Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ah, yes!  Wordstock 2012 - my third visit to the event, my second as a volunteer.

As with travel, I find great literary events like Wordstock wonderful motivators.  It's like being a kid set loose in a magical toy store/candy shop.  At first it's a little overwhelming--which workshop, which presentation, which speakers panel should I attend?  As a writer of children's stories, I seem to eventually gravitate to the children's stage.

It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all, to want to read every single book by every single author represented there.  So, newly-inspired, I go home and read as many of them as I can while still leaving time to write.  Read/Write, read/write until the next conference, the next workshop, the next reading by a favorite author, the next literary event for which Portland is so well known.

Of course, for the wonderful people behind the scenes, it's back to work on planning and preparing for the next Wordstock.  Thanks to all those who make it possible for writers and readers from all over to gather in Portland for such a beautiful event.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Memories and images of my last trip are still swirling around in my head.  Here are a few more photos.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

As I've said before, nothing stimulates creativity like traveling to new destinations.  Having just returned from my latest adventure, my mind is still buzzing with ideas and mental images of this magical place called Turkey - a country so rich in history and filled with exciting sights and sounds.  New discoveries awaited us each  day in every region we visited - from the fast-pace and abundant sights in Istanbul to colorful other worldly formations in Cappadocia where it was easy to picture myself standing on some foreign planet and expecting to see toves or other fantastical creatures popping out of the many caves.  Then there was the peaceful beauty of the Mediterranean where, for the first time in my life, I regretted that I don't swim.  I'll keep re-living the trip and remembering the people, the food, the whole experience which was one that will never be forgotten.

Among the highlights of the trip was seeing the amazingly well-preserved ruins in Ephesus.  Of course the trip would not have been complete without a visit to a local Turkish bath where I was scrubbed and rinsed and massaged and pampered like never before. I can still see the minarets and almost hear the call to prayer which woke us up around 5:30 every morning.

I miss it already and can hardly wait to explore more of this wonderful world we're so fortunate to inhabit.  Until then, it's back to writing about it in an effort to preserve as much of it as possible.  Of course, there are also the photographs that will help remind me again and again that there is so much more to explore.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

These days, when I'm not keeping my nose to the writing grindstone, I keep it between the pages of some children's book or another.  Every once in a while, I surface for a breath and to catch up on the latest in the writing world.
It was sad to hear of the passing of the great Maurice Sendak - a talent that so many of us aspiring writers can learn and take inspiration from.

On a happier note, it's conference time again:  SCBWI-OR this coming weekend, SCBWI in LA August 3/6, and the Willamette Writers Conference (unfortunately on the same weekend in August). 

So now, it's back to work for the time being - So many books to read and stories to write.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reading, Writing, Revising,Reading,Writing, Revising, Reading...

I'm still working my way through that 100 Best Children's Books list although I'm finding some much better than others.  Of course, between books, I'm trying to create my own magic.  I find inspiration in programs such as American Masters which just featured a great segment on Margaret Mitchell.  It's a testament to her genius that Gone With The Wind was such a best seller in the middle of the Great Depression.  Last night the program was on Harper Lee, another favorite. 

In the meantime, it's back to reading, writing, revising...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remember to Spring Forward into Daylight Savings Time

I've decided to make my way through the USA Today's list of Greatest Books for Kids.  Out of the 100 titles, I realized I'd only read 20 and seen a movie or two based on others.  Unfortunately (or not), everyone else is trying to read them too, so I've had to place holds on most of them.  Since many of them are picture books, I should be able to get through most of the list before too long.

I've also re-discovered Charles Dickens.  I just finished reading Great Expectations and am ready to start another, not sure yet which one. 

In the meantime, I'm still writing and revising, mostly revising. 

I'll be meeting my old critique group members for a mini reunion/brunch in a couple of hours.  It'll be good to hear what everyone's been up to - it's been a while since we've seen one another. 

Happy reading and writing to all! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revisions, Revisions, and More Revisions

Okay, I haven't been as diligent in my blogging as I'd hoped to be this year.  But I have been working - reading, writing, and lots of revising.

I'm attempting to spot and delete the filler that somehow finds itself into my manuscripts.   Then there are those pesky "thats" - most of them unnecessary.

Interestingly, some highly-acclaimed titles I've read recently contain their share of the "don'ts" that we're always cautioned to avoid. But what's wrong with, "I told you that you shouldn't to do that," he said furiously.  Ha-ha!

Have fun reading, writing, and learning.  Try to keep up with the times - if you can.

BTW, Happy Valentine's Day (in case I miss it since time is flying by while I'm busy chasing after this and thats).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Another year has snuck up on us.   I plan to continue reading and writing as much as possible in 2012.  Right now, I'm two thirds of the way through The Writer's Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long.  I highly recommend it to you as Susan Hill-Long recommended it to me.  Thanks, Susan.  I am also reading some of the books mentioned in Portable Mentor and enjoying and learning from them as well. 

In 2012 I pledge to be more diligent in publishing new posts on my blog site.  For now I just want to say Happy Reading, Happy Writing, and Best Wishes for a Safe and Healthy 2012!