Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writers make the best friends!

Just want to say how grateful I am to my writing friends.

Today I went to lunch with Danna Smith (author of non-fiction pb BALLOON TREES) and afterwards I felt encouraged and ready to tackle the writing world with renewed energy. We usually meet with another writer friend, Linda Whalen, but she couldn't make it this time. When she's back in town, we'll get together again. Our trio-friendship started because I lived south of Sacramento and found out Linda and Danna (separately) had moved into the area and were SCBWI members. I contacted them and soon we were traveling to conferences together and sharing hotel rooms. Now we meet about twice a month to talk about writing and life.

I also have a critique group which meets every other week -- and while this is fun, too, we're very serious about our work and are all business. We meet in a coffee shop and start off with sharing about what's new with our work (we're all published in kidlit). Then we explain the critiques we've written down on the work passed out at the previous meeting. The critiques are wonderful even when they're brutally honest. I've grown so much, learning from these amazing writers (Patti Newman, Connie Goldsmith and Jeri Chase Ferris).

And a really close friend, Verla Kay, lives far away now but we keep in touch and visit each other. I met her at SCBWI Asilomar in the early 90's and soon we were best friends. We rooted and cheered for each other through our sales -- she published many historical picture books with Putnam while I worked on THE SEER series, DEAD GIRL series and BURIED with Llewellyn/Flux.

In fact, Verla inspired my first ever picture book, SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, coming out in March (currently up on Amazon -- preorders appreciated!). I went with her to a school talk and watched her power point presentation. When she showed a photo of herself as a little girl building a snow dog, the image stuck in my head, and the next day the words came to me - and five years later SNOW DOG, SAND DOG will be published by Albert Whitman.

Thank you to all my writer friends -- I hope you all know how much I value and appreciate you.



Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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