Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Big “Thank You” and a Chapter Book Submission Opportunity

Last week I was thrilled to receive my July “St. George’s Reward” from my writer friend Tabatha Yeatts. St. George's Day was celebrated in Geoffrey Chaucer's time as a day to reward people who worked at artistic endeavors, and this spring Tabatha selected one of her blog readers to be the recipient of her own "St. George's Reward" each month (you can read more about this on Tabatha's blog here). I have enjoyed all of my surprises, but especially love this month’s reward:

These beautiful magnets (created by writer Robyn Hood Black and available at her fabulous Etsy store, artsyletters) are the perfect melding of functional and decorative. I absolutely love them! Thank you so much Tabatha and Robyn!

Also, Sunscribe Publishers, a brand new South Carolina publishing company, is accepting chapter book submissions for their children’s imprint Dancing Squirrel this week. You can find their submission guidelines here.

Have a wonderful week, and Happy Writing!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer’s Secret Hours

Every year I wonder at the busyness of summertime at our house. So far this summer we’ve camped, climbed mountains, tubed the French Broad River, vacationed with old friends, slid down waterfalls, baked cookies, chilled out at a water park, made cotton candy and snow cones, eaten lots of watermelon, played games, gone swimming, etc. (I could keep going and going…but I am tired ☺). We are having a wonderful summer, but once again it is flying by. School starts for my boys on August 17, so that gives us only five more weeks of fun before “real life” creeps back in. But such is the rhythm of life!
One of my boys playing in the water.

Although this summer has been just as busy as every other year, I’ve discovered one important thing: the “secret hours” of writing time between when my husband leaves for work and when my boys roll out of bed. Now that they are almost 13, this time has stretched to 9:00 or 9:30, often even later. That means if I can drag myself out of bed and start writing by 7:00, I can have 2 to 3 hours of blissfully quiet time to myself in the mornings!

These “secret hours” have been a tremendous discovery for me. During the school year I have chunks of quiet writing time in the mornings, but this is always *after* the hustle and bustle of making breakfast, getting the kids off to school, exercising, etc. (I am not one of those disciplined writers who can get up at 5 a.m. and start writing before the whole house is awake—not yet, anyway.) It is a fun change to be able to wake up and start working in my PJs, a perk of writing that I’ve heard about forever but have rarely been able to do until now. I’ve used this time to work on a new picture book manuscript, complete some fun magazine assignments, and edit several other projects.

I hope you are all enjoying your summers and finding some “secret hours” of your own to take advantage of! Stay cool this week, and happy writing!
Our sweet puppy Gracie loves camping because she gets to sleep with the boys!