This year I’m working on poetry for the first time ever and revising my manuscript and Facetiming my long-distance critique partner and organizing this summer’s CABIN READS with the Lost River Writers’ Retreat. I’m also taking a lot of daffodil photos because they are vain like that. Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy Spring.
Join me as I host CABIN READS again this year. I’ll introduce some of my favorite people to the tiny Appalachian town of Wardensville in the eastern panhandle of WV when the authors of the LOST RIVER WRITERS’ RETREAT read from their works in progress at the LOST RIVER TRADING POST on AUGUST 2nd at 6pm. UPDATED with photos of this event.
Then, on OCTOBER 6th, join us at the WARDENSVILLE GARDEN MARKET in partnership with the MD/DE/WV Regional Chapter of the SOCIETY OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS + ILLUSTRATORS for a free WV CREATORS’ CAMP on the farm, a writing and sketching event for SCBWI members or for those interested in learning more.
I’m so excited to be the recipient of a 2018 Individual Artist professional development grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, approved by the WV Commission on the Arts. Getting tangible help and positive feedback on my writing and community-building efforts is just amazing. Thank you to all the arts organizations who are still pushing ahead with a mission to give resources and support to artists and writers of all kinds.
It’s not my intention to post items that I consider to be too personal in nature on this blog or on any social media outlet. But this subject also has to do with my writing and my current work in progress, so I’m going to make an exception. I lost my best friend of 11 years this week, my dog pictured above. She was a dog’s dog, and I miss her terribly. She was one of the main inspirations for my middle grade novel, and her loss has me wanting to double down on my efforts to see the work published, in her honor. She was amazing and noble and intelligent, and athletic and cuddly – just the best dog there ever was.
Writers get plenty of advice. It’s available on Twitter and Facebook and blogs, magazines and journals and books. It comes from all directions – other writers, editors, agents, PR folks, social media experts, my mother, my 8 year old, and more. I’m a particular fan of lists, like Best Blogs For Writers To Read in 2012, so much so that I made it into one: The Virginia Quarterly Review‘s 14 Writing Prompts. I do regular check-ins at places like Query Shark and closely follow my favorite hashtags on twitter like #editortips and #MGlitchat.
I’m fairly new to writing, about a year in now, so all of these things have been essential for me to understand the process and business of publishing. I have learned so much in a short amount of time. Now, however, I’m going to take the advice of a vlog I watched during the WriteOnCon online children’s writer conference, wherein publicist Meredith Barnes suggested that writers not blog about writing. Instead, she says, blog about things that you find interesting. I love this advice. I have way more interest in subject than process. Besides, the things that interest me greatly just so happen to be the things I’ve written into my novel. So from here out, I’m blogging anew. Expect a lot of animals. And learn about kind, genius people such as John Bartlett and the brilliant designs he’s created to help the animals.