Sunday, October 7, 2018

In the Middle of a National Forest

I am excited to report that my husband and I purchased property in the middle of a National Forest for our retirement home.

I really wanted acreage and my husband wanted a decent lake.

We searched for years and finally found a place that we agreed on. It doesn’t have its own acreage, but it is amidst hundreds of acres of National Forest. Our land is also on a 250-acre lake with only twenty or so property owners.

It's quite remote, but it's ten miles from town. That suits us fine.

Owning this little plot of heaven will be a great inspiration for writing.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Strange Bird Indeed

Something I read in a writer's magazine clued me into the memoir Odd Birds by Ian Harding. Being that I'm a bird watcher, the book piqued my interest since it was about how an actor got into birding.

I don't watch much TV, so I didn't know the actor. I discovered he starred in the series Pretty Little Liars.

His book held my attention by showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes of a Hollywood production with enough bird-related information to keep me engaged.

Interestingly, I was more enlightened about how things worked in Hollywood than I was by the bird content, but it was an easy read worth checking out.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bluebirds of Paradise

Every year I look forward to seeing the return of the Eastern Bluebirds in our yard at our lake place.

This year was no exception. The last time I was at the lake, the pair showed up. Even though bluebirds usually arrive in March in Minnesota, the ones up north don't get there until the end of May.

After hanging out a couple hours in the yard, there was a slight mishap that made them not want to stay to nest. This was the presence of a neighborhood Blue Jay whose territory overlapped. The Blue Jay liked to use the bird box as a perch while looking for insects.

The unfortunate thing is that jays will also eat bird eggs and chicks. This was too much of a risk for the bluebirds, so by the end of the day they moved on.

I was disappointed and had to enjoy the Blue Jays as a consolation. It is hard not to judge the jays as cruel, but this is putting human traits on birds and that is unfair.

I just hope next year the jays nest somewhere else, so my bluebirds can return and enjoy a hassle-free yard for nesting.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Little Bit to Motivate

For a long time I've been stuck in the rut of just revising my middle grade novel. Recently, though, I have run into a few opportunities that have motivated me to submit to some publishers that aren't usually open to unsolicited manuscripts.

In last month's Children's Book Insider newsletter there was a call for non-fiction manuscripts for photo stories at a local publisher. I jumped at the chance and pulled together a story and sent photos. It felt good to get out there again, though I'm not holding my breath.

In this month's Children's Book Insider there is another opportunity to submit a story that incorporates math. I just happen to have a manuscript I wrote a while back that I felt fit that niche. I brushed the dust off, tightened it up and sent it off.

I truly feel I've accomplished a few things to feel good about.

Children's Book Insider has really offered more reasons to submit lately and I like that!

Monday, April 16, 2018


Okay, I admit it when it comes to my lack of multitasking in writing, I feel I have an excuse for not keeping my blog current. I spent the last year editing a middle grade novel and reading much children’s literature, so I have neglected my blog.

No one wants to hear excuses, but it is what it is.

I will try to do better. Though I just watched a 24-part series on getting your book published by a former publisher at Writer’s Digest and she said that pre-published fiction writers don’t necessarily need a blog until they are published.

This bit of advice has been contradicted often. Though her comment made me feel a little better about my blogging absence.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Novel Reading Marathon into the New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!

I spent my Christmas vacation reading three novels and two books about living in the north woods.

Two of the novels were children's novels and one was a romance by James Patterson. The children's novel, "How to Steal a Dog" by Barbara O'Connor and Patterson's novel, "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas," were captivating.

The second children's novel was by Kate DiCamillo and even though I like most of her stories, her "Raymie Nightingale" didn't do anything for me. The plot seemed flat.

I'm obsessed with reading stories about living in the woods in Northern Minnesota because I dream of living there when I retire. My husband is less than two years from retirement, but I still have seven years to go and yes, I guess I am counting.

I'm already in search of property up north, but it not progressing fast enough. In reality we only have three years to find the perfect property because most people don't sell in the winter.

I think I will join a new critique group for my 2017 New Years Resolution. Hope 2017 will be propserous for everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Revise, Revise, Revise

I am revising my middle grade novel. It gets tedious sometimes and makes you ask yourself if it is all worth it.

Then I see someone else's success story and get excited again. That makes me want to delve back into the process.

I have to admit between the lulls, I have scribbled down a picture book. This also keeps me from going crazy.

Happy writing!