A long overdue nap

My hubby has been especially helpful this week. He is changing jobs and had some extra time at home. Time to use for vacuuming, cooking suppers, shuttling children, and baking an apple pie (good even though he forgot the sugar). It has been just wonderful. Today I actually got a nap which my body has been craving all week long. I woke up with a scene from my newest project whole in my mind and heart. A quick jump to the computer and I had the entire scene written. It was a happy dance moment full of booty wiggles and “Booyahs!”

Don’t forget to submit those workshop proposals for New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference April 11-13. Proposals are due Monday, October 1st.

Hope you like the blog makeover.

On becoming a writer

I’ve just finished watching the Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon version of Little Women and had the good cry I’ve been needing. Who can stay dry eyed when Beth dies, or when Jo finally writes what is in her heart and sells her novel.

I often think about when it was that I became a writer. I think I was very young. I remember a picture book I wrote and illustrated (in my early elementary years) about pollution that ended up on the wall outside the principal’s office. I think it was told from the point of view of a seagull flying above various cloudy environs saying, “Cough, cough, pollution is bad.” I was so proud.

Then came the 6th grade essay writing award.  I remember reading a biography on Eudora Welty. Next, poetry published in the high school art and writing magazine. In college it was a national endowment of humanities proposal for non-fiction research on the Bikini Atoll. (Which I did not get.) My first picture book stemmed from my first job out of college at an adoption agency.

Then came my own children, and poem after poem after manuscript flowed. And so I write. I do write for me but every poem, every manuscript is intended for a greater audience. I am pleased that my poetry has been purchased but I’m sad that the sales have raised my expectations. It was a thrill to have the first poem, and the second and third purchased, but  the time between purchase and printing is long enough to be a little of a let down. And, when fondling the hard covers and dust jackets of books, real books, it is hard not to feel that my poems have less value. (Sorry Kelly) Certainly they are paid on a different scale.

I am not looking for sympathy or hugs, in fact I’m quite at peace this evening. Just exploring my beginnings. I’m still at the very early stages of this journey. I hope to one day find the story that is in my heart that resonates with a larger audience. Perhaps it will be soon.


Just saw on Anne Marie’s blog that the WIP grants were awarded. No, not to me. So this is my little venting. If you don’t want to hear me complain, skip it.

I can’t believe that some nonfiction book about spit, and saliva won over my book about boys and ballet. How exactly is spit, going to move the world forward. I really saw my project as making a dent in the pressures that I see facing my boys and boys around the US. A nerdfighter punch to decrease worldsuck, if you will.  And I got pushed out of the way by spit.

Proposals, submissions, and snowflakes, oh my!

1. NESCBWI workshop proposals are due on Oct. 1. Get ’em in! Think big, propose two workshops. Click for guidelines, rubric, and leveling continuum.

2. Robert’s Snow auction will be starting in November to benefit cancer research in memory of Grace Linn’s husband who recently died. The snowflakes for 2007 are not available for viewing yet, but I got a sneak peak at

 beautiful artwork at the conference planning meeting yesterday. (I can tell you it has frogs, but if you know Laura, you probably already know that.)  If you are a lesser know illustrator, I’d like to post your snowflake link, web link, and short bio here. (ie: not Lynn Munsinger, Kadir Nelson, or Bruce Degen) Leave me a comment and your contact info.

3. To-do: stop blogging, redraw dummy pages, manuscript status and resend, first two chapters of non-fiction.

4. October is the month we’ll hear about SCBWI work in progress grant applications. I’m waiting on a non-fiction proposal, anyone else?

Five things on 9-11

1. Even six years later, when my kids are 6 & 8, they are too young to hear what happened and I am too young and innocent to tell it without crying.
2. When you teach fitness classes, the first thing people say to you is, “I’m planning on going to the gym this week.” Well friends, I love it when you’re there but I don’t keep a list when you’re not.
3. I have pink eye, and the medicine to cure it. But I can’t stand looking like a sick kitten with goopy eyes. Gross.
4. I had a lovely weekend writing schmooze and have prioritized my writing time for the next month. Let’s see if I can stay on schedule. Mati and Molly got polished yesterday and is out! Roar dummy is next, then the first two chapters of my ballet book. Finding and agent, cleaning my office, and getting tax receipts together comes after that.
5. We are finally getting the rain we need, but it is a little dreary. Better for sitting and working at my desk but also good for napping. Must be careful.

Back to school

Back to school shopping was a nightmare. Poor I. had a difficult time finding things that fit as he is short in leg and wide in tummy. We ended up with jeans that were size 12 but they will need to be hemmed a good 4 inches. I’m so sensitive to his body image. I didn’t want him to feel badly about himself. But it is just like when I try on jeans. Different manufacturers have different sizing systems and you can’t tell what is going to fit till you try it on. On the other kid, the leg fits and the waist falls down on his bony hips. Good grief.

I’ve just put them on the bus and I’m taking a deep breath. Trying to get my to-do list in order. I’m meeting with my writing friends and an editor from Candlewick, my dream publisher, this weekend. I’m looking at all my work trying to find the best piece to read during the critique session. Wish me luck.