Fall greetings to all! This change of season may come with whipping winds and stormy skies. But take courage in fall’s passing beauty, for with it also comes hope and a bountiful harvest, Keep walking. Brighter days are just ahead.
Day has begun, but no sun. Begin the day’s journey unseeing the way Shoulders robed with heavy mist of dawn Sidewalk stretches endlessly Countless squares of concrete gray. One unnoticed step in front of the other Padded rhythm marches out the seconds Till the red-orange sun peeks above the horizon’s purple mountain cloud And stretches its white tentacles to the brightening sky Birds begin the melody and criss-cross before with invisible streamers They swoop and rise with cheers to treetops Joining the escalating breeze to shake nature’s confetti from the trees. Golden, floating, lightly landing on shoulders, face and path, saying well done, well done Sun reveals the truth: not just gray ahead, but golden patches checkering the way Crunchy carpet, piles of crackly brilliance, in the path and along the wayside Nature cheers in silent earnest to walk with strong step beneath the whitecap clouds on the inverted sea Inhaling the sweet breath of evergreen perfume whispering their applause Success, success, success, is yours, just walk You have become part of Nature’s ticker-tape
The 2021 BookStop opened up on October 18 and offers visitors the chance to browse over 1,000 new picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels written and/or illustrated by SCBWI members. Buying a book not only supports book creators, but indie bookstores as well. The BookStop store will be until November 30.
As a member of SCBWI, I have found the organization to be very helpful in my writing and publishing process. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world.
This is the second year that I have shared it in the SCBWI BookStop. It feels wonderful to have reached another milestone on my journey as an author and I am very grateful for everyone who has supported me along the way.
#SCBWIBookStop 2021 is officially open. Start browsing all books here:
It appears that your votes have carried Grandma’s Sock Drawer successfully through the first cut!
Now, Grandma’s Sock Drawer is a finalist under the Young Adult Fiction 2021 category on the Author Elite website.
You can find and vote for Grandma’s Sock Drawer on the first page of the Author Elite website. Here, voters are allowed to vote for their favorite book multiple times per day, every day, as often as you wish. All you have to do is exit the Author Elite site and your browser, re-enter and vote again.
This final round of voting closes on October 21, 2021.
Thanks for voting Grandma’s Sock Drawer into this final round of competition.
I hope you will continue to see Grandma’s Sock Drawer to a brilliant finish.
I am excited to announce that Grandma’s Sock Drawer has been nominated for the 2021 Author Elite Awards and I would love for you to cast a vote for my book!
Please visit https://authoreliteawards.com and click on the red button that says “Vote Now” – it will take you to the voting page – once here, you will be on the 1st page for the Young Adult category (1/12), just scroll down, and click on my book cover to choose Grandma’s Sock Drawer.
You may vote daily. I greatly appreciate your support! The Author Elite Awards is sponsored by Igniting Souls in connection with the Author Elite Academy.
As Christmas fast approaches, three Christmas Eve stories come to mind.
In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote his classic, A Christmas Carol. Scrooge learns lessons from Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. These culminate in a changed life.
O. Henry wrote a short story in 1906 called, “The Gift of the Magi”. A young married couple, deeply in love, but poor, seek a gift to give to each other. Between them they have two treasures, her beautiful long hair and his watch, a family heirloom. Through their selfless love, each sacrifices their treasure to buy a gift for the other. She, selling her hair to buy a chain for his watch. He, selling his watch to buy beautiful combs for her hair.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written in 1957, recounts the escapades of the Grinch as he tries to stop Christmas from coming to the Whos down in Who-ville. As the Grinch waited to hear the “BOO-HOO” he was shocked.
“Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was singing! Without any presents at all!” “He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!”
“Mankind is my business.” Marley told Scrooge. Christmas is about gifts given in love. It is, as Grinch said, “Maybe Christmas…perhaps… means a little bit more!”
Christmas can’t be stopped. I am thankful for the greatest gift given on the very first Christmas. A gift of love for all mankind. I will try to do as Scrooge pledged to, “…honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
What an exciting month of writing November held for me. I chose to work on the prequel to Grandma’s Sock Drawer.
As expected, the writing journey had its moments when ideas seemed stale, action stalled out, characters became boring.
I’d say to myself, “You’re the one writing this thing! If you don’t like what’s happening, change it!”
I’d remind myself that writing Nano is more exploring, than settling down. At the end of the month, if I like the story, I can work to make it the best. Nothing has to be permanent in the first draft. Everything can be improved. Thinking like this keeps me hopeful and excited about the story.
Even so, there were times I had to keep slogging along. Then something clicked and things started to pick up momentum. The story flew from my fingers through the last two weeks of November.
Characters asserted themselves on the page. (One day, for instance, my main character sat down and sobbed her heart out! I was so surprised!)
I found myself visiting familiar places with new twists. Farms in need of planting,
meadows thick with wild, purple lupine flowers,
and spiraling tunnels in dark, echoing caves.
I crossed the Nano finish line of 50,000 words, plus, on the 27th. But the story wasn’t finished, yet.
On December 2nd, the first draft was finally completed. The thrill of accomplishing the Nano goal was surpassed by the excitement that I have for the beginnings of my prequel for Grandma’s Sock Drawer.
Yes, I have crossed the Nano finish line.
But only to start again. A new goal. A new energy. A new commitment. Polish this new story until it will shine in the hearts of readers.