Monday, January 19, 2004

The retreat was great! It was indeed the energizing experience I was hoping for, and I'm newly excited about returning to some of my writing projects. The most rewarding moment of the weekend came when several critiquers, including two of the speakers at the retreat, gave me excellent and positive feedback on the midgrade manuscript I'd pretty much given up on after a negative critique at last year's retreat. Now I can't wait to jump back into soon as I get my young adult novel-in-progress off my plate for a while, that is! My next writing goal is to get that novel in shape to submit, and then I'll focus on the midgrade manuscript for a while. At any rate, I enjoyed the retreat so much I've already printed out a registration form for a novel writing workshop in June!

Sunday, January 04, 2004

I've just had a fantastic week and a half participating in a children's theatre production for the first time in about 20 years. I performed in a Creative Arts Theatre & School alumni production of the kids' show Free to Be...You and Me, which was truly a blast, despite a very hectic schedule with one week of rehearsals and three performances, all mixed in around the holidays and family visits out of town. (Kudos to my wonderful husband for playing Mr. Mom much of the time while I did this!) There's even a small picture of me with many other cast members in this week's Dallas Observer.

And now it's time to turn my sights back to "real life" and also to my writing. I think the theatrical experience will prove to rejuvenate my writing, as it got me directly involved in relating stories to kids (the real kids in the audience, including my own kids, who loved it), showed me how much children's theatre really did influence my writing, and also reminded me once again how it felt to be a kid! It also reminded me, at a time when things had begun to dry up for me creatively, how much more to life there can be than the dull daily grind, and gave me a fresh dose of the joy of creativity. Now I'm raring to go! Which is good, because I have a weekend writing conference/retreat coming up in less than 2 weeks! I'll be going to the Austin chapter of SCBWI's "Mind, Body, Pen" retreat, with editors, authors, and illustrators in attendance, and it promises to be another energizing experience (and thanks again to my husband for covering home base while I go!).