Saturday, September 22, 2012

Developing characters in your story

Do you have trouble understanding your character? I know. I know. As writers, we’re told to do a character sketch to learn our character’s physical characteristics, fears, flaws, desires, etc. But sometimes, we are still stuck.
Sarah Blake Johnson takes it a step further in her article, “The Prism of Roles: Another View of Character Identity and Narrative,” in the Hunger Mountain blog.
She mentions that “ … every role may carry different weight in the plot and in each scene as the character adjusts the role he plays according to his current status, situation, interaction, and desires. Just as we adjust the way we act according to the different situations we encounter, our characters step into and out of their roles.” 
She gives us an example: “A character’s attempt to change her role, and her resulting success or failure, is at the heart of many books. The tale of Cinderella, who switched from the role of a servant to that of a princess, is an example of this type of story.”
I found her article absolutely fascinating. You will too.
Sandia Mountains
"Touch magic--pass it on." -- Jane Yolen

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One or two spaces after a period?

I know this sounds mundane, but hey, ever wondered why we are now asked to space once after a period? When I was learning how to type a million years ago, the rule was to space twice after each period. When I worked for a local newspaper a while back, I was told that the reason was that it saved space in the final printed text.
Well, here is a brief article by Brian Klems, online editor blogger for Writer’s Digest . He explains why the big mystery about that extra space in his article, “How Many Spaces After a Period?
Well, now you know. It took me a while to get used to this. I wanted to hit that space bar twice every time I ended with a period. I still do sometimes, so every once in a while, I run the Find and Replace All feature on Word. That gets rid of those pesky spaces.
"I like the idea that magic can be hidden under the surface of everyday life." -- Trina Schart Hyman

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Literacy Program

Only two days left: Giveaway on Cynsations: Career Builder & Giveaway: Lupe Ruiz-Flores. Scroll down to the bottom where you can enter to win a “giveaway prize package” from me. That giveaway includes an autographed copy of my latest bilingual picture book, Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia, plus other goodies. But hurry. U.S. only. Good luck!

Yesterday I did a reading of my latest bilingual picture book, Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia, in support of H-E-B’s Read 3 Program: Open a Book and a Child’s Mind,  to promote literacy. The event was held at an H-E-B in Corpus Christi, Texas. After the reading, H-E-B gave away copies of my book to some lucky winners.
One of the highlights was that the staff at H-E-B prepared aguas frescas for the people who attended the reading. The fruity drinks were delicious. At my table are the healthy fruit drinks, aguas frescas of watermelon and pineapple. Yum. Yum.
Different flavors of aguas frescas
The Read 3 Program encourages families to read to young children and through in-store activities increases awareness of literacy and books through community outreach. If you would like to donate any new or gently-used books for this project, please take them to any H-E-B during September 12th -25th.

“Children are the hope of humanity. If they are going to change the world, they have to start off optimistically. I wouldn’t consider writing a depressing book for children.” – William Steig

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cynsations: Career Builder and Giveaway

The Giveaway

I had the honor of being interviewed by award-winning author, Cynthia Leitich Smith, on her blog, Cynsations. Her blog is one of the best for writers everywhere. Check it out.
Read the entire interview,  Cynsations: Career Builder & Giveaway: Lupe Ruiz-Flores, and then scroll down to the bottom where you can enter to win a “giveaway prize package” from me. That giveaway includes an autographed copy of my latest bilingual picture book, Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia, plus other goodies. But hurry. The deadline for entries is over in a few short days. U.S. only. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SCBWI Regional Writer's Conference - Sept. 15, 2012

If you’re serious about writing and want to get inspired, here’s your chance to learn more about the process. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, middle grade, young adult, picture books, adult, historical fiction, etc., this writing conference is for you.
The San Antonio, Texas, chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is hosting a one-day conference at the University of Incarnate Word on Saturday, September 15, 2012. Your tuition includes attending a keynote session, general sessions with agents and editors, intensive breakout sessions with published authors and illustrators, a buffet lunch, a silent auction, and a networking social.
 The topics/sessions conducted by published authors and illustrators, agents, and editors:

 The Importance of First Pages
 Character Development
 Finding Your Hook, and Reeling in an Editor or Agent
Cooking Up a Proposal
Mechanics of a Picture Book
Getting to Point B (Or How to Survive in Publishing by Learning from My Mistakes)
Illustration Basics
Plot Building

 If you’re in the San Antonio or outlying area, don’t miss this opportunity to learn and network with other authors and illustrators who are just as passionate about their work as you are. Come join us! Click here for a link to details and registration.