Coming Back Down To Earth…

It is always amazing to me how fantastic I feel after a writers retreat or conference.  Last weekend was a wonderful writing experience for me.  I started early on Long Island with a Meet & Greet event with our newly established local Long Island Chapter of SCBWI.  That was a fun evening and I got to see some familiar faces as well as some new.

The very next morning I was off to Pennsylvania via ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport Connecticut.   Ok, I’m sure that makes no sense to those of you who know the area, but I like to AVOID bridges when I can and this is a perfect way.  I live east of Port Jefferson so it makes a lot of sense to me.  Since I still read actual maps, I’m happy to plot out a course on my own and let the GPS catch up to me.

Once I departed the ferry, I headed north to Danbury and made a left towards Pennsylvania. Four hours later I arrived.  GPS said it would have been the same if I had gone through New York City – Ha! –

Anyway, once I arrived at the Highlights facility.  It really felt like home and they work very hard to make it so.  Kudos to the entire Highli100_1567 - Editedghts Staff, Faculty, and Family for a wonderful weekend event.

The SCBWI Eastern PA Poconos Retreat celebrated its 25th year.  Although I don’t belong to the Eastern PA chapter I was made to feel welcome and very much a part of their event.

 

  • I left the retreat knowing more than I did when I arrived.
  • I have more writing and industry connections.
  • I have more writing courage.
  • I have raised my writing bar.

As an SCBWI member, I encourage anyone to attend an event outside of their chapter. You gain a broader network and knowledge base.  You get a chance to see new ideas and processes in action.

Go, do, see, write.

Speaking of which, I’ve got some revisions to work on.

Happy Writing!

 

More Patience Required

This has been a long start of the new year – 2017.

Our family has been working through Alzheimer’s issues with an aging parent.

It is already difficult to watch a parent age without this frightening condition.  Add the unpredictability of everything that was once predictable and you have one of life’s oldest jokes.  Work hard to learn and understand as much of life as you can, then watch it slip away.  You have to savor those moments when we get a glimpse into the mind of the former life.  Talk with, smile with, be with that person whatever that looks like – now.

I never set out to write a book about Alzheimer’s but in hind sight I guess that was in the back of my mind.  Children can be confused and frightened about the changes in a loved one.  I watched my son manage his relationship with my mother when he was five years old.  That was twenty years ago and his “matter of fact” attitude was an excellent natural gift for him and me.  I tried to address that in my manuscript.

Faithful

In a few months my picture book is scheduled to be released, but an illustrator has not yet been paired with my manuscript.  As a picture book author it is difficult to send off my words, but I think it is harder for me to wait to see how those words are translated back through an illustrator.

I am faithful that the star that guided me to Clear Fork Publishing for my debut picture book will guide my future illustrator as well.

 

February 2017, and the clock ticks on…

2017 is shaping up to be a very busy year – I hope I can keep up!  My first picture book is slated for publication by Clear Fork Press this August.  I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.  I’m sure other soon to be published authors feel the same way.  I’m trying to keep writing new work or revising others but my focus is not cooperating.  

 

In an effort to re-focus myself, this weekend I spent time organizing.  I started by reviewing my other manuscripts.  I keep everything I’m working on in hard copy, old fashioned I know but it works for me.  Any critique group notes are filed with those manuscripts.   That makes it easy for me to look back if I’ve left the manuscript and notes to cook a little.  I looked at all of them and selected two that I want to begin revising.  Two should be enough to keep me in the writing mode.  

 

Then I moved on to planning marketing for the August 2017 book release.    It’s only seven months away.  Granted, I started thinking about this before I had even submitted the manuscript but I never dreamed I’d be really doing it!   I’ve not gotten very far, but I recognized that it is not something that I can just set a couple hours at and let it grow.  This will need my attention.

 

Super Bowl Sunday is usually busy and we were supposed to attend a party, but that was canceled at the last minute and I quickly looked to fill up that time slot with productive writing time.  I typed up notes for a new story idea that I had worked out the day before.  It seemed to flow so well, I kept going and actually got my first draft on paper too!  That was exciting.  I researched upcoming conferences and organized some library books that I have to return.  I’ve not had that much momentum for a story in a long time.  Creativity is very recognizable if you stop to listen to it.

 

I’m not that much of a fan for either of the two teams playing so I have no problem sitting here, away from the T.V. with my notes, my laptop, and my thoughts.  If only there were more days like this.  Getting back to work… Go, Team(s)!

January 10, 2017

This post is going to be short because I find that I am getting weepy.

Today is my son’s 25th birthday.  So long ago but then again it seems like yesterday.  As a small child he was so good and he has grown into a wonderful young man.  Respectful, loving, funny and gifted.  My husband often said that we won the child lottery when Brian was born.  It was a joke then, but it turns out to have been true.

Best wishes for a wonderful day.

Love,

Mom – 1,2,3.

Christmas Prep

 

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Cranberry Scones

 

The first real wave of winter hit Long Island this morning.  We woke up to find the edges of the lake covered with a thin sheet of ice. I love winter but when it is this cold, it’s best to stay indoors and bake.  The Cranberry Scones looked too pretty not to take a photo.  I had only one with that cup of coffee.

I’ve spent all day today baking and getting ready for Christmas.  That’s a bit removed from the writing that I should have been doing, but at least my mind was thinking about writing.

I spent one afternoon this week with a fellow children’s book author who also just signed a book contract.  Discussion about our writing projects was very stimulating to me and will help to keep me moving forward.  Amazingly, we each signed with the same publisher. That was such a fun fluke. Neither of us discussed submitting work to that particular publisher, and independently we were both signed.  It is a debut publishing for both of us so I really appreciate having a co-author with whom I can share this new experience.

 

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The Night Before Christmas 2016

Part of the Christmas display in our home is my collection of Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas”.

 

 

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More of The Night Before Christmas

 

I’ve acquired over 30 copies – but usually only display the 20 or so hard back versions.  In the collection are a couple other Christmas titles, but I don’t count those in the total number.  I guess I’ve always been a book person.  I buy at least one new copy a year. Believe it or not, I don’t have any duplicates!    Let’s see what I can find this year.