Saturday, March 07, 2009

Manuscripts and me on the move

I've haven't been quiet because it's been slow here, but because it's been very, very busy! As much as we adore Austin and had no intentions of ever moving away again...we couldn't turn down the excellent job opportunity that came up for my husband. Soon, he'll become the head of reference and adult services for the Arlington Public Library--a place he's worked before and loved--so we're moving to my hometown of Arlington, TX, after being away for 16 years. At least it's only a three-hour drive away, so I plan to be back to Austin often!

With a major move impending that we're not even slightly ready for, it's easy for writing to fall by the wayside. And indeed, I haven't written anything in quite a while. But I did manage to get it together enough to send an applicaton for the SCBWI Work-In-Progress grant today, and also to send an entry to the Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest a few days ago. I sent the same basic synopsis and excerpt of my middle grade novel to both. The requirements for both were similar, though the grant application requires more background information than the contest form, and the manuscript contest has a $50 fee. I decided that, other than a little money and time, I had nothing to lose by entering. Now, if I could only finish my taxes, I could turn all my attention to our move!

In older news, in the past week or two I finally read Joni Sensel's middle grade book Reality Leak, which has been one of my son's favorites for a couple of years but which he had misplaced until recently...and also read Ruth McNally Barshaw's latest book, Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School, which is especially relevant to my kids right now when we're moving soon. Both books were lots of fun, and highly recommended for middle grade readers! I also went to the Coraline movie in 3D, which I liked pretty well. I was neither as creeped out as I feared nor as blown away by the 3D as I hoped. (Not that the 3D wasn't great, but I've just become jaded because 4 of the last 5 movies I've seen in the theater were in 3D! The others were Meet the Robinsons, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Bolt.)

And I can't believe I never mentioned our great Austin SCBWI meeting last month, with author/illustrator Mark G. Mitchell speaking about school vists. Donna Bratton posted a nice recap of the event, and even a photo of some of us at lunch afterwards. (I'm on the left between Brian Yansky and Greg Leitich Smith. Hidden behind Greg is Debbie Gonzales, then Frances Hill and Shana Burg are at the end of the table, with Brian Anderson between Shana and Cynthia Leitich Smith, who is hidden behind Jennifer Ziegler. At the near end are author Julie Lake's husband, and the back of Carmen Oliver. Unfortunately, Donna herself was behind the lens, so she's not in the pic!) Cynthia Leitich Smith also posted about this event in her Feb. 27 Cynsations post.


Anonymous said...

Hello! :)

Anonymous said...

I love Ruth McNally Barshaw's books, too. They're so fun to read!