Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's New?

     "In My Backyard I See" That's the title of my friend, Valarie Giogas', picture book.
So what do I see and what do I write about (not that I have a book-yet!)? Most of my stories are non-fiction, or at least have a touch of it. This world around me is my inspiration and sometimes I feel like the well gets low, almost dry. But yesterday was a day of filling the idea well.
     This is what I saw just before daylight.
       A Great Horned? Is he silently calling out to me to write his story even tho he didn't utter a Whoooo...
       Later, I went for a walk with my pockets bulging: phone(just in case), short pencil and 3x5 cards and camera. You've seen pictures of my neighborhood before...horses in the pasture, ducks in the farm pond or a big fat pig sunning herself. Other than the seasons, not much changes. Even so, I see "new" things on every walk.
    I jot notes along the way when an idea sparks, and take pictures of things I hadn't noticed on a previous walk. So the first photo I took was these mushroomy things. Are there fairies or wood nymphs making their homes amongst them? jot jot jot......
....or around these? And what thing is hidden in that hole?-I didn't dare look!

Can you see or hear stories in these "things"?
Oh, but what's this? More mushrooms?!?!?
     Yes,  They're the first few oyster mushrooms that my neighbors are starting to grow. Bags like this are hanging from the beams in her dirt floored cellar. A new project, a new farming adventure for the neighbors, and something different to see on a same ole afternoon walk.


     Not sure, but I don't think I'll ever write about mushroom farming, but I am sure I'll never ever try this kind of gardening-it's way too much work!
     I love to walk and take you with me. You just never know what's new in the same ole neighborhood!
     Have a great day, a great week. See the new, embrace the old and celebrate good news-    
                                         Congratulations Leslie and Jarod!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Travelin' Down The Highway

     Travelled to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University One on One Children's Literature Conference. To my writer friends, you know what an honor this is to be accepted to this event. For my other friends, I think the best way to explain is to say it's like a juried show. People submit their best work to fill a number of slots-it's either accepted or not! Mine was.
   My peep, Joyce Shor Johnson did the driving that I didn't dare do....I did well to get to her house 4 hours away. Well anyway, what's that old saying, don't let fear stand in your way? Oh yes I will...I still can't "throw back my shoulders" and drive there but...

I can sit back and take the pictures!
        First thing, after checking into the Sheraton, I called one of my dear online critique buddies who's from Georgia. We immediately recognized each other from online pictures.

   Okay, so she's cute and I look like I just got out of the car from a 9 hour drive!!!! What fun it is to meet up with someone you only ever "talk" to on here. Didn't see her after the conference so now we must do some more of the email kind of chitter chatting.
  Speaking of meeting the ghosts of the internet, here's another person I've only "spoken" to with my keyboard...I almost covered up my glo bracelet that Tara gave us. We had a "glow" all day!

TaDaaaaaaaa... presenting    Tara Lazar .  It was such a pleasure! Besides our finally getting together, Tara was the keynote speaker at the conference. She started out incognito, wearing a full beard and puffing on her pipe! I didn't get that shot.  But I did get this.
   Everyone  listened intently as Tara spoke from her heart and took us on her writing journey. She was  inspirational. I will think of Tara more than she will know, as I strive for more in my own (longer) journey.    wait up...I just got permission to 'borrow' this...

   Then there were a five! Five on five roundtable discussions. Mine was full of energy and fact. Our group of professionals- Vivian Gray, founder of the conference, Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gault Agency,   Marc Aronson, professor, editor, author, Jim Murphy, Author, and Lyn Sirota, author. Now that I'm typing their names, I'm feeling the power, all over again,  of their knowledge and interest in education, children's authors and everything children...wow!!!!  They really feel that the non-fiction market is on the upswing.
      Later, there was one on one sessions. My personal mentor was the well published, non fiction author, Lyn Sirota, also member of the RUCCL council.  Sorry, I didn't get her photo, but click on her link.
   and...panel discussion keeping with the theme of the day-"Keeping it Creative in the Digital Age. Eve Adler moderated the panelists, Janet Wong, author, Mallory Kass, Editor, Scholastic, Samantha Streger, Assistant Editor, Open Road Media, each having their own ideas and examples concerning digital publishing.
     Closing children's author and speaker of the day was Bruce Coville . What a fun and funny man he is. Gave us sound advice...and not a boring word was spoken!!!! Butt joke and all.  A wonderful way to end a successful event. I need to stop right here and publicly thank the council members and all mentors and who made this such a successful event. And kudos to us, the mentees too! Yay! Yay!
    Would I apply again? Most definitely (if Joyce will drive!). Now I must look over "the list" and do a bit of polishing, editing and sending.
    Happy traveling to you this week.