February 21-March 2, 2010:

Sometimes life gets away from me, and I do not get to this journal. So a quick catch up of life, books, and the interstices.

Books: About five rejections from various publishers, but this balanced by the joy of selling two small (novella-sized) fairy tale novels to be elegantly published by Philomel. Titles later on when I have thought about the some more. With great thanks to editor Jill Santopolo. These will be our first books together, and she took the lead in getting them through the rigorous acceptance process.

Meanwhile, I worked on writing and rewriting speeches, a bit on the revisions for Curses, Foiled Again. Then I put together a collection of my adult fantasy poems and sent the mss. off to the small fantasy poetry publisher, Midsummer’s Night Press, with my fingers crossed.

The Branding arm of Scholastic has sent a new Dinosaur book idea–a sticker book. It has some delightful elements, but I am a stickler (hah!) for it to hold on to the format of the original books. So we are doing the pushme-pullyou dance right now. Since they are being very accommodating to both Mark Teague (the illustrator)  and me, I have high hopes we will work this through.

There were two writers’ group meetings and an illustrators’ meeting at Ruth Sanderson’s new and sumptuous studio, as well as tea with a quite wonderful Jewish feminist artist I’d love to work with.

I spoke at the South Deerfield Womens’ Club about my life as a writer, then went off the next day to Atlanta for the SCBWI’s Southern Breeze conference. Gave a speech about writing and the new and difficult world of publishing, a Q&A where I gave even more difficult news but reminded them that the people who stumble at the first gate do not go on to win the race. I was also on two panels, gave five picture book critiques, and did a signing. The people who put the conference together were unfailingly charming, funny, talented folks who made certain I was well taken care of, with shout outs especially to my conference angel Debbie, my driver Lisa, my artist buddy Elizabeth, and my new best friend Hester.

But as you can see, so much to do, I was frustrated by not having enough time to work on more things.Writing is my passion. When I cannot do it, well I get cranky.

Life, the Universe, and Everything or What I Did For Fun: A dinner/history movie night at friend Jan’s; tea with a date (an actor who was quite interesting); and a Celtic music duo at the Iron Horse with my old friend, Patricia.

Also physical therapy, a new med tried for back pain that made me reel as if I were on a three-day drunk, and a lot of shopping for bathroom stuff for the renovated bathroom with Heidi who makes sure I hold the purse-strings close.

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