Seventh Inning Mid Summer Stretch

This has certainly not been an easy breezy summer for me.  I’m continually asking myself, “what am I supposed to be doing now?”  There are so many things competing for my attention both in my writing and in the rest of my life.  Please don’t get me wrong, this is not a post about being too busy.  The alternative scares me, but I do need to buckle down and focus.  My way of re-focusing is compiling a to-do list and working through it.

So here goes:

  • I accepted an invitation to speak at an SCBWI-PA sponsored event in August.
  • I’ve worked on a couple of picture book manuscripts, new and revised, but I feel stuck.
  • Looking for a new project to help get unstuck.

For the new project, I’ve logged several hours in the library for the research I started for a historical fiction picture book on a local (local to Long Island) African-American poet.  A fellow picture book author suggested the topic during a discussion a couple of months ago.  Over the years I have collected several articles and documents on this local poet to satisfy my general curiosity but never thought of him as a picture book subject until that discussion.  – Thanks,  A.L.

Information Overload – Exposure to or provision of too much information or data.

That is what you can get when research includes genealogy.  Dates, places, names, occupations, marriages…

There seems to be no end to the genealogy loops that I’ve entered into.

I’m researching African-American characters from the mid-1700’s for a historical fiction picture book.   There are gaps where African American facts are concerned, for sure. Some of that is just due to the fact that African slaves were considered property, not people. For the research that I’m doing, there was a lot of documentation and it has connected two of the largest northern “plantations” on Long Island.  It helps that the slave owners were highly influential people.  Their records have now become part of history maintained in libraries and museums.  This is going to be fun!

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!

 

News

Autumn is turning out to be a really fun time of year for me this year.  Harvest season, a time for receiving all the benefits of your hard work – that’s the farmers take on the season.  Right now, I’m pleased to be able to reflect on my farm roots.  I am quite blessed.

I feel like I should be running around like Henny Penny shouting, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”  Or Paul Revere and his raiders announcing, “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

Yet, quietly I sit here fumbling to find words for this post.  I can’t hold it in any longer, it’s time to get this out in the open.  

Ready…

I just signed with a small publisher in Texas.  Clear Fork Publishing will be publishing one of my picture book manuscripts.  I feel like I should write that a bit bigger.

I just signed with a small publisher in Texas.  Clear Fork Publishing will be publishing one of my picture book manuscripts.

It feels great to share that.  I was was sure I was dreaming.

I’m going to not share all the details about the picture book but I will give you all a hint. The story has some connection to the picture below.  Stay tuned.

my-three-flamingos