Tuesday, July 29, 2003

After far too many months of missing my writing group (conflict with soccer practice before Dani had her licence, various dreadful deadlines and trips since she has taken to the road), I attended a rather rousing evening with the gang. Last night was all writing exercises - by the end of the evening my arm was ready to drop off, but wow, it was so great to see everyone again and stretch those writing muscles in new directions.

Speaking of stretched muscles, finally pounded in the last fencepost of the two grassy paddocks for the horses. Breezy and Tony have much enjoyed munching on fresh, green grass while being supervised by Dani who has taken up semi-permanent residence in the hammock we rigged up under the trees adjacent to the new mini-fields.

Writing-wise, finished off an article for Kite Tales , the SCBWI LA newsletter (about authors and bookstore events), and finished the design of the new Bolen Books Kid Section newsletter (first issue will go to press, so to speak, in time for release on Aug. 1). That would be... ack - this Friday - another deadline in my life. Oh, yay!

Continue to work, slowly, on a middle grade fiction collaboration with my dear friend Jane and am waiting to hear back about an interactive CD/Online game proposal - And, of course, keep plodding along with War in the Tarragon Woods.

Also on the works in progress list, Jo's Gold, which may turn out to be Jo's Silver as the timing is all wrong for Jo's 1861 arrival in California. Well, there's nothing wrong with her arrival, but the gold rush there was essentially over. I'll either have to send her north (toward the Yukon), turn her around and have her head for Virginia City and the Comstock Lode, or perhaps stay in California but find some sort of metaphorical gold... Currently agonizing over this...

The northern woods/Tante Margarita picture book manuscript has made it as far as 'being under editorial consideration.' I consider this to be excellent news and much better than, 'no thanks.'

Other projects include several non-fiction titles for adults, all in the early stages, developing new children's programming at Bolen Books, and ongoing work on the barn/horse facilities. And then, there's the garden. Note to self: Cut the grass in the front yard TODAY!!!! It looks dreaful out there. In fact, you can't see the lawn for all the dandelions. Relatives are due to descend upon us in another week or so, so I guess I'd better stop blogging and get back to work chipping away at the mountain of work I have in front of me. Sigh. When it rains it pours! (Except in the summer on Vancouver Island when the sun bakes down on us and makes us forget those rainy, miserable days of March when it seems those grey skies will never, ever clear!)

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Today was more or less a perfect day. Worked on War in the Tarragon Woods (working title for the new book in the Tarragon Island series), built a section of fence, ate a lovely dinner I didn't have to cook (how wonderful is it to have a 16 year-old who loves to cook??), and then, this evening, went for a delightful trail ride along a quiet country road here in paradise (well, the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island, which, in the summer, is about as close to paradise as one can get...)

Alas, even as I continue to work on War, I'm also busy with several other projects. Finally, finally managed to write a reasonable version of the Tante Margarita story and have sent it off for consideration to Annick. Speaking of Annick, saw the rough sketches and mock-up of Grandparents Day - very cool! The illustrator is Benoit Laverdiere (with a couple of accents I'm not sure how to add in this text editor...) When I checked out his webiste my jaw dropped as I could not believe the editor would have chosen this illustration style to go with what I thought was a fairly realistic story. However, now that I've seen what Benoit has come up with, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! The book's release has been pushed back to Fall, 2004, but the advance copies should be ready by next April... Cool!!

Will post more over the next couple of days about other projects in the works... Needless to say, keeping very busy!

p.s. The copies of Battle for Carnillo arrived the day before I left for Los Angeles!!! Whew! I can tell you, I was sweating bullets as one of the main reasons I was going to Book Expo America was to launch Carnillo - would have been a wee bit difficult without any books! The book looks terrific- I love the addition of the drawings. Now, all I have to do is figure out exactly what's going to happen in Book III!