Sunday, January 29, 2012

A café, an interview, and a review. Oh my!

It's been a busy week! My husband and I have just wrapped up the Grand Opening weekend of our café & gallery. I have an in-depth interview up at And Julie Hedlund chose Bedtime Monster for her Perfect Picture Book Friday post. People even said all sorts of nice things about my book, which made my breaks during my extra-super busy day on Friday, so much more fun! I even have 115 followers now here on my blog and 100 likes on my Facebook page. *waves* It's all so exciting! Phew. I'm going to go take a nap before our music jam starts in a couple of hours. Hope you had a fun week too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monster List of Picture Book Agents--Kirchoff/Wohlberg Literary Agency

Kirchoff/Wohlberg is another one of those slightly mysterious agencies that are hard to find information on, but I find them quite interesting. This listing has certainly put my internet search skills to the test! Kirchoff/Wohlberg seems to be an agency/book packager. As you will see on their website they provide solutions to publishers and have numerous published projects, many of which I recognize from my library. Be sure to peruse their project list and click on the samples to see the portfolios. It is quite informative.

If your writing tends toward the educational/leveled reader type of books, Kirchoff/Wolhber might be a good agency to try. They do represent a number of authors. (I love Lois Ehlert's books!)  On their website, Morris A. Kirchoff is listed as President and Ronald Zollshan as Vice President. I was hard pressed to find any information on them. I do know that Agent Liza Pulitzer-Voges worked at Kirchoff/Wohlberg for 25 years, and she has quite an accomplished list at her Eden Street agency.

Mr. Zollshan is the person to whom you are asked to send your submission. Submissions from unpublished and established writers are welcomed.

Kirchoff/Wohlberg represents: Kari Winters & Bonnie Grubman.

If you have any experience with Kirchoff/Wohlberg I'd certainly love to hear about it!

This post is part of the Monster List of Picture Book Agents. If you have any changes that you think should be made to this listing, please contact me or leave them in the comments. Thanks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Quacky National Buy a Book About a Duck Day Reading

I love my ducks. Whenever I go outside they greet me with their jovial quacking. They sound like they're laughing. It makes me smile every time. Since it's National Buy a Book About a Duck Day I thought it would be a great way to celebrate by reading our ducks a book! We got Henry Goes West by Robert Quakenbush. (Ducks love books by Robert Quackenbush!) Here we are reading:

The ducks seemed to enjoy it and the sheep thought the book was quite tasty. My husband quacked up that I would go and read a book to a couple of ducks. But he knows that that's just the sort of wacky thing I like to do. So, what are your favorite duck books? Robert Quackenbush has been a favorite of mine ever since I discovered Henry's Important Date when I was a kid. Now my kids--and my ducks--love his books too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Change in Perspective

It occurred to me the other night when I was awakened by a loud banging and found five officers of the law on my front doorstep. My life has changed. It's not just that a bunch of cops will show up in the middle of the night doing an investigation on a call. (It's likely that that would never happen at my other house, usually no one can even find it.) My teenage daughter pointed out that she never imagined that she'd ever see me talking on the phone while making dinner. (There's no phone service at our other house so it's impossible! She has seen me tweet while cooking though. Yay for satellite internet!) We have people stopping by all the time too. Old friends, new friends. It's fun to have people actually come over, although I do tend to feel like I have to get dressed every morning when I get up now.

I have really been enjoying being able to call my family and friends whenever I feel like it. And they can actually call me! I have learned that being nice to telemarketers just gets you more telemarketing. You know what I really love? Having a washer and dryer. This is a big deal for someone who has been going to the laundromat for 16 years. (We also had to snowmobile our in and out in winter. Or hand wash. I don't miss that.) And there's the sauna, and the private office. They aren't too bad either.

So it may sound strange that I sort of miss it. The quiet. The solitude. I mean, it's probably as close as you can get to the best of both worlds here. There's space, and peace, and beauty and modern conveniences, and civilization. I do still live in rural America, in a ghost town even! A guy from the big city stopped by the other day. He definitely thought that this was the boonies, until I told him about where I used to live. He looked shocked. Hee hee.

How is this affecting my writing? I think it's good. I certainly have gotten a fresh perspective on a lot of things. People. Interactions. Sharing. Privacy. Patience. Forgiveness. Letting things go. Being cautious. Setting boundaries. These may sound like negative things but they're not. Taking over an inn comes with a lot of responsibility. It's basically a big house that many people are attached to. And for good reason, it's a fabulous place to be. I'm definitely feeling a little more attached to it than I had wanted to be. And soon we'll be opening our house to the public. The dream of the cafe and gallery is quickly becoming a reality. I am going to be meeting all sorts of people and doing all sorts of new things so I'm certain I'll have lots to write about. Hopefully I'll figure out how to be better at time management so I can get it all done.

Sometimes a change in perspective is good for writing. I know, I am doing an extreme change here, but finding little ways to find the new in life can be good for the notebook. Here's to looking at things with a fresh eye.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Big Plans!

I guess I must be feeling the end of the year as a deadline this year or maybe I'm just trying to distract myself while the publishing industry is sort of closed during the holidays. Whatever the reason, in the past few days I have seriously been getting stuff done! I finished a long overdue interview and sent it to my oh so patient interviewer, I got brand new picture book manuscript all polished up and sent out to my fabulous critique partner, and, thanks to my daughter's nudging, I have a nice new author page on Goodreads. I also started a Picture Book Authors! list in my sidebar. Plus I joined Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 in 2012.

I've also got some ambitious (or maybe crazy) plans for 2012. Things in my life are more different than they ever have been. This is the first time I've ever started the year with a fabulous agent on my side, I'm living on a new mountain, and I have Big plans, big plans I say! (Yes, that is a quote.)

Now, it wouldn't really be fair of me to tell you I have big plans and not let you in on any of them. But they feel so secret. I mean, what if I fail? What if I can't make any of my big plans come to fruition? *sigh

Well, one thing I do know is that my husband and I will be opening a breakfast cafe here at our mountain inn very soon. He's been cooking up all sorts of great stuff and I have been eating it! It's a tough job but somebody has to do it. Seriously, this cafe is going to be a lot of work but it's something my husband has always wanted to do so it's really cool to think that we're finally going to do it.

I will admit that I have this wild idea that, since we have an inn, I could host writing retreats here. But we live sort of out of the way (I think this might be an understatement) so I'm still at that in between place where I'm not sure if people would come. There's a lot of planning involved, but I'm at least going to get it all figured out and see if it might be viable. I do know that it would be great fun.

So there, I spilled some of my plans. Others are just not as big, like plans for the blog. I want to start up The Unread again. I do have at least one great interview set up! And some things, like selling books, are just really out of my control, at least once I've done my best to write a great story. So I will work on my big plans while I wait, and maybe I'll even come up with some more--although I'm note sure if I can handle any more plans than I already have!

So, do you have any big plans for 2012? I'd love to hear them. I promise, I won't call you crazy.