snuggery – noun (British)
The perfect word came up as a Word of the Day selection from http://www.dictionary.com and that word is snuggery. While this is not my typical Word Of The Day story, this is a blog entry about resources for researching and writing. So if you are a a children’s writer, find yourself a snuggery to sit in while you read this post.
My favorite part to writing anything (even during childhood) is researching the idea (s) first. I will read magazine articles, books, newspaper articles, brochures, pamphlets, etc. to get any snippet of information I find useful. Most of the public librarians know be by name there as I usually have fifty or more books checked out on any given week. Granted most of them are picture books but it wasn’t always that way.
I have been writing stories for over twenty years; children’s stories, young adult stories, scary stories, ghostly stories, funny stories, romance stories, short stories, long stories, and campfires stories. Since 1990, I have submitted stories off and on to publishers and all have been rejected, with good reason. I had gotten out of the habit of researching, I just wrote and edited. Then as I had children, I wrote sporadically, occasionally submitting to publishers but again I had omitted the researching part. That is, until March 2012 when fate stepped in and I lost both of the jobs I was working. My kids were in college and last year of high school at the time. To say the least, I was devastated and on top of it, I was going in for shoulder surgery a month later. But fate had it all planned out.
Fate is quite the character using it’s special set of skills to nudge people into the path they are supposed to take when said people purposely set about to do the opposite. Now I’m not saying people are sabotaging themselves on purpose, I am saying they make choices purposely (whether to help out the family, illness, etc.) that keep them from their life journey so fate steps in to nudge or push them blatantly in the right direction.
Fate also has a sense of humor. Just because people told me I should write for a living and I would be published in no time does not mean, “Just write what you know, send it out and the publishing deals will come.” I knew that in my head but my heart bypassed my brain and I sent out a couple of submissions without doing much homework on the submitting process of the second decade in the new millennium WHICH HAD CHANGED.
Fate gave me the security I needed to stay at home and write once my shoulder healed but fate was not going to do all the work for me. I needed to put my back and brains into my work like I had every thing else in life. So I started going back to my public library and researching every aspect of writing for children. I checked out books and extended their time until I had to return them and then checked them out again. I had repeatedly checked out so many of the same books I started buying them so I had them when I needed them.
This brings me to the best part of my post in my opinion…the list via photos of my most used resource books for writing for children. I also write young adult but am concentrating on my picture books manuscripts first (four of which are polished and ready for submission).
*Yes a Dream Language Dictionary is in my resource pile of books. 😀
I have more resource books but these are the ones I reference most since I have read them. *You may think it odd I have a Dream Language Dictionary in the mix. This magical book has given me the perfect word, oddly enough, when I have been stumped. It also infuses creativity in me when I feel like being lazy.
To finish this up, the last book pictured here, ‘CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM’ written by Chuck Sambuchino, gave me something to work on when I needed a break from writing and researching. It is a fabulous resource to get you on your way for when you do get published. do not wait until you are published to create your writer platform, do it now. I am not published yet but I am working on it and I will be. I have established my writer platform and have worked hard at it during my journey so far into this new career of mine.
My advice to you writer, even if you do not own these books, check them out from your local library, get a feel for them and if you want your own copy, then order it at your local independent bookstore or Amazon or my personal favorite, http://www.writersdigestshop.com/ . Then once you have your research resource books in hand, cuddle up with it in your favorite snuggery and take notes.
Good luck with all of your writing endeavors.