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)!

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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

 

scones
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”.

 

 

night-before-xmas-2
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Patience

I consider myself a generally patient person.   I don’t mind long car rides.  As a kid, I don’t think I ever asked, “Are we there yet?”  I was having too much fun.  The way back in the old family stationkettle-653673_1280 wagon was cozy with pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.  There was always the scenery from the windows.  Day or night there was always something to see, even if it was a ton of other cars in a traffic jam.  That was not a worry for me, I was just a passenger.

As I’ve grown older, I find that I still do enjoy the journey, as a passenger whether it be a plane, train or automobile.

One area where my patience is not as developed as it should be is waiting to hear back from publishers.   I equate the time between sending out a manuscript and receiving feedback like waiting for Santa Claus at Christmas.  Waiting for that response makes me feel like my six-year-old self sitting under the Christmas tree next to a big gift wrapped in shiny paper with curly ribbons looking suspiciously like a bicycle – that I’ve been told I can’t open.

Sounds a bit odd if the feedback is a “thanks but no thanks” kind of a comment, but my gift is the acknowledgement.  As a writer I’ve worked on a manuscript and gotten it to be the best that I think it can be.   I’ve shared it with my critique groups.  I’ve revised it , shared it again, put it aside, revisited it, polished it, blessed it and put it out there.  After all that work, I proudly accept the “thanks no thanks” response as “we recognize all that you have put in but…”

Being passenger or driver makes a huge difference in the patience factor.  As a passenger, the expectation is to be carried from one place to another.  As a driver, I am responsible for the trip. So I’m responsible for the outcome as well.  That’s why my patience goes from abundant to zero.

As I write this, I have two manuscripts out to publishers, so I’m working on my patience. Combatting my impatience with productivity keeps me from wringing my hands and pacing the floors and eating.  I’m working on a new story.  I’ve put up some Zucchini Relish and will be canning more things this weekend.  As the saying goes, Nunca hierva una olla vista or A watched pot never boils.

Happy Writing.

70th Shinnecock Powwow Celebration

I made it out to Southampton this morning for what I call my New Year’s Day.  It’s the annual Shinnecock Nation powwow and I’ve been going for nearly 20 of those 70 years.  It’s like a homecoming for me because I have made so many friends.  100_1436 - Edited The reservation is only open to the public over the Labor Day weekend.  This year we are waiting for Hermine, either a tropical storm or a hurricane – she hasn’t decided yet.  No rain during today’s event, it was just very overcast.  Hopefully, the remainder of the weekend will allow for the event to attract its patrons.  As a fundraiser for the Shinnecock Nation, it would be a huge revenue loss if visitors were kept away by Mother Nature.  The event is rain or shine so I wish them all the best.

The Aztec Dancers from Mexico were one of the groups that I was able to photograph before my digital camera battery died.  I had my film 35mm with me so I was able to continue taking photos but will have to wait for the images.  I may see if I can finish the roll this week.  Pros and cons of technology – digital  = instant photos, battery willing.  Film requires no batteries but has a wait time for developing.

I didn’t do any writing today at all.  I did do a lot of thinking, maybe that should be called, pre-writing.  I’ll jot down those thoughts this evening and see where they lead.  I have a couple more days till I have to be back at work so I’ll try to make the most of them.

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  Stay safe.