The Cupboard Under the Stairs

I’m at the end of my second month of living in a new space on my own. It’s been quite a downsize. I lost a large office/studio in the process. Still I love it in my new place and have found a little nook to call my own– a cupboard under the stairs. It seems appropriate since I write for children and young adults that my work setting is the same as Harry Potter’s infamous bedroom. I dare say that my space is a lot nicer though. All cobwebs have been cleared and a slow spider or two was invited to take up residence elsewhere. It is quite noisy when my teen boys (man-child 1 and man-child 2) tromp down the stairs but the side walls are a little like blinders so that may help my work production. Speaking of which, I’m trying to finish my revision and deliver to my awesome agent by Monday. They say U.P.O.D. (under promise over deliver). I just hope to be able to deliver on time.

Here are some images of my new space! (And Lucy)

Lucy is resting after chasing her bunny.
Lucy is resting after chasing her bunny.








Hurricane Sandy and the Grant Application

First, a shout out to all of those dealing with the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy in the hardest hit areas of New York City and New Jersey. I’m watching these Weather Channel pictures full of worry– water in the subway tunnels, houses destroyed, beaches where beaches shouldn’t be. I’m crossing my fingers that you are safe and well and that your life gets back to normal in as short a time as possible.

In an odd twist of events, I am with my husband in Norfolk, VA while my children are in New England with Grandma. The last I heard she had stocked up on candles, water and ginger snaps, so I’m hoping everything is okay. I have no cell signal where I am, but wifi is strong, so I’m watching Facebook and Twitter trying to piece together the situation at home.

Here, the worst of the winds were last night. Low lying areas are flooded and TWC reports that the area received 8-10 inches of rain. This morning the rain has stopped and the winds are receding.

While I’m in our hotel room, and hubby is at work, I’m busy trying to complete a grant application. It’s a big one– the A Room of Her Own Gift of Freedom.  The $50,000 grant (yes you read that right) is the biggest I’ve ever applied for and the most arduous. Five essays, financial info, a writing sample, and a community service component make this quite a challenge. So why am I doing it? The process forces me to clarify and communicate my goals and motivations as a writer. Also, my kiddo told me I had to. “Mom, if you got this, you wouldn’t have to keep looking for another job. You could just write. You’d be so happy.” Out of the mouths of babes. So my baby, I’m writing these essays for a happier me, because a happy and fulfilled Mom is what you and every kid needs.

The envelope has to be postmarked November 1st. Please send me good-writing, no-procrastination vibes. 


Busy Writer/Mom/Triathlete Links on Life

Oh goodness. It has been over a month, a month? since I’ve posted and I’m so sorry. That means I’ve done NO book review Wednesdays for a month. Ack. (And I thought those would keep me blogging.) March has been a month of deadlines and to excuse my absence I quickly fill you in on some of the deadlines that I’ve been meeting and working towards. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably see a lot of this already so my apologies.

March 1: Final illustrations for the book Fufu and Fresh Strawberries You can see some of those illustrations here.
Forum assignment for my Picture Book Certification Semester at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA)

March 15: Final egg paintings for the Great Goose Egg Auction. You can see the eggs here.

March 17: My 2nd packet was due for VCFA

March 22: Forum assignment for my Picture Book Certification Semester at VCFA

March 23: I did my first multisport event. An indoor triathlon at the Naval Air Station Brunswick. The event was a 1000 meter row on an ergometer, a 5 mile bike on a stationary lifefitness cycle, and a 1.5 mile treadmill run. You can see pictures of me and Mike (the gentleman paired with me)  in the event and read more about it in the captions here. I used this indoor triathlon to train for an event that I am doing in May, The Tri for the Casco Bay Y. If you’d like to donate a small bit to the scholarship funds and to my team the MIghty Mamas, please take a look at our fund raising page where you can donate online. I’ll be swimming and cycling and my friend Rachel will tag off to do the 5K run.

This past week I’ve been revising and polishing the first 10 pages of my novel, working on the synopsis and query letter for the deadlines associated with the New England SCBWI spring conference critiques and quick queries. While the Friday and Saturday registration is full, there are still spots for Sunday so check it out.

I also just got back from the post office, where I was sending a picture book to for the April 1st scholarship deadline at VCFA and a trip to the library where I was stocking up with a new load of 25 picture books for VCFA Packet 3!

All of this with my husband out of state for the first three weeks of March and two kids who need me.

So you see, I’ve been an extremely busy Writer/Mom/Triathlete but we’ll see if April, with its extended sunshine hours, allows me to find more time to blog. Happy Passover to all who celebrate. Look for my Wednesday review of the book: The Matzoh That Papa Brought Home.

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