Celebrating 2015

For the past several years (2012, 2013, 2014), I have kept track of the accomplishments for the year. Last year I kept a monthly celebration page, which I called my “Book of Stars” (I originally posted about that here). This year was particularly challenging for me, which I wrote about yesterday, so I’m particularly excited to look back on all I did accomplish. I didn’t meet every goal, but I know I’m a better writer on December 31, 2015 than I was on January 1, 2015, so that is something that I can be excited about.

Personally

Bookish Things

  • 1st book published—Ancient China (ABDO, 2015)

ABDO Cover

  • As a result of that, I got to sign my first books, see my book in a public library, and speak at a literacy conference.

2015-04-23 15.29.24

  • Mentor Text E-book published and up for sale on my website

Mentor Texts for Writers Book 1 Cover

Challenges

  • Writing Marathon–February
  • ReFoReMo—March
  • Poem a Day—April, I completed 30 poems alongside Linda. Many thanks to Renee for teaming us up!
  • PiBoIdMo—I was not a winner, but I did work on getting ideas down in November.
  • Write Daily 30—December, I worked on revising a middle grade in 45 minute sessions each day. Thanks to Linda Urban for organizing this!
  • 12×12—All year. I wrote 6 new PBs and did 25+ revisions.

Guest Posts

Reading

  • Read 423 picture books (this does NOT include the books I read for my job at my job, just the ones I read at home for personal writing growth)
  • Read 47 longer works—novels and adult NF

Writing Workshops

  • Luray retreat with Candace Ransom
  • SCBWI MD/DE/WV Conference
  • WOW Conference
  • SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Conference

Book Events I Attended

2015-03-19 20.48.00

  • Kate DiCamillo at Virginia Festival for the Book
  • Cece Bell (at Hollins)
  • Maggie Steifvater (at Hollins)
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Politics and Prose Picture Book Panel
  • National Book Festival—so many authors
  • Margarita Engle
  • Duncan Tunatiuh
  • Natalie Lorenzi

Middle Grade Novel Writing

  • Revision in progress since November

Other Writing

  • Got back into the submission game again after a hiatus
  • Received several helpful critiques from agents and editors at various events

Keeping track of the things I DID accomplish definitely does make me pumped to do more writing. So here’s to 2016!

What are you most proud of from 2015?

 

How to Survive a Move with Your Creativity Intact

It’s no secret that we moved this year. I’ve moved a lot in my life, having grown up in Thailand and Malaysia, and moving multiple times in my adult life. But this one was different. This time I said good bye to a place I’d lived in longer than any place else in my life. And this time I had kids.

Before the move, I had a great writing routine.

Then we put our house on the market, and I started job hunting. We sold our house, and moved into my parents’ condo. Then we had to find a new house and I had to make decisions about my new job. I had a summer full of temporariness. We moved into our new house, but I still had commitments for the summer to keep, so we were back and forth across the state all summer.

I’m now a few months on the other side of the move, several months into my new job, my kids are settled, and I am back in a good writing routine.

Looking back on the transition makes me absolutely exhausted.

One of my biggest fears was not being able to hang onto my creative life in the midst of it all. I definitely don’t think I excelled at it, but there were some things that keep me afloat during a stressful time.

Postpone Goals

I had big plans to revise a novel in March-May of 2015. That was right in the thick of my house selling, me getting job offers and having to make decisions, and us buying a house.

For me, I have to be in a book, really in it, almost every single day when I’m drafting and revising a novel-length project. I just know that’s how I work best. Otherwise, I spend a lot of time trying to remember where I last left off.

When all of the major decisions hit at once, I abandoned that novel-revising goal, and I told my writing friends I abandoned it. You know what happened? They wholeheartedly supported my decision and they helped validate that decision. They helped me give myself permission to take a break from it.

I picked it back up in November and December of 2015. And that time away was actually so helpful. I ended up cutting characters, cutting chapters, rewriting big chunks of it. I’m still working on it, but I am sure that it’s a better revision that I could’ve done in the spring.

Morning Pages

I realized during all of those times I was trying to separate one decision from the other one, I needed to write. I process things both verbally and through writing them down. So, as my husband and I talked over our choices, I also wrote down pros and cons and my feelings, those intangible things that still played into my decisions.

Once we moved, I had a thousand things on my mind. I had my to-do lists and I also had my emotions, and my children’s emotions, and the emotions of reuniting our family after living apart for nine months.

Moving takes up a lot of headspace. I wasn’t coming up with the most stellar writing at this time and I was having trouble focusing on the writing at hand because I had all of this junk in my mind. I also had new job stress and the kids’ new situation stress.

I brought the morning pages back out. There were some mornings that all I could do was morning pages. But it was okay because it helped me free up some of that creative energy.

Eventually, I was able to do more than just morning pages.

Stay Organized

My life was upside down for many months—basically from February-August. I used a bullet journal to help keep all of my to-do lists organized. It helped me keep all of my writing goals and my life transition mess organized. For more information on how I do bullet journaling, read this.

Small Victories Matter

Last year I wrote about my Book of Stars. This year, I incorporated it into my bullet journal.

Bullet Journal: Book of Stars page

Bullet Journal: Book of Stars page

When August rolled around, and I was feeling pretty depressed about all of the goals that had derailed, I flipped through my “book of stars” pages for each month. When I saw the books that I had read and book that was published and the speech that I delivered and so much more, I began to get out of my funk.

No, I didn’t accomplish all of my goals in 2015, but dang it, I did a lot!

Revise Your Goals

For me, I had to pare things down to what was really, really important. My day job hours changed, my commute increased, and I wanted to make sure that our family time was intact. That meant, I had to be strict about my writing hours and really keep them to the morning only.

That meant, some things had to give. I blogged less. I tried not to be scattered in a million different directions. I tried to be focused on what I really, really wanted to do.

Embrace Setbacks

As you’ll see in my post tomorrow, I’m excited about all that DID accomplish. I did way more than I gave myself credit for. However, one of my big, disappointing setbacks was not being able to draft a new novel.

However, I am embracing it. I realize that this got put on the back burner NOT because of procrastination, but because I made a conscious decision to hold onto my sanity and put that goal off for a few more months.

It’s on my list for 2016. Am I disappointed? Yes. Do I regret it? No.

I’m a type A, driven person. Sometimes it’s harder for me to say NO to myself than to push myself.

So, I think this setback was, in fact, a victory. I learned to recognize when I’d taken on too much and that I needed to re-evaluate.

tables

Trust me, the move wasn’t perfect. The transition to my new schedule required some adjusting. But I’m happy to say I found my way back to my writing.

What life transitions have derailed your writing? How did YOU find your way back?

Making Time to Write in 2015

I’m over at the GROG today talking about ways you can make time to write in 2015. Click here for the full article.

Best of 2014: Most Popular Posts

Looking back over 2014, I wanted to take note of my most popular posts on my blog. It helps me see what posts are most helpful to my readers. The shocking thing for me was that all of the most frequently read pages of 2014 were actually posts I wrote and posted in 2013!

That’s good because it means that much of my content is evergreen. And it also helps me to see what types of posts they are. Six out of ten were mentor texts posts aimed at teachers. The other four posts were posts on organizing your writing life.

1. Top 10 Picture Books for Word Choice

This has consistently been my most popular post for 2 years. I decided to create it into a printable PDF. You can access it two ways: 1) by signing up for my writing teachers’ newsletter (in the top right hand corner of my website) and 2) by getting it for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

2. What To Do About To-Do Lists

3. Personal Narrative Mentor Texts

4. Mentor Text Lesson Plan on Onomatopoeia

5. Over and Under the Snow Mentor Text Lesson Plan

6. Keeping Track of Submissions

7. Quarterly Goals Template

8. Mentor Text Spreadsheet: Picture Book Month in Review

9. Mentor Text Tip Tuesday: Scavenge the Books

10. Goal Setting Re-Vamped

What Do You Need?

I think these posts became the most popular because people googled for these exact needs–organization in their writing life OR mentor texts lessons.

I would like to create more evergreen posts in 2015. What do you need? If you are a teacher, what mentor text lists or tips do you need?

If you are a writer, what kinds of organization help do you need? I am also very passionate about helping writers make time to write. What do you need help with?

Comment below OR e-mail me with your specific need and I’ll try to create a post about it, if I can.

Looking Ahead: Mapping Out 2015

I know we are smack in the middle of two holidays. I’m in the middle of a break from work. But this is the time of the year when I start to get antsy about what’s going to happen in the next year. I start to make my goals and really outline how I’m going to accomplish them. Last year, I shared two new sheets (quarterly goals sheet and monthly focus sheet) I created to help with my goal implementation in 2014. While I liked the focus for the month page and not planning too far ahead by creating quarterly goals, this year I’m modifying things a little.

Look Back to Make Changes

First, I reflected back at 2014. I was able to accomplish a lot, but I spent a TON of time taking classes (both for my library certification and in writing for self-growth). I don’t think I’ll ever be done taking classes, but in 2015 I want to take the time to implement that which I have learned in my MFA, in workshops, and in online classes I’ve taken. This year my craft focus will be lighter on taking online classes and more on utilizing craft books and notes from classes already taken.

Make a Dream List

I know this post is about goals, but when I looked at what I would like my year to look like, as a writer, I started listing all of the things I would like to accomplish this year. It’s a big list.

Then I organized my list by topic. Everyone’s topics will be different. But mine were:

  • Picture Books
  • Chapter Books
  • Middle Grade Novel
  • Educational Writing
  • Business

Share Your Goals

I think it’s really important to share your goals with a few close writer friends. I’m not sharing them on here because many of them involve specific book subjects and titles that I’m not ready to share publicly yet. But I do think it’s a good idea to share them with some writers that you trust. You can encourage one another toward those goals in that way.

Block Off Your Calendar

You can use a pre-printed calendar or just a blank calendar printed from Microsoft Word. I went ahead and marked off the times I knew would affect my writing.

For example, in July I will be attending a week-long writing retreat in Georgia, then I’ll be teaching two weeks at Hollinsummer. I’m not saying I’m not going to be writing then. I probably will be. However, I will NOT be trying to restructure a whole novel during the month of July. That would be setting myself up for failure.

In February, I will be doing the Writing Marathon with my students, just like I did last year. I wrote with them and got a big project outlined and started writing sample chapters during that month. So, knowing that the marathon is coming up, I went ahead and planned out what I’d be working on for that extra writing time in February 2015.

Map Out Your Goals

Then I started plugging in the major projects I want to accomplish in 2015 and mapping them out. For instance, I actually have two middle grade novels I want to revise in 2015. Can I do that? Of course, I can—with proper planning. I have to be realistic about how long it will take and map out specific tasks to get those revisions done. I’m blocking off time to plan for the revisions and time to actually revise each chapter–all mapped out on the calendar.

Minimize Distractions

I have an issue with time wasting–especially on the Internet. This year, I’m trying something new. I’m not sure if it will work for everything I need, but so far, I like it. I’m trying the new Google Chrome extension Dayboard. You can plug in the 5 most important tasks of your day. Whenever you open a new browser, the tasks come up first–before anything else. It’s a good reminder of what you really need to be doing.

Right now, I’m using it to plan my next day. But it doesn’t go out any farther than “tomorrow.”

Evaluate Your Season

Each year I feel like I need to evaluate my season in life. What will my schedule look like? I always have a set time that I write each morning for an hour that doesn’t get affected by job or kids (usually). But there are pockets of other time that I can use. But I have to be intentional about them.

For example, my daughter has violin lessons and both kids have karate each week. During those times, I’m able to get a ton of stuff done. The key is planning for that time. I have a hard time writing fresh during that time (I do that in the morning). But I’m writing in the violin schedules and karate schedules on my calendar for January-May. I’m am planning how I will use that time at least a month in advance.

That 45-minute violin time is an excellent time to brainstorm and draft blog posts or articles. The two-hour karate time gives me time to research nonfiction picture books that I want to write.

This year will mean big changes for our family. I think they will positive changes, but they will affect my schedule. For this reason, I’m only planning for the first half of 2015 right now. But I also want to be intentional about not overusing my weekends for writing. I just can’t do that right now. I am blocking off one weekend a month to do extra writing, but that’s planned in advance.

What If I Get Derailed?

There’s a good chance something will come along to derail my carefully laid out plans. In the past, some of those derailments have been excellent for me. If they come along again in 2015, I’ll probably shuffle my schedule to accommodate them. I’m writing my plans on my calendar in pencil for a reason.

I anticipate change.

I anticipate that I’ll need to move things around. Something will take longer than expected.

But without a roadmap, I might be wandering aimlessly.

What About You?

What are your goals for 2015? Are you planning for success? Share how you map out your goals for the year.

Looking Back at 2014

For the last two years (2012 and 2013), I’ve done a post at the end of the year to celebrate what I’ve actually accomplished. I think I always get weary in December and wonder: “Did I get anything done?” While I knew the answer was “Yes.” I did have to prove it to myself.

Last year, I started a Book of Stars to record the little things that happened that were good. I taped in the nice things editors said, the the nice things other writers said. Writing can be a discouraging job. When I opened up my book to look back over 2014, it lifted my spirits.

Book of Stars

Published Works

* Educational book coming out in early 2015. This book pushed me to research and write fast and took over my life for a few months.

* Opened up Teachers Pay Teachers store

* Opened up my Books Page

* Wrote “Top 10 Books for Word Choice” and put it up as a freebie for signing up for my newsletter

* Mentor Text “E-Books” on sale at TpT and on my books page

* Wrote Educator’s Guide for Laura Purdie Salas’ Riddle-Ku Book

Articles

* “A Postcard and a Dream” appeared in Hollins magazine

* “Fran Cannon Slayton: Balance in the Writing Life” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* “Teacher’s Pet: How to Get Your Book in the Hands of Teachers” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* “Writing Picture Books with Kim Norman” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* Freelance work for Interactive Achievement

Guest Posts

* “Overwhelmed? Overworked? Overcommitted? How to Keep Focus in 2014” DIYMFA 1/9/14

* Kidsarewriters coach

Challenges

* 12×12 participant with new manuscripts and a ton of revised ones

* PiBoIdMo—came up with 35 ideas

Classes Taken

(Note: If you love a writer, all of these classes would make excellent gifts)

* Making Picture Book Magic with Susanna Leonard Hill

* Lyrical Language Lab with Renee LaTulippe

* Julie Hedlund’s How to Make Money as a Writer

* Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Plotting Picture Books from A to Z

Workshops Attended

* Candice Ransom’s retreat in Luray on revision

* WOW Retreat

* Picture Book Workshop with Lola Schaefer and Rebecca Kai Doltich

* SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Conference

Workshops Organized through SCBWI and Glenvar Library

* Fran Cannon Slayton

* Kim Norman

Workshops Taught

* Mentor Texts for Writers Webinar for WOW

* Mentor Texts for Writers workshop for NoVA writers

* Mentor texts for the classroom at local division level professional development and VSRA

Business

* Got an agent! I’m now working with Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary

Teaching

* Taught a writing camp for high school girls at Hollins in summer 2015

* Received Teacher of the Year at my school

Library

* Started and finished my library media endorsement at UVA and UVA Wise

Whew! Looking back at the makes me tired. But it is also testament to how much you can accomplish by setting aside a little bit of time for your writing each day. I still teach full-time and have two young kids. Most of the writing was done between 5-6 am daily.

As I think about what I want to accomplish in 2015, I look at the big picture and big goals. But I also want to focus on: What is the next step I can take to further my career. It might be as simple as revising one chapter. Each small step adds up to bigger ones.

PiBoIdMo Prep 2014: Mining for Ideas

Come November, I’m usually physically and emotionally spent. I’m exhausted from the first few months of school and anticipating the exhaustion of the holidays.

But a challenge comes along every November that I just can’t pass up.

piboidmo2014banner

PiBoIdMo. Picture Book Idea Month, started by the amazing Tara Lazar. I’ve written about my experiences with PiBoIdMo in 2012 and 2013.

I should have declared 2014 the “Year of the Picture Book” because when I reflect on all of the writing classes and conferences I’ve attended, they’ve leaned heavily toward picture books. As PiBoIdMo creeps closer on the calendar, I realize, I’m armed and ready.

I take copious notes at conferences. Not only do I write down the key points the speaker is making, but I also jot notes to myself while they are talking. Reflections of how I could use this point in my own writing. What WIPs (works-in-progress) does this apply to? Or what new ideas does this conjure up?

For PiBoIdMo 2014, I’m planning to mine my notes. Usually I spend my year mining my PiBoIdMo journal when I’m looking to write a new picture book draft.

2013 PiBoIdMo Journal

2013 PiBoIdMo Journal

But this year, I’m going to do a bit of a reverso.

This year, I’m going to mine my other journals and notes from conferences to come up with my PiBoIdMo ideas.

I once heard Candice Ransom talk about how she keeps a journal, but also spends time going back through the journals to mine them for ideas. It’s hard to utilize all of those gems you captured in a journal in your writing, if you don’t go back and dig through them.

One of the journals I'll be mining for ideas for PiBoIdMo 2014

One of the journals I’ll be mining for ideas for PiBoIdMo 2014

This year, instead of trying to pluck ideas from the clear blue sky (though I would be happy if they did coming falling down), I plan to mine them out. I know I have ideas sitting there, ready to be grabbed. I just need to dig deep and pull them to the surface.

I’m gathering…

1) journals from the last year (yes, plural, I have them in my car, my purse, by my bed, and on my desk)

2) notes from Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class

3) notes from Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab class

4) notes from the WOW conference (I took particularly copious notes in Lisa Wheeler, Stacy McAnulty, Miranda Paul, and Jodell Sadler’s sessions)

5) notes from the Picture book workshop I took with Lola Schaefer and Rebecca Kai Dotlich

6) notes from Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Picture Book Plotting class

As I look through all of my notes, I will get to revisit those “in the moment” ideas I wrote down. These ideas will go down in my PiBoIdMo journal for 2014. And I’m sure that I’ll be mining that journal all of 2015 when I write my picture book drafts.

This year's PiBoIdMo Journal

This year’s PiBoIdMo Journal

 

How are you prepping for PiBoIdMo this year?

Learning Never Stops

My brother teases me that I’m a perpetual student. I never seem to quit going to school. It’s true. I have a MFA, MA, and soon an endorsement in Library Media to prove that this statement is true. But I think the more I learn the more I realize I have so much left to learn.

At the beginning of 2014, I made a promise to myself that every month I’d be busy learning something, reading something, and writing something.

Some of the things that have impacted me the most in 2014 include the following:

Making Picture Book Magic with Susanna Leonard Hill

I’ve been in several graduate picture book writing classes, so I wasn’t sure if I would learn anything new, but I did. Not so much new things about picture books, but a new process. Susanna broke down the process in a way I’d never done before.  And sometimes, when you approach things in a new way, it helps you write things in a whole new way.

I’d recommend this to newbies and advanced pre-published picture book writers. In fact, I’ve been recommending picture book writer friends to give this class to themselves as a gift. It makes a great birthday present or Christmas present for a writer. It’s far cheaper  than graduate school and it comes right to your inbox. Even better.

I was able to write a picture book in this class that has a lot of promise.

Lyrical Language Lab with Renee LaTulippe 

I’ve never really written picture books in rhyme. I do enjoy writing poetry, but I was struggling with really understanding the ins and outs of rhyme. This online class was a gift. I learned a LOT about poetry and Renee is a girl after my own heart. She made these reference charts that made so much sense to my brain. Plus her feedback was so fabulous and detailed. Lyrical writing is a strength of my prose, but this helped me make it even better.

If you want to challenge yourself to dip your toes into the world of rhyme, or if you just want to use language more effectively,  then go for this class.

I was able to write a picture book in this class that is totally in rhyme. I also composed several poems as exercises. The best part? I now have the tools to continue this on my own.

WOW Retreat

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go to the WOW retreat—time wise, money wise, kid-care wise. But somehow, it all came together, like it was supposed to happen. Why was I glad I went? 1) I love small conferences where you actually get to know the attendees and make connections with them 2) I got to chat with agents and editors casually and formally 3) I learned a ton at this conference. Each session was packed full of good information, 4) I got my agent as a result of this conference—need I say more?

Books that Impacted Me

essentialism

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less 

by Greg McKeown

I’ve been too busy. Busier than I’m comfortable with. I think some of it has paid off but I see a need to give myself some more margin in my life and start pursuing where I really want to be in a few years. This book makes it clear that some of the most successful people in life are not the people who say yes to everything. They are the people who cut their lives down to the most important things. I listened to this on audiobook on one of my many solo trips this summer. It’s not just for writers. In fact, it’s probably intended for those in business, but it has great implications for writers. This is a book I will return to again and again because I’ll need to be reminded of what I need to keep in my life and what I need to shed.

wild things

Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature

by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter Sieruta

I have an MA and MFA in children’s literature, and one of the books I wished I’d had during those years was the new book by blogger-extraordinaires, Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and the late Peter Sieruta. I had to take History and Criticism during graduate school, but this book is like history and crit with a bit of scandal mixed in. It’s fun, it’s serious, and these authors know their stuff. If you are a kidlit aficionado, then you need to get this book.

What about You?

What classes or books have impacted you recently? Maybe I will add them to my learning for 2015.

Take a Risk

You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. – Annie Dillard

Summer of 2014 might have been my busiest summer yet. I had a week and a half to breathe—to sleep in past 5:00AM, to not work 12-14 hours a day, and to really reflect on all that I’ve experienced.

I’ve been writing religiously every morning, working on project after project, and feeling like I wasn’t making much headway. My mom planned to be here for the summer (from Thailand, where she usually lives) and I knew I had an opportunity to attend the week-long WOW conference in Georgia, organized by Kristen Fulton. Childcare, one of my biggest obstacles in being gone for a week, was taken care of. I took a risk. Hesitant about leaving my kids for a week, I had misgivings. I’d be sharing dorm space with strangers. Would the money and the time given up be worth it?

I took a risk and went.

All of my fears were replaced by friends. Friends that I knew online and finally met in real life. Sharing dorm space wasn’t a problem, it was fun. I felt like I got my money’s worth on day 1 in a day long workshop with Lisa Wheeler. I knew if I learned nothing else that week, I’d already made a good investment in myself as a writer.

Jodell Sadler, literary agent, was in attendance. She came about halfway through the week. I introduced myself. She spoke about picture book pacing. I’d been following her for awhile and really connected with her use of mentor texts, even reaching out before the conference via e-mail as a possible poster on my blog. I hadn’t signed up for a critique with her though.

I took a risk and asked her for a critique.

She willingly worked me in. In my risk, all I’d hoped for was an honest critique. I knew she was an editorial agent, so I wanted to get some feedback on a picture books I’d never sent out before. She really liked it and offered to represent me. I wanted to make sure she really liked more than one thing, so I gave her more work. Which she also liked.

I prepared lots of questions to ask her before accepting her offer. We chatted in person and by phone.

My husband finally said, “Marcie, take a risk.”

It didn’t seem like a risk, but more of a step in the right direction.

Then in August, I had the privilege to attend a picture book workshop with Lola Schaefer and Rebecca Kai Dotlich in Indianapolis. One thing that Lola said stood out to me. She said,

When writing your stories, take a risk.

She encouraged us to try something different and not be afraid to stretch ourselves as writers.

I’m not much of a risk-taker. But sometimes I realize, I have to leap, even when I don’t know the outcome.

In the words of fellow Hollins gal, Annie Dillard, “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

My goal for the remainder of this year is to be braver in my writing life. To take more risks. To not play it safe, but to stretch myself.

The Halfway Mark of 2014: Are You Where You Want to Be?

Halfway There

It’s the end of June. We are officially halfway through 2014. The question is, are you pleased with where you are as a writer this year? Are you working toward your goals? Are you making time to write? If so, keep going and planning out the rest of your year. If not, it’s not too late. Time to get working.

Resources

It’s the end of the month, so I always plan my next month’s focus. Here is the template I use for that task. For me, July is going to be busy with me working and writing. But I still have several writing tasks needing to be accomplished.

We have finished two quarters of the year. Each quarter, I look at my goals again. If you want to plan out your next three months, here is a template that I use.

At the beginning of the year, I created a book where I could write down my accomplishments–big and small. If I get an encouraging rejection letter or a request to revise and rewrite, it goes in the book. Read more about my book here.

Book of Stars

I’m sorry my posts have been missing lately. I was working on a big project with a very tight deadline.

How about you? What are you proud of accomplishing so far this year? What do you want to do in the remainder of 2014?