What’s Next? – Week 40

February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’ve gotten carried away by the days – and a cold – probably a letdown from not many hours in The Zone. I miss it. Which is good reason to be involved in another big project right away. I get that now. I did receive “not for me” words from Agent #2 (an all-time record of three days), and decided the manuscript is not really ready for an agent…well, and neither am I. There’s more I want to learn.


Year of the Goat – © Pierr Morgan 2015 – gouache & art marker painting in progress

I’ve signed up for a novel workshop through namelos.com  I’ve mentioned their site before. Just reading their bios gets me excited to go. Only complete Children’s and YA novels with a maximum of twelve writers in a four-day intensive, end of May.

In the process of wanting to understand the difference between ‘query’, ‘synopsis’ and ‘plot summary’ I came across a wonderful blog where you can ask a writing or publishing question in the comments and one of the five “PEG” (Precision Editing Group) editors will write a blog post answering it: Writing On The Wall

TIP: Watching an episode from Season 4 of West Wing (written by Aaron Sorkin) a couple characters were discussing hanging on to the past or letting go and one says, “…life is all about, ‘What’s next?’ It’s like those giant billboards – WATCH THIS SPACE.”

I love that!  – xo Pierr

Happy New Year! 2015 The Wood Goat - Wise, Gentle & Kind - © Pierr Morgan, gouache & art marker painting

Happy New Year! Feb 19, 2015: The Wood Goat – Wise, Gentle & Kind – © Pierr Morgan



What’s Up – Week 39

February 17, 2015 § 2 Comments

Another dream image – hours after sending first query:WhatsUpWk39FloatingStaircasePierrMorgan

I like the looks of this staircase, taking it as a sign I’m on the right path. Agent #1 responded already – she’s a shining star to be so speedy. So I’ve risen to the second step having sent to Agent #2. Looks like I’ve drawn 10 treads though I didn’t actually count them in the dream. It was a flash image, two seconds tops. But the image left me soaring.

TIP: Stay with it as far as it goes.  –  xo Pierr

Novel TA-DA!!! – Week 38

February 10, 2015 § 8 Comments


Born: Sunday, February 8, 2015 – 7:20 pm – 51,800 words – 243 pages.

I’m excited, sure, but not bouncing around jumping up and down and screaming yahoos. I did fire off a couple group emails of “_____ IS DONE!!!!” giving above stats, and three reader pals are turning pages as I type this (I’m waiting two weeks before I read a word). Yesterday I wandered around in a daze. Tonight my mind leaps to the future possibility of more revisions at the request of XYZ editor – which is probably why I hesitate to host a party and toss confetti – but in order for me to know about these maybe-revisions, my baby novel needs an agent.

Next: I write a query letter to get me one.

I’ve written cover letters enclosed with picture book manuscripts and dummy sketches before, but never the lone query page that reads like book flap copy with a pitch enticing an agent to read the book. I’ve never had a book. This one’s like sixty picture book manuscripts thick!

TIP: Write it. Send it (to your #1 choice on your Top-5 Agents list). Start on the next project.   xo – Pierr



Novel – Week 37

February 6, 2015 § 2 Comments

Ebey's Preserve, Whidbey Island, WA

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve – Whidbey Island, WA

TIP: “Our creative ceiling is what we determine by our language.” – Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold

xo – Pierr

Novel Fixes – Week 36

January 29, 2015 § 2 Comments


Still sorting through papers here, I came across a journal entry about the novel January 30, 2013. I had so many unanswered questions (a list, of course). I remember thinking, “But I don’t know! How am I supposed to know everything already?” afraid the project was a bad idea and wouldn’t be interesting to anyone because I didn’t make outlines and was basically clueless.

My “mailbox friend” (see Teen Novel In-Process post) had been giving fifteen minutes a day to her novel. I’d given mine zero, still afraid to dive in. I’d think about it occasionally, but I understand now how that’s not the same as writing. Not even close.

“I couldn’t hear my narrator and if I lost his voice, I’d lose the novel.” – Tom Grimes, Mentor: A Memoir (I gave this 6 stars out of 5 – beautifully written, reads like a novel – I didn’t want it to end so I read it again right away.)

This is exactly where I derail. If I’m stuck at all it’s because I’ve lost my narrator’s voice. Either I’ve been too long away from the pages or gotten in the way of her, having elbowed front and center with my own voice.

These five FIXes in the photo have this in common. The voice sounds flat or trails off into nothing, no connector to the next scene or chapter. Sometimes it’s obvious, other spots not so much, but whatever – they need fixing. And I think I just found the perfect advice jotted on a little slip of paper from something I read, or heard a director say in the comments after a movie…

TIP: “Think of a visual, not an idea.”

xo Pierr




Novel Papers – Week 35

January 21, 2015 § 4 Comments

This is it! “THE END” is in sight.


I’m into category three of the tidying-up-book-sidetrack from last week. “Papers.” It looks like a big mess, I know. But this is what you have to do to see it all at once, to get in there on the floor and go through it. That yellow notebook cover in the recycle basket in the foreground? Notes from art school days – over thirty years ago. Have I ever looked at them? I thanked them for supporting my Artist Self confidence.

I worried sorting papers would take me away from the novel big-time. But it’s actually had the opposite effect on me. The chapter I struggled with last week practically wrote itself on Monday, and yesterday I wrote another one, easy as eating Dove chocolates. It’s as if the tidying-up has cleared away fears of my Writer Self.

As I type I want to tell you I’m calling this 5th draft the final draft – I’m done…writing things from scratch (unless required to by an editor). I’ve combed the first 200 pages so smooth, all that’s left is the combing of the last 40.

The novel spans twelve days, from Groundhog’s to Valentine’s. So I think it would be fun to have the pages all ready with a cover-query letter for release to the Universe of Agents by February 14th, real time.

TIP: True life is lived when tiny changes occur.  – Leo Tolstoy

xo Pierr

Novel Sidetrack – Week 34

January 15, 2015 § 6 Comments

On the ferry heading into Seattle to be Nana Pierr.


I’m writing a brand new chapter to flesh out a sequence of events near the end. I’m out of practice writing from scratch. Been revising for so long it hits me what a different process it is.


Distracted, I draw the morning.


There’s big change going on at the Kids’ place. Boxes of books and stuff lining the hallway as if they’re moving. Where is it all coming from?


A book. K’s got a sparkle in her eye. Doesn’t even tell me the title, just “Does it spark joy?” Now, those who know me well, know how I practically salivate at the word ‘organize.’ I’m in heaven rearranging and sorting and tossing, solving my world’s problems. She emails the cover.

I want this book NOW.

I check out the library…#57 on a wait list for 7 copies circulating in Kitsap county = a good month. Go to the bookstore…sold out…and all their distributors around the country…sold out. I order three copies and do deep breathing. Just as well, right? I can’t have any distraction going on in my life. I’m finishing a novel.


Week later: In line for the ferry home again, I’m smiling because this little book is definitely life-changing. Takes all organizing methods I’ve ever known and loved to a whole other level: MAGIC.

coming home - Seattle Big Wheel - Pier 57

Seattle Big Wheel

TIP: Get it. Read it. Do it.    xo Pierr



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