Lots going on in my world this last month.
First, a road trip to Austin, via flight to Dallas.
My longest-known friend Deanna and I Thelma and Louised it to Austin to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm in concert. Highlights of the road trip include Airstream cupcakes, glass blowing, Manos Hands of Fate MST3K-style, kolaches and free-range chickens.
Then on February 19, nine other area writers and I visited Mill Creek Elementary’s Author Illustrator Workshop. My group, the fifth graders, learned the two most important qualities of a freelance writer: the ability to stare out windows for long stretches and work in slippers.
They also learned being a freelance writer means you have to be an impersonator, to mimic the personality and voice of the company that hires you. I taught them the clever acrostics STUDY, WRITE and CREATE!
Next up: Laura Manivong’s ESCAPING THE TIGER launch party! It was SRO for Laura’s novel debut! The masses were out to celebrate with the entire Manivong Clan. Escaping the Tiger is based in part on the experiences of Laura’s husband Troy and his family, who escaped Communist Laos by crossing the Mekong River into Thailand. Reading Reptile managed to pack in about 250 family, friends and fans last night and sold every last one of Laura’s books.
Also of note: I submitted my second and third manuscripts for Rosen Publishing, created a yearbook for my kiddo’s school, started a new project with American Animal Hospital Association, saw the mockup for my first book with Rosen, and wrote lots with my Jedi Council Jenn Bailey, Lisha Cauthen, Kim Peek and Sue Uhlig.
We have tons planned for Kansas SCBWI this year. In January Jenn brought her talents as a social media maven to Social Media 101. This weekend Sandy Asher taught our writers the secret to the perfect picture book. In May Lisa Harkrader will lead us all into four-alarm novel writing. Stay tuned for more details on our July workshop and September conference (hint: Bruce Hale)!