The picture book community is full of supportive people who help each other in a variety of ways. We are an interconnected web of authors and illustrators who may have never met in person, but truly are friends. The photo above, taken last Friday, has two of the most supportive members of this community. Julie Hedlund who is the force behind 12×12, part of Picture Book Summit, and other great resources.
The reason for our gathering, Vivian Kirkfield was in Colorado reading FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN at Second Star 🌟 to the Right in Denver, for a wonderful story time.
In the KidLit community, Vivian is one of the shining stars ⭐️ who most people know, not because she had three books released this year with more on the way in 2020. It’s because she never passes up the chance to share her wisdom, support another writer, or act as cheerleader to the many people she meets along the way.
Here she is enjoying a game of peek-a-boo with a little one before reading.
After we left the bookstore, some of us were fortunate enough to extend the time by having lunch with Vivian’s son, daughter, and son-in-law. When everyone else had left to do some shopping or go back to work, Vivian and I enjoyed visiting on a bench before it was time to leave for the airport. While we were there, an adorable little girl with both of her parents stopped to tell us something important, “It’s my birthday!” she announced.
Could she sense that we were the perfect audience to share this news with? How did she know there couldn’t have been two people more excited to hear her news and celebrate with her?🎉 🎂We told her we’re both authors of children’s books and Vivian gave her a coloring sheet.
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What’s your definition of a perfect day?
Running and romping with a friend, punctuated by a cool beverage and even a little dip in the water? Maybe a snack? These boxes were all checked yesterday when Charlie and his sweet friend Meadow got together.
There’s a quote “If my dog doesn’t like you, I probably won’t either.”
Clearly this isn’t a problem. 😊 Charlie and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
This is a departure from my normal blogging. I’m participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas so today is when we celebrate successes and I’m sharing mine here.
- My first picture book is under contract and being released 2/19/2019 to coincide with the full moon!
Aliana Reaches for the Moon
- I have participated in 12×12 which is an online group of committed picture book writers at all stages of the journey. I learned a lot from webinars and other members and I participated actively offering critique and feedback.
- I wrote 8 new manuscripts and did considerable revision on all 8 plus a few old ones.
- I worked hard on pitching and getting ready to query.
- I read at least 5 picture books every week as part of my study of craft.
- I read 65 books this year not including picture books. This is an increase from last year’s 50 books.
- Related to above, I joined a newly formed book group in January that read challenging books and actually spends each monthly meeting discussing the book!
- I blogged almost every day; offering a combination of photography, poetry, and short information pieces.
- I’ve received 2 endorsements from STEM experts for my book and reviews are starting to come in and they all look promising.
- I’m working on planning 2019 events to promote my book because my main goal is sharing it with children.
- I got Charlie in April, and if you follow this blog you’ve seen quite a bit of him. He’s wonderful in so many ways and has helped me achieve a few personal goals related to making friends, spending more time outdoors, and more hiking.
If you follow this blog, you know me. I’m Charlie and my favorite things are playing in the snow, chasing my friends, and my mom. But this is a love story so my mom is only the photographer. And the chauffeur to get to the trail. And the one typing this because dogs don’t have thumbs.
This is Meadow. 😍 She’s one of my favorite girlfriends. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t judge, it’s a dog thing and you wouldn’t understand.
Look at that smile!
Be honest, you’d chase her too.
Sometimes she lets me catch her.
We stop for some refreshing “snow cocktails.”
I think she likes me too. 😊
Late October morn
Two pups, one friend, perfect views
happy weekend hike
Friday morning, before the 70 degree weekend melted most of the snow, Charlie and I joined 2 canine and 1 human friend for a snowy hike.
It was a fun challenge with sunny skies and new dog in the mix. Charlie and Laine, the Springer Spaniel, ran and chased their usual dance, tiring each other out. Cleo, who seemed to want no part of their chaos, aligned herself with the humans.
These photos are from a rest stop near the end of our hike. As you can see, Charlie’s puppy energy was still in high gear and Laine isn’t the least bit tired.
Charlie has been sick this week, not that he acted sick or knew he was supposed to be resting …. but yesterday we finally met up with his friend Laine for a hike. This action shot says it all.