Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Thoughts and Wishes for 2010

I have started the year giving time each morning to making a "creative strategic planner". A friend of mine sent me this site: http://lisasonorabeam.com/2009/12/11/journal-peek-my-2010-strategic-planner—goal-setting-for-creatives/ and it seemed to offer the perfect way to plan out this busy, emotional, rich, full year ahead! 2010 is the year of balance and clarity for me, which means, I will be able to see my way clearly, if I can keep balance in my professional life as well as my family life. The two big events to balance are:

My daughter's graduation from high school and then a summer trip to take her to the college she chooses, and the publication and launch of my new picture book with Simon & Schuster in July.
I want to launch both book and daughter into the world with thoughtfulness and celebration, thus I am hoping my creative strategic planner will help with this endeavor.
2010 marks new beginnings as well... Between now and June, I am writing. I have several picture book stories in the works and have added a new element with the new year: my husband, Matthew Smith, composer, http://www.matthewsmithcomposes.com/HOME.html , is joining me in a picture book collaboration. We have met twice so far and have a very exciting manuscript in the works. (I will reveal more in the coming months... perhaps we could have a blog with the subject of collaboration?) I set June as my deadline for writing, because once the graduation is passed and my new book is launched, I have a new illustration contract with Beach Lane Books which I am very excited about, thus sketches, storyboards, and dummy books are in my 2010 future.
Travel is another wish for 2010. I loved my experience as a visiting author/illustrator in Mumbai and look forward to more such opportunities. At this point, nothing is on the calendar, but I want to do whatever I can to get some possibilities rolling.
And being inspired by Christy's post, I have signed up for a workshop through the Hamline Master's in Children's Literature program. And a poetry class at the Loft this year is something that could only add to my growth as a writer.
2010 is proving to be a full year. I did not even mention that I am writing the script for this year's Circus Juventas http://www.circusjuventas.com/ August show as well as designing and painting the sets. It is all... the writing, the painting, the parenting, and the planning... all stuff I love to do. I am looking forward to what this new year and new decade may bring!


Time for Resolutions Again?

With the arrival of 2010 comes the time for resolutions. As I thought about what to write in today’s blog I realized my resolutions have remained consistent for a number of years, so rather than generating new resolutions, this year I “recommit” myself to the continued pursuit of my goals. Here is my list:

1) Keep working on my craft
2) Read more
3) Though it conflicts with my introverted nature, continue cultivating relationships and networking within the children’s writing world
4) Cherish my critique groups and nurture their continued existence
5) Keep working on my craft

Not exactly groundbreaking, I know. I bookended the list with “working on my craft” because that is the hardest, and potentially most rewarding, item on the list.

One good thing about resolutions, for me, is the timing. I tend to take most summers off to go sailing and play with my family and recharge my mental batteries, and so with January coming just about halfway through winter, reviewing my goals provides a chance to refocus and prepare for the second half of my writing “season.”

Who knows, with any luck – and continued hard work – I might finally get a book accepted for publication this year. Even if I do, however, I am not sure my future resolutions will change that much. For me, writing is a lifelong, evolving endeavor -- a marathon with no real finish line but plenty of interesting checkpoints and sights along the way (to force a metaphor). With that in mind, I humbly recommit myself to an ongoing pursuit of artistic creation and fulfillment. Speaking of which, it is time now to sign off and head down to my shack for the day’s work . . .