May 2, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday - The 38th Pitch

In case you haven't had your coffee yet, it's Wednesday May 2, which means, in addition to being a Would You Read It day, it is Day 2 of NaPiBoWriWee.

Day 1 did not go well for me.

I have decided NaPiBoWriWee looks like this:

And apparently one of us got up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday!

Picture this:

Morning on Blueberry Hill.  A gentle rain is falling.  The lilac buds are trembling on the edge of blossoming.  The baby finches are a jumble of feathers crowded in the nest under the front entry way, getting close to trying their wings.  And I am poised to embark on my NaPiBoWriWee journey.

(Hey!  I hear you snickering!  What.  You think me and poised in the same sentence is oxymoronic?  Well, OK.  I'll give you that :)  But anyway, to continue my riveting tale...)

I sit down before my faithful computer, steaming cup of coffee beside me, and place my fingers on the keyboard.

*imagine music swelling in the background*

*...swelling some more...*

*... and a little more...*

Nothing.

I take my fingers off the keyboard and sip my coffee.

OK.  I can do this.

*more music*

Once upon a time, I type.

Another sip of coffee.

Delete delete delete delete delete.....

Herbert was not like the other hedgehogs, I type.

Wait a minute.

That sounds a little too familiar :)

Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete.....

Herbert wanted a dog, I type.

Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete...

Herbert had a problem, I type.

Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete...

I reach for my coffee.  It's cold.

As I get up to microwave it back to an acceptable temperature, I notice a dust puppy under the edge of the cabinet.  Hmmm... I think.  Maybe I should vacuum.

It is a bad sign when housecleaning starts to sound like a good way to spend time!

Perhaps some interpretive dance would waken the muse...

Oof!  Ouch!  I think I sprained my pancreas!

Thank goodness you didn't see that.

OK.  Scratch the interpretive dance.

Anyway, I'll spare you the agonizing details, but I ended up with 4 starts, three of them maybe with potential and 1 of them almost definitely hopeless, but no finishes.  Day 2 and I'm already playing catch-up.

Arrgghh!

But never fear.  It's a new day! :)

On a much more inspiring note, however, Phyllis is in St. Lucia!!!  Hop on over and check it out!  She also had a brief visit to Rosalind's in Leicester, England, in case you didn't get to see that yet.  She also visited Margaret in California.  And if you want to see the cutest thing EVER you must check out Phyllis at Pam's Preschool Prom!

And now, even better, let's get down to Would You Read It!

Today's pitch comes to us from the lovely Darshana.  Her special talents by day are solving engineering problems, creating activities for her kids, and concocting ways to spend time with her husband. By night she reads and writes picture books, so one day she can realize her dream of becoming a published author. Check out her book reviews at Flowering Minds, and keep up to date on the latest in the kidlit world by "Liking" her onFaceBook.

Here is her pitch:

Title: Jay's Big Day
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
Pitch: Jay's super-sniffer dashes his dreams of becoming a Police Bird, but his special talent opens up another heroic opportunity.




So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Darshana improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in early July - not that far away! - so go ahead and send your pitch for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Darshana is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!


And I am off to do better on my mss today.  Look out, NaPiBoWriWee!


Reactions:

106 comments:

  1. Good luck with day 2. My Day 1 went swimmingly, but I know I have under two hours to write something tonight, and have no idea what. Sadly, I enter this week with zero planning!

    I like the idea of adding someone's FB page to like, Susanna!

    This is a Maybe for me. This is rare, but there isn't enough detail for me. I have no idea what a super-sniffer is so I am not sure what is happening here, though it could be quite fun with birds in the police!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was yes at police bird. Very unusual. Like Joanna, I think it needs another line or so. (I know I tend to say it's too long). The super sniffer made me think drug dog or drug-sniffing bird. Most likely that's just me, but it's my thought. Dance might help with the writing. I wrote my first one out in pen and paper. We'll see how Day 2 will go since I'll be operating on little sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You made me LOL. Where is your pancreas anyway (must google)? I'm with Ms. Jensen, I LOVE the idea that the bird wanted to be a police bird. I would like to know why his super sniffer would keep him from being a police bird.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad I made someone besides myself laugh, Erik! Everyone else is so serious this morning :) I believe your pancreas is somewhere in your left side (she said, with great medical expertise) - it's the organ that produces insulin to control your blood sugar (and technically I don't think it can be sprained :)) Thanks for your comments for Ms. Khiani!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah - dance doesn't really help me :)... but it's fun as long as no one is watching :) Good luck with your Day 2 ms - I am determined to do better today!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the good wishes, Joanna! I didn't have much planning either, as it was a fairly last minute decision to join, so my ideas were not as well fleshed out as they might have been or I would have realized I needed some better ones - not every idea can become a PB! But I intend to soldier on! :) Today is a new day! Thanks for your comments for Darshana, and it was her idea to add the FB like - excellent I agree!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like the same day I had, Susanna- only I didn't sprain my pancreas (Ha!). Isn't writing hard?
    I like the brevity of the pitch and would be curious to find out what his special talent is.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sorry if you had the kind of writing day I did yesterday, Iza, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one! Everyone else was saying how well everything went! But here's to a MUCH better writing day today!!! (And I'm VERY glad that your pancreas is in good shape :))

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Darshana - I love the idea of a Police Bird, but I'd think having a super-sniffer would help Jay, not hurt him...I was confused (doesn't take much :)), but still intrigued!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's definitely alarming when housecleaning seems more urgent than writing, hahaha. Good luck with NaPiBoWriWee!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well today is a new day! So far I have not felt any urges to clean or dance :) But as you can see I'm responding to blog comments instead of writing. Bad Susanna! Naughty Susanna! Get to work this instant, Susanna! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sharon stanley writesMay 2, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    This one is a maybe for me...I was confused by the word "super" which right or wrong gives me the impression of something really good...I also think another sentence would help. I am, however, intrigued by the thought of a police dog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I liked Darshana's pitch - curious, clever and quirky! Lots of room for the illustrator I'd imagine. A yes for me.

    Best of luck on Day 2 Susanna. I have faith in you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Darshana, my comments echo Dede's. I think you need to tell us how the super sniffer is a hindrance, since most of us would think it helpful. Overall though, this pitch is wonderful. It is short, too the point and intriguing. I would read it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you all for your comments. It has been most helpful. It seems in my effort to make it short and to the point, I left out details about the super-sniffer. Your question has also helped me solve my issue of how to rework my intro which is still in flux. Thank you all! You guys are the best!

    Susanna, you are too funny. Hope the muses are with you today. Thanks again for sponsoring "Would You Read It", I am learning so much from it. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for commenting. It seems "super" caused a bit of confusion, especially since there is no dog in the story. Seems my pitch was too short.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Dede. Yup I am seeing the issue with the brevity of the pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks Kirsten. Glad I have intrigued you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Iza. Your question has brought to my attention a second issue with the pitch. His special talent his is super-sniffer, in the first half it is a hindrance in the second half an asset.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks Stacy. No I don't think you are the only one who thought that based on the comments. Clearly I need to add a little bit more to the pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Joanna. I appreciate the feedback.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Darshana and I are in a critique group together, so I've already read this story. I have an unfair advantage here, so I don't feel I should say if I'd read it or not based on the pitch. However, having read the story, I'd want the pitch to draw people in more to really want to read it!

    Perhaps saying something like "Jay is eager to follow family tradition and become a Police Bird, but his super sense of smell keeps distracting him when he tries to take the Police Bird test. Can he turn this liability into an asset?"

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, I would definitely read Darshana's story. The police bird idea is too interesting to pass up and curious to find out about his special talent.

    Good luck with your NaPiBoWriWee Susanna!

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I initially read the first 4 words, I was stopped. I wondered, what does this mean? Did I read it right? Let me read it again. It wasn't until I searched for contect clues, in the rest of the sentence, that I understood what it meant. Solution: perhaps start by saying Jay, the police bird. ?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I like the idea of police bird, but I think maybe a little bit more info would help to capture attention. :)
    Good luck with Day 2 Susanna!
    Today I am also mysteriously drawn to housecleaning.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Laura Anne MillerMay 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Darshana - YES,I would read it! I never knew there were police birds!! LOL. I'm like many others re the pitch, tho. I had to reread it. Maybe as some already suggested start w/ Jay dreamed of being a police bird, but his super-sniffer dashed his hopes until he figured out another heroic use for his talent.

    Susanna - thanks for the grins! I think our muses were cross-wired yesterday- my characters were Gilbert and HERBERT! Thanks also for letting us know even the professionals have those frustrating days!

    ReplyDelete
  27. thefeatherednestMay 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I would never snicker at a strained pancreas..never.
    That pitch was short and to the point. Yes, I would read it.
    Now....back to Herbert and his quest.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So glad if you could draw amusement from my suffering :) I'm happy to say I've got 2 finished mss under my belt today, so I'm caught up! :) (And neither of them ended up being about Herbert :))

    ReplyDelete
  29. Maybe. I agree with Brenda on this one. The beginning of your pitch confused me a bit; however, I am intrigued by this bird. Super-sniffer at first made me think dog so perhaps clarify by stating right at the beginning that is about a bird. I see a few people are intrigued that this bird is a police bird, but from my understanding of your pitch the bird is unable to become a police bird due to his super-sniffer? I think with a bit of tweaking I would change my maybe to a yes. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's true. A sprained pancreas is nothing to joke about... sorry I can't even say that without laughing :) I've abandoned Herbert for the moment, but I do have 2 new finished mss to show for the morning's work :) (Well. By finished I mean I have a satisfactory draft from beginning to end - but there's plenty of polishing still to do!)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the delightful post! I would say probably. Oh, that wasn't an option! It piques my curiosity and seems like a unique story. A tad more info would help.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for the pitch comment, Connie, and glad you enjoyed the post :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Just say NO to housecleaning, Coleen! :) Fingers to the keyboard :) And thanks for the pitch comment and the good luck wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you, Jen! Things are looking up today :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for chiming in, Beth. I'm sure Darshana will find your comments especially helpful since you've read the story.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm SO glad if you're finding it helpful! We have all the lovely readers to thank! :) And yes, the muses seem a bit more cooperative today... perhaps that dance worked after all :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kirsten!














    Kirsten Larson (unregistered) wrote, in response to Dede Perkins (unregistered):

    Hi Darshana, my comments echo Dede's. I think you need to tell us how the super sniffer is a hindrance, since most of us would think it helpful. Overall though, this pitch is wonderful. It is short, too the point and intriguing. I would read it!

    Link to comment

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yes, I liked Darshana's pitch. It is short, gives enough information and is quirky. I want to know what happends. Nice job!

    Ha! HA! Susanna, that could be me. Instead of vaccuming, I'd write a blog -- so at least I'm writing. But, I have had this happen soooo many times.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks again for all your comments it is helping to get my gears turning. You guys rock!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for the suggestion Beth!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks for your thoughts on the pitch, Pat! And this is what's so great about the writing community - discovering that when we're struggling, we're not alone - others have the same problems :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for the comments Brenda. My brevity has definitely caused some confusion.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks Coleen! I definitely agree with your point.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the re-write suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks Rena. Yes I do see now how super-sniffer led to people to think the character was a dog. Hmm, interesting idea for another story. :-) Yes you are correct Jay doesn't become a Police Bird. Maybe I will change heroic opportunity to heroic job.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Darshana, I liked your pitch as re Cathy quoted. Yes I would read your story. Having said that, it is true the first 4 words or so just need a little more clarifying, even though I did get it straight away.
    Laughed at your dilemma Susanna. So good to hear professional childrens book writers also have the same problems. It certainly makes one feel we are in this together when reading a blog such as yours. Good on you for catching up... all the best for the rest of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Same here I thought of dog too, so just change the wording around a bit to put the bird in first and this is super.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Good luck on Day 2, it can't be easy to start with a blank page, yikes! You are brave taking it on.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Darshana! Nice pitch. It already gives me a hint of your writing style with its alliteration- super sniffer and dashes his dreams. And police bird? That's very intriguing! Your pitch also gives us the topic: heroism, perhaps. Furthermore, I want to know what Jay's super talent is. You managed to captivate my curiosity. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Darshana! Sounds--or should I say "smells" like a fun story. Is there an opportunity to make it a scratch-n-sniff? I'm already curious to know whether Jay is a bird who wants to be a policeman in an animal world, or if he's like a police helper in a human world. I'll just ditto the other comments, and add that I wonder if your title could be a little more specific and unique. There are lots of PB characters out there having "big days" (i.e. Little Chicken's Big Day, Lilly's Big Day, etc.) and so consider playing up the hook of your tale, which seems to be Jay's sniffer. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Tim - thanks for visiting! I know Darshana will be glad you stopped by to comment!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Penny KlostermannMay 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    So after reading the comments...I would say that you may have to change from Grumpy to Happy....2 ms done!
    Hi Ho! Hi Ho!
    And to day 3 you go!

    (Sorry about pancreas-which by the way is a brand new excuse I thought about adding to my list-but who'd believe that??? LOL)

    Darshana's pitch--I would read, but feel like your pitch will benefit from some of the suggestions others have given. It was short, which is good, but a little more information would be helpful to draw me in good and tight. Pitches are really tough for me!!! Good luck with it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit and comment on Darshana's pitch!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Margaret GreaniasMay 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Susanna, hilarious re-count of NaPiBoWriWee Day 1. Hope your second day is more productive!

    Darshana, I thought you did a great job distilling the plot of your story (Darshana and I are in a critique group together, so I've read the story). I liked how short the pitch is -- very concise. Overall, most of the info you need is in your pitch. By shifting around some of your phrasing, you could put more emphasis on certain pieces of info -- like the fact that being a Police Bird is Jay's dream. I could see a little more fleshing out around why his super sniffer prevents him from being a Police Bird. Also, it wasn't totally clear that the super-sniffer was his special talent. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Tim, thanks for stopping by. Yes I agree the title is a bit flat. Even harder than pitches are titles for me. Will keep working on it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanks Penny. I agree it needs a bit more grip.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks Margaret. Yes after taking a second, third, ... twentieth look I can see the parts that were confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Good luck with NaPiBoWriWee, Susanna! And Phyllis, you go girl...you have been places I have only dreamed of going to. :)
    Darshana...I would DEFINITELY want to read the book...but I'm confused...why does having a super-sniffer preclude him from becoming a Police Bird? I would think they would want him even more. So maybe we need a little more explanation or clarification. Or maybe I'm just not reading it right. :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thank you, Vivian! And Phyllis is going to be the most well-traveled groundhog in the history of the world! :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm a maybe. I'm interested in the idea of a Police Bird, but I'm confused as to why his super-sniffer would keep him from this job, when it seems like it would be a plus for the job. Also, the title is too generic. It could be about anything: first day of school, a special trip with a grandparent, a performance in the school play. I don't know enough about the story to make a good suggestion, but I think something more specific would create some allure.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hey! Your first day sounds like my first day! *sigh* Dust puppies won me over. (I think I was looking for anything to take me away from the computer.) Today was different! Yippee!

    I would probably read this, but the pitch needs something more. I mean, I thought a super sniffer would be the most fantastical thing for a police bird to have. And is the super sniffer his special talent?? I need more info. Good luck with it, Darshana. *waving and smiling*

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi, Darshana! Your pitch has definitely peaked my interest, so I would probably read it (so I guess that is a "yes.") But I'm a little confused about how Jay's super sniffer disqualified him from being a police bird. I am very interested, however, as to what alternative "career" he finds!

    Susanna, good luck with your next day of writing. Sorry that the interpretive dance didn't work. I was hoping it would :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Susanna, your first day sounds like my month of April with the 12x12- story started, not finished. Hoping I can make that up in May. :)
    As for the pitch- I'm going to say yes, but.... Sounds like Jay is a bird with a strong sense of smell. I love the term super sniffer, but the pitch lacks what happened to Jay to make his super sniffer not work and I think I'd like to know more about what the new career is without giving too much away in the pitch. Is it special because he's a bird? A job usually reserved for other animals? Does he learn he is capable of more than he thought? So I like the idea, but just need a little more meat in the pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  64. No, because I don't have enough about what it's about. Although I like Jay as a character name, especially when paired with Police Bird in the same sentence. I do wonder how a bird can have a super-sniffer. Is that his special talent? Okay, I change my vote to a MAYBE. A bit more info and I just might read it!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Susanna, I'd swear you were spying on me - I've had so many writing days like that!

    Darshana, you've definitely piqued my curiosity - I want to know how Jay becomes a hero but I think it needs to be clearer. To me, a super-sniffer sounds like he is a great smeller, which would be helpful to the police. If it's super, as in big, that needs to be clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thanks for commenting Vivian. This has been a good learning experience for me.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks Carrie. Yes I agree the title is just plain boring. Need to find some tips on coming up with titles.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thanks for commenting Kerry!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thanks Tracy. Agreed more details are needed.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks Lori. His super-sniffer is a distraction in the first half of the book, but becomes an asset in the second half of the book and opens up the door to a new career choice. Looks like I will definitely be re-working the pitch to get some additional key details across.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Maybe. Your title is what first captured me, Darshana. It makes me wonder what kind of big day this kid will have. I think you could add a little more info to the pitch. Super sniffer sounds like a dog to me, but then you talk about a Police Bird. ?? I'm confused. I like the ending of your pitch, which piques my curiosity.

    Susanna, you made me laugh! I, too, have those days. BTW, I've never heard of dust puppies, only dust bunnies! cute!
    ~Tina

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thanks, Diane - and we ARE all in it together! :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. I think we all have, Lori :) I find it helpful to know I'm not the only one :)

    ReplyDelete
  74. The only good thing is I think I have some solid potential in 2 or 3 of the stories I couldn't get through... they just need more percolating time :) Maybe that will be true of yours too. But I got past it and wrote 2 mss on Day 2 by writing about something totally different. Sometimes things just need some time on the back burner!

    ReplyDelete
  75. At my house, due to the abundance of dog hair, they are definitely dust puppies :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. You have not seen me dance!... thank heavens :)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Susanna! You are so funny! Your writing routine sounds about like mine. :)

    Darshana--Yes I would read it! I am dying to know what his special talent is, so you have definitely captured my interest! :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. I'm hoping days like that won't be a trend :) Yesterday was much better, but we'll have to see about today :) Thanks for commenting on the pitch!

    ReplyDelete
  79. So your house is clean AND you have a ms! Well done. My house still has dust puppies, but I did at least hammer out 2 mss yesterday to catch up. We'll see how today goes, though! Thanks for your comments for Darshana!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Carrie!

    ReplyDelete
  81. It was, thank you Margaret! But there's no telling yet how Day 3 will go! :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. ANYone should believe that! A sprained pancreas is a VERY serious condition! And if you ever saw me dance, you would know exactly how possible it is! :)

    ReplyDelete
  83. Thank you, Catherine :) I love the blank page for its possibilities, but on days when the words won't come it can be a formidable opponent!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Stina LindenblattMay 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Yes! I want to know what the special talent is! :D

    ReplyDelete
  85. Darshana- Yes- It is confusing at first, but than after I read others comments, my curiosity got the best of me about who is Jay. It just needs a little tweaking.

    Susanna- I want to say bravo for all your hard work on your blog. I am enjoying it immensely! I am a great procrastinator when it comes to writing and illustrating my next series for my book.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thanks, Anna, I'm glad you enjoy it - that means a lot to me! Good luck with your next book :)

    ReplyDelete
  87. It's true. A sprained pancreas is nothing to joke about... sorry I can't even say that without laughing :) I've abandoned Herbert for the moment, but I do have 2 new finished mss to show for the morning's work :) (Well. By finished I mean I have a satisfactory draft from beginning to end - but there's plenty of polishing still to do!)

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from you and try to respond to every comment. Please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...