Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, August 21, 2006

Learning From Others

by Jeffrey S. Savage

When I went to elementary school, every principal had a paddle in his office. Some were long thin things, some were more like a cutting board, and then there was the infamous Wiffle paddle, which had holes to make it more aerodynamic.

Unfortunately, I had more than a passing acquaintance with these paddles. When my children come to me now and say, “Dad, we got to have lunch with the principal, because we got such good grades,” I nod and reply, “Yes, I often had lunch with the principal as well.”

Now you may not think anything good could come from getting spanked on more than one occasion, but the truth is, I gained some valuable knowledge from these visits.

Take, for example, the day my younger brother came running out to the playground in tears. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he had to go to the principal.

“Why?” I asked, with some professional curiosity. “What did you do?”

“Well, we were making bunny faces out of paper plates. The teacher put this girl’s bunny up on the board. But she didn’t put mine up. So I tore the girl’s bunny in half.”

I nodded knowingly, and pulled him aside. “When you get to the principal’s office he’s going to take down his paddle.”

He looked up to me with wide, scared eyes.

“Okay here’s what you do. The first time he hits you with the paddle, cry really loud.”


Trusting my vast experience in this area, he walked the green mile. Ten minutes later he was back at the playground, jumping for joy. “It worked! It worked!”

So, you see, there is a great deal that can be learned from the positive and negative experiences of others. Especially in the writing world, where one or two minor mistakes can completely mess you up.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite writing sites and you can maybe add a few of yours.

A small LDS publisher’s blog

Great publishing tips from a guy who knows the business very well

Some unique insights from an agent. (She hasn’t added anything lately but read the back issues)

The classic agent blog

A great site by and for LDS authors

Funny and helpful editor site for working on query letters

Very helpful and informative blog by my literary agent

Two of the best sites for checking out agents (both are free)

The League of Utah Writers is a great place to meet other authors and learn the craft

And of course you can always check out my site
PS A Taste for fear is now nearing the halfway point and going quickly!


At 8/21/2006 3:00 PM, Blogger FHL said...

So, the moral of your story is deceive the authorities and they'll punish you less? Does that fall into the same category as crying to get out of a speeding ticket?

I know, you're trying to illustrate a point of passing information, but you might want to consider the message. =S

I do appreciate the writing links, as it's something I'm trying to get into, and it's always nice to find new sites to browse. (And I did pick up House of Secrets this weekend, haven't started it yet.)

I might add as a neat writing blog, but I'd suggest avoiding the comments on the Romance Of ... entry. (Just trust me.) There are some interesting entries on the Craft.

Orson Scott Card has a site with writing tips, but I haven't found them to be that useful so far.

At 8/21/2006 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Jeff! You must be really old if the principals were able to paddle the students!

At 8/21/2006 9:31 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

Hey, if crying could get me out of a ticket, I would ball my head off without any problem at all.

And yeah, I am old. My kids don't believe that pricipals actually spanked you. This was even in California!

At 8/22/2006 12:44 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

In fact I'd cry and stomp if it would get my next national published.


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