Writing quote

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

Friday, October 30, 2009


I'm into collecting quotes lately, especially ones related to writing. Here's one of my faves. I find it particularly inspiring:

Writing is like driving in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way — E.L. Doctorow

Hear, hear! If you get overwhelmed or intimidated by the thought of planning out or writing the whole book, like I often am, break it down into a chapter at a time. Works for me.

I attended the Northern SCBWI Fall Conference at Mills College in Oakland on Oct. 24. It's a beautiful campus. I enjoyed seeing writing friends and acquaintances, and the conference offered interesting tracks on picture books and marketing. I did get to talk to Abigail Samoun of Tricycle Press about my picture book manuscript that has gone through 3 editors, and has now disappeared into the Black Hole of publishing. She encouraged me to keep contacting Joanne Taylor, the editor who had it last, but other than that, offered no new insights as to its status. As Ms. Taylor hasn't returned my last couple of emails, I'm not holding out much hope that anything will happen with Tricycle. Oh well, onwards and forwards.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I just came back from yet another SCBWI Green Gulch Writing Retreat (they're having it twice a year now - in Spring and in Fall). I tell you, I'm hooked! I'll have to bring a camera next time, so I can post some pictures. I arrived about 4 pm. on Friday, Sept. 18. I found my assigned room, set up my computer, and looked out the large windows overlooking the lush hillside to see not one, but two baby deer munching on leaves and grass just a few feet from me! Ahhh ... if that doesn't inspire your writing, it should inspire the Soul, or at the very least, your oneness with Nature.

I spent the weekend working on my Young Adult novel which I had just started. Chapters one and Two have been very slow going, but by Sunday morning, Chapter Three was flowing much more fluidly. It was an all-women group this time, some of whom I had met and known at previous Green Gulch retreats and other writing conferences, some I got to meet and know for the first time. A small intimate retreat like this is such a great place to make new writing friends. I'm looking forward to seeing a few of these women again at the SCBWI Fall Conference in Oakland, October 24. I also really enjoyed the informal critique groups in the evenings. Usually attended by just a small handful of us, the Saturday night one attracted almost the whole group and it took us close to 3 hours to get around to everybody! But what a treat to hear some of the wonderful pieces the other writers are working on, and to get good insight and some direction about your own work.

The food was delicious as usual, especially this delectable potato salad and an out-of-this-world spinach fettucine dish. The next Green Gulch Retreat is in April, and you can bet my Macintosh laptop I'll be there!

By the way, my friend, Elizabeth Shreeve's new picture book, Oliver at the Window, just came out from Front Street/Boyds Mill Press. Check it out on her website, www.elizabethshreeve.com. Elizabeth also has a Book Party planned to launch the publication of this book at the Book Passage in Corte Madera, on Sat., Oct. 3rd, at 2 pm. Do come by, say 'Hi', get a signed copy of the book, and tell her I sent you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I just got an email from Carolyn Yoder from Highlights for Children magazine. The article I sold to them in 2005 on the Dragon Boat Festival is slated to be published in the June 2010 issue. That's 5 years after they purchased it! Oh well, Better Late than Never, I say. I'm just happy to finally see it in print. Of course, a few things had to be changed and added to make the article a little more contemporary. So, for those of you who have a subscription to Highlights, look for it in June.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Wow! I can't believe it's been a year since my last post! I had decided to take a short break from blogging to focus on Mom duties and other writing projects, and before I can say "Jack London", a whole year has passed! So, just a brief catch up:

Oct. 2008 - went to L.A. to see my 10 min. play, "Elevator" performed at the Miles Theatre in Santa Monica. Nice job, acting and directing-wise.
Feb. 2009 - Attended the SCBWI Writer's Retreat at Green Gulch Farm. This has easily become one of my favorite writing events - a weekend in a lovely, peaceful setting to focus on my writing, a chance to commiserate with other writers and get feedback on my work, and I don't have to cook and clean up! Plus, the vegetarian food is healthy, and delicious. I also attended the Asilomar Writers' Conference. Workshopped my picture book manuscript, Armadillo Soup and got some possible agent interest, but he wants me to cut it down to 600 - 650 words. So, I'll need to get back to that - soon!
June 2009 - participated in the 24 Hour play festival, this time as a solo writer, which was scary, but I got a great sense of accomplishment when I finished the play in 7 hours! And had a blast watching it performed the next night at Ukiah Player's Theatre. Of course, having a great team of actors to bring it to Life doesn't hurt.
June 2009 - Went with my family to Provence, France. Fantastic trip! But not much chance for writing.
Sept. 2009 - Submitted my picture book manuscript Go Dil Lok and the Three Chans to Bookstop Literary Agency.

So, that's it in a nutshell. My goal for this upcoming year -
a) write more consistently, which I can only do if I ...
b) Did not LIVE at my kids' school. Volunteerism is great; the school needs it, and my kids like seeing me there. But boy, can it wreak havoc with your writing career if you don't set some limits.