Sometimes magic is found in the most unlikely places. For me a dash of that magic was found sprinkled throughout 2020. While 2020 was a bit of a challenge to many, including myself (face masks and being deaf don’t go well together). I’m happy to say it has also felt like I’ve been working with a bit of magic as well. It has truly been memorable and I’m grateful for the growth I’ve experienced. I was the recipient of the 2020 SCBWI IPOC Scholarship that allowed me to attend my first full SCBWI conference in which I also received feedback on my MG Historical Fantasy novel from a Literary Agent. I, of course, was thrilled with the constructive feedback.
I also applied for a mentorship with Las Musas and ended up being matched with author Jennifer Torres! This mentorship has been so valuable. I’ve been inspired throughout and the mentorship isn’t even finished yet. I’ve been able to focus and push forward with my novel in ways I never expected. It’s extraordinary how an outside perspective can be helpful. Writing can be a lonely profession but the kidlit community is so kind, helpful, and generous that you can’t help but be ecstatic to be a part of it, and I hope to pay it forward some day.
Lots of great things happened in 2020 for me. On top of purchasing a beautiful home in NC I also discovered the ending to my novel, and I’m still getting it down on paper. It is wonderful how it’s come together. If it hadn’t been for my years in FL, and my local critique group there, who encouraged me to write MG I never would have ventured down that path. I would still be writing only picture books. To top off the year, I was able to apply for the WNDB Walter Grant and am still hoping I have a chance at it since I’ve not received a response turning me down. One can hope. Now, life in 2020 hasn’t all been roses and I’ve actually experience a lot of physical pain this year, but my point, my friends is that I’ve chosen to focus on the good, the positive, the things that brought me joy and it made 2020 magical. I’ve felt like someone from above is sprinkling pixie dust on me and all I needed to do to let my talents soar was to think happy thoughts, so I did. What were some magical experiences from your 2020 year?
The year was so busy I felt like a bumbling bee bumping into everything but the flowers I intended to encounter. It was long and much of it went by in a blur but not without some good lessons. I moved from NC to The FL Space Coast which was rough. I walked the beach a lot, almost every day after our move to FL because it is one of my anchors in times of lots of change. It truly calms me. After adjusting from the move I found this amazing writing critique group and we meet each week. I’ve learned so much from them. I found a job as a media assistant and love it! That put me in overdrive, but I’m still loving it because I’m curious beyond infinity (yes, I know realistically that doesn’t make sense but it’s fun saying it). I learned I shouldn’t let anyone dull my sparkle, and how to pace myself in my writing. With that said, my word for 2019 is PAUSE. I will:
Pause to enjoy the things I love, curious things, and mi familia.
Pause when I make mistakes to ponder on what I learned and to plan for improvement
Pause when I’m being my worst critique so that I have time to make a U-turn and switch to positivity and constructive things instead.
Pause when I’m not brimful of happiness, or balance so I can regain my wits and fill my lamp with light and love to edify others.
So with that, I leave you a token from one of my many beach adventures:
I was told I can enter a photo for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Illustrator Contest with the illustration prompt “discovery.” I love that she has added this fun contest for illustrators, very exciting stuff! Well, since I had a crazy amount of fun painting this piece I wanted to post it here for those of you who are not on other social media and may not see it. If you click on the image it enlarges it. 🙂
The first watercolor is “Little Red Riding Scarf”. I’m finding I like working on coldpress paper.
The second is from a prompt “discover” for Susanna Leonard Hill’s challenge but I will also be using it as my SCBWI “adventure” prompt. Unless I decide to use “Little Red Riding Scarf” for that instead. The next time I paint it I’ll be taking out the two smaller balloons because I feel they clutter the area surrounding the bird a bit much. I’m still working on giving the scene some depth with shadow under the highway.
I’m really enjoying working on both of these. I’ll post again when they are finished (aiming for June 2oth or prior to that). Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments as to which I should use in each prompt. 🙂 Adios for now.
A pen in never land (noun): a children's book author and aficionado of sorts who is dutifully dedicated to zany wit, splendidly ticklish words, whimsical over-the-top fun, imagination, downright wonderful kidlit, and exceptional illustrations and art.Come along--"second star (I should probably say book) to the right and straight on til' morning," but don't be surprised if you never grow up!