Oh my gosh it has been a while! I have had a lot going on. Some things that I can tell you about and some that I can't (but hopefully will be able to soon!)
You know, sometimes I think I choose the hardest things there are to do. Write picture books. Check. Farm garlic organically. Check. Live on a mountaintop. Check.
As you might have noticed I pretty much took the summer off from my blog. But I still managed to do quite a bit of blogging at Sub It Club. I have actually been doing a series on Submissions that you might want to check out if you're new to submitting your work or if you just want to see if there's any new tips you may not have thought of. Or if you're like me and like to review information that you already know. (I say this because I am doing another round of reading books on writing. Once you've read as many as I have it REALLY starts to sink in. Ha!) Also, I've been updating lots of great contest opportunities so you might want to check those out.
This year (I count the months of March to early November as a year. I do more work in that time than I can even comprehend. Hooray for freezing weather to give us a farm break!) was a lot different at the farm. We decided to participate in WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms for our first time. We had a bunch of great kids (they were in their 20's. I'm old.) stay with us over the summer. They came to learn about organic farming and rural living. It took a bit of getting used to at first having so many extra people around (more cooking and cleaning!). It was fun though and they helped us so much. It was great for my kids to get to know such wonderful young adults that they could look up to. We had super smart kids from prestigious colleges, athletes, musicians, and even a professional photographer stay with us. I think that the ruralness might have been a shock to some of them but everyone seemed to have a great time and we miss them all. You can see some of the fun we had at our Great Northern Garlic Facebook page. I wish I would have had time to post more but yeah--working. And we planted even more garlic this year. Next year should be interesting!
As for our ruralness. Technology has suddenly brought us closer. The "regular" internet has finally reached way up here in the mountains. (Yes, my technological words are lacking.) This means no more slow satellite internet with limited access! This also means that we can have a telephone. Gulp. I have lived for 20 years without a telephone in my house so this idea is taking a little getting used to for me. I did make my first phone call and it was just so weird to be talking on the phone in my house instead of in my parked car in town, which is where I usually (used to?) make all my phone calls. Having a phone at home will be super convenient, of course. Now if technology could just make the dirt road less bumpy.
On the writing front, super cool things are happening. My agent is the best and I know I am very lucky to have his help. Being a picture book writer is a huge challenge.You have to set the stage for a great story that includes pictures. And it has to stand out in a super competitive market. Even if you have a great story there is still revision and rethinking that can need to be done. So, my picture book writing friends, don't be discouraged. Keep at it. Celebrate the little accomplishments on your journey. And check in for new Monster List posts. Now that I have time I am planning to do more updates!