Monday, February 25, 2008

Upcoming Conference


In four weeks I'll be attending the UVSC Forum on Children's Literature at Utah Valley State College, and I'm so excited to go. The organizers have put together an all-star group of presenters, including Caldecott Medalist, David Small (author of Imogene's Antlers and illustrator of So You Want to be President) and Kirby Larson, who wrote the Newberry Honor winning book, Hattie Big Sky. It should be a great weekend.

In the meantime, with the flu bug whipped, it's back to working and writing. It's amazing how different the world and unfinished projects look when one's feeling good. Instead of a daunting mountain, incapable of being scaled, that manuscript hangs before me like an exciting invitation, offering a fulfilling challenge to finish it.

Wherever you are, make it a great day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Cause for a Good Book

Since I've been feeling too bad with the flu to come up with anything worthwhile to post about the doings of my life and work, I'm writing about others.

Here's something totally cool and definitely worth checking out: James Dashner is combining a fundraiser with One.org to kick off the release of his new book, The Journal of Curious Letters (first of the 13th Reality series), which officially hits the shelves on March 3.

My son and I have been looking forward to reading this book, so we'll be participating, especially since One.org is a great organization. Visit The Dashner Dude's blog to see how you can get in on the action. http://www.jamesdashner.blogspot.com/ But don't wait! The charity event only goes on from March 3 to March 9.

In the meantime, I'll take it as a good sign that my craving for Cool Ranch Doritos has returned, despite the fact that I'm sitting at my desk wearing a lounge suit and snow boots to keep warm. Write on, cheeseheads!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Digging for gold (or maybe something sweeter)

So, I've just finished shoveling for what feels like the up-teenth day in a row, and guess what? The forecast promises more fluffy white stuff will fall on Wednesday (that's the day after tomorrow).

Since our driveway is huge, and the snowbanks are now over my head, this chore just keeps getting harder since the distance for heaving keeps getting higher. After an hour and a half of shoveling three lowly inches off the concrete, I actually have a shoulder cramp.

But today . . . today, I did get a pleasant surprise in the midst of it all -- the invigorating scent of lavender from a place least expected -- the bottom of the snow bank. My shovel had scraped the branch of lavender, and when it did, it sent that purple smell floating up through the chilly evening air, reminding me of the warmer months that are inevitably ahead. Yes, an end to all this work is in sight, even if it's hard to believe right now.

Kind of makes me want to apply the same hope to the manuscript I'm working on--that all this shoveling through words, scenes, story, drama, will inevitably lead to the unearthing of another kind of pleasant surprise--a story worth sharing after months of hard labor--but not without more sweat equity. Nothing good ever comes easy. That, I know.

So, while the weather keeps dropping more snow, I'll keep pouring over my manuscript during down-times, hoping for that moment unexpected surprise--the realization that the buried "gem" I've been laboring for months to unearth is finally within my sight.

Until then, happy shoveling!