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Picture Book Idea Month 2013

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Picture Book Idea Month 2013

This is the first time I’ve participated in PiBoIdMo and I would definitely do it again. Coming up with at least one picture book idea a day was challenging (and some of these ideas are not worth developing) but some I’m really excited about! Now I just need to take the time to write some of the stories that are bouncing around in my head…

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Appleseeds Magazine Article!

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Appleseeds Magazine Article!

So, after many, many queries to many, many magazines I finally got my foot in the door! I’ve been pining over the Cricket magazine group because I think it’s one of the best quality magazines out there. I’ve been trying to send a few queries each month since Spring. I think part of my problem is that they are just really slow to process the queries they get because…I just got a response from a query that I sent in April.

They want an article for Appleseeds Magazine on how the Inca temples were built without using wheels. If all goes well, my article will be published in April 2014! Drawing on our trip to Peru has made this article lots of fun to write and a challenge too, because I’m trying to cram as much into 450 words as possible.

I guess the moral of the story is to never give up. Both of my last two successes have come long after I’ve moved on to the next 20 projects. Who knows what will come up 6 months down the line!

New story to be published!

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New story to be published!

Look for my story, “Felix Forgets,” in the January 2014 issue!

I found out last week that my first fiction story is being published in Skipping Stones Magazine! I was excited but mainly surprised, because it’s been SO LONG since I submitted this story. I gave up on it long ago. In fact, this story is now in a totally different form of revision. An will probably make another jump from picture book to chapter book if I ever get around to it. I never thought this-long ago-version of “Felix Forgets” would ever see daylight.

It just goes to show that you never know how things are going to go in this crazy world of children’s writing. Stories that I’ve been sure had a future have been shot down repeatedly, and things that I gave up on have been published. I guess that’s why everyone says that persistence is more important than anything else; writing everyday and continuing to send things out, even when you know to expect rejections. Hopefully, your writing also improves along the way!

So…look for “Felix Forgets” coming in January! It’s a story about a bilingual boy who is torn between his Spanish speaking world and English world. As a teacher in L.A., I saw kids bouncing back and forth and I hated when they proudly told me that they didn’t even know Spanish anymore. I hope this story shows that there is room for multiple languages and identities, no matter where you come from.

Back to real life…

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San Juan Mountains, CO

A painting I did of the San Juan Mountains during a rare quiet moment on our trip to Colorado.

From a summer of vacations, visits, and birthdays we are returning to real life. Back to school.  Back to work. Back to writing.

My writing time has been pretty thin lately but now that my daughter is in preschool I have no more excuses. I keep waffling back and forth about whether or not to make this whole writing thing more official by having a blog. I’m afraid that I don’t have time for it, that I don’t have anything to say, that it will take away from my precious writing time. But if I am ever going to do it, this is the time. After attending the summer SCBWI conference this August, I set a goal to treat myself more like a real writer, a professional. This is one of the steps along the way, so I’m jumping in!

So what will this blog be about? Stick around and we’ll both find out! I want to find blogs of other authors, illustrators, agents, and editors that inspire me. I want to focus on where I get story ideas in my everyday life (in between making grilled cheese and preschool pick-up). I want to document how my work is growing and changing.  I want to connect with the broader community of people who are focused on making great stories for kids. There is so much to learn. I know I’m still at the tip of the iceberg!