Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things I love

Some random things I love, just because I'm feeling inspired. A very incomplete list!

Chocolate cake
Strawberry sorbet
Fruit tarts
Wide open spaces
My baby's soft, chubby cheeks and dimpled hands
Words and letters
Word games
The Internet
Going to movies
British comedy
The smell of rain
My iPod
Sleeping in
Checking the mail
Grab bags, goody bags, & other small surprises
Lemon Pepsi
Lemon creme cookies & vanilla creme cookies
Egg salad
Fried eggs
Funky forks and spoons; also sporks
Getting paid to write
Clouds against the blue sky
Improv acting
Winning contests
Frosted glass
Cobalt blue glass
Vellum paper
Porch swings
Reconnecting with old friends
Connecting with new friends
Ruins of old buildings
Intricate patterns
Art with texture
Good design
Old typewriter keys
New office supplies
French onion soup
Tapirs, echidnas, hedgehogs, anteaters, elephants, and giraffes
The moon
Cool chairs
Indiglo watches
Renaissance-style music
Theme parties
Silver or pewter-colored leather (or faux-leather)
The smell of apples
Autumn air
Bowling (rarely do it, but always enjoy it)
Songs with the sound of rain or storms in them
Making progress
Spirals and swirls
The sound of my toddler "singing"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend wrap-up

Yesterday I went to an Austin SCBWI meeting and heard Helen Hemphill give a great talk on plotting novels. Very helpful info! She's also leading a plot workshop at the Highlights Foundation next month. It was quite a packed-out meeting, too, with more than 70 writers in attendance! While there, I picked up a packet of the 34 manuscripts that are going to be critiqued at next month's Editor Day. 

Skimming all the manuscripts today gave me pause, as did thinking about those 70 people at one little children's writing meeting in one city... I mean, there's a lot of competition out there! There are a lot of good writers with a lot of good manuscripts, and I just hope, hope, hope there's at least a little room left for my books! Some days I get so discouraged. I have been at this so long, and it's hard to believe it will ever happen for me. And yet...for some reason, I don't really know why, I keep having this little thought in the back of my mind that this is going to be my year. I don't know if my mind means this calendar year, or just the next one-year period, but it's a nagging hope that things are going to start going my way, and I hope it's right! 

Speaking of years, I've been a mom for 10 of them now. My oldest son hit double digits yesterday. We had a nice celebration at a mini-golf and arcade place with his two closest friends. Two mini-disasters (a storebought cake on which the frosting literally fell off, and my middle son forgetting to wear shoes to the arcade!) were handled without much stress, and everything else went well--my son thanked us several times for a wonderful birthday!

Now, one more week until school starts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I made a sale!

I just got an e-mail from The First Line. They are buying my story "Mom's Five-Star Good-Bye"! Hooray! The magazine is for adults, but the story has a teen narrator and a YA feel. And it will be out this fall!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Write night

Around 30 Austin-area children's and young adult writers gathered for a Happy Hour Wednesday at Waterloo Ice House. Unfortunately, I didn't even get a chance to say hi to everyone who showed up, but everyone I did speak to was great company! As usual. Thanks to Cynthia Leitich Smith for organizing the event, and Jennifer Ziegler for finding a good location for the meeting.

Here are a few pictures, and I know P.J. Hoover's blog has a few more.

Donna Bratton looks quite animated as she talks to P.J. Hoover and Madeline Smoot.

This blurry pic shows Brian Anderson speaking to Jennifer Ziegler. Just behind them is Debbie Gonzales.

Lindsey Lane, Debbie Gonzales, and Mark Mitchell were remarkably patient with my attempts to get a decent shot of them.

A very bright-looking Shana Burg (and of course she is bright!) hanging with Madeline Smoot near the end of the evening.

Recent Austin transplant (convert?) Margo Rabb with Varian Johnson, winner of this year's Alumni Award from the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program (congrats, Mr. V!)

And for the record, please note that organizer Cynthia Leitich Smith's absence from the photographs posted does not necessarily have anything to do with the fact that she writes books about vampires, who apparently do not show up in photographs. ;-)