Happy Fall!

Wow! Halfway through November already. I can’t believe how quickly time goes. Thanksgiving will be here next week with the craziness of the holidays not far behind. Despite the Indiana dreariness, this is one of my favorite times of the year – and not for the shopping. More so to remind me that I have many things to be grateful for in my life, and at the forefront of that my beautiful, talented 5-year-old ball of fire. He reminds me every day of the important things in life. I love him to the moon and back! ­čÖé

It’s amazing how quickly things can change, and you just never know what life will throw at you. In the last month I took the risk leaving a position I loved at my university for a new position that holds a lot of potential for me. While I think it will be a good fit, navigating unfamiliar territory is always a challenge. I miss my pharmacy family the most, but new opportunities are on the horizon and I find that to be exciting. Most of all, the potential to write more is at my fingertips, and that makes the losses worth it.

In true fashion of our good Lord, an article showed up in my inbox today that was just what I needed during this emotional roller coaster ride. I encourage you to check this post out. ┬áThis very insightful article was a great reminder of why I do what I do each day…because honestly, sometimes I forget.

I haven’t focused much on my writing today, but there are exciting things in the works. My first academic article was published in AJHP last week – you can find it by searching ‘Linn’ on pubmed. I have a second in the peer-review process, and I am in the infancy stages of developing a series that will be targeted at healthcare professionals. In addition, my first novel will be available on Amazon before the end of the year. Exciting stuff…stay tuned for the results! ­čÖé

Academic Writing…who knew?

Good afternoon! I feel like it has been forever since I’ve been on here. I’m terrible at blogging…my apologies if you visit often! Unfortunately my website was under attack for awhile, but thanks to my tech-savvy sister I am up and running again!! So it’s finally time to get back on track. Today’s topic? Academic writing.

This is not an area I ever thought I would be interested in. However, due to the nature of my ‘desk job’ and the wonderful faculty that I collaborate with, this door opened to me recently. I accepted the invitation (begrudgingly, I admit) to be an author on an article about institutional tracks for pharmacy rotation students and their subsequent post-graduate positions. Part of my position is collecting the post-graduation placement, so naturally the faculty member working on this project came to me for numbers. After learning that I have a background in writing, I was asked to help put the document together. Considering my first love is fiction writing, I wasn’t super excited about the idea, but at the same time it could lead to another publication, so I went for it.

I have to admit…it was fun! I enjoyed the statistical analysis and writing about the results. I guess I am more of an academic than I once thought. ­čÖé We found out last week this article has been accepted in a top-tier journal for health-system pharmacists. I can’t wait to see it in print! And the ideas for additional articles are already flowing. I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait to start on the next project!

This has been a lesson learned for me – writing means writing no matter what genre it is, and when I’m writing I am happy. I spend so much time talking with our students about the importance of networking and making connections – you know just never know what doors might open up. It’s exciting that I now have a personal story to back up my claims during class. I may be well-established in my career, but it is still important to practice what I preach if I want to learn and grow as a professional.

So my advice to you today – if you are afraid to try to write something new and different than you’ve ever written before, take a risk and jump off the ledge! The worst that could happen? It doesn’t work and you abandon the project. But one more tip – don’t try it alone. Collaborate with others you work with who have done it before and will support you through the process. There’s no better way to learn. And if you have that support, chances are you will be successful. But if not…there is still a lesson to be learned.

Go for it…it will be worth it!

2013 National Book Award Judges

The judges have been announced! Check out this article to see who will be on the panel this year. I always like reading through the lists for various award panels to see what the qualifications are to be a judge. I hope that someday I will have some of these credentials! ­čÖé What it would be like to be on the inside for these discussions…if nothing else, educational! And entertaining I’m sure. Have you or do you know someone that has sat on the panel to judge one of the many book awards that are given out each year? Any thoughts to share?

Consumer Shifts for Children’s Books

I came across this article in industry news┬átoday while sorting through my email. Trends always catch my eye, and these days I try to pay close attention to the e-book market versus the print market. I know there has been quite a paradigm shift over the last few years in the adult market, and I think it will be very interesting to see how that trickles down to the children’s market over time.

I know my two year old loves my iPad and iPhone. Even though I try to keep my work minimal during my time with him, every time he catches me doing something on one of the two devices, he always wants to see more. I finally downloaded several educational apps that he could use (I find these to be most effective in church or in the store when I need him to behave!), but I still feel that it is very important to limit his time so that doesn’t become his only interest.

I haven’t tried e-books with him yet, and I don’t think I will for a while. I believe the┬ásensory activities of turning the pages and handling the books are very important to a child’s intellectual growth. Plus, I want him to have a genuine interest in reading print books. I want him to get excited to go to the library. Because of these desires, I believe we will keep a mix of both print and e-books, with the larger emphasis on print. Until print books are no longer available,┬áthis will be best for my child.

It is only a matter of time before a device like an iPad will be designed specifically for children. It will need to be more durable, but I see it happening in the near future. As a writer, I think it will be very important for parents to come together and advocate to keep books in print. More than ever, it will be imperative to support our local libraries and bookstores so children can develop that intellectual curiosity at a young age.

To Win the Newbery…

What a great article on Publisher’s Weekly today! I love reading about the successes of other authors; it’s so motivating! I especially liked┬áreading that 2011 winner Clare Vanderpool is a new author. Longevity in the publishing world isn’t required (although I’m sure it helps). What it takes is a good book!

I know it won’t be long before I recognize the names of the winners as my own acquaintances. Seton Hill prepared us too well for it not to happen! Who knows, maybe one day I will receive the honor. I know I’m a good writer (my mom said so! ­čÖé ), and I know I will publish a book someday. That is my goal; I just have to make it happen! Winning an award would be the cherry on top. I’ll keep working on it!

Who is your favorite Newbery award winner? In your opinion, what are the best books that author has written?