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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Highlights 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 industryconnections.
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.