22 February 2009

Editor Day

The Houston chapter of SCBWI held its Editor Day event yesterday. It was an opportunity for aspiring children's writers to meet with editors from different publishing houses and imprints. It's also an opportunity to submit to them as the houses they work for are closed to unagented authors.

And while I'm still trying to get an agent, I don't have one yet.  So, this was a great opportunity for me.

I got some wonderful ideas, met some new people and know exactly what I'm going to submit to these editors.  I've just got to polish my manuscripts until they're shiny and bright and unable to resist!

04 February 2009

Author: Siobhan Dowd

I discovered this author in 2007 while I was on vacation in Ireland. Before the trip I scoured exhibits at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference to find an advanced reader copy of a book set in Ireland.

I really wanted to read an Irish-set story when I was in Ireland. I managed to find two books. One was a mystery for adults. The other was the young adult novel A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd. I held off reading the book until I was well and truly on the Emerald Isle.

And I fell in love.

The book was stunning. Beautifully written and devastatingly heartbreaking. It's part mystery and part family drama, among other themes. I cannot say enough about this book.

And then, about four months after I finished the book, I learned that Siobhan Dowd had died of cancer. I actually cried. All I could think was that the world was robbed of so many exquisite stories.

Fortunately for the readers of the world, she finished other books before she passed. She has another YA novel, Bog Child, which is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and a children's novel, The London Eye Mystery, which is a terrific mystery.

She has another YA book, Solace of the Road, coming out in October.  I can't wait to read it.

03 February 2009

An Experiment

I'm trying something for the month of February. I am avoiding fast food. No Taco Bell, no Wendy's, no McDonald's, nada.

I'm not doing this for any real reason other to see if I can. Any health benefits will be nice, and any financial gains will also be appreciated.

Generally I have a can of Slim Fast at lunch and supper at home.  So, I go to a fast food place about twice a week. In order to avoid the siren call of the cheap food, I bought some frozen dinners to keep at work and at home - for those days when Slim Fast just isn't going to satisfy.

Please note that I chose the shortest month of the year to try this little experiment. Wish me luck!