Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!!!

     I live in Maine where we have four distinct seasons, and today is the first day of spring! We read and write about buds and daffodils, pussy willows and sprigs of green peeking through the brown earth. But this morning, we looked out to see this.

Can you believe?!?!?  We were expecting it. Our weather experts are pretty smart and warned us in advance. I was excited. Many of my friends sighed or ranted and expressed their anger at poor Punxatawny Phil. Me, I whined  too, before I went to bed, because I didn't see the inches of snow promised. So, I was happy with the overnight accumulation. (all right, I know my friends will try to catch me and put me in a hole with Phil!) There was plowing and shoveling, but too light and dry for snow people.
    My niece loved it too. The private roads weren't plowed so she had to spend a few hours with me before going to "auntie Kendra's". For her, this snow wasn't lemons it was fun and lemonade (or, in this case, hot chocolate).

   So, the season is mixing up our lives a bit, and personally, I've been mixing up my own a bit too. I've set the favorite non fiction picture books aside and am trying again to create fun and funny stories. It's been all about the verbs! We shall see. Besides mixing up the writing ,I'm mixing other things too. My friend Kathy and I have taken a different route for our 4 mile walk, the almost idle sewing machine is buzzing again (cute baby items, I think), the oven is warming and there's been lots of chicken soup simmering for neighbors who've had the flu. And hemming my GW finds while listening to a monotone kindle voice. And speaking of voice, I've really just "heard" what Cynthia Lord asked me last winter about my MG story character and until now. I couldn't come up with the answer to her question until yesterday! The  "all of a sudden" her question came to mind along with the answer. Yay! Oh thanks Cindy.
   Life just keep getting better and better. How can that be? With the exceptions of the rejections of course! Hey maybe just maybe one of those editors/agents will mix it up a bit and include me in their juggling!
     Happy day. Happy spring. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Had a great day reading at Jefferson Village School on Friday. When I get to select schools, this is my first choice-could be because my nephew's the principal. But, I'm greeted by such great staff, eager to have me pull my 'tricks' out of the bag and read.  I started out with second grade, then ventured to kindergarten, lunch with the principal and a select group of honored students, and lastly over to fourth grade. I'm lucky to have a pretty big collection of books, many written by my friends, but I went to the library and picked a few extras this year because I wasn't sure about reading to the second graders. This is the stash I pulled out of my bag. We talked about authors and how the illustrators work with the author's words to create pictures for a book. They were quiet while I read Little Horse on His Own then got excited looking for the hidden numbers in Jen Ward's books. (2nd grade)
   Kindergarteners enjoyed the hidden numbers too. We talked about and wondered why David Slonim chose to feature the grumpy farmer instead of 10 turkeys in Brenda Reeves Sturgis' 10 Turkey's in the Road. 

 There was conversation about animals, and giggles when I read Spider Storch. When I finished These Bees Count, written by one of my critique partners, Alison Formento, there was lots of discussion. The teacher had lots to offer in this one because her family had an apple orchard when she was young and they 'employed' the bees.  It was all good!
          A not so great note was the rejection letter awaiting in the mail. Oh my, a lovely, complimentary note about my fun and well written manuscripts - yep there were two that I really thought fit the particular book publisher-oh well, the compliments surely beat the form letters, but it's still the 'almost'! But, on a brighter note, a really, really, really great new idea popped into my head and I've got the rough draft on paper. All my ideas are really, really, really great!!!!! So I keep writing. Ya never know. One day the well written won't have the "but" included in the letter!

      If you happened to see my Face Book page in the last week, you may have seen this.
While she was napping, I ran upstairs and whipped up a "dancing" skirt. Writer's are creative and this was from
     hazel and company
Erin Shakespeare is an amazing online writer friend who manages to do it all! Her Hazel blog is full of crafty ideas and this circular skirt is just one of them. I think this week, Erin's turned on to writing mode-but stay tuned!
        I've got to leave here and write on that super duper fantastic picture book story! Have a great week  or two. Enjoy every second of every day.