Archive for December, 2010

Set realistic goals, skip resolutions

It’s easy  as 1, 2,3  to set reachable goals as a writer.  First, reevaluate where you have been and what has been successful.  This year I sent out about a dozen query letters and received one “yes” to look at a manuscript.  Second, don’t dwell on rejections but make them a positive experience.   I make a point to send a handwritten, positive response to all rejections.  Third, keep writing and spread positive optimism to other writers-karma is in your favor.  As a writer I am rather picky about going to see authors in person, however, Bart Schneider is the one that stands out.  A lovely man who was surprised I had already read his book, Beautiful Inez, when I met him 2005.  It’s his quote in my signed copy that I cherish the most; Lisa, Keep Writing.  LA Carlson


Read every day, Lead a better life

Did you know that book publisher Scholastic is 90 years old?  To celebrate they have launched a global literacy campaign which began in October and as VP Kyle Good explains this campaign hopes to engage a wide audience of adults to engage children in reading so they will have the skills and knowledge to navigate into the 21st century.  The ability to read is directly associated with critical thinking and the ability to analyze large amounts of information.  It seems like a natural cause for those that publish “the book” to take up the cause of literacy.  LA Carlson

Story of the year

As a writer I often find many ideas for short stories and novels in the newspaper.  Today I had the pleasure of reading about Mandy Mulder.  Mandy is an inspired, 22-year-old who is making a difference.  Impressively her business card reads; “Giver, Server, Lover.”  This spring the Rosemount, MN resident will travel across the U.S trying to find out what it means to be homeless.  I can’t think of an article this year that has inspired and made me smile more. You can find more details about her proposed journey on Facebook.   Donations are appreciated and welcome.  LA Carlson

Support local bookstores

With the news that four independent book sellers in Minnesota will be closing their doors at the end of the year I am reminded why bookstores are relevant to preserving the best way to read; the book.  There is no substitute for the ambiance of a bookstore.  Please take the time to go to a bookstore near you and yes, even Barnes and Noble is struggling and support them with a purchase.  The owners of bookstores are passionate in what they do and is there any substitute for the personal touch and conversation?  Books are timeless, comforting and necessary to a cultured, educated society.  LA Carlson

Spell check

While it would be great to assume writers are also excellent spellers, it simply is not always the case.  You can either make a great impression or a poor one with great writing and poor spelling.  I use the following tips to make sure the two are practically seamless;  use spell check when possible especially on a computer, print out a hard copy when available and proof before sending, step away from it for 15 minutes and my favorite; read it backwards-it works!  LA Carlson


The value of writing

Don’t ever underestimate the power of writing.  If you’ve longed to write a letter, start a journal, write a short story or poem or write a novel; now would be the time. In this day and age of the quick fix, the email and tweet-eww!, there’s something special about receiving a handwritten card, letter or observation.  It’s simple and effective.  I had to gasp the other day when I was doing Christmas cards and my children commented on how they didn’t really appreciate writing their name in the card.  In other words cursive which is my mainstay is lost to them and it was never stressed in school.  LA Carlson


Rock Star Librarian

Ever heard of Book Lust?  If you haven’t you’re missing out on one of the most enjoyable and comprehensive reference guides to reading.  Nancy Pearl, former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, dishes up a well-organized list of books in every category imaginable.  Her latest, Book Lust To Go; Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers is a must for those interested in traveling from the comfort of their own reading spot.  LA Carlson