All you “Writer Mama’s” listen up

Okay, so there are sock contests and then there is the Writer Mama’s Back to School Giveaway!
Personally, I’m looking forward to putting my kiddos on the bus on Tuesday, but then…I’m looking forward to September 22 & 24th. Market guides for the winning. Maybe I won’t have to purchase them this year. That would be a huge bonus.  Check out the  Writer Mama blog daily and if you want to be entered to win, comment with an answer to the question of the day. Don’t forget to say that Anna sent you! That helps me too.

Rejection #2

I’m sad to say that another rejection came yesterday. This one from Highlights.  Usually, I wouldn’t expect much. Usually, I expect Spam, and if I get steak, I’m thrilled. However, the last two rejections have come with possible steak build up from editors so I let myself think steak. Wrong. Spam.

Spam, spam. Rejection, rejection. The manuscript for Highlights was a requested revision on a fiction contest entry. “Could you cut 100 words and send it to us again?” “You bet,” I say. Unfortunately, they thought it wasn’t developmentally appropriate, even though it was shorter. With the Sylvan rejection it was great to be told I’d made the “cut” and to be asked for marketing info, but ultimately hard to hear “no.”

I would have been happy to try again on the Highlights piece but they didn’t ask for any more revisions.

What do we do friends? Pick up, brush off, send it out again! Spamalicious.

Still waiting on the SCBWI nonfiction grant, and an agent.

Sylvan Dell rejection

I too received a Sylvan Dell rejection. Sad, because I had made the “cut” to the semi-finals round and wanted so much to go all the way. Pick-up, brush off, try again. But first…

Go to an amazing free outdoor concert of the Indigo Girls.
I’m sorry I didn’t hear you scream. THE INDIGO GIRLS. With opener Brandi Carlisle who is amazing! Here is a photo.
Well, what do you think it looked like? It was outdoors and dark and there were tons on people all singing and swaying to the amazing voices and harmonies. The kind that make you close your eyes and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And while my hubby didn’t get me chocolate for my rejection, he did let me go to the concert alone without small beasts who would get tired and want to leave. (But he has been informed of the new chocolate for rejection policy.)

Hmmm… that’s a lot of “amazings.”

Thanks to everyone for their kind welcome backs. It is good to be in the community again, and time to get to work.

Thirteen Things about vacation

1. The Adirondacks were beautiful. So many lakes and mountains and we had great weather. Favorite places. The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, (don’t miss the otters) as well as the Blue Jay camp ground there. My kids are just starting to be independent and campgrounds are a great place for that.
2. Lake George was over-developed, commercial, and quite tacky. That was a little disappointing, but if you’re looking for temporary tattoos or Simpson’s t-shirts, you’ve come to the right place.
3. Favorite moment, taking the kids white water rafting. E was scared through the first rapid and then laughed out loud on the next ones.  I love watching them grow and experience new things.
4. New York State campgrounds were all clean and beautiful. The Sacandega River Campground was my favorite.
5. Family reunions mean family. Lot’s of it. Also, reunions mean lot’s of food. I’m sure I’ve gained weight. I have to teach aerobics tomorrow and wonder if I’m going to be able to get through the hour.
6.  I’m really glad that my children are out of diapers and sleep through the night.
7. Let sleeping children sleep, let playing children play. It is so easy to overschedule a vacation. Relax and do nothing sometimes.
8. We visited the Wyoming County Fair in Pike, NY. The same agricultural fair that my husband showed cows at during his youth. Nothing has changed. I could tell he really enjoyed sharing that bit of his childhood with the kids.
9. Driving 12 hours in one day stinks.
10. Disappointing your child by not stopping in hotel when your hubby wants to drive all the way stinks too. Especially when they cry.
11. If you are a kiddo, ending up at Grandpa’s where there is a heated pool makes the long drive and no hotel a moot point. But not until you’ve had some sleep.
12. Having Grandpa tape the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance, made the drive okay for me.
13. Coming home to 140 emails, a pile of laundry, and fuzzy stuff in your frig is just part of the trip.

Severe thunderstorms in Maine

Crack! Ka-boom! Jolted awake last night, I cuddled with my freaked-out dog while flashes of white hot lightening lit the night. I held and stroked him while his heart thumped and pounded in his ribs. After each dangerously close bolt, I would check in on my kiddos who managed to sleep soundly through the entire event. I, on the other hand, watched from window to window trying to catch a glimpse of the streak of light making its way from cloud to ground. The power of nature. Amazing.

Six week review

Any of my “self-time”  comes to an end tomorrow when summer day camp ends. I had lofty goals of all I’d accomplish during the summer while my boys were at camp. Here’s what I’ve been doing while I haven’t been blogging:

1. I have a new non-fiction picture book manuscript (in verse) and a finished piece of art for the same project complete. Well, it’s never really complete is it? I still need to complete the dummy. I’m sending it off to an expert reviewer before I start submitting. Hoping that helps. My crit group has been wonderful at catching beats that are off. This one just called out for rhyming.

2. Research for the “dance” book has been on the back burner while the picture book took my attention. However, the kid interviews I’ve received for this project make me so excited. I’m hoping that the SCBWI non-fiction grant comes through but I’ve applied to too many of grant, and award competitions without getting chosen to get my hopes up.

3. On the conference stage, the call for proposals is online at NESCBWI. Click on “Conferences”. Please note the new Workshop Rubric PDF and the Workshop Continuum that I designed. I’m working on exciting things for illustrators…(rubs hands in a wickedly secretive manner)

4. I should be busily addressing and posting our Fall Folio Feast postcards but that will be on hold until tomorrow. Promise they’ll be out by Friday.

5. I have also been applying to day jobs. I’ve had a couple of interviews, and in one way it is nice to be “back in the game.” It feels great to remind myself of how confident, organized and competent I am in dealing with other adults instead of just carting my children around all day. On the other hand, I have all these wonderful projects that seem to be taking off, and I have “that ” feeling. You know “that” feeling. The feeling that says, someone is going to call you any day now. That last manuscript will sell. This is your year. And yet, I have had “that” feeling before. I think it was New Year of 2006 and 2005. Maybe “that” feeling is really called hope. If you don’t have hope, you don’t have much. And hope, plus tenacity and talent? Boy, I’ve got it all…
except that contract.

6. Have read Reaching for Sun (wonderful!) Deathly Hallows, (very Narnia-esque I think) and I’m reading Goy Crazy (I can so identify with this book).

7. I’m headed off right now to interview a couple with an interesting story for a possible picture book. (don’t want to jinx anything)

8. Submitted a couple of magazine queries and stories, one response “maybe if you spin it as an essay,” and two others no response yet.

9. I think I left out a couple of other manuscript submissions and a ton of sketching but that is just the regular day to day. So the past six weeks have been really full. I hope you forgive my inactivity on LJ. I’m going on vacation for a couple weeks but see you again at the end of August.