September 24, 2008

Happy Chapter

I have been working on a book manuscript for over a year now. I've collected ideas and written many different plotlines. I finally think I have the ONE. I am so excited.

This morning I woke up and wrote with the newness of a fully open mind. This hasn't happened in many weeks. I've been at a standstill hoping to find my way back. So I've kept myself busy with short stories and articles.

Two of my three children were sick this week so I took off from writing to--live. Amazing how sometimes that is the key to unlocking the hidden story tucked inside us. Today my kids are back at school and I was visited by the wonderful muse. The puzzle pieces that have been evading me are now locked into place.

Ahhh, chapter four is complete. And the outline is clearer.

September 23, 2008

Writer's Conference

Having never attended a writer's conference (but always wanting to), I went to a SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) conference this last month. It was a regional meeting only an hour away from my home. It was invigorating to be with so many people working on writing in various forms. At my table alone sat a man with a full manuscript in a black notebook; an elderly woman who never sends her stories off; a budding book reviewer; an illustrator; an short story/article writer; a south African folk-tale writer; and me.

It was fascinating to listen to the vast differences in all our goals and dreams. Maybe I assumed every children's writer would be like me, and in some ways they are...we all love books, but in other ways our outlook's amazingly unique.

I kept my spiral notebook handy to scribble all my notes. There were so many great quotes "quoted" and advice pouring in. As I browsed the table of books, it excited me how many of them I'd looked at in bookstores. I was among real writers. I am a writer.

Sometimes, it still seems surreal. I'm only in the budding stage of my journey but I have high hopes of forging through to completion, whatever that may be. One of my stories will be coming out in a popular children's magazine soon and they are holding another one for consideration. Two years ago I was too terrified to send anything out. Today, I'm sending at least two a week.

I'm working on gathering my courage to finish and send my book manuscript to a publisher. For me that's a whole new ballgame, but one I'm ready to play.