Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, December 3, 2007


I've just figured out how to embed hyperlinks into the body of my blog, thanks to my web programmer, Marc Carson, (see? I did it, Marc!). It' so cool! Now, all I have to do is resist the temptation to link to everything!

Speaking of links, Children's Book Insider, has come out with a new e-book, "I Wish Someone Had Told Me That!", a compilation of words of wisdom and advice from 64 published children's book authors. And I'm on page 108! More than 60 authors opened up and shared their thoughts about literary lessons learned during the writing and publishing process. Jon Bard, Managing Editor of Children's Book Insider, and the editor of this e-book says in his introduction, "Some are touching, some are funny, some are true nuts & bolts. But all of the responses are truly inspirational."

You can purchase the e-book, by clicking on the above link.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Here's the thing I learned (the hard way) about GPS:

• It works great when you have no other directions to go on
• When you have a sense of direction (or lack thereof) like mine, it's better than fumbling around in the car for your map, pulling over at every gas station, or trying to call for help on your cell phone
• It DOES NOT always give you the most direct route

I discovered this last point when, on Nov. 7, I drove 2 hours from my home in Northern California to a social event at Chronicle Books in San Francisco commemorating their move to a new location. The worry-wart in me decided to cover my basis so I printed directions from Map Quest and programmed Chronicle's address into the GPS in my car. The Map Quest directions actually looked fairly simple--3 lefts from Van Ness, and you were there. But for reasons that are unclear to me now, just as I pulled off Highway 101 onto Lombard, I decided that my GPS had never failed me before--and hey, why have one in the car when you don't use it?

I wonder if GPS devices have a mind of their own, and mine decided to mess around with me--just for the fun of it. It sent me on a convoluted path, criss-crossing the city in downtown S.F. during rush hour traffic. Now, you have to understand that I live in a small, rural town where "traffic" constitutes 3 cars ahead of you at the stop sign. I'm not used to this bumper to bumper stuff with people weaving in and out of lanes and honking at you if you didn't start revving your engine before the light turns green.

Finally, relief seemed to be in sight. I spotted the name of the parking lot I had picked out from Map Quest, supposedly just behind the Chronicle offices, and I was only 15 mins. late. I pulled in, parked and paid my parking fees. As I headed down the street in my black pencil skirt and high heel pumps (the instructions from the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI said to dress professionally, so I had to abandon my usual Mommy-sweats and tennis shoes), I realized that this wasn't the parking lot on my Map Quest directions. No, this parking lot was about seven blocks away from my intended destination! They have parking lot chains? Who'd have thought? Needless to say, by the time I walked there, stood around for an hour and a half mingling with my fellow writers and Chronicle editors, and walked back, my feet were ready for a Body Shop Peppermint foot soak.

On the plus side, I met some lovely writers and re-connected with my writing friend, Anthea Brown whom I met at the Big Sur Children's Writers' Workshop in December 2006. She's a wonderful, funny writer, and a terrific artist, so check out her website.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I used to have this little writing fantasy--I have a charming writing cottage in a serene wooded setting where a brook babbles nearby and birds twitter in the trees. The cottage is furnished with one of those cozy armchairs you can really sink into with a good book, a built-in bookcase, a writing desk, my laptop computer, and a steaming pot of coffee. It's a cottage to which I can retreat everyday and pound out the next Great American Novel (or in my case, picture book or Young Adult fiction) for hours on end until the words blur on the page.

Recently, I have discovered a delightful bed and breakfast inn that has come closest to this fantasy than anything I've encountered. The Old Crocker Inn in Northern California was a perfect location for the self-imposed writers' retreat my friend, and fellow writing group member, Gretchen, and I embarked upon. Set in the hills a mere 10 mins. from the small town of Cloverdale, the 5 acre property used to be part of a 560-acre ranch belonging to Charles Crocker, founder of the Central Pacific Railroad.

The main lodge houses eight rooms, the lobby and library, kitchen, and a large, airy dining room with French doors opening to the outdoors. Wicker settees, chairs, and tables are tucked cozily into corners of the wraparound porch--perfect for lounging, reading, writing, or just contemplating. My favorite writing spot was a round table on the porch with a commanding view of the valley. The surrounding trees made me feel as if I was in a tree house. There was no brook close enough to babble audibly, but Sunday morning, the high-pitched chirps and twitters of birds punctuated the air.

I stayed in the Golden Spike room, located in a separate cottage a few steps from the main lodge. The decor's subdued tones of gold and olive complemented the rich wood panelling, and I had to resist a strong urge to immediately crawl under the fluffy duvet of the Queen bed, curl up, and not emerge till Spring--I was here to write, after all. It was mid-October, and even though the evenings were cooler, it wasn't cold enough to have the gas fireplace on for long--the heat it threw enticed me to sink back into the pillows with images of fancy Belgian chocolates swimming in my head (I'm here to write! I'm here to write!) More's the pity! What better atmosphere to write in than by a roaring fire-or the illusion of one? However, in the adjacent bathroom, a whirlpool tub did invite me to take my first bath in about eight years--with fragrant bath salts, no less. Ahhh, this was heaven!

In the dining room, coffee and tea was available all day for guests, along with a plate of munchies (the day we arrived it was chocolate chip cookies, the next it was a scrumptious banana chocolate chip bundt cake.) The three course breakfast on Sunday morning (included in the cost of our stay) was just as delicious, led by a plate of cranberry scones, followed by breakfast quiche and ending with a shishkabob of fresh fruit--enough food to fuel us for a good day of writing. Host, Tony Babb, kindly offered Gretchen and I the use of the inn's grounds for our writing pleasure, long past the check out time of 11:00 am., an opportunity we seized upon, scribbling and pounding away on our keyboards till 5 pm.

All in all, it was a very productive weekend for us, and had us already planning for our next "retreat", which no doubt will be back here at the Old Crocker Inn.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Susan McCombs from Tricycle Press sent me an editorial e-mail today (yep, the publishing industry is going high tech.) She finally got a chance to take my manuscript to an editorial meeting and the editors were "intrigued" by my story. It's sooo exciting!! They had a few questions and some suggestions for revisions (basically expanding already-present elements to the story). So, revise, revise, revise. They weren't difficult changes, and I had a lot of fun with them. I used to dread the revision process, but now I really enjoy it because the story is already there, pretty much complete, and all I'm doing is tweaking things here and there to strengthen the way I tell the story.

I submitted the story to my writer's group, the Ukiah Writers' Salon, and then did more revisions based on their feedback, and now it's back in Susan's hands. Unfortunately, Susan has some deadlines to meet this month, and so, probably won't be able to get back to me till sometime in November. Aaargh! Oh well, As the Publishing World Turns ... very, very slowly.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I went to the NorCal SCBWI Fall Conference in San Rafael, California, on Sept. 8. It was great to get away for an all-day conference. There's nothing like being in a roomful of fellow writers, editors and agents, all talking about the process of writing and publishing to inspire you to get cranking on your writing project(s). Plus, I always seem to run into my writing friend, Andrea McAfee at these gatherings (we've been in several conferences/workshops together including the Pacific Coast Children's Writers' Conference and the Big Sur Writers' Conference, and it's fun to catch up.

The conference featured keynote speaker, Simon Wood, a native of England who now lives in California. He's had over 140 articles and stories published, and is the author of Working Stiffs and Accidents Waiting to Happen. His next book is Paying the Piper, out in November. Simon gave an inspirational talk about his struggles with dyslexia, and with his wife's help and support, his ability to work around his disability to achieve his dream of writing. Where there's a Will, there's a Way. For those of us who continue to persevere in our writing through rejections, months of waiting from publishers, and self-doubt will do well to remember that old adage.

Other conference speakers were Nina Hess, an editor at Mirrorstone, an imprint of Wizards of the Coast that publishes fantasy fiction for young readers; Ken Wright, an agent for Writer House; and Andrea Welch, an editor at Harcourt Children's Books. Unfortunately, I missed the presentation by Nina and Ken, and their Q & A panel because there was a parallel workshop on school visits with author T.E. Watson which was very informative. Public speaking is not my forte and I wanted to learn how to do school visits better, as in today's publishing climate, this is often the bread and butter of an author's career. T.E. was wonderful to work with and very generous with his proven ideas and steps to successful school visits. Now I'll know how to adequately prepare for my next school visit! I also bought two of his books ("Glen Robbie" and "Mom, Can I Have a Dragon?") at the conference, and my kids have really enjoyed them. "Glen Robbie", by the way, is beautifully illustrated. T.E., in turn, purchased my picture book, "Otto's Rainy Day", and we have kept in touch via e-mail about my current writing project with Tricycle Press which goes to show that the networking and connections you make with other writers at these conferences can be more valuable than just sitting down and listening to a presentation.

Andrea Welch from Harcourt whom I had met at the 2004 Pacific Coast Children's Writer's Workshop (she was Andrea Beebe then), led the audience through her process of bringing a picture book manuscript to publication which gave a terrific insight into the workings of an editor, and the thoughts and considerations that go into molding a manuscript into the best story it can be.

All in all, it was a good conference, and the manuscript I submitted for critique, "Armadillo Soup", received positive feedback which gave me more confidence to send it out. I've made my revisions on it, and have sent it to my old editor at Charlesbridge Publishing, Yolanda LeRoy.

Monday, August 27, 2007


School is back in session (yay!) Don't get me wrong. I love the easy-going summer months -- the lazy pajama-clad mornings, the smell of sunscreen and beach at the lake, the ashy scent of a camp fire and freshly barbequed hot dogs and chicken (food never tasted better), and most of all, the absence of all the crazy scheduling conflicts that usually come with school events and meetings. But when school is out, it's all about Family Time and keeping the kids from killing each other. During the school year, I can at least manage to carve out some exercising and writing time -- in essence, a little Me Time -- which helps keep me sane and centered, one hopes.

So, on the writing front, I have done little except some research on a YA novel I have in mind. In fact, the local public library is chasing me for the library books I've borrowed (guess I ought to drop those off soon). In addition to tending to family responsibilities 24/7 which usually zaps my creative energy, I've been in kind of an after-project lull. Having completed two picture book manuscripts, along with tons of revisions, in the last 10 months, my muse has gone into hibernation. That isn't to say I don't think about writing and certain writing-related elements of projects I have in the fire, just that not much is being transferred into a tangible form. Ah well, I'll get back in the groove in the fall. My friend, Gretchen, and fellow writer's group member and I are planning our own little weekend writing retreat sometime in October. It'll be great to have a huge chunk of writing time and a brief respite from dishes, meals, and, yes, piles of laundry.

I'm still waiting for Tricycle Press to get back to me on my picture book manuscript. It was supposed to have gone to an editorial meeting in July, but in response to my latest e-mail inquiry, editor Susan McCombs informed me that that meeting was cancelled at the last minute, and she hopes to have some word for me by the end of this month. Sigh -- such is the world of publishing. The bright side is that the manuscript hasn't been rejected -- yet.

I'm also looking forward to going to a one day SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) writing conference on Sept. 8. I love writing conferences -- a whole day with fellow writers talking about books and writing, when hubby does all the meal times and diaper changes, making contacts and networking with editors and/or agents, a glorious day of Me Time. The SCBWI always runs some pretty interesting and informative conferences, so it should be fun and relaxing.

Friday, July 20, 2007


My last major writing project before the summer was the WAD fest (Writers, Actors, Directors), a 24 hour play festival in which writers have 12 hours to write a script based on a randomly selected theme, and the director and actors have 12 hours to learn their lines and stage the play. The writers get the night shift (from 8 pm. to 8 am.), so pumped with coffee, my co-writer, Paul Kubin, and I set upon the task to write a 10 min. play on this year's theme of "Travel". You can view the play here: "The Future of IPLA"
or on my website.

It was a blast! Who needs drugs? Caffeine and pure adrenaline is a potent mix, and inspite of some uncertainty over role distribution (how do we split the writing? Do each of us take one of the characters? Do we write different scenes? etc.), Paul and I had fun, especially in the brainstorming department. In the end, for consistency and continuity, it was best that only one of us was at the computer even though the other threw out ideas for dialogue and scenes during the collaboration process.

The main thing I learned about the art of collaboration, especially when you only have 12 hours to complete the project, is:
• Check your ego at the door -- it doesn't matter who does what, it's about the finished product
• Play to your strength -- the dialogue flowed out of Paul's fingers onto the keyboard, whereas in the few moments I tried
to take over while Paul took a break, I froze (I could never write well under pressure). I had a much easier time with
brainstorming and that was the fun part for me.

We finished the play at 7:45 am. with 15 mins. to print and get it to the director and actors, then off to catch up on some sleep. It was thrilling watching all the plays performed and marvelling at what some of the other teams did in 24 hours. Our actors and director did a fabulous job with the time they had -- what an immensely talented group! I'm looking forward to next year's WAD fest and with any luck, I'll be able to work with the same team.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


We all know that the publishing business is as slow as molasses, right? Especially when you're working without an agent like I am. But sometimes, no news can really be good news. Take the picture book manuscript I have circulating around the publishing world right now. I sent it to several publishers back in November. I received a rejection letter from Hyperion in 4 weeks, and one from Boyds Mill Press in 5. which goes to show that rejections tend to come a lot faster than acceptances. That's because if a manuscript generates some interest it has to go through several layers of scrutiny and evaluation before the publishing house decides to purchase it. Which leaves us writers a little hope if we don't get a speedy rejection.

Finally, after seven months of waiting, I wrote to Tricycle Press to inquire about my manuscript. Editor Susan McCombs e-mailed me to say that Summer Dawn Laurie, to whom I had originally sent my manuscript, no longer worked at Tricycle Press (this is another drawback of the publishing business -- editors come and go -- even though Summer had been with Tricycle for about 10 years, I believe). However, she had shared my story with Susan before she left (Yay! It wasn't left to languish in the slush pile), and Susan wanted to keep the manuscript longer for consideration. What does that mean? I asked. She wanted to take it to the next editorial meeting (Double Yay!) Considering the volume of submissions most publishing houses receive and the stiff competition writers face to get editors to take note of their work, it's exciting news indeed if your manuscript makes it to an editorial meeting.

And how much longer? Susan wrote: "After the meeting, occasionally members of the staff ask to read the manuscripts at another time, which can take another month or two depending on the number of projects they have pending." So, I may not know anything definitively till sometime in August or September. But I'm on the e-mail track now which means communication is so much easier and faster. E-mail rocks! I just hope it rocks even better news in a month or two.

In the meantime, I'm keeping myself from checking my e-mail obsessively. Thank God, for summer vacation! Between keeping my kids busy and trying to find time to finish my other picture book manuscript (I'm heavily in the revision process right now), and beginning work on my Young Adult novel, I'm lucky if I get to my e-mail once a day.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Okay, my blog disease has been cured. Somehow, I ended up with two blogger accounts -- decent picture of me (so you know who I am), nice font account; and no picture, messed up font account. How I got here, I do not know. The whole cyber thing is a total mystery to me. Wouldn't it be nice though, if that kind of thing happened in real life? Like at the bank?

"Miss Yim, we've discovered that you have another account with us. And it has a $1,000,000 in it."

Or at a publisher's?

"Miss Yim, we just found out that we've published your other book. And it's a New York times bestseller."

Sigh. Only in the blogging world.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


As if I don't already suffer from sleep deprivation, I've been crazy enough to sign up for the WAD (Writers, Actors, Directors) fest, otherwise known as the 24 hour play festival this weekend. WAD comprises several teams, consisting of a director, a writer or two, and two to four actors. Everyone meets at 8 pm. on Friday night, June 22, and each team gets to throw a theme into the hat. A theme is then drawn, and writers have to write their plays based on that theme. Writers have 12 hours from 8 pm. Friday, to 8 am. Saturday to write their script, then the directors and actors will have 12 hours, from 8 am. to 8 pm., Saturday, to learn their lines, stage the play, and perform in front of a live audience Saturday night at the Ukiah Players Theater

This is the second year it's been done in Ukiah. Last year, I was intrigued, but too chicken to try it -- I didn't think I could write under that kind of pressure. But this year, I'm collaborating with my fellow playwright and writers' group member, Paul Kubin, so there's someone else to share the load. WAD promises to be one big adrenaline-rush, and I'm looking forward to the friendly, albeit intense, competition.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Yikes, my computer has been hit with some blog disease!  If you go to my blog through my home page, it's the blog page I designed, but if you go to View Blog through the Dashboard on blogspot.com, the template changes. Plus, I can't seem to find more than one or two blogs listed, so I can't go in and make the edits I want to my blogs. Weird! Marc, my programmer, will look into it next week.
So, if you see duplicate blogs or blogs that just say "Testing", they aren't meant to be there. I apologize for any confusion, but this problem will get fixed soon -- I hope.

Monday, June 11, 2007


On my last two visits to Chicago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's not a dark, shadowy city, riddled with crime and teeming with mobsters that I had envisioned from watching too many film noir movies in my youth. In fact, it's a city of spectacular skyscrapers, picturesque parks, the daunting expanse of Lake Michigan, and fantastic museums.

You can't come to Chicago without going to the Field Museum, home of Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most complete fossil of T-Rex ever found. This is our second visit to the Field, and we still haven't made it beyond the first floor! There's just so much to see. And my girls love the Ancient Egypt exhibit -- all those mummies and hidden treasures. You can also have sleepovers there now, but those dates book fast. Unfortunately for us, the sleepover dates did not coincide with the time that we were there.

Next to the Field Museum is the equally amazing Shedd Aquarium with different rooms devoted to different geographical locations. Our favorite is the Amazon where you can find gargantuan fish, colorful tree frogs, and an anaconda.

We also visited Lincoln Park Zoo where the kids had fun with the paddle boats on the lake, and the animals. In the midst of it all, we celebrated my sister's birthday (41!). Shhh, I won't give her name away. Oh, all right. It's Shirin Bridges, author of Ruby's Wish (Chronicle Books). And met up with our London cousins who I haven't seen in 10 or 20 years.

Chicago is a city worth re-visiting. And next time, we'll start with the second floor of the Field Museum.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


The first annual Mendo Lit. Fest was a great success, thanks to the hard work and vision of my friend and fellow Ukiah Writers Salonnette, Dot Brovarney! We had a really decent turnout, and it was gratifying to see so many people take the time on a beautiful Saturday morning to come out and share their love of books, writing, and all things literary.

The Mendo. Lit. Fest kicked off with a keynote presentation by bestselling author, Gary Soto, on Friday, June !st. The free activities on Saturday, June 2nd, included panel discussions, book readings, poetry readings, play performances, and wonderful booths by local booksellers.

I began the day with a reading of my book, "Otto's Rainy Day" at the Children's Tent. The children's book readings, unfortunately, had a fairly low turn-out. I only had 3 in mine, and I think the numbers never rose beyond 7. However, the book making activity drew quite a crowd with 17 kids. The writing workshops, though, were very well attended. I co-led "Discovering the Children's Writer in You -- from Idea to Submission"; with Gretchen Maurer, also a Ukiah Writers' Salonette. We initially had 6 people registered. When I arrived at the Lit. Fest, there were 11 on the list. By 1:30 pm., the list had jumped to 20. Eventually, 25 people came to the workshop! Our workshop was at the end of a long day, so thank you to all who came out and participated.

After my workshop, I headed to the Little Theater on the Mendocino College campus to watch the Hot Shorts -- an encore performance of 3 of the ten minute plays that were performed at the New Plays Festival. After a long day, I was ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. However, after the performances, all the directors and writers of the plays at the New Plays Festival, even though they were not performed as part of the Hot Shorts, were called up on stage for a Q & A session with the audience. Great questions, and great fun!

Finally, my day ended with an Author's Reception at a local store where we could sip wine, nosh on pizza, chips and guacamole, and other yummy hor d'ouevres, and hobnob with other writers, and all the volunteers who made this day possible. I'm truly looking forward to next year's Lit. Fest!

Saturday, June 9, 2007


I know, I know, it's only a ten minute play at a local community College, but it could have been on Broadway the way the butterflies fluttered and somersaulted in my stomach. The problem with comedy is that the timing and pacing is crucial if you want the audience to laugh at all the right places. So, this Friday and Saturday, May 18 & 19, as I took my seat in a packed theater (we had sold-out performances both nights!), I was half-wishing I had something a little stronger in my cup of coffee. But the cast was AWESOME! Talk about rising to the occasion! Though Friday night's performance was good, Saturday's was even better. They were so ON Target with their comedic timing, it was absolutely gratifying to hear peals of laughter from the audience. Even my husband, who can sometimes be my toughest critic, laughed uproariously, and without my planned cues of digging him in the ribs at the appropriate moments. "Oh, Baby!" will be posted under the Plays section on my website when the video becomes available. So, keep an eye out for it.

Monday, May 7, 2007


We had some bad news and some good news on the play front this week. The bad news is, after two weeks of rehearsals, we lost one of the actresses. The good news is that she's fine, but she has a medical issue and her doctor ordered her to stay off her feet. The good, good news is that we found a replacement quickly -- Maria Monti, who happens to be the wonderful director of my last play, "Flavor of the Month", so she has loads of theater experience. But she couldn't come to rehearsals last week, so guess who had to fill in?

Yep. Me. I hadn't acted since I was one of the laughing townsfolk in my 6th grade production of "The Pied Piper of Hamlin", and I was only involved because it was a class production and every student had to participate. It did, however, give me a renewed admiration for actors. To transform yourself into a different character, remember all the lines (heck, I can't even remember them -- and I wrote them!), and do all this in front of tons of people on stage. I think I'll slink back to my computer, thank you, and watch the play unfold in the comfort and relative safety of a darkened theater.

Also this week, Brian and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I whisked him off to San Francisco on a "mystery" date. The kids had a sleepover at grandma and grandpa's (the first time we had left all three of them overnight). The only thing he knew was that it was in SF, he had to pack an overnight bag, and oh yeah ... he was driving. But the exact destination wasn't revealed until we got there. We checked into our cozy hotel room at the Inn at Union Square; feasted on gnochetti with 5 hour pork and beef sugo sauce, rack of lamb (him), and pork scallopini (me); and went to see Beach Blanket Babylon which was raucous fun. The next morning, we slept in (aaaah, that was heavenly, plus I'd forgotten what it was like to sip coffee and read the newspaper in bed), had a yummy, leisurely breakfast, and hit Fisherman's Wharf for some cracked Dungeness crabs before our 2 hour drive home. It was absolutely rejuvenating. But no writing done this weekend. So, I'm planning on working hard on some overdue projects next week ... er ... in between a couple of important school meetings, working at my daughter's school, play rehearsals, and two T-ball games.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Or Jupiter. Or another Galaxy altogether.

Last week, play rehearsals conflicted with Parent Night at my daughter's school. Since I've been to every Parent Night this school year, and my husband has been to like--two--he agreed to go in my place. The plan was, he'd take the two girls and leave them at the school's daycare during the meeting. My son is too young, so Brian would ask his dad if he'd watch him (since his mother was out of town). Perfect! Goodbye frazzled, SuperMom; Hello suave, trendy Playwright. It was a foolproof plan. Except for one thing. Yep, you guessed it. Men are from Mars. Or Jupiter ... well, you get the drift.

On the day of rehearsals, I called him at work to see if everything was confirmed with his dad. "He can't watch Quinn because he's going to the same meeting," Brian informed me. What in Jumping Jupiter was he talking about?

"To Parent Night?"

"No, to the blah, blah, blah business meeting."

"Business meeting?" We've been talking about two different meetings the ENTIRE WEEK? "You were supposed to go to Parent Night."

"I told you that I had to go to this meeting for my clients." No, he did not. He left out this very important fact. "They're paying me $200 an hour to attend this meeting."

Yes, but I ... I've got this play. And they're paying me ... okay ... nothing. But, hey, how often do I have a play in the works?

Goodbye suave, trendy Playwright; Hello, frazzled SuperMom. A million phone calls later, I had babysitting, went to play rehearsals, banished my husband to the nether regions of Pluto, and even made it to my daughter's school.

So, All's well that Ended well on the planet of Venus.

Monday, April 23, 2007


On the writing front, my ten minute play, "Oh, Baby", will be produced at Mendocino Community College as part of their annual New Play Festival. Performance dates are Fri., May 18 and Sat., May 19, at 8 pm. For more information, contact Reid Edelman at 468-3172 or redelman@mendocino.edu, or check back later on my website for any updates. My last ten minute play, "Flavor of the Month", was performed at Mendocino College's 3rd Annual New Play Festival in May 2005.

On Sat., June 2, from 3 pm. - 4 pm., I will be co-teaching a workshop, "Discovering the Children's Writer in You -- from Idea to Submission" with my writers' group pal, Gretchen Maurer, at the Mendocino Litfest, a free event held at Mendocino Community College. I'll also be reading from my picture book, "Otto's Rainy Day' during the Kids in the Quad session, sometime between 10:30 am. and 3:00 pm. For more info., click on the Mendocino Lit. Fest link. I hope to meet some of you there. There will also be a wonderful keynote speaker -- multiple award-winning author, Gary Soto -- who will sign his latest books, "A Simple Plan", a compilation of poetry for adults, and "Mercy on These Teenage Chimps", a young adult novel. You can find out more about Gary on his website, just click on the Gary Soto link.

Hope to meet some of you there!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Aaaah, the joys of motherhood. This morning, my five year old dumped half a 2 quart bottle of apple juice on the kitchen floor right when we were leaving for school, and my 16 month old decided that, well, this was as good a time as any to soil his diaper. There must be a Murphy's Law for moms somewhere that ensures that we are NEVER on time for anything -- EVER! The business of writing and publishing is a long enough process, but when you throw kids in the mix, it's a wonder I'm able to complete two sentences, much less a manuscript. I'm happy to report though that I do have a picture book manuscript floating around the publishing world. And now, the waiting game begins ...

So after all the time I spend whining about not having enough time to write, I've entered the world of blogging. Crazy, right? Call it cathartic. Call it procrastination/avoidance. After all, if I'm blogging, I'm not working on getting the voice of my YA character just right, which is often equivalent to pounding my head on the keyboard. Call it a desperate plea to other writing moms -- tell me I'm not the only one whose house looks like a tornado whirled through it one hour after I just spent four hours cleaning. Or whose muse thinks it's creative, funny even, to energize my brain at 4 am. so that I can't get back to sleep until I jot down those brilliant thoughts on dialogue or character development. My muse has little tolerance for the sleep-deprived. "You've already had 3 hours of sleep. Get up!! Only 4 hours of writing time left before the next round of making school lunches, carpools, and play dates."

I have now also joined the cyber-elite. If you're reading this blog on my website, well ... you've found it. If you're reading this on blogspot.com, go to my website link, and check it out. Many thanks to my wonderful graphic designer, Karen Adair of Designer Graphics, (707) 391-5273, and programmer Marc Carson, www.friendlyskies.net, who also gave me some useful tips on the art of blogging. So, if you don't like my blog entries, it's all his fault! Just kidding, Marc.

Till next time, writer friends. And May the Muse be with You.