Any serious writer will tell you that writing is not for the faint of heart, nor for the gregarious, those who need people around them all the time. It’s a solitary business, one that requires strict discipline and dogged application. But it is accompanied by great rewards when you see your work in print–on paper or on line–and hear people tell you how they love your character(s). There is also a deep satisfaction that comes from just having your thoughts written, your ideas expressed, your facts of life “out there”.

This morning, in one of the writing newsletters to which I subscribe (Children’s Writer Update), there was a short video presented by the president of CBI, John Bard. He gives five important steps required to prepare your written work for submission to a publisher or editor. I think the video is important enough to give you access to it and let you listen to John’s message. He gave permission to use the link, included here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16bSzJSPiAQ

For a wealth of information on writing for children and to access the newsletter and the site, go to http://www.write4kids.com.

Another newsletter I subscribe to is http://www.fundsforwriters.com. Every issue is packed with markets for grants, magazines, contests, book publishers and agents.

OK, now I’m going to get to work–to practice what I preach!

Pretty good post. I just came across your blog and wanted to say
that I have really liked browsing your blog posts. Any way
I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!



Hello world!

This blog will cover just about anything: my writing, writing in general, and other people’s writing. And READING!!! And did I mention it’ll cover whatever I’m ticked off about at the moment?

You can read a lot about me and what I do on my website: http://www.joanbaier.com , which was designed by Chris Denkers at Avalanche Solutions. I think he did a superb job!

But here on my blog, we can interact and spout and sputter, discuss serious topics–or not, and have fun with it all


Just finished Katherine Paterson’s Bread and Roses. Another winner! In her YA story, Paterson captured the culture and struggle of Italian immigrants and mill workers in Lawrence, MA’s 1912 strike. The Industrial Revolution brought us the good and the ugly and Bread and Roses illustrated that dichotomy.


Ballet and Saranac on 06/18/2009 02:09 pm:

Yesterday was a ying-and-yang day. After spending several glorious days in the Adirondacks with my good friends, Mary and Don, I left them and drove the 4 1/2 hours back home.  Then, last night, I attended the year-end performance of Ballet Theatre, the dance school in Greece, NY founded and developed by my daugher, Mary Kay. She died 3 years ago, but the school perseveres, albeit very different from what her exceptional command of everything had achieved.

Anyway, the first half of the performance was filled with, primarily, modern dance, which I neither appreciate nor understand. But the second half presented the basics of classical ballet followed by excerpts of the ballet Giselle. My granddaughter, Brittany,  performed a solo which stirred me (and others) to our very souls.

She is a lovely, talented ballerina!

Another very touching part of the performance was the delicate “kiss” each of the older students threw upwards to Mary Kay as they took their bows. Of course, their outstanding dance technique was per-

formed for Mary Kay, too–a tribute to Mary Kay’s dedication as a teacher and a reflection of the girls’ love and respect for her.

And Mary Kay, here is my hug and kiss for you. Catch!


I read about 4 books every 2-3 weeks. I LOVE my books, getting into another world, another dimension of thought and activity.
My current books, among a couple others, are two of Jodi Picoult’s: Songs of the Humpback Whales and Nineteen Minutes. These are adult novels and deal with adult plots, although Nineteen Minutes is a fictional take-off of the Columbine massacre. Picoult delves into the before and after emotions and problems of the teens and their families. Pretty dynamic, powerful stuff, made more so with Picoult’s talented use of our language.

London Holiday by Richard Peck was a rather interesting read, although not a gripping tale. I’ve read his children’s books and thought them quite good.

Iain Lawrence’s The Lightkeeper’s Daughter was an excellent read. I picked up the book to read more at every opportunity. It’s YA (young adult) and just as involving for adults as for teens.

The other young people’s book I highly recommend is Linda Sue Park’s When My Name Was Keoko. This story brings the history of Korea in the late 1930s to early 1940s to life as you read about Keoko’s family during those difficult times of Japanese rule there.

An adult book I really enjoyed reading was Richard North Patterson’s Silent Witness. This is a page-turner, all the moreso because it is well-written.

Another book I tried to read was James Patterson’s You’ve Been Warned. Sorry, but I couldn’t get beyond the first 50 pages.