W & P Q #6, and no, I didn’t know my voice could go that high

Random fact: I sing alto. If I have a cold, my voice goes even deeper, pitching down into Lauren Bacall range. But apparently, under the right circumstances, my voice climbs the octaves until I sound like a very small mouse or someone who has spent too much time around helium balloons.

The “right circumstances” being a phone call from those loverly, sweet, blessed people who sat on The Margaret A. Edwards Award committee for the American Library Association,. That’s right; I sounded like Mickey Mouse when I received “The Call.”

Want proof? Watch this adorable video filled with clips of lots of us who received The Call, including Jackie Woodson, Neil Gaiman, Kathi Appelt, Melina Marchetta, and Beth Krommes. I squeak briefly at the 1-minute point, then give a rambling extenda-squeak (showing no vocabulary depth whatsoever) at about the 3-minute mark. I had no idea my voice went up that high. I must say, it’s very fun to be able to relive the moment with this video. Thank you, AGAIN, ALA!

Speaking of Margaret A. Edwards, you might want to read this wonderful story about the legacy left to the readers of Baltimore by one of Ms. Edwards’ protégés. Inspiring!

You wrote: Lately I’ve been going crazy with literature directed at authors (Like guides to the markets, writers’ monthly publications, etc.) and I find them very helpful, but I’m never sure if the advice I’m getting is any good. Were there any guides or books that specifically helped you become a better author? Or perhaps a particular strain of advice?

When I started writing I was a faithful reader of Writer’s Digest magazine. I still have a number of article about craft that I cut out of it filed away. Note to self: must consult these again! I read every book I could about the process of writing and publishing. I also read many biographies of writers, hoping to glean hints about their process.

I mentioned Harold Underdown’s book earlier this week. It wasn’t published when I was starting out, but I sure wish it had been. The other two books about writing I recommend are Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott and On Writing, by Stephen King. I also found the creativity exercises in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way useful.

Best advice? It’s OK to revise over and over again to make your book as good as possible.
Second best advice? Don’t worry about trends.

The frozen waterfall off the back porch finally came down, but it slid off so slowly I didn’t notice. Sort of like a wave kissing the shore.