The search is over

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to say that yesterday I made my choice and signed with a new agent. We have a follow-up call set for Thursday so I’m going to wait to make the official announcement and tell you who it is after that. For now, I have a lot of new forms to complete.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me choose the new picture for my website. The winner is me on the sofa with my arms folded. I’ve asked Kathy Temean to make the change. I very much appreciated all your sweet comments along with your preferences. Wow!

Yesterday I finished (and sent off to my new agent) a new collection of poems. It’s different from anything I’ve done or have seen in the market and I’m pleased with it.

Today I think I’ll fill out forms and, if time permits, get back to revising the middle grade novel I’ve been working on over the past three years.

I don’t know when I’m going to get to some of the other ideas in my head. I still need to finish the book with Laura Robb but we’re waiting for word from our editor before I go ahead with that one. And Mary Jo Fresch and I continue to wait to hear from the editor for our project.

Arranging priorities

Hi everyone,

Yesterday was a good day for finding ideas. The first came while watching a taped segment of Saturday Night Live. It’s not really an idea for a story but a way to tell a story that appealed to me. I’ve tucked it away until I think of a way to use it. The second came from reading the newspaper. I think I’ll get a book going based on that one. Earlier in the week I was reading about a subject I’m working on with Charles Ghigna and stumbled across a somewhat related idea that also appeals to me.

I don’t know when I’m going to have time for any of these new thoughts. I still have one that came from kidding around with Jeff last time we were in Florida together. Jane Yolen and I have the beginning of a collaboration waiting for us to both have time to finish. On the flights to and from New York I decided to rewrite my middle grade novel with a desert setting and know how I’m going to do it so I’m eager to get back to that one. I still have a few poems and texts to write for my book with Laura Robb and any day now Mary Jo Fresch and I should hear back from our editor and learn how much tweaking, if any, he’s going to ask us to do.

Over the next few weeks I have a lot of traveling to do so it’s going to be hard to put together a lot of time in useful blocks. Writing on planes is never as practical as sitting here at the keyboard in my pajamas. Sooner or later I’ll get to all these priorities but for now I’m struggling to put them in the best order.

Looking at 2020 conferences

Hi everyone,

Today is the cutoff for submitting a proposal to present at ALA (American Library Association) next June in Chicago. The selection committee will release names of winners in early December. Next month I’ll learn if the presentation I’m part of has been chosen for National Science Teachers Association in April in Boston. I’m also thinking I’ll submit something with Mary Jo Fresch for International Literacy Association (ILA) next year in Columbus, Ohio. Haven’t started thinking about that one yet. One of my favorites is Texas Library Association (TLA), which will be in Houston in March. Hoping for a sponsorship there.Some of these conferences will work out and some may not. I try to get the big dates pinned down as early as possible to make it easier to fill in other opportunities as they come along.

Making it work

Hi everyone,

It’s all about timing — and luck of course. Mary Jo Fresch and I have worked for months to finish our manuscript and send it off to our editor for review. If it comes back with tweak requests, we’ll deal with that when the time comes. For now, we can take a break.

At this time I’m working with Laura Robb on our book and we’re about ready with the first three chapters. I hope to read over what we have this weekend or Monday for sure. Once we send those chapters off for review, I’ll work to finish my parts of the next chapter so Laura can develop hers. Etc.

In the meantime I’m doing what I can to peck away at a new poetry collection of my own. In another week or so I hope to have enough to share with my editor for that.

Gotta keep those pie plates up there spinning!

Finding ideas

Hi everyone,

When asked where we find our ideas, writers tend to shrug and say they’re everywhere if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. Mary Jo Fresch and I wrote a book that came out last year called 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS and in it we provided numerous sources for researching ideas, but ideas themselves are rather like fireflies on the evening lawn. You need to be looking in their direction when they blink for you.

Yesterday I watched two TV programs, “60 Minutes” and “Sunday Morning.” In both cases I spotted ideas for a new book I’m working on. I kept stopping and starting the shows long enough to scribble notes with the pen I always carry, even in my pajamas, and pad that was close by in the living room. I don’t watch a lot of TV but yesterday I was happy I did.