Tag Archives: parenting

Free Monthly Newsletter for Writers

Go to http://www.PublishingSyndicate.com to sign up for the free monthly writing newsletter “Wow Principles.” My article “When Words Feel Like Wedgies” will be in the next issue!
Pat Nelson, co-creator or “Not Your Mother’s Books:” “On Parenting,” “On Grandparenting” and “On Working for a Living.”

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Helping My Granddaughter Write Stories

My granddaughter is 12. We’ve been telling stories to each other since she could talk and writing together since she first learned to print. While I write, she observes. She sees that my first draft is never my finished product. I tell her what I’m doing as I edit. Not all kids would be interested, but she is. Her mom and I did the same thing when she was young, and she recently wrote her first novel.

I am co-creating two anthologies for Publishing Syndicate: Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Grandparenting and Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Parenting. Publishing Syndicate also has an anthology series called OMG! My Reality! for kids, pre-teens, and teens. My granddaughter recently submitted two stories. I’d like to share a tip on how she decided which stories to write. You might use this same idea with your children or grandchildren. I’m sure they would love to be published and earn royalties!

First, we read the submission guidelines for the OMG! books at http://www.publishingsyndicate.com. My granddaughter made a spreadsheet, listing each type of story suggested on the website: wonderful, courageous, difficult, joyful, funny, and extraordinary. Then, under each of these headings, she entered her ideas. For example, under the heading “wonderful,” she entered these story ideas: Arizona, Hawaii, babysitting, birthday party. Then she went through her entire list and chose two subjects for her stories.

This method can be used for school projects too.

If you like to write with your kids and grandkids, or to write about parenting and grandparenting, go to http://www.publishingsyndicate.com for story guidelines and to submit completed stories. While you’re there, sign up for their free Wow Principles e-newsletter. It’s full of writing tips and story callouts.

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Edgy Grandparenting Stories Wanted

Earn dollars while you build a writing platform if your stories are selected for the Not Your Mother’s Book anthologies. There are nearly 40 books in the series, and I’m co-creating the Parenting book and the Grandparenting book. True stories, 500-2500 words, fun, entertaining, and maybe a little edgy . . . that’s what I’m looking for! What’s an edgy story? I think of it as a story that you laugh about at home or that you tell over and over but that you probably wouldn’t tell at church. You know the kind. PG-13 – TV 14 rated. No sad stuff! We get enough of that in the newspapers. It’s summer, and if you’ve been spending time with the grandkids, you probably have some fresh stories to share. Or maybe you have some mighty funny stories about your own grandparents. Don’t make me sit here all night bored while I wait to hear them. Go to http://www.publishingsyndicate.com to read submission guidelines and to turn in your story. Questions? I’m right here. Just ask!

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Writing with My Daughter and Granddaughter

I love to write, but what’s even more fun is to write with my daughter and my 12-year-old granddaughter. Writing with your children pays off. My daughter and I wrote together when she was a child. She won an essay contest when she was around the age her daughter is now. I run into her essay from time to time when I clean out the file drawers, and it always brings a smile to my face.

My daughter surprised me last year by writing a book. I didn’t even know she had ever considered writing a book, and suddenly there it was . . . all 300 pages of a young adult fantasy. Wow! I didn’t think I cared much for fantasy, but this one grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. It wasn’t just that my daughter wrote it. I forgot all about that as I got lost in the story. After I read it, the characters and their lives stayed with me for days. I thought about them and wanted more. I’m helping my daughter edit, and then it’s on to the publisher!

Speaking of publishers, Publishing Syndicate has a really unique publishing offer. They have designed a program to help you get published, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, either! We will definitely see what they can do for my daughter after we polish her book. This company is worth checking out: http://www.publishingsyndicate.com.

My granddaughter and I have written stories together for several years. When I edit our creations, she watches and sees how I think about a writing project . . . how I move things around, delete unneeded words and even whole sentences, and look up a word when I’m unsure of the spelling. We talk about the changes I make. She’s becoming a good writer, and is developing the skills that she needs to become a great writer.

This summer, my granddaughter will try writing for publication. Publishing Syndicate (www.publishingsyndicate.com) has three new anthologies: One for kids, one for pre-teens, and one for teens. It’s called OMG. My Reality. This will be a test of the skills she has learned, because she will be on her own; parents and grandparents cant help.  Whether or not her stories are published, writing with the hope of publication will strengthen her skills even more. And if she is published, it will look great on scholarship and college applications, along with her other activities and her good grades.

Write with your kids and grandkids. I do, and it’s great!

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Filed under Anthology, books, Family Memories, grandchildren, kids writing, OMG My Reality, Parent, pre-teens writing, Publishing Syndicate, submitting stories, teens writing, writing, writing for publication, www.publishingsyndicate.com, young adult fantasy, young adult writing

Organizing My Writing Space

ImageI can’t complain about my office. It’s spacious, it has lots of storage cabinets, and the view from my desk is beautiful. But sometimes, when the clutter gets too deep, my office is frightening.

I love to write, but I can only write in an organized setting. If my desk is piled high, the many tasks represented by the pile shout out louder than the urge to write. Once I signed the contract to co-create Not Your Mother’s Book  . . . on Grandparenting and Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Parenting for Publishing Syndicate, I knew I had to take control of my office.

First of all, I took small piles from my desk and sorted them on the dining room table. Things were so out of control that I couldn’t tell what was important and what was not. As I spread out the papers on the table, I placed the garbage on a chair. I was surprised at how much of the paperwork on my desk was unneeded!

Once I had cleared my office desk and had sorted my work into piles on the table, I was able to prioritize. That doesn’t mean I actually dealt with the most important things first. To me, it was more important to get rid of some of the clutter. I took care of several of the easy things, and once there were fewer piles, I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.

Next, I bought a wide binder. I filled it with colored pocket-pages, red for priority, green for things to do soon, blue for things that can wait, and white for things to do if I ever really get caught up. I then placed the stacks from the table into the appropriate pockets. Ah, I felt so much better when I was done. I still had the same amount of work to do, but it was all contained in one binder.

Now, as soon as a piece of paper hits my desk, I try to place it into the appropriate pocket of the binder. Each day, I start with the red pockets and then I don’t have to worry about forgetting to take care of something urgent.

In my home office, I take care of our wholesale business, our commercial office rentals, our personal paperwork, and my writing. That means having places for everything. Most of my desk drawers had already been filled with customer files, but I cleaned out one of those inexpensive three-drawer plastic storage cabinets. I found that I had important things in the top drawer, things that I use every day, but the bottom two drawers were full of things that had outlived their usefulness. I cleaned out those two drawers and now use one for each of the NYMB books. As I read and rate a story for Publishing Syndicate’s new anthology series, I print the stories and place them in the appropriate drawer for either NYMB on Parenting or NYMB on Grandparenting.

I probably print far too many things from the Internet, and sometimes my desk chokes on those papers. They get mixed up with other paperwork, and then I’m in trouble. To the left of my printer, I added a two-tier basket, the top tier for everything I print that I don’t take care of right away and the bottom tier for things I need to put away. I previously combined my in basket and my out basket in one wire basket, and as you can imagine, that did not work!

It’s a lot more relaxing to work in my office now that I am better organized. I am actually updating my blog, which I could seldom get around to with a mountain of paperwork haunting me. Ah, it looks so good in here now that I think I’m going to Tweet and then check Facebook. There’s nothing in my red file page, so I don’t even have to feel guilty.

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Publishing Syndicate is actively accepting non-fiction submissions, written by individuals 18 years and older, for these two books that I (Pat Nelson) am co-creating: Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Parenting and Not Your Mother’s Book . . . on Grandparenting. This new anthology series, featuring more than 35 different titles, will be targeted at a mature audience and, as such, many, but not all, of the stories will contain language and situations with a rating of PG-13 or TV-14. Stories must be entertaining, humorous, or inspiring, not sad, sappy or preachy. And please, no death or dying stories. Royalties will be paid. For more information, go to http://www.PublishingSyndicate.com.

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April 18, 2012 · 1:29