I have been in a hole. A big, deep, dark hole. Though I worked hard all last year, my manuscripts are moving s-l-o-w-l-y toward the great world of publishing. Some days it's a minor annoyance that buzzes into my head and out again, many days I don't think of it at all--I just try to concentrate on improving my craft. However, the past few days, it has gotten me down in a big way. I'm not sure why, but it has. And I'll tell you the truth, yesterday I was ready to quit. I couldn't think of a single reason not to.
But today, I feel a bit better. I just wrote the first chapter to a new book, I am looking forward to a trip to NYC next week for the SCBWI conference (yes, I will share all the details with you!), and I hope to get back in the groove. It's amazing how much better I feel by simply writing.
I recently completed the NEW NEWBERY winning book, MOON OVER MANIFEST. A first time author wrote it and then won the Newbery. Pause and appreciate how awesome that is. At any rate, the book was a lovely, wide-reaching story that manages to incorporate the fascinating elements of two generations of a Kansas family with a precious, endearing protagonist, to boot! Check it out!
I also read a Newbery honor book, TURTLE IN PARADISE. I have loved this author for a couple of years, and I was delighted to see her name on this list. TURTLE IN PARADISE is a delightful page-turner set in depression-era Key West. This story is rich at every turn--in familial love and dynamics, Key West culture (fascinating!), and the simple day to day adventures of a bunch of island kids. The Diaper Gang stole my heart from their first babysitting gig. You will enjoy every morsel of this sun-drenched story.
Another book I picked up and LOVED is called SAINT TRAINING. It's about a young Catholic girl in a big family whose life is turned upside down when her mother reads Betty Friedan, her brother receives notice to report for the draft during the Vietnam War, her mother becomes pregnant yet again. Mary Clare decides to take matters into her own hands and makes a bargain with God. If she strives to become a saint (starting goal--- the title of Mother Superior), then God will solve their family's money problems. As Mary Clare begins to study the possibilities of becoming a nun, she begins a charming correspondence with a nun in an order that interests her (they work with unwed mothers and their babies). I LOVED this story from beginning to end. The raw, sometimes painful, peek into the spiritual growth of a young Catholic girl reminded me of my own spiritual growth as an adolescent. While I was not raised Catholic, I still 'got' her path toward a real relationship with God. I would love to hear how some of my Catholic friends felt about this book.
Happy Reading, and have a wonderful week!
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.