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.