SOL15: Pitch Wars and Being Open


Thank you to those who make this Tuesday writing community possible, the wonderful contributors of Two Writing Teachers.

Last week, I briefly wrote about my word of the year, OPEN, and submitting to Pitch Wars, a writing opportunity hosted by Brenda Drake.

This event asked that you submit  your first chapter and a query letter to five potential mentors.  There were over a hundred mentors in a variety of age groups and genres.

If after reading your submission, the mentor was interested, they could ask for a full or partial of your manuscript.  In the end only one mentee per mentor. But what an opportunity to have a one on one mentor for two months and then the chance to pitch to an agent.

DARRAH’S TILT, my novel is approaching the time to go before agents and/or editors.  I know I will feel it’s not ready enough, but I need to push myself.  Pitch Wars seemed like the perfect scenario for submitting my manuscript.

I entered with low expectations.  Just the act to send the first ten pages and a query was eye-opening.  Queries are a witch (well, rhymes with that word) to write.  But I put it out there and got feedback before submitting so that makes me happy. Plus I grew as a writer.

On Tuesday, August 18, one of my submitted mentors requested the full manuscript to read as well as a synopsis.  Can I tell you how thrilled I was to be asked?  To me, that made me a winner.

And in between then and now, I’ve been making connections in the Twitter world with other potential mentees.  There is this amazing community of writers out there and which I hope to find a someone that is writing MG contemporary and enjoys  novel in verse for further critiques of my WIP.

There was also this great post is helping me to revision my blog.

But most of all, this experience has challenged me to really re-vision my ms.  I have big questions:
* should I look at rewriting it NOT as a novel in verse even though I love this format?
* dialogue? Is there too much.  Should I rewrite with less dialogue?
* how can I strengthen the sub-plot with out diminishing the main plot?
* how can I write a three sentence pitch that will know the socks off an agent and editor?
* what am I willing to give now for what I want most?

Tonight I learned  I wasn’t selected to be a mentee and that’s okay. Disappointed? A bit. Discouraged? Absolutely not.  I am more resolved and more excited than ever to dive back into my ms because I know that it can only improve.

All this was possible because I was OPEN to an opportunity.

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SOL15: Returning from Blogcation

IMG_0785Please join this wonderful writing community at Two Writing Teachers.

Can I just say that I am happy to new back form my blogcation?  I am going ease in slow because there’s so much to share with you all!!

We said good-bye to our sweet 19 YO gal.

Sophie on the left.

We downsized into a condo with a view of outrageous sunsets.


We drove to SoCal to see family.
Our younger dog (who’s naughty as all get out) missed us and escaped his caretaker. We considered it a sign so we returned home after being only in California for forty-eight hours. Thank goodness he was chipped and found.

Since OPEN is my word for the year, I took a brave step and submitted my manuscript to Pitch Wars.  It was optional but I created a bio for the event.

Once again its CYBILS time. That means we’re looking for panelists and judges.  To find out the information and apply, go to the CYBILS website.  I am always looking for people to serve on the poetry committee.  So especially if you participate in Poetry Friday, please consider applying. OR even if you don’t but you love poetry, please consider applying.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

I still have boxes to unpack.  My official school work begins tomorrow.

But I am happy to back contributing each Tuesday to SOL.

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In a Perfect World: Blog Break

In a perfect world, I would be able to move for one place to another without a blog vacation. It’s not a perfect world, the selling and purchasing of a home is complicated.  I need to be able to focus on that.  I am not guaranteed Internet over the next weeks.

So I am taken a blog vacation until sometime in August when I am once again settled in a new place.

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SOL15: I Want to Write


It’s Tuesday, time to share our slices with  Two Writing Teachers.

I want to write

But I’m packing up a house instead.

I want to write 

But I’m watching our 19 year old dachshund fail.

I want to write

But I’m picketing to show the legislature I want education fully funded.

I want to write

But I have to be out of the house for showings.

I want to write 

But I want to snuggle with Sophie, letting her know she’s loved.

I want to write

But sometimes it’s easier to vegetate.

I want to write 

and look forward to being settled once again.

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Poetry Friday: House Wrens


Last night I was in the backyard and cleaning patio furniture.  I kept hearing bird noises from a place where there shouldn’t be bird noises.  This is what I discovered.

chirping noise
a mystery
the old Starbucks bag
discarded, forgotten
re-purposed nesting
parents bring grubs
scolding songs
take flight,

© 2015 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

I hope to get a photo to add soon.  I came home and went to the nest and they had left the nest so I missed the opportunity.

Thanks to Michelle for hosting Poetry Friday today

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SOL15: What I Discovered from National Poetry Month


It’s Tuesday, time to share slices at Two Writing Teachers.

Last month, I held my first ever 30 Day poetry challenge around a theme. In the past, I have written a poem a day but this year, I decided to step it up. My theme, “Double LL”.


Here’s some things I discovered:
~creating a list before the month was  helpful as was setting up the template for the thirty days.

~researching the words was a blast. I found that the research informed how I would approach the poem.

~some words demanded a certain form.

~being able to prepare posts ahead is preferable than writing on the fly.

~connecting with community inspires.

~I liked engaging others with the words.

~wonder how to engage students into writing a poem a day next year.

~am thinking about the words for next year.

Congratulations to Carol Wilcox. She was selected to get a copy of The Poetry Friday for Celebrations. 

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National Poetry Month: The “LL” Challenge: Free Choice Double LL

Today’s word: SWALLOWS

Definition: a type of bird that catches insects mid flight.

It’s been a great month with this daily challenge. I so enjoyed the research on the words and deciding what kind of poem to write for the day.

I liked trying to figure out how use the words from Mary Lee’s Po-Emotion Challenge.

Mud Daubers

Bit by bit
under the eaves
of the front porch.

Architectural feat
A mud house
for their young

These insect grabbers
Dive bombing

© 2015 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

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