Reflection

So I don’t spend a lot of time on here talking about my personal life, but sometimes I think it is good to just slow down a moment and reflect. Time goes so fast. I feel like just yesterday I was carrying my baby boy and in the blink of an eye he is four. (Yes, I used a cliche). But it’s true.He’s growing so fast, and his little personality is becoming more and more defined. I’m so busy doing other things, sometimes I have to remind myself to just slow down and enjoy the precious time I have with him.

I’m not sure why I’m sentimental tonight, but I think it is because as I am getting older, I’m starting to realize how quickly things can change. My grandfather turned 89 yesterday. He’s suffering from Alzheimer’s – pretty late stage. My grandmother was diagnosed with macular degeneration the day before. I’m not spreading this across the web to have you feel sorry for me – in fact just the opposite. They have both had wonderful, fulfilled lives and have been great role models in showing us all how to value the important things in life. I pour my heart and soul into my career, and I will continue to work hard at achieving my goals, but every so often I will make myself stop and enjoy life.

Like today – we took Noah to the Strawberry Festival. He had a blast! It was a beautiful day and my father-in-law’s corvette won an award in the car show. So that was a bonus. πŸ™‚ I spent the afternoon taking Noah to play games and enjoy being outside. I saw some of my second graders who are now getting ready to start high school – high school!!!! I couldn’t believe it. Just talking to them and listening to their stories made me proud to be part of their early education. Those kids are going places!

Noah zonked out on the way home and has been asleep ever since. My mind is clear, I feel less stressed, and I know I will work better now that I’ve had a break. So if you’re a workaholic like me, take a moment to slow down. Even if it’s a short moment. Trust me, it’s worth it.

My first book!

For the first time I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! This story originated in October of 2011, and is finally coming to fruition now. After endless hours of revising, it’s now being illustrated by my wonderful sister (also my website creator). She’s doing a great job, and I can’t wait to see the final product!

Not only is my older sister illustrating it, but my younger sister is contributing as well. She is a marriage therapist, so her section is an appendix with a variety of family activities built around Purdue’s campus and programs. Part of what I think makes this story so unique is that all three of us are Purdue grads from different departments. We have all excelled in our own areas, but we all attribute many of our accomplishments to our time at Purdue.

If we stay on track, we will have the book in stores in early fall. The goal is before school starts, but we will see how quickly we can get through these last few stages. I want it to be perfect, so I’m in it for as long as it takes. Just know…for all you Boiler fans out there…you are in for a TREAT!

More to come. Happy Monday!

BEA, BEA!

Next week is the national BookExpo America! This is a HUGE author event each year. Sadly, I can’t go, but if you’re up for a spontaneous weekend trip this will not disappoint! Check out the details:Β http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/.

I’m so excited it is FINALLY warm out. Winter was so dreary and drawn out this year, we’ve been starved for warm weather here in the Midwest. I can’t wait to take my computer outside on my porch to write! College students are out now, so things are slowing down a little there. My evenings are coveted- those precious few hours of sunlight left after dinner- it will be just my computer and me. And occasionally the three-year-old question and dogs barking. Couldn’t ask for anything better! πŸ™‚

So a quick update on my current project – the Purdue book! It is coming along well. My sister is hard at work on the illustrations, and with any luck, she will hit her deadline which is just under two weeks away. Once that is done, we will move forward with the layout and finally, the printing. This is so exciting! I’ll keep you posted as things move forward.

Happy Monday!

Update!

Howdy! Thanks a ton to my sis for fixing the issues with my website. Unfortunately it wiped out the last few blog posts, but I can’t complain since it’s functional again. Couldn’t live online without her!

So many exciting things have been happening lately! A few weeks ago, I attended the fantastic Indiana SCBWI Conference at McCormick’s Creek. It was overflowing with wisdom. Dynamic speakers, helpful tips, networking opportunities, and fabulous friends…I couldn’t ask for more! I even ran into an old high school friend that I haven’t seen for years, who is also now a writer! She writes for National Geographic, and has a chapter book about lions that just came out recently. I highly recommend it. I bought it for my three-year-old son and he LOVES looking through it. Lots of great stuff! I always find these workshops to be rejuvenating. If you’ve never attended, I highly recommend it!

I’m thrilled to share recent updates on my current projects. First, I have one manuscript out that was a revision request from a very prominent publisher. After implementing the changes, I believe the story is stronger than ever. I’m amazed at the insight of this particular editor, and thrilled at the outcome of my story because of it. Even if they don’t take it, I’m more confident in it now than ever. It will sell somewhere! But I’m waiting by the mailbox each day for his response. This part is the hardest! Second, my BoilerMAKER book is well on it’s way. My illustrator (also known as my website builder and sister) is furiously working on the pictures to hit her June 1st deadline. Now it’s deciding between hard and soft cover and signing the contract. If we stay on track, it will be out this fall. Can’t wait for that! Finally, I’m starting a new project that relates to my current job. This will be nonfiction, and from what I can tell, nothing like it has been done before. It’s too early to release too many details, but the idea is developing. It promises to be exciting! πŸ™‚

Time to put my little boy to bed. He doesn’t do so well when I’m clicking away on the keys, so it’s time to close the laptop.

Happy Monday!

 

Happy 2014!

Being snowed in for two days has proven to be very productive for me! I’ve gotten all my emails organized, and now I’m getting the updates done on my website. I’m always amazed at how quickly time flies.

I’m setting my goals for 2014, and I’m hoping by the end of the year when I look back at this I will have made some progress. So here we go:

1. Find groups to actively use the BoilerMAKER book and seek out publishers. If I can’t find one, I will look into self-publishing!

2. Continue to look for a publisher forΒ Crystal Clear. This is my most polished piece, and I’m sure there is a home for it somewhere!

3. Attend the SCBWI National Conference in LA in August. This is a pricey goal, but since my sister lives in LA now it might be attainable! This would be an amazing opportunity to network if I can find a way to make it work.

4. Produce new material! There’s no limit to this goal, and I really want to make progress this year. Hmmm…since I mostly focus on picture books, I’m going to set my goal at five new manuscripts produced by December 31, 2014. I may change this to a word count later if I decide to work on a chapter book. πŸ™‚

I think that’s all for now. I need to be realistic, and I know if I continue listing out things all the things I would love to accomplish, I’ll put myself over the top. What are your goals for 2014? What do YOU want to accomplish? Set yourself up for success by setting goals and use every day to take a step closer to getting what you want.

Stay active and NEVER GIVE UP! Happy writing πŸ™‚

Contest!

I got an email today about a new writing contest through Writer’s Digest that I want to share! Here’s the link. Check it out! Contests are always a great way for new writers to get recognized. I’m hoping to get something together to submit. What about you??

Now back to the Colts/Broncos game!! Have a great evening. πŸ™‚

Focus on Picture Books!

Wow! The summer flew by and now it feels as though fall is in full swing. Although this crazy fluctuation is weather is making me crazy! I guess that’s Indiana for ya. πŸ™‚

Last weekend I went to the Falling Into Picture Books workshop at Turkey Run. It was AMAZING! I was lucky enough to sit at the same table with an editor from Cartwheel Books and Scholastic Press. His insight into our discussions was fantastic. I love hearing it straight from the pros! Both editors in attendance are allowing submissions, so that’s an extra bonus. I’m almost finished putting together my packets. I had a hard time choosing what to turn in, but after researching each publishing group, I think I found a perfect fit. I hope at least! We’ll see.

I’m very excited about the fact that a new critique group emerged for me from this workshop. I found two authors that live relatively close to work with. First submission is October 15th, and I can’t wait! It’s way past time for me to get back on a deadline. I have a feeling this simple commitment is going to produce great things for all of us!

If you are a writer and you’ve never attended a conference, I cannot stress enough how important it is. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a variety of conferences over the last few years, and each one energizes me more and more. I’m also networking, and that is huge in the publishing world. Perseverance. Hang in there. It will happen! At least that is what I’m doing…I’ll never give up! Every rejection is a step closer to an acceptance. So keep writing!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful week! The first day of fall is creeping closer as we speak. πŸ™‚

Every Writer’s Resource!

Well, my university is back in session! Today was a crazy day. I was overwhelmed with students, but in a good way. I didn’t realize how much I missed them! We have a great Β year ahead of us. But I am going to be busy! I hope I can keep up with posts on here. At least to give you a great resource every now and then. πŸ™‚

Which brings me to tonight’s topic…a fabulous website I came across called Every Writer’s Resource! If you’re a writer and you don’t know about this, you need to. Yes there are ads and ad space is sold, but there’s also a lot of great tips to learn. It is a wealth of information, but what I find to be most helpful is the list of publishers. If you’re like me and you are still trying to find that first contract, this is a great list to start with. They highlight all the smaller publishers that are looking for new talent (that’s you and me!) Check it out…you won’t be disappointed. πŸ™‚ Then come back and tell me what you think!

http://www.everywritersresource.com/Β