July 7-30, 2013:

The writing theme goes on. In these three weeks, I managed to work with Barbara Diamond Goldin to hand in (at last!) our mss. for Girls’ Bible. Adam and I totally redid the first sections of the sagging second Seelie Wars book and moved to within five or six chapters to the end. I wrote two new picture books, one a total surprise–Bird Boy which is sort of what happens when the child in Owl Moon grows up and meets a boy with a similar bird-watching passion. (My agent loves it.) And The Demon and the Midwife A Jewish tale from Yemen, which my agent asked me to revise and then loved it when it was re-done.

I also worked some more on the graphic novel Stone Cold and sent it o to the editor so he could look for an artist. Reworked some poems (titivating really) for Grumbles from the Forest. Edited slightly Jason’s revamp of the story of Smokey the Bear for the family’s National Geographic Animal Stories book. And totally surprised myself with about thirty plus poems (still working on it) for my first ever  novel in verse, Finding Baba Yaga. Wrote a poem or more a day for my subscribers. And a bunch of other pokings about in the first chapter of Plague of Unicorns which has been sold to Zondervan Kids. Plus another rewrite of How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe which has been bought by Scholastic.

At the same time, I made a quick trip up to Aberdeenshire (just a single overnight) to celebrate Susan Gassaway’s 70th birthday, bringing along the two birthday cakes and getting incredibly lost both ways because the usual bridge I go over just a few miles from her house had been washed away and I got into a bunch of tiny villages, some with only one way in and no way out that I could find!

Also went on the annual Wormistoun House tea and garden open house with Christine, a Mozart concert with the other Christine and Debby, my first and then second painting-on-pottery class, saw “Despicable Me 2 (Wah–I want Minions!!!!), had tea with the Pizdziora Brothers, tea with Austin Hackney, dinner at Deb and Bob’s, a visit with friend Nora just back from hospital, etc. And worked extensively in the garden during the gorgeous summer we’ve been having, as well as hacking down the ivy growing wildly on the stone walls of Wayside because lovely as it was, it was destroying the stuff between the stones and even some of the stonework itself.

Missing my kids and grandkids, though. Glen and her Jason are hard at work on their first house together in the same town–Conway–where David and I had our first house. Heidi getting ready to send Maddison off to college but first teaching her to drive so well, she passed her driving test first try. Alison is now as tall as her dad, wee David not so wee any more and singing in the Minneapolis children’s choir. And the twins and their dad and mom going on another grand trip into the Smokies seeing bears and catching fish. I miss them all so much here in Scotland and yet get so much writing done it’s worth it.

More anon.





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