2018 Goals!

This is neither a book nor a pie, but I need to put my 2018 goals out into the ether. It helps me be more accountable. Do you feel the same, or do you like to keep your goals to yourself? Either way, writing down your goals plants the carrot. The carrot you will chase to achieve what you want. You’ve got somewhere to go–a direction–so get going.

Here are my goals for 2018:

  • Write 12 new picture book manuscripts (with the help of 12X12! Love this community!)
  • Finish editing my middle grade novel, have alpha/beta reads, finalize and send to my agent
  • Sell one book (A pie-in-the-sky, but why not?)
  • Create an author website
  • Go to at least three kidlit conferences
  • Continue to share my knowledge of online/Twitter contests with others pursing agents/publishers
  • Do at least two guest blog posts or Q&As (I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer of For the Love of Kidlit about being a debut picture book author. Here’s the blog post, if you are so inclined. I really loved her questions. So, I’m half way to this goal!)
  • Read 24 novels and 50 picture books, and keep track of my progress on Goodreads
  • Write reviews for the books I enjoyed and continue to share the love for my fellow authors
  • Continue to volunteer with Austin SCBWI and support those who love to write for kiddos!
  • Practice self-care and work in writing exercises for me

Feel free to share your goals or poke fun at mine or whatever! Here’s to writing it up in 2018!

More Bits of News!

Almost exactly a year ago, I conjured up an idea. An idea for a picture book. It was the title that jumped into my head, and I had to do something with it. But what? The first drafts were laughable, snortable, and not in a good way. I pushed through the bad writing, and a story started to develop. I could see it. A story worthy of the title. When the draft was as good as I could make it, I queried it to agents. I got rejected by agents. I pitched it via Twitter contests like #PBPitch, #PitchMas, and #PitMad. It got some interest from agents. It was selected as a finalist in a contest. It was requested by a publisher. That very publisher asked for a revise and resubmit. And, I did. I revised and revised and revised and resubmitted. Back and forth. I wondered where this would lead to.

It led to an email. An email with that title–the very title that stole my imagination–and the word “OFFER” next to it. I just happened to be at a Jack Brown Cleaners at the time when I got said email. All I could do was jump. Then my son started jumping with me and asked, “Why are we jumping?” I didn’t answer because I was too busy, ya know, jumping, squealing, and pointing at my son. He cracked his signature smile, held my hand, and kept jumping. The lady who brought around the dry cleaning didn’t know what to do with us. So, I pointed at her all while jumping, and said “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” I didn’t care how ridiculous I looked. The moment was made for jumping.

That offer brought me together with the best literary agent for me! That offer became a contract I signed today with Page Street Publishing Company! I can’t wait to bring this book to the world and read it aloud to as many kids as I can, so hopefully it can make them laugh and snort, but in a very very good way. More details to come…

A Bit of News!

Hi all! I don’t know where the past few months went. My kids have grown inches since I last updated my blog. INCHES! OK, so I’m being dramatic. The slippery slope toward summer and then the summer months themselves can be somewhat busier for a SAHM/writer with two young boys, so I had to shuffle some priorities. Unfortunately, this yummy blog took a backseat. Now, it’s going back into the driver’s seat for a while, as I have a couple of reviews and tasty recipes to post. Be on the lookout!

In the meantime, I have some writerly news. I am now represented by Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary. Cue the fireworks, the sparklers, and even the whoopie cushions! I am a thrilled, thrilled lady, and am about to burst with smiles and exclamation points!

I began focusing on kid’s literature in early 2015, but have been a writer all of my life. Think diaries, journals, school newspapers, journalism major, public relations executive, etc. Always writing. I took a break from writing to launch and run a pie company for a couple of years, and when that didn’t go gangbusters like Starbucks (I jest), I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out: what am I going to be when I grow up? The dreaded question. The answer popped in my head after making up the bajillionth bedtime story for my sons. Why not mesh together two of my passions — writing and children? Yes. Yes! I can do this! So, off I went taking in all the information and research I could find about children’s literature.

My path to this point has been filled with lots and lots of learning via SCBWI (the Austin chapter), 12X12Picture Book Summit, The Writing Barn, and Writer’s Digest webinars, among so many other resources I’ve culled through along the way. I joined fantastic critique groups and have writing partners I meet with on a weekly basis, if not more. I’ve had loads of fun with online contests (#PBParty, #PitchMAS) and Twitter hashtag events (#PitMad, #PBPitch) to push myself and my manuscripts out into the ether. I’ve queried. And queried. And queried. I’ve received my fair share of rejections, which I call badges of honor, because, heck, I’m putting myself out there. And then one day I didn’t get rejected. Really, I didn’t know what to do with that information. I didn’t go all Sally Fields or anything, but my back straightened a little bit. My shoulders pulled back. My head tilted a little higher. It feels good. But now the real, real, FOR REAL work starts. So, my learning of this fantastic craft will continue as I move forward with my kid lit career. Thank goodness, because I adore it. Every. Last. Bit.