Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: A look back

For many, 2016 was not the greatest year. Not to minimize all that went wrong, but... how about a moment of celebration for all that went right?

The following are the most awesome things that happened in my writing world in 2016:

WINNING the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Young Readers Literature
which allowed me to attend two amazing writing workshops.

The 4th Annual Better Books Workshop: an amazing, intimate group of talented writers, jam-packed with info on the craft from an awesome faculty, including Heather Alexander (Pippin Properties), Abby Ranger (HarperCollins), Kate Sullivan (Delacorte Press) and Andrew Harwell (HarperCollins).

The Advanced Writer Weekend Workshop: Letting Your Freak Flag Fly with the fantabulous NYT bestselling author Libba Bray and her agent/husband Barry Goldblatt at The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas.

Click here to see a short video one of the talented attendees put together.

Participated in my FIRST book signing at Powell's Books for a room full of second graders.

(pictured left: many of the authors/illustrators, including me in the second row, for Oregon Reads Aloud)

And my first reading at Powell's Cedar Hills, along with Elizabeth Goss, the uber-talented illustrator of my short story "Kira's Imagineering".

What awesome events made you smile in 2016?

Cheers to many more writing successes in 2017!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday!

100 years young: Beverly Cleary truly is an inspiration. 
Selling more than 85 million copies of her books, she created a legion of happy and eager readers. 
Beezus and Ramona, Ralph S. Mouse and Dear Mr. Henshaw are a huge reason why I write today.
Who knew I'd now be living a hop, skip and jump from the infamous Klickitat Street?

Below enjoy OPB's "Discovering Beverly Cleary."

Monday, February 29, 2016

Best writing advice ever:

Sit your butt in a chair and write!

Then why don't I always follow it?

Nine times out of ten, I cave into that monster I call "the procrastinator". The reasons may vary -- my writing sucks, no one will ever read this, I'll never find an agent/editor who'll love this as much as me...blah, blah, bleh -- but those excuses all come down to the same thing. A moment--brief or gigantic--of self-doubt. So why let someone else tell me I can't cut it as a writer, when I can beat them to the punch and save my oh-so fragile ego some uncomfortable bruising? That's when you just have to punch that procrastinator out of your thoughts by punching the keyboard keys instead.

But what about that one out of ten times moment?

There are truly legitimate times when you just can't sit still and write. But it doesn't mean your brain, subconscious self, gut or whatever you believe that helps with the writing process isn't creating behind the scenes. So don't beat yourself up over these moments, and once life is no longer chaotic and you've had that much needed "break", get your butt back in that chair and write.

Write on!

Monday, January 18, 2016

The first draft

So let that inner critic, procrastinator, and perfectionist go.
It's just you and your imagination.
Let the words just flow!

Happy writing!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

This was me today...

...after I found out I'd won 
the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship
 for Young Readers Literature!!!

The Oregon Literary Fellowships are intended to help Oregon writers initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama, and young readers’ literature and to support Oregon’s independent publishers and small presses that demonstrate a commitment to literary publishing. Visit the Literary Arts website to see all the grant recipients and the 2016 Oregon Book Awards Finalists, including my friend Fonda Lee for her YA novel Zeroboxer. YAY!

Talk about starting off the New Year right!

happy! happy! joy! joy! indeed