Welcome back from our little "summer blog break." I don't know about the rest of you, but we took a real vacation -- to the beach and NYC! (Have I mentioned how much I love being married to a teacher?) We peeked at the Statue of Liberty and got rained on in Central Park and spent a lot of time convincing our daughter that one doesn't drive four hours to the beach to spend the whole time at the hotel pool.
In big news, let me start by announcing the lucky winners of our latest Book Giveaway contest. Winning copies of Deborah Halvorsen's Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies are Clare (who posted as “anonymous”) and Debbie, an email follower of our blog who won the copy reserved for a blog follower. Congratulations!
Summer typically being a time to relax and recharge, I decided it was well past time to give myself a writing kick in the butt. Since graduating from Vermont College ten years ago (yikes!), I've been so busy with kids and work, etc., etc., that my own writing has mostly taken a backseat to other, more obviously pressing pursuits. And when I do manage to carve out writing time, the process feels very lonely. So... I decided to enroll in a class in McDaniel College's online certificate program taught by the wonderful editor (and fellow VC alum) Jill Santopolo. Let me just say -- WOW!
Like my beloved VC "Hive," my McDaniel classmates are a wonderfully talented, committed, and supportive group. Jill has been amazing, and this is probably the best thing I've done for myself since I started at Vermont College 13 years ago. I am so sad that it's going to end next week, and I know I will need to find a way to continue to make myself accountable for producing weekly pages. On the bright side, many of my classmates live nearby, and I do believe that we are going to find a way to keep cheering one another on.
I also just (today) returned from my first-ever local SCBWI Conference. It was a two-day, hands-on intensive, and the experience of communing with other local writers was long overdue. I'm not sure what took me so long, but it's great to be back in the thick of things.
I'm also happy to be noodling on a new novel set in a summer camp. Wouldn't it be great if it could be summer forever? --Jeanne Marie