Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's that time again

Hi,

I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a gentle but happy New Year. May 2011 be a year that will make many of your dreams come true (not too many because it must surely be horrible not to have dreams any more).

See/Write you in 2011,
Cat

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recuperating

Hi,
as you might have noticed, NaNo has been slightly more organized for me this year. I finished one novel (historical/time travel) and half of a second one (ghost story) for Middle Grade readers. Here's the picture I came up with for the first project:


Now, I'll let them rest. In January, I'll finish the second one, print them out and get started on the revision. As always, I an so tired after NaNo that I didn't get much done last week.

I went to see Megamind with the kids, and although the story line is predictable (for a writer like me anyway) it was fun to watch and the 3D effects were great. I even got dizzy when we were swept up over the roofs of the town (skyscrapers!).

I hope everybody is enjoying advent as much as I do.
Cat

Monday, November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 is nearly over

Hi,

This year, I'm actually managing to built the buffer I always need toward the end of the month. I know, going into NaNo, that I need to buffer at least two or three days (for my daughter's birthday), but in the three years I've been doing this, I never did it. This year, I not only managed to keep ahead of my daily goals, I also had no trouble catching up on two days I lost to a severe cut in my finger (five stitches!).
Now, how did I do that (edited to add: I meant writing so much despite the finger, not cutting it ;-) )? I used a tool by David Gale (still called NaNo-tracker, the name will change, soon) that automatically recalculated the amount of words I had to write the next days when I entered how much I did write that day. It's a really, really hand tool, not only for NaNo. He promised to adjust it so it's flexible enough for longer time periods and other months. I guess with it, I'll be able to double my productivity.

Good luck to all NaNoists, no matter how many words you managed. It's always a valiant try.
Cat

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hi,

here's my next try at the logline-blurb thingy:

Sixteen year old Rieke Waldmann neither wants to follow her mother's advice to marry Heiner, the young miller, nor emigrate with her secret love Willem. When Willem leaves home and fights in the German revolution of 1848, Rieke battles her growing attraction to gentle Heiner, the only person who helps her cope with disturbing truths about her late father that could cost her her love, her friendship and her home.

It's definitely shorter but is it better, too?
Cat

P.S.: I think I commented on all the loglines/blurbs from those who commented on mine but if I missed yours, leave me a comment and I'll get to yours ASAP.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Logline Try

Hi,

this is the logline (similar to a back cover blurb) for a novel I am currently working on. I would like your feedback if you don't mind.

TITLE: Victor's Rage
GENRE: YA historical

When her mother wants to marry sixteen year old Rieke Waldmann to the miller, Rieke realizes why equal rights and self-determination are so important to her secret love William. But Willem leaves home and fights in the German revolution of 1848, and Rieke battles her growing attraction to the gentle young miller, the first person to understand and appreciate her the way she is. Then, Rieke discovers disturbing truths about her late father, and choosing either of her suitors could cost her her love, her friendship and her home. (89 words)

Thanks a lot,
Cat

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

Hi folks,

Yes, it's that time of the year again. I started quite well, yesterday, and I hope my story will continue to grow like this for the rest of the month. Since there are a couple of days I can't write, I'll have to built up a buffer. BTW, for those of you who are NaNoing too, befriend me (KatharinaKolata).

I'll try to post a tidbit now and then.

Cat

Sunday, October 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

Hi,

NaNo is going to be hard. I will only be able to write half the needed words on the weekends, and the 26th will be without any words because of my daughter's birthday. I found a great tool for deciding how many words I need to write the next day. It's by David Gale, and it's a calendar that re-calculates every time you enter how many words you plan to write or how many you wrote. Simple to use and great to see how hard I need to work. Check it out.

I'm looking forward to NaNo. I might even post more regularly. Weir as it may sound, doing non-NaNo-things improves my ability to keep up with my wordcount.

Good luck to all participants,
Cat

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Interview again

Hi,

my interview is up for anyone interested. Also, as I already knew, I didn't win the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's 2010 Colorado Gold Contest but I got a beautiful certificate for being a finalist. I might actually scan it in and put it on my website these days.

I sent out "Thicker Than Water" again, heavily revised and under the new (and less common) title "Urchin King". This time I approached two possible publishers right away. Since they will take up to 5 months to decide if they are interested, I decided to put querying it on hold till after NaNo.

BTW, I will take part in NaNoWriMo again this year (I participated and won twice). I finished planning a time-travel story for readers of 8 up and I'm, eager to get going. But first, I need to finish polishing the translation of my free online story, update my homepage and do a couple of other things that are urgent (like going to the doctor with one of my daughters).

I'll keep you posted on my progress, once NaNo begins.
Have fun,
Cat

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Funny

Hi,

I found this little fellow on the net and couldn't resist. It's just for fun. You can feed the hamster, too. Just click anywhere on the picture and it will get off its wheel and eat. If you click on the middle of the wheel, it will get back on and run.



If you want an animal for your own blog, click on the name in the upper right hand corner and there are many more animals (a spider, a dog, fish and more).
Enjoy your day,
Cat

Saturday, August 21, 2010

WriteOnCon

Hi,

from August the 10th to the 12th I attended the first ever WriteOnCon, an online conference for kidlit writers. It was an absolutely stunning experience for me. Of course, there was much advice I had heard before but never this compact and in one place (check out the site since all the great stuff will still be available). I got to experience some agents I have queried in the past or will query soon (best were the life sessions), and I suddenly understood some of their rejections/responses. Also, I learned how to pronounce query!

Make sure that you join WriteOnCon 2011 if you are writing kidlit. I'll keep you posted (literally) when it will come.

Have a great day,
Cat

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy dance!

Hi all,

Guess what, my story Thicker Than Water (written with HTTS (see below) and the first novel I wrote in English without writing a German first draft) is a finalist in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest 2010 in Speculative Fiction from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

I'm sure that I won't win because Kristin Nelson already rejected the manuscript a while ago, but the comments I received were very valuable and spot on. Now, I will revise the whole thing again, and maybe, I'll be able to find an agent then. I'm ever so excited. I would love to know though, how many entries there were per category.

Holly (and her courses How to Think Sideways and How to Revise Your Novel) rock!!! I can't say that often enough.

Enjoy life,
Cat (a very happy and purring one today)

P.S.: I'll rant about WriteOnCon next week. Promise.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

forgetful me *blush*

Hi,

I had meant to announce this ages ago. There is a super-awesome online conference from August 10th to 12th for everybody who writes for children. Six aspiring and well respected authors (like Casey McCormick, Jamie Harrington, Elana Johnson, Shannon Messenger, Lisa and Laura Roecker) host a conference for all those who cannot travel. Ideal for someone like me from Germany (or any other place in the word). And the best thing is that more than 1400 people already signed up. The forum is already very active and the timetable for the events of the first day is up (and it is as fantastic as I had hoped it would be). I am very much looking forward to this and hope to see (read) some of you over there, too.

Here is the video that invites everybody to join:


Hope to see you there,
Cat

Monday, July 19, 2010

Will you defend PIRACY?

Famous composer Jason Robert Brown has a great discussion on the theft of intellectual property over at his blog. Maybe I'm too old, but I do not understand the girls arguments. For me, it is obvious that someone suffers when I steal. I have been raised to respect someone else's property (and there is no difference if this is a thing you can touch or a thought/idea/song/story). Aren't kids like her aware that they are actually stealing? Do they think writing a song or a story or a novel is easy-peasy and we, the creators (authors, songwriters etc), do it just for fun?

Writing a short story can take me as long as a week. Writing a novel will take the better part of a year, if I work 4-8 hrs a day. I do not think it is justified for ANYONE BUT ME to distribute anything I worked so hard for for free. If I decide to give it away, it is my choice. If someone else steals it and passes it on, it is not my choice - and this is not considering the form of compensation for the work of a human being that societies all over the world agreed upon (talking about money here).

If young people do not understand that what they are doing is illegal and hurts the artist they (admittedly) admire, they might wake up in a world where artists just can't afford to create any more because they are too busy to make ends meet.

Think about it, and please spread awareness about piracy if you can.
Cat

P.S.: In Germany, you will get into jail for four years if you are caught. I think that although it might not help much, I might make some kids reconsider.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Revision is GREAT

Hi,

my kids and I spent last week house-sitting my parents home. We did a lot: swimming (since it was very hot), cinema, building a kitchen for my brother and his wife, visiting friends and more. Still, I managed to finish my current revision. That means, I've got plenty of time to print it out and send it to the publisher I have in mind for it.

To tell the truth, without Holly Lisle's "How to Revise Your Novel" the story wouldn't have been half as good. It took me ages to work my way through all the lessons but it was well worth it. Also, next time it's going to be less work, because the last lesson is about streamlining the revision process.

Now, I can focus on my 33 Mistakes project, and I will begin revising "Waffenruhe" (Swordplay), my current WIP. I never thought I'd say that but I am looking forward to the revision.

Hehe, I might even find the time to tidy up my study before I start the next project.

One last thing, remember to look at my free online, serialized Fantasy novel "The Witches of Greenwitch". We are nearing mid-point and all important characters have been introduced but two.

Happy summer holiday to everybody,
Cat

Monday, June 21, 2010

Steam Engines

Hi,

I love steam engine trains. Yesterday, we went to look at one on our bikes. When I explained a couple of technical details to my kids, the drive asked us if we wanted a ride. Of course, we wanted! The kids loved it, the dog was scared stiff (you can hear him in the background if you listen closely), and I felt like in a dream come true.

Here's the video:


Enjoy, life is great.
Cat

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

stumbling over the finishing line

Hi,

for the last few year I have been blaming my kids for being so tired. The last few days it was so bad that I couldn't stand it any longer. I knew exactly what I needed to write, the scene was there in my mind but I stared at the document and didn't get a word on (virtual) paper. I was so tired that I could have slept all day.

So I went to see a doctor, who sent me to another doctor, who sent me back to the first one. Diagnosis? Nothing dangerous, only a lack of iron (again) and hypothyroidism. Just knowing the diagnosis made me feel better. After sleeping nearly 10 hrs last night, I wrote 2500 words today, catching up on what I had missed visiting all the docs. In a few days, when my regional doc has all the results, I will get the right kind of medicine. Hopefully, my old vigor will return and with it the wordcounts necessary for the next NaNoWriMo. ;-)

Thank whoever you believe in for all the things we take for granted: health, food, peace. Life could be worse.
Cat

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

endings - a love and hate affair

Hi,

I'm nearing the end of my first draft ( a mere 10K shorter than planned but with lots of ideas how to reach the wordcount goal in revision), and I notice that I begin to procrastinate again. This happens every time I get close to the showdown of a story (exception: short stories).

It is such a good time for writing, since life has pretty much returned to normal, but instead of my usual 1000-1500 words per day, I can't manage more that 800-900. And that's not because I have problems with my planned ending. I've been looking forward to that end ever since I started writing the story. Somehow, I just seem reluctant to let the story go. Does that happen to other writers, too?

Well, off to work we go...
Cat

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Neglected

Hi,

I'm very sorry that I neglected this blog. There was so much going on that I just didn't find the time to write anything useful. As you can see by my word-count-o-meter in the sidebar (which I do update regularly), I reached the homestretch of my current WIP "Waffenruhe/Swordplay". At the same time, I had a second request for the full manuscript of "Thicker Than Water" which shows me that my skills of query-writing have improved somewhat.

Also, my eldest daughter decided to move out. It wasn't easy to find the right place, took a lot of time to get everything sorted, and the rearrangements in my family life are not over yet. But she is happy in her new home and already made some friends.

All in all, a good time - if busy.
Enjoy life,
Cat

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

Hi,

just popping in to wish you a great time over the Easter holidays (regardless your religion). I so hope the weather will last (it's really warm and sunny today), so that the kids can have fun. We're at my parents, so I'll keep this short.

Just in case you wonder, my writing is flowing really well. I wrote twice as many words the last week as usually. I truly believe that I'll finish the first draft of "Waffenruhe" by the end of May.

Enjoy life,
Cat

P.S.: If you haven't, check out my free serialized online fantasy-novel "The witches of Greenwitch". You might like it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working hard

Hi,

for the first time in 8 years I am child-less again but this time it doesn't pain me. My eldest is trying out assisted living and my two little ones visit their grandparents. What does that mean for me? I can catch up on many things I didn't do during the winter. For example, I will start to work in my garden which is in great need (I didn't do much for the last 5 years).

Also, I'll be around the Internet to promote my free serialized online fantasy-novel "The Witches of Greenwitch" (also available in German). My first interview is up on Beth Revis Blog. She is a wonderful author and I am itching to read her first novel (a Sci-Fi that will be published sometime soon).

I will put a lot of time into my writing. Currently, my agent is at Bologna Children Book Fair and I want my new project to be nearly done when she's back.

But most of all, I will spend time with my husband. We haven't been a true couple for several years. Always, time is running short and work or children interfere. The last time we were able to do something without the kids was a birthday dinner. We had a marvelous three hours just to ourselves. I can't begin to contemplate what a whole week will do for our relationship.

Oh, and as a final treat, I found this truly hilarious video on the net and thought I'd share.



Enjoy life. It's wonderful!
Cat

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Chalenges Ahead

Hi,

finally, my free serialized fantasy-novel "The Witches of Greenwitch" goes online on March the 2nd. It will launch simultaneously in English and German.

In the story, a mysterious stone magics book-rat Melissa to the world of Greenwitch where she meets fairy tales creatures that are not at all what she expected. Desperately, she looks for a way home and tries to ignore her past which pops up at the most inappropriate moments. At the same time, dangerous pursuers are at her heels getting closer by the minute.

I very much hope you will like the story and promote it to your friends. It's absolutely free and if all goes as planned it will update regularly.

Also, I forgot to update my word-count for the current projects. I am getting words on the page faster than ever before (it's still slow but no longer at a snails pace) and I am having fun with it. It's an Urban-Fantasy mystery this time. I'm looking forward to my agent's reaction since it's a little different from what I wrote before.

Enjoy the spring. It's coming: slow but strong.
Cat

Monday, February 8, 2010

another contest

Hi,

I'm finally back from my health retreat. It was great and I feel invigorated. Maybe I'll post a picture or two some time later. But for now, an announcement:

I'll take part in a writing contest for MG/YA books on Chuck Sambuccino's blog Guide to Literary Agents. It is a recurring contest but the subjects will change with every contest. The first one was "Memoirs and Narrative Nonfiction". Come and join. It's fun.

The big price is a 25 pages critique by agent Jennifer Laughran. Since the contest will be open for several days (till 21st of Feb) I do not envy her. It will be a lot of work!

Enjoy your life,
Cat

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Contest

Hi,

First, A HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody!

For those with a MG or YA novel finished and polished, there is a great oportunity to win feedback from Mary Cole, and agent of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Enter your forst 500 words in her Kidlit Contest, set a few links and you're in. Good luck.

Cat