Yesterday I wrote about how important the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has been for my book.
Today I'm sharing another really nice connection. My Tampa SCBWI friend Shannon Hitchcock is a transplanted Southerner, but we also have a New Jersey tie. I totally thank her for some excellent interview questions, link below.
Those inviting chairs I'm "borrowing" today are from Shannon's website.
The quote on her site says
Front yards are boring. Backyards tell stories.
(Although I always loved what I could learn observing the neighbors from my front porch, if not my front yards!)
This seems like the perfect day for saying thank you to a terrific organization. The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has been with me on every step of my writing journey. And now, as I write, a whole bunch of lucky writers are convening in New York for the annual conference.
A couple of years ago, I met my amazing agent at the Maryland/ Delaware/ West Virginia summer conference. They've just announced a March one-day workshop. If you're looking for a truly informational, connected, encouraging group, check it out:
And of course, there's my current family of connected writers, the Florida SCBWI. What a treat to be on my very first writers' panel at the Miami conference this month. Here we are being introduced by Florida RA Linda Bernfeld:
Today I got to relive the weekend when website guru Curtis Sponsler posted a ton of pictures from the event. Click here to view the slideshow and see some articulate and bright writers/ editors/ agents/ illustrators dressed like Kings, Queens and White Rabbits. Thanks, Curtis!
Click here if you missed my earlier post on the event.
What I'm reading now, via my local library:
Trent Reedy's Into the Dust, as recommended by so many people, especially Cheryl Klein, presenter and dancer ☺, and Sue Laneve, critiquer extraordinaire. More SCBWI connections. It just never ends!
Now a book I wrote is appearing on lists suggested for students studying Dr. King, the Civil Rights movement, Freedom Summer. I truly appreciate my book appearing next to the likes of One Crazy Summer and The Watsons Go to Birmingham in this
This has nothing much to do with writing for publication.
It is not intended to open the Thank-You-Note can of worms.
Though I will relate it to a book I read when I first called myself a writer. (And please click the title for a terrific take on that book, MAKING A LITERARY LIFE.)
In that book, Carolyn See talked about writing notes to authors you admire. This was pre-Facebook. Pre any kind of social media. Even pre-blogging really. She meant Old School notes. The kind our mothers and grandmothers encouraged/ forced us to write. After I read her book, I wrote to her.
Lately, I don't care too much about the beautiful stationery (though I did get a laugh when a great Southern friend just emailed me a nice note and attached a picture of her mostly unused, engraved notecards). But I do appreciate an acknowledgment, either verbal or penned or emailed, that a gift I labored over-- maybe even wrongly chose but I tried-- made it through the vagaries of a delivery system and arrived safe and sound.
This one made my day. My first thank you from my Nephew Dog. He liked my holiday chew toy.
(What I've just read: Joan Bauer's Close to Famous)
In my past life, I adored Elvis Presley. I've mostly grown out of that, but there are moments when it comes back to me.
Like when this Christmas a gift arrived from Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi.
(FYI: I'll actually be there signing books on March 1! Click here for the link!)
I suspected something exciting when I saw the wrapping.
When I was MUCH younger, I had a Plaster-of-Paris Elvis statue. Maybe it's my imagination, but I remember the bust as being almost as large as a basketball. Other than that, it looked exactly like this one. My mother loved to discard unnecessary things. I'm sure she ditched my Elvis statue as soon as I left for college. Yes, it was a dust-catcher. But thank goodness she didn't get her hands on my Elvis scrapbook. Because now I've finally found the perfect spot for my new statue and my old Elvis wallpaper: Glory's Junk Poker box.
So, on Elvis's birthday, I want to share my newest Thing I Love. Thanks to my niece Amy who sent it from Square Books for Christmas.
Elvis on my Christmas Table-
Or maybe you prefer Elvis the King? He has outfits!
Not as large as a basketball, but small enough to fit into a shoebox. Perfect!
Taking down decorations and thinking of all the exciting things to come in 2012!
Today marks the beginning of a new year, and I'm inspired by writer friends, Kimberley Griffiths Littleand Caroline Starr Rose --and probably a ton more of you who make these lists-- to start keeping track of what I'm reading. Their lists are impressive. But I'd have to dig deep to recall The Books I Read in 2011.
So from now on, I resolve (whoops, I used the R word!) to keep better track of what I read.
What I'm Reading Now:
1. Review copy, via Kindle, of Elizabeth George's forthcoming mystery: BELIEVING THE LIE
2. A Teen/ YA novel I can't put down, a page-turner, that is nothing like anything I normally read:
UNLEASHED by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
3. Rereading The Liberation of Gabriel King and also When You Reach Me. Because I love the voices so much.
(These notes will be at the bottom of some blog posts. Feel free to ignore. If I keep up with this task, I will be able to remember what I read come next December. Or at least, that's my goal. And everybody knows goals are way better than resolutions, right?)