Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AtoZ Challenge: A is for All Aboard & April's IWSG: Anxious



Are you ready to climb aboard this AtoZ Challenge with me? Let's explore America's Hometown together. The famous fiction writer Mark Twain was born in Florida, MO, on November 30, 1835. But around 1839, he moved to Hannibal, located on the Mississippi River two hours north of St. Louis. Seven years ago, I moved to this sleepy, little town. I'm a former fifth grade teacher turned writer. My two teenage boys give me plenty of material for writing middle-grade fiction.






If you come for a visit, be prepared to see the famous writer's name plastered on every establishment: the Mark Twain Hotel, the Mark Twain Dinette, the Mark Twain Cave, the Mark Twain Museum, the Mark Twain gas station, the Mark Twain bowling alley. You get the idea.















The billboard near the visitor's center reads, "Welcome to Hannibal - Write Your Own Story." So I did. My first upper middle-grade novel FREE RUNNER was published last year and won Honorable Mention in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. I have written three more upper MG novels. Two are part of a contemporary mystery series set in the Midwest and the other one (my personal favorite) is an urban fantasy set in Chicago.


FEELING ANXIOUS:

Today, I bite my nails in anticipation of receiving feedback from my beta-readers and CPs. Without them, I'd be lost and my manuscript wouldn't be nearly as polished. Writing is a community effort. Don't be afraid to show your work to trusted writers and readers. And reciprocate whenever possible. Let's do this together!



29 comments:

  1. There's something about submitting your work for feedback, that no matter how many times you've done it, it still makes the stomach churn a bit. But that feedback is so darn valuable, it's worth all the nail biting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Everyone seems to have such great relationships with their betas, but I can’t seem to hold on to any. Still, I’m glad your writing is a community effort. That’s how it should be. I like your story. Cool theme for the challenge; best of luck with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to only have two beta-readers. Now, through several contests I've entered, I have several more.

      Delete
  3. I love Mark Twain and would love love love to visit. It looks amazing.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And with the sunnier weather we've been experiencing, now is the perfect time and weather!

      Delete
  4. I would love to see all of those Mark Twain tourist spots.

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome! Hello Hannibal!

    Yes, writing is a community! I love and hate feedback!

    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]

    ReplyDelete
  6. I understand completely. Sometimes you have to trust you--the writer--and your gut. Sometimes change is needed, but in the end, it's up to you to decide what's best for your novel. I like being in control:-) Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I bet the feedback will be great!
    Write your own story. Now that's appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Plus reading other writer's ms's helps you become a better writer:)

      Delete
  8. Hi Jennifer - lots of ideas to draw on here ... and what a great place to live and bring up your sons - bet they keep you grounded .. and yes - many seem All-Aboard .. hope you've plenty of room - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love that you embraced Hannibal's "write your own story" invitation.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting tidbit about Hannibal. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the pictures, and it's interesting to learn about Hannibal. Great theme for A to Z.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for inviting us into your world. I love the pictures! I know what it's like waiting for beta readers to hand down their verdict--exciting and nerve-wracking. You're right, though. They are invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'll have to make that a stop on my country-wide tour. If I ever get around to it. (I should. That would be awesome!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have so many "Mark Twain" themed things to do and see!

      Delete
  14. I have been to Hannibal many times. I even rode a steam powered paddlewheel down the Mississippi!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    --
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires
    http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally, someone who has been to Hannibal:) I say to friends all the time, if you come for a visit, you have to ride on a steamboat!

      Delete
  15. Yes, it's nervewracking, but I know their advice will make my WIP much better and stronger. I couldn't do it alone!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That first share of the work is always the hardest... I feel like it gets easier with time though.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Who says writers are lonely people? Look what can be accomplished once that baby leaves the nest and flies into the world - an entire town could celebrate. I am sure the feedback will be helpful and encouraging.

    ReplyDelete

October #IWSG

Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We discuss our fears, insecurities, ups and downs of the writing p...