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Sunday, June 24, 2012

One my way to Honesdale

  Well the time has arrived for me to head out to the Writing Fiction for Children and Young Adults workshop.
   Yesterday I drove in to Scranton, so I could rest up before driving the last hour today.Between the panic attacks and bouts of giddiness, I managed to get a few hours sleep and get a focus.
   This morning, I'm killing some time before I get on the road.
   Preparation for this has been quite interesting. For the past few months, I've been reviewing writing samples and applications, giving my thoughts. I have to give a big shout out to Jo, Alison, and Noreen at Highlights who coordinated everything (while coordinating all the other workshops as well). They are an amazing team!
   In addition to this, I've been having a bout of interesting luck recently. You can see what kept me busy for the winter/early spring months if you scroll down a few posts. When the puppies were sent to their homes (except the one we kept), I thought I'd have time to write.
  In seems the fates had more in store for me. In early May, I broke two ribs. I was feeling good enough to walk and tore a calf muscle. I swear, my doctor was going to write me a prescription for bubble wrap. While I was there, I had the doctor check on the poison ivy one of the dogs had given me. Turned out it was not poison ivy, but shingles. Yep.
  Well, in time, I was feeling better, getting back on my exercise routine, and getting prepared for the workshop. But I wasn't finished. While walking out of convenient store, I damaged my foot. At first, we thought it was broken, but as it turned out, it's just some ligament/tendon damage. Boot and crutches.
   I got back on my feet, literally, with only a few days to go,  and my clutch goes out in my car.
  NOTHING was stopping me from coming. 
  And here I am.

  I didn't get that manuscript finished that I promised Patti Gauch I was going to finish. But I think she'll understand. I did get my workshops finished. That's what counts.
  I'll try to check in this week on how things are going.
 In the meantime, here I go....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In a Slump

I've been in a reading and writing slump recently which is a shame, because I'm not teaching any classes this term and have a little extra time. But that always seems to be the case -- the more I have to do, the more I do.

I'm going to wallow for the remainder of the week, then fall back on one of my old "tricks" for reading. It's called my "rule of ten." Read ten pages every day without fail. I can always read more, but no less. It may or may not get me out of the slump, but at least I'll be making progress.

Writing is a little more difficult. It's not as portable (I can't write free hand. The computer is my tool of choice.) So, I have to make time write and have a place to write. The place part is the difficult one. My home has two teens living in it. While one is almost 20, the other is 17 and in a band -- and we have the most understanding neighbors of the group. Guess where the guys hang out?

And I live in the same neighborhood where I taught middle school for almost 20 years. That means a trip to the grocery store for a gallon of milk usually takes 45 minutes by the time I get finished talking to everyone. The library and coffee shop are worse. I never get much done when I'm in either place.

But, I'm going to try the rule of two anyway. Two pages a day without fail. It might be garbage, but it will be written garbage, and it will be mine.

Will report my progress in a later post.

Keep reading and writing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

They're here!!!

Well, it wasn't easy, but the puppies have arrived.
I just HAD to post these pics of proud mama and her three cute pups.
Her name is Snowball (best we can figure is she was white as a puppy -- we got her at 7 months as a rescue dog). So, in order to refer to them, the kids have given them "water" based names.

(Rainbow, Sleet, and Misty -- none of which actually correspond to their colors -- though the first one is quite clever, since the father's name is Bobo).

Friday, February 3, 2012

So Many Things Happening Here

  Well, life has been busy here in all aspects of my life which is the reason I haven't posted in a while.
  I guess, first, I have to address the recent award winners. My thoughts vary on this, but I want to congratulate the winners. I have most of the books (still waiting for a copy of Breaking Stalin's Nose), and they are good books.
   Would my lists be different? Of course. But my decisions would not made by a committee. I wouldn't have to concede to a vote or work for compromise. I do, however, wish the Newbery committee had given more honors than two. This year was filled with VERY worthy contenders deserving of recognition.
    Next, I've been getting a little psyched out about the Highlights Foundation workshop in June. The original list of faculty has grown, and with each new name, I'm feeling the pressure of "measuring up." It's an amazing line-up, and I can't believe anyone who is serious about writing for children can pass up the value it offers. Additionally, the workshop was written about by a Highlights Foundation blog group yesterday (and it mentions yours truly). You can read all about it here:
     I have been reading, but some of my interest has not been with children's literature lately. It's been about dogs and puppies. In a few days, our dog will deliver a surprise package. Actually, four to six packages. So, I've been reading up on dog pregnancy, whelping pups, and getting things ready.
   In addition, my son's AP English class was reading an "adult" book that had been on my stack for YEARS. My son, not an avid reader but a focused one when he finds a book he likes, asked me to read it too because he wanted to talk about it. So I picked up THE LIFE OF PI and loved it almost as much as he did. (It's his favorite book, but To Kill a Mockingbird holds that position for me.)
  I'll be posting soon about the books I've been reading recently, what's on the horizon, and Breaking Stalin's Nose when it comes in.
  Until then, keep reading.