Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Classes and other random things

So, I've decided to take a class with the Institute of Children's Literature on top of my six credits this semester at Chatham. The first set of materials arrived today and I'm really excited! The course is in writing for the magazine market, both fiction and non-fiction. I decided to take it because I've never had a class in writing for magazines before, and I really think it's the one area I need work in. Besides, I need a way to keep writing, publishing and making a little money while I'm waiting for my next children's book to be published by a big publishing house and become the next bestseller. ;-) I read over the instructions for the first assignment, and so far the course seems interesting and creativity-inducing.

I am about to embark on my very last semester as an MFA student. I need to finish my thesis and take one children's lit class, and then I will be done. It's kind of strange, and scary, that I'm only taking one class in the classroom and then I'll be expected to get a "big kid job."

In other news, I am writing again. I've started a brand new YA novel (just in time to have my life taken over by classes, therefore causing me to put the new project aside, as usual). I've also signed up for a workshop with Naomi Shihab Nye as part of a literary workshop at my school. Until recently, I wasn't even aware that Nye had published children's books. Kathy suggested that my thesis would be a good thing to submit, since Nye has poetry and YA experience. So, I did. . . and now in October we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm Having Issues

I've been told that the last rhyming picture book I wrote was not a picture book, but a poem.

I've also been told that my rhythm in this poem is all off. Everytime I think I understand how to fix it, I mess it all up again. Despite four years as an English major and two years in an MFA program I WILL NEVER GET IT!

Yet, I keep insisting on writing rhyming picture books, which is ironic because I despise adult poems in rhyme. I find "regular" narrative picture books boring and harder to write.
I cannot make myself work on this poem. Nor can I make myself write one word of anything else. But I'm so bored I don't know what to do with myself. So, I'm just sitting here staring at the computer screen and letting my brain rot. *sigh*

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thesis Update

I just completely finished the first draft of my thesis, 2 weeks early! I'm not completely happy with the second half, but hey that's why it's called a rough draft, right? I'm taking a break from it before I go back in and revise.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saying Good-bye to Literacy AmeriCorps Year 14

Last night, the entire corps met for one last hurrah. We looked at photos taken throughout the year, ate ourselves silly, laughed and almost cried a few times. MaryRose made this awesome slideshow of our memories from throughout the year. I teared up while watching it. She also presented us with certificates and framed group photos. Sarah was there! She just got back from Bulgaria so we had some catching up to do. It was great, but at the same time extremely sad. I don't know what I'd do without AmeriCorps again next year. . . I guess I'll get the chance to find out after my second year of service over.

I miss everyone already. :-(

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Save the Dates- Pittsburgh

Heather McNaugher, Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University's MFA program, will be reading this Sunday, August 17th at 2PM at the Carnegie Library in Oakland.

The Fall Festival of Children's Books will take place Friday October 17th from 9AM-5Pm at the Children's Musuem on the North Side.

My picture book, Angeline Jellybean, comes out in February 2009!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jumping Jellybeans, it's me!

Check out my profile on Vivian Zabel's blog entry yesterday (8/9/08).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Illustrations! Submissions! Readings! Oh, my!

I got to see some sample illustrations for Angeline Jellybean last night and--wow! I am so thrilled with them I could dance in the streets.

I've been working on a number of projects. My thesis (still not titled with only 10 pages left to go), a couple of picture books (Mr. Beta and You Oughta Like the Otters which desperately needs reworked and a different title), and random other things. I think my next round of submissions might be a picture book called Jason and Jamal. I wrote it around the time I wrote Angeline, so maybe that was when I wrote all of my brilliant work. haha.

I sent some poems out awhile ago. I'm not really expecting any acceptances. Of course it would be awesome, but I rather enjoy collecting rejection letters too. ;-)

Here's good news not about me: My boyfriend, Mark C. Bradley, will be a featured local writer at Ukazoo Books in Towson, MD on September 14th! Yay, Mark!