It has been nearly a year since I wrote a blog post, so I suppose I am long overdue to share a few updates.
This year I joined 12 x 12 with the intention of focusing more on my writing and connecting with fellow writers. I have a lot of support from fellow illustrators, but I felt somewhat isolated from the writing community.
Shortly after joining 12 x 12, I participated in #PBPitch and connected with a wonderful literary agent, Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management. I signed with her in April.
From April to September, we worked together to polish my picture book dummy, MR. THATCHER’S HOUSE, and I’m happy to say that earlier this month it went on submission for the first time! What’s a picture book author/illustrator to do to avoid going crazy while her dummy is out on submission? Lots of drawing and writing!
I decided now would be a perfect time to begin a 100 Day Project to get back into a sketchbooking habit. So, now I am working on a series of pencil sketches that I’ve titled #crittersandkiddos. Each one will feature a child and an animal friend of some kind. If you’d like to follow along, the easiest way to see all the posts is to follow me on Instagram.
I’m also joining #Folktaleweek which will be November 4 - 10, so I’m busy reading folktales.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, today is the start of Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy, a contest hosted by my friend Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez on her blog. If you head over to the blog there are lots of pictures and you are supposed to choose one to inspire a piece of writing that is 200 words or less. I have never really done anything like this before, but I decided to give it a try. I had no idea how much fun it would be to come up with a little piece of a story based on a photo. I also had no idea how weird it would feel to post something I wrote here for everyone to see, but I post my art all the time! So I’m trying to be brave. Here goes nothing! Here is my entry:
It hadn’t occurred to her that she wouldn’t be able to find her way back. Each one looked the same. Towering over her like giants descending from the fog, their branches stretched overhead as farther than she could see. They were old. She could sense their weight and their importance. If she closed her eyes and listened with her mind’s eye, she could feel their vibrations. The trees were speaking to one another in their own language. Alerting each other to her presence as she wove her way between them.
The trunks seemed to sway. How long had it been? Minutes? Hours? She’d never find her way out. The deeper she walked, the more certainly she knew she should turn back. But her feet never broke rhythm and she became acutely aware that the voice guiding them wasn’t her own.
Suddenly the voice commanded her to stop, and she did. She looked up to see the deep lines of his face, barely distinguishable from the cracks of the tree’s bark. He looked down on her with gentle eyes. She had found him. Or rather, he’d found her.
When she spoke, her voice sounded strange, “I brought what you asked for.”
If you want to join in, head over to the Math is Everywhere blog! There are lots of great prizes too!