Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hi-ho Hi-ho It's Off To Camp We Go

Just got home from a writer schmooze week-end, and what a grand week-end it was. You usually see my posts about the schmooze, twice a year-June and September. Tami Wight hosts our event (with her family's support. Thanks Dave, Alex, Ben)
Saturday is our day to work, and we do that all day, except eating time or meet and greet and share news and Hallelujahs from the months' past. This is the first time we've been together since Tami signed on with Islandport Press for her Cooper and Packrat campground mystery, so what better place than "home" to celebrate with morning toast. (not the crunchy kind you spread peanut butter on!) I don't think we've ever started our day with mimosas and it was pretty obvious because most of us weren't sure how to pop the cork, but someone knew how!

Then it was time to work. We read, critique, get critiqued and discuss each one's manuscript. I'm amazed at the writings and talent we have between us.  Our writings ranged from picture books, historical faction, historical verse, mystery, middle grade, young adult and zebras!

 Christy Webster, assistant editor, Random House was our guest editor. She joined our critique circle, and  when all was said and done, rather, when we were all said and done, she shared a presentation with us. I know that I thanked her in person, more than once, but I must SHOUT out again another BIG Thank You to her for making arrangements to come to Maine, with only a few days notice. Our scheduled editor had an accident and couldn't make it, so while I'm thanking, I must say a loud and clear Thank You to Katherine Harrison, assistant editor, Alfred Knof for finding a replacement. Get better Katherine (this is from all the Schmoozers)

Yup, I look out the window sometimes.

 This photo is an annual event. The group shot in front of the campground book case.
 At night, we sat around the campfire with the campers. Coop is toasting  a marshmallow for Jeanne
 Psssssst, tell you a secret.  See the "big" guy sitting on the right of Anna-....he's in the book!!!!!!!

 A Sunday morning walk to the lake before heading home. Kayaks waiting to be "put up" til next season.
 This is Tami's inspiration island for "the" book.
Oh dear, on my way. So insipired. So psyched to rework my story. So fortunate to have supportive writing friends. My heart's doing the happy dance.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Caught Out In The Rain

     "I love a rainy day!" Truly I do-especially a warm summer shower.  Sometimes I forget to use the weather factors in my stories, but was reminded last Friday of how the unexpected downpour can create a twist and a bit of added adventure to a sunny day.
   Mr Weatherman got it completely wrong when he predicted about the hottest, sunniest day of the month. Sherry and I loaded the kayaks and went to Camden Harbor. It was foggy, but the sun was going to break out at any moment-right?!?!?! Curtis Island was straight ahead, and easy paddle, but something we forgot or didn't realize, is that it was Schooner days in Camden, so we had to slow down to let a few of the big guys pass on their way out of the harbor.

 This isn't a black and white photo, it's natural gray and gray-we still kept looking for sun!
It was an easy paddle to Curtis Island Lighthouse. We parked the kayaks, walked up the steps and walked the trail around the island, overlooking the ocean from every angle. Our bonus was seeing the schooners floating below-breathtaking!

We felt drizzle on our arms, but knew the sun was playing games with us and hiding behind the clouds. Not to worry, right!
We plan to do this same little paddle again, soon, if anyone wants to join us. For my writer friends, that join me online, do you feel the day? Can you put this unexpected weather in one of your stories? I can, and I guess maybe I should because rain has followed me around this past week. It could be a sign!(it's really pouring right now as I write this)
   We went to the fair! My husband and I love to go to Blue Hill fair on the Sunday of Labor Day week-end. This time, Mr Weatherman did predict possible light showers, so I tucked my little i pod in my pocket, just- in- case. Well the 'just- in- case' happened. My husband sits in the grandstand and watches the horse and oxen pulling. This year, I spent more time sitting there next to him, than usual. It poured, things were postponed for almost 2 hours. I read 22 chapters of a friend's manuscript that she'd asked me to. Here are a few shots of the action when it took place.
 Rain!!!!     The "pit" crew stretched out tarps, while the it belted down. I stayed dry and read.
The horseman son competed against his horseman father
                                      Dad and his horses won the pull.

                                  An unusual breed of steers with a new style of pulling.
 And the up and coming teamster. A seven year old learning to lead and manage her pair of steers.

     Here on the home front, I've been reading, rewriting and tweaking already written manuscripts. I promised myself that I'd make a folder of suggestions, websites, participants, etc, and work on at least one thing a day to prepare for Rutger's Children's Writers Literature Conference.  Writer friends who've been before have offered advice and ideas and ways to be ready.
    Tara Lazar is going to be a keynote at the conference. Can't wait to meet her in person. Here's something she posted on her blog that's been a driving factor, the last few days, in my revision frenzie. Whether you're going to RUCCL or another conference, or writing for kids, this advice is sound. You may say that you know about the power of 3, but Tara expands the power and shares her thoughts here:

Now for my cheerleading this week-
Online friend, Carole Brooks has found her dream agent, the lovely Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary. Congratulations Carole and Karen!

Happy Days everyone.