. Our shiny is now college visits, so I'm a little wistful for those days!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hope you like the Elizabeth Gilbert video, Lynette.

You write like Ursula LeGuin? Fun, indeed!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

College visits are very shiny, Jennette. You've reached a milestone in parenthood, but it's not easy to let go. {{Hug}}