You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

Holly Cupala and Jolie Stekly are putting a group together to whip revisions into shape- with licorice whips, of course.  Do I need this?  You betcha I do.  Do you?

summer revision smackdown

So I blogged about seeing a possum (blech.) in the yard a few months ago.  If my blog hits are any indication- possums are hot.  No single post or word (with some bizarre variations like “possum ghost,” “”possum love,” and “possum recipe”) has drawn the amount of blog hits that the possum post did, thanks to Google searches.  So…I don’t know.  I’m not a fan, but maybe there’s a need out there for more possum?  Are possums the new vampires?  Picture book writers and editors, take note.

Do you know a 2010 high school graduate-to-be? Perhaps they’d like to pen a little essay for Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go College Scholarship Program.

I am bad at grammar.  Bad, bad, bad.  I think something like this might help.

Last thing- I have a question for you, internet.

My six year old boy  loves to read.  He’s zipping through Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine books right now, and Saturday morning he whipped through a couple of chapter books before we even woke up.  He likes light stuff (easy on the dead parents, snarkiness, and scary monsters), but he tends to shy away from series.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

I am going to daydream that I’m on my way to BEA now.

If I was there, I’d be looking for an ARC of When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead because it sounds fantastic- and it’s not out until July.  sigh.

When we invited Stephen Mooser and Lin Oliver, the founders of SCBWI, to our regional conference- we knew we wanted to do something special to honor them. You may remember a top secret project I mentioned back in February. Between conference going and conference planning Joni Sensel, Laurie Thompson and I were making covert visits to coerce a few of our favorite kid lit pros to act silly in front of a camera.  All for the love of Lin and Steve!

Everyone was so gracious and helpful.  A few clips didn’t make it onto the final video due to technical difficulties from my oafish video editing skills. Many apologies, and a great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped.

*Just a note- The alternative identities of publishing professionals portrayed here in no way reflects what they wish to see in manuscript submissions, so don’t get any crazy ideas.

There is a conference photo pool on flickr here.  Add pictures if you have any, please!

Are there any rules about blogging in a thunderstorm?  I kind of like it.

Holy noodles, that conference wore me out.  I haven’t blogged for two weeks because I was wading through conference prep.  I’ve barely written a thing.  It’s taken two days to get my brain back.  My feet are still sore, but I’m kind of excited about all the newfound free time.

I swiped this picture from Laini's blog.

I swiped this picture from Laini's blog.

I have something to show you from the conference, but someone who had to miss it has to see it first- so you have to wait.  I’ll post it around the end of the week, after I’ve heard this person has seen it.  Is that vague enough?

Let’s see… I think people who saw/met me at the conference who don’t know me might think I’m a little crazy.  I was sooo busy, and I didn’t have time to eat much, and I was drinking A LOT of coffee to keep myself going.  I might have looked a little wild eyed and been a little wound up.  Ok, I know I did.  Try me again on a regular day and I promise to be more serene.

It started with the kid lit drink night, which was a blast.  So much fun, in fact, that I stayed much later than I should have for a girl that had to wake up at 4 am the next day.  Ouch.

I loved meeting so many new people, and seeing friends.  I only caught bits and pieces of the breakout sessions, but the ones I saw were all aces. I did see most of the keynotes by Adam Rex, Grace Lin, Ellen Hopkins, and Jon Scieszka, and they were each unique and inspirational.

We raffled off a free registration for next year’s conference (won by Nuria Coe) to benefit Bridget Zinn, who couldn’t make it this year.  We kept it kind of secret, because I wasn’t sure how it would go- but our lovely attendees raised $1560!  Thank you, lovely attendees! The online auction is growing as well.  Jone added my bag a couple of weeks ago.  There are tons of other items available to bid on like a basket of middle grade books or a FULL manuscript consultation from the blunt (but still charming) Jody Feldman. Go bid on a fabulous prize, and support a writer to boot.

Ok, I have some revisions to get back to- so this is what you get.

Want to read more about the conference from people who could sit down and take it all in? Try here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here.

By the way, a great big congratulations to our portfolio show winner, Jennifer Mann! A big shout out to the first and second runners up, too Lisa Mundorff and John Deininger.

See you in a couple of days!

First, meet the chickens.  This picture is a couple weeks old, and did you know chickens grow fast?  They do.  Now, they’re teenage chickens.  The feathers are coming in and the down is coming out.  They’re all legs, long necks and big feet. They are blase about finding the bottom of their box through the bedding, and now just practice stunts like sitting on top of the feeder.

Meet Margie, Specky, and Liz Lemon.


I took a break from the care and feeding of chickens to make a little something for the auction I mentioned for Bridget Zinn.  I found this super easy pattern for a fun bag, and tweaked it a little bit.


But the bag wasn’t enough.  So, I tried to make a bag for a writer.  I sewed a few bits of matching fabric to a Moleskine notebook and threw in some pens.  Then I made a little tissue holder, because writers are always weeping tears of joy when they finish a draft, or find the perfect phrase, or sell a manuscript.  I imagine.  That stuff never happens to me, but if it does- I will need tissue. Writers also need silliness and sustenance, so there are some stickers and Fran’s chocolates. A writer’s goody bag!  It could work for an illustrator, too.  Anybody’s goody bag!

handbag inside

I believe it will be available at the silent auction for Bridget at the Lucky Lab Pub in SE Portland on May 29th. Fear not, if you’re not going to be in Portland there are lots of great items you can bid on right now at the online auction.

What else is happening on the internet?  People are feeling inspired by the month of May.

Paula Yoo is declaring a National Picture Book Writing Week (“NaPiBoWriWee”).  Can you write a picture book a day for seven days, starting today?  Try it!

French Toast Girl would like to try to do something creative every day in May, and you’re welcome to join her.  There’s even a Flickr pool.

Laini Taylor has an excellent post about authors who feel they’re slumming if their book is picked up as YA.

Last night we came across a contest for Lego loot, and my kid is first and foremost- a Lego maniac.  Per the instructions, I snapped a picture of some family Lego building on my way out to meet my favorite newlywed illustrator. Want to see the poor souls who live with me?  Here they are.

I write stories for kids while volunteering as the Assistant Regional Advisor and Conference Coordinator for the western Washington chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I live in Seattle with my family and a small zoo of animals. I drink copious amounts of coffee and assign complicated life stories to passing strangers. I'm currently working on a middle grade novel.

There's a wee bit more on my website. You can also follow me on twitter.


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