Tag Archives: work

What a Day!

It’s not even ten am yet and already I have been hard at work on the computer, but am not yet dressed!

First thing–saw that Silver Birch has posted my poem What we took with us when we moved, as a part of their moving day series–warning, this one is sad.

Then, I opened my gmail account and there were the page proofs for Summer in a Bowl!!!!
Amazing work by the artist Rebecca Zeissler.
Countdown to publication day of September 30!!!!!!
You can order the book now , pre-order on THEAQLLC, Amazon and BN
Those who pre-order before the launch date of September 30 can email me a copy of the receipt and be in a drawing to win a copy (signed) of the first book in the series, WHOOSH!
There is a recipe in the back of this one and gardening tips

The Next Step!

The next step in the process of getting Summer in a Bowl into the hands of readers is preparing a summary. Now, if I had done a more traditional query and had been working with a publisher I did not know, the summary would have been in my query letter. As you recall, in this case I was approaching the publisher who had done WHOOSH! so, after a phone conversation, I just sent him the entire manuscript.

For me, the summary is the hardest part of the process. I love to talk about my book. I get very enthusiastic and well, restricting myself to just a few words–rough!

This summary will be what potential future readers will see on Amazon. Would you be interested in buying the book after reading this?  If you have changes to suggest, please let me know. My publisher and I both believe in this book and want to see it in the hands of as many children as possible.

Please look this over and let me know if any changes are needed!

Summary for Summer in a Bowl By Joan Leotta

Rosa and her Aunt Mary spend every Thursday together in the summer, tending Aunt Mary’s garden.

On this last Thursday of the season, they harvest the vegetables and Aunt Mary cooks them. Rosa is not sure she wants to try them until her father proclaims the dish, “Delicious!” and Rosa discovers that the soup is a way to preserve all of her summer fun. Summer in a Bowl is a wonderful introduction to the joys of gardening with children and the fun of cooking with children.




Working with a Professional–For Friday

Posting this a day early so it will get the play it deserves. 

When it comes to story performance and writing, I am always hopeful that schools, libraries, civic organizations and others will respect the fact that I have much experience–that I have been and still am a professional in these fields. I hope that because of my knowledge and past record, they will hire me.

So, the same holds true of help with social media. While there is much we can all do ourselves, professional help can put us over the top and get us going in the right direction. Today, I met with Kimberly Duff of the Website Factory in Ocean Isle, NC. She is a social media expert and showed me how to do a few things. She was worth every penny I paid for her time and expertise and is willing to let me call her if I have questions as I try to execute the “moves” online she taught me.

Thank you

The nation as a whole seems to have taken up the habit of saying ,”Thank you for your service” to soldiers or those who identify with hats or shirts as vets. A good thing. But what about the people who serve us in so many smaller ways? Fast food? Stores? Smalls shops? Bathroom cleaners on the highway? People at airline check-in counters?

Do we smile and thank them for what they are doing for us or do we regard them as furniture, automated humans there to fulfill our needs. Teach your children to thank them, to realize that people have value no matter what their job. That’s what Labor Day is all about–all honest work is honorable from cleaning toilets to CEOs. If their service is to us or we come across their paths form waitresses to post office and bank employees, simply say “Thank you.” Your example will teach your children the same. More than you realize.

Family Time

When you look at your schedule this week, count how many suppers you will have with family.





Somehow being turned down for a gig, either in a showcase or from my own solicitation

does not carry the same sting as a form letter rejection of a writing piece.


Even after 35 years of professional writing, (mostly non-fiction), my fiction and poetry, plays and creative non-fiction are rejected and it hurts. The sting to pride is great–they didn’t like me or the pen I rode in on. Logically, having been an editor myself at various points in time, I know that rejection does not always mean they do not :”like” you. A magazine or online source is not a friendship group. Sometimes a good piece is simply the wrong fit for the upcoming issues or for that publication entirely.


Non-congruent fits with the publication mean your (my ) research has been thorough. Wrong for upcoming issues or not quite right mean that you (I) have not hit the mark with that story , even tho it is the type of story that magazine uses.


But form letters still hurt. There is no escaping them. Editors cannot respond to the volume of manuscripts they receive using personal notes. SO, when we get a personal note as I did a few months ago from one of the magazines that I am targeting, it was a joyous rejection. Yep, she rejected my work, but said she could not wait to see the next piece. Unfortunately, earlier this week I received a form rejection of that next submission. Instead of stepping up, I took a step back on the rejection scale.




So, what to do? Cry? Withdraw? Sulk? Self-publish? No. I will wait a few days, and then give the story a cold hard look. Deep in my heart, I knew I was taking a chance on sending in this one because the protagonist is twelve years old. Even though I am aiming at an adult audience, I think most will view it as a YA.  Now I need to do another market search and see if I need to adjust the length to meet the needs of a YA market.


Rejection means revision to me. A wake-up call on where I market an item and a time to give my literary gem a bit more polish before sending it off on its way to an audience of readers.


So, to all those out there who fear rejection, I say–it’s a paper monster. When you get one, make it into an origami crane. Send the email ones back into cyberspace and go back to work. Work is the cure for rejection. Persistence, work, a stamp, work, an email and work.!


 Question: Wht would you think of Tuesday-Thrusday guest blogs? A lagniappe of sorts?