Thursday, August 30, 2012

ScholarShare Children's Book Festival


Yes, I know, I'm being a terrible blogger these days. Who knew that Kindergarten could take so much out of you?! And by "you", I mean ME, and by "me", I definitely don't mean my son... the one who is actually in Kindergarten. Whew... I'm zonked!

Anyway, in precisely ONE MONTH, I will be presenting at the ScholarShare Children's Book Festival in Sacramento, CA at a wonderful place called FairyTale Town! I am beyond excited and honored to be part of such a fantastic weekend!

If you have been following my excited rants, you'd know that I will be presenting at 2pm on Sunday, September 30th.

HOWEVER, that time has been changed to accommodate the schedule of one of my greatest Momma/writer friends (and, luckily enough for me, she's one of my fabulous critique partners!). I will now be presenting at 11:30am on the same Sunday.

If any of you live in or will be in the area, I would LOVE to meet with you! This event is completely FREE (I told you... it's a fantastic weekend!), so tell all your friends and family!

Here's to kiddos reading and loving books just a little more each day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Ponder... Wednesdays: I Vote For Guts!

There comes a point in a writer's life where they have a baby... And no, I don't mean a human, dog, kitty, or bird baby, I mean an I'm-so-in-love-with-this-manny baby. It's your golden nugget. The piece you are MOST proud of. Do you know what I mean? I'm sure you do... In fact, I bet you're saying the title of your baby right now in your head and you have a smile on your face!

One day, the time comes for you to send your baby off to a friend's house/computer to watch over it while you do something else. Though you love it, you need a break from it. You need someone else to tell you how simply marvelous it is, and how genuinely genius you are for creating such a masterpiece. Yes, you're nervous. It's your baby's first time out in the big world and you want to keep it safe from ALL harm. But deep down, you know the date night with your spouse/partner or that much needed, relaxing bath is far worth letting your baby go for an evening.

Then, something unexpected happens. That sitter you sent your baby off to? She wants you to take it back. She says there are too many problems with your baby, and she needs help understanding what it is saying, where it is going, and why-oh-why it keeps doing that terribly annoying, repetitive rhyme!

Your heart is broken.
Your feelings are blown to smithereens.

What now?

Okay, you pick yourself up, and trust that your friend's eyes are, indeed, fresh. They are seeing your baby from the outside, not from the inside where your heart and mind have made it into this God-like creation. So you read the comments. You listen to advice. You make the suggested changes. The problem?


This has happened to me with a manny of mine. No, it isn't my baby (thankfully), but I was given great advice this morning about it. Elizabeth Stevens Omlor told me this morning, "I think we should all just trust our guts, which is what I am learning to do more and more often."

How right is that??! Okay, yes, there are things that critiques help us with (in my case, MANY-a-things!!). But if you listen to ALL the advice you are given, if you change your manny completely around based on another's suggestions, and it honestly doesn't work for or feel right to you? I vote for your guts.

Here's my question to you:

In this day and age of writing, are we safe to trust our instincts?

I pray that we are. This blog is dedicated to the creative side of writing... Not the business angle. Yes, there are parameters to be met. But if in the end we are so wrapped up in the ways things should be written, there is little room for our hearts and souls to pour through our words. Be reasonable and listen to your critique partners. Listen to your agents, editors, and the trends. But, if it still doesn't sit well, again I say, I vote for your guts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Free for YOU!


So, I have a gift for you! For the next 24hrs, my book, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink, is being offered for free, over at MeeGenius!!

That's right... FREE!

If you would like your free copy, please click HERE. And when prompted, enter the code: pink

Thank so much, and please enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thank You, ALL!

It's been two whole weeks since I have posted, here. Believe me, it's not like I was on an exotic vacation! As many of you know, via my last post where I discussed all the crazy happenings with my son, Renn, we were enduring (and then recovering from) a week-long Video EEG to determine the cause of the seizures he's having. I thought a few of you might share his story. I thought maybe one or two of you would post his picture on your Facebook walls. Oh no. You see, the writing community just doesn't work like that. There is no "sub-par" attitude, and I do not believe a single member knows how to do anything but pour out an abundance of love... especially when it comes to children.

That post was seen over 2,567 times.
That post was SHARED 776 times.
And Renn's picture? Well, there's no number to be sure. But I do know that over 35 of my own friends changed their profile picture to his sweet face, in order to show their support.

But, see, that's not all that happened. Beth Stilborn was the first to write her own blog post about my sweet boy. She then posted it in every which way it could go, and a couple of her friends contacted me, saying they'd share and were praying.  Carter Higgins was tweeting Renn  Star Wars jokes while he sat there, bored, in his hospital bed! The amazing, ever beautiful (inside and out), most incredible Marcie Colleen dedicated her entire week of blogging as "Renn Week", which even included a contest. And then, there was Julie Rowan-Zoch... She, created this:

Yes. I cried. And cried. And cried.

I know there are more, MANY more out there who went out of their way to share Renn's story (I got a message from someone in the Netherlands! I have NO clue how they heard his story, but it was amazing to see it get that far!). I know that there were so many who prayed, changed their profile pictures, and tried to get #Renn trending on twitter until he came home from the hospital. To say that I am baffled... No. That's not even close to how overcome with love and emotion I was.

This writing community is truly a family. We struggle when one struggles. We celebrate when one has glorious news. We encourage when one of us is down, and we help mold and shape the stories of our peers that we know are going to be giant successes.

Your messages, wall posts, tweets, jokes, pictures, and love, made all the difference. Renn has a very LONG road ahead of him. But with each one of you standing firmly behind him, I'm convinced that he'll make it out of this one day.

So, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making our family and gorgeous Jedi priority numero uno for that week. I have been deeply praying for all of you, that God might bless you for your kindness. Only my father, my grandmother, and the hubby's cousin came to see Renn in the hospital. However, he had 10+ other NON RELATED people come visit him. I thank all of them as well.

Like I said, he has a loooong road ahead of him. UCSF is pretty much a guarantee right now, as he isn't responding super well to the new medication. He went seizure free for 5 whole days but for three of those days, he was, well, stoned. Out of it. Completely unreachable. So, needless to say, we're still working on it.

I'm back to writing, however! This week I will have a new I Ponder post, and I hope to hear the wonderful answers you give me.

Last thing-

While we were in the hospital, Renn asked me to make this sign. This is for you... even if your name isn't written here, it IS written on our hearts.