It’s been cold and rainy this Saturday and aside from an appointment with my chiropractor and nutritionist, I’ve been inside all day. Oh yeah, I also made my way to the mall to exchange a couple of things. Luckily, I didn’t get very wet and the mall trip was non-eventful. That is a wonderful thing for me since I try to avoid malls these days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to shop – I do! I just miss the old downtown, village shopping that I grew up with. The village still exists of course and it is a pleasure to visit if you can find a parking space and if you can manage the crowded sidewalk. I suppose many towns have evolved like that across the country, it’s just growth, and progress. Especially on Long Island.
On New Year’s Day, my husband and I took a ride out to Greenport, Long Island. I wanted to see if I could find one of the last independent bookstores on the east end. Burton’s Bookstore. They were, of course, closed for the holiday but the weather was perfect for a ride out to explore. Windy for walking, but still nice. As I took a peek through the window I could smell the books. Now you know where I’ll be going next weekend!
I will spend the rest of today working on a new manuscript. I’ll probably also get to a revision for another as I keep on track to getting more manuscripts submission ready. Cold and rainy days are made for authors, in my opinion. No outside distractions to remove me from my chair.
So, until the blank screen or notebook become less appealing than laundry, and cleaning the bathroom. I’ll be in my chair until further notice.
It’s been twenty days since our beloved Rocky went to heaven. Christmas seemed like a blur this year between his care, my grief, and family holiday expectations. Normally, I love spending time with family during the holidays but this year it was tough to keep my grief and depression from taking over. Thanks to an email from a neighbor that reminded me of Rocky’s good life with us. That helped me regain my focus. I started writing again two days ago and was able to get a picture book draft on paper that had been bouncing around in my head.
I sat down this morning to reorganize my writing. I registered for a writing workshop through the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators – SCBWI-LI group in Bay Shore next Sunday. Now have to buckle down to make sure I have something to present. I have several other manuscripts that I’ve been working on, but I need to get them submission ready. I’m off from work a couple more days so that’s the plan.
While reorganizing I came across an email that I had totally forgotten! Just after Thanksgiving, I learned that “David’s Flamingos” was nominated for a CYBIL Award in the picture book category. CYBIL – Children’s and Young Adult Literary Award.What a thing to lose track of. I was blessed to have Jeanne Conway, as my illustrator. She did such a beautiful job with the artwork. I’ve been blessed with this debut picture book.
I spent three days in the Poconos at the Eastern Pennsylvania SCBWI Retreat. Three days of workshops, critiques, sharing, learning, community and meeting fellow writers and illustrators. I’m excited and inspired to get back to work on a couple manuscripts. Finding the right time to write is still challenging but I’m looking ahead to new goals.
My debut picture book, David’s Flamingos is out! Yeah, I still can’t believe I get to write those words. There was a lot of positive feedback at the workshop and it has fueled me to move forward! I’m still working on marketing, I know I’m behind so that is definitely something I need to work on.
I’m making this a short post today so that I can get myself organized for my new projects.
The official release date for my picture book, David’s Flamingos. It’s been a journey and I’d do it all again (and again). Multiple revisions, multiple submissions and plenty of hope, prayers, and love, now finally I’m published.
Thanks to my critique groups, publisher (Spork) and the wonderful illustrator, Jeanne Conway. You are my village.
I am very much behind on any marketing that I should be doing but thanks to a very loyal group of colleagues, the day was spent with many verbal reminders and other conversation about the book. All of that has fed my ambition to get something together SOON to get the sales rolling.
I’ll be at the Highlights Foundation for the North East Pennsylvania Pocono Retreat this weekend. I’ll be participating in workshops throughout the weekend but there will be time set aside for book sales. I can’t ask for a friendlier forum for my first direct sales. Wish me luck!
David’s Flamingos is a heartwarming multi-generational story that speaks to the connection and love between grandparents and grandchildren. Jeanne Conway’s illustrations are soft and endearing. She brings the text of Pam Jones-Nill to life from the very first page.
David’s Flamingos – Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
I can hardly believe that I’m lucky enough to be here on the fringe of a book launch.
My book launch.
I received my proof copy and cried when I saw my name as author on an actual press printed bound hardcopy book. I first wrote this story three years ago and with the support of my wonderful critique group, multiple revisions and persistence, my manuscript was purchased by Clear Fork Publishing for their Spork imprint.
Special thanks to Jeanne Conway whose illustrations have brought my characters and story to life.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. I remembered to purchase cards thatI’ll mail out on Monday. I even send my husband’s in snail mail. I do keep a backup card in case snail mail is too slow. That’s a lesson learned kind of thing…
I’m happy to say that I’ve also remembered the Valentiny Writing Contest that author SUSANNA LEONARD HILL hosts. It’s the 3rd Annual, I’m not sure where I was for the last two – but I’m in now! With Hopeful Heart! – The 3rd Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!!! Here is my contest entry – wish me luck!
Cleo was sitting with her grandmother and her three older sisters in the hospital waiting room.
Their parents were with the doctor in the labor room and odds were that the new arrival was going to be another girl.
The girls chatted and giggled about the new baby girl. “We could play dress up and dolls,” said Stella. “Tea party would be so much fun,” added Julia.
Cleo stared out the window. “Oh how I wish for a baby brother,” Cleo thought. She imagined playing baseball, tag, and fort. Cleo whispered, “If only the baby would be a boy for Daddy and a brother for me.”
The door to the labor room opened and the girls eyes opened wide with anticipation.
The girls gathered around the doctor all asking questions. “Does she have curly hair?”, “Are her cheeks rosy?”, “Are her eyes green like mine?”
The doctor lead everyone to the nursery window. Their father met them there. The sisters all took a spot at the window and a surprised look appeared on their faces, even grandmother.
“I can’t see!” exclaimed Cleo. Her father lifted her up to look through the glass.
“I knew it! I knew it!” shouted Cleo. “Daddy look, we have a boy!”
This year I’m proud to be participating in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 27, 2018. In celebration of that special day, I am posting a review of not one but two beautiful picture books. Check out all the wonderful Multicultural titles available with the links posted below.
Hats of Faith – Written by Medeia Cohan and Illustrated by Sarah Walsh.
Published by Shade 7 Publishing 2017.
In Hats of Faith, Medeia Cohan starts a basic conversation with the youngest of readers about religions and culture.
What parent hasn’t found themselves scrambling to answer that question, “What’s that on her head?” or “Why is that man wearing a hat in the summer?” As any parent knows, kids ask questions all the time – waiting on line in the grocery store, on a bus or simply walking in the park. Hats of Faith is a concept/board book that helps provide a simple platform to discuss, with respect, the varied articles of clothing worn as head coverings and pairs them with their specific religion. That connection helps make the book complete and meaningful. The phonetic pronunciations provide confidence for parents or readers throughout the board book.
Sarah Walsh created beautiful, colorful illustrations that help focus attention on the unique head coverings with simple text that helps open communication and give parents a tool to help answer the most curious children.
Diversity in our world is as necessary as air and water. We need both air and water to survive as much as we need diversity to help us thrive. Hats of Faith helps us start at the beginning to teach diversity and ultimately empathy.
Wash Day – Written by Barbara H. Cole and Illustrated by Ronald Himler.
Published in 2004 by Star Bright Books.
Ms. Cole has captured a world where blacks and whites coexist very naturally. Yes, Miss. Ett, is black and is working for a white family as a washwoman but the commonality of life in this story is that they are all poor and they look out for each other. Wash Day uses parts of our history and finds a warm story to share. Miss Ett goes about her job with care and pride. The Grandpa, of the white family for which Miss Ett is working, shares his love of music with his granddaughter but also Sherman, the grandson of Miss Ett. Even Miss Ett is touched by his music, noting that the work is harder once the music stops because he is not able to play any longer.
Wash day may be just another day of the week…sure; but this story is a warm, reflective, gentle story. Mr. Himler’s beautiful watercolor illustrations are full of joy.
As the daughter of a WWII Veteran, I found the details of the American flags on every grave familiar and comforting. Himler’s soft and muted colors are a fabulous paring to the words of Ms. Cole.
Although it takes place in the Depression-era United States, current events of 2018 make Wash Day a good resource illustrating that caring for the people around you, no matter the color, race, or other physical difference they may have is an important life lesson.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in the home and on school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.