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.
Charlie at six months
In the months we’ve had Charlie he has filled my heart on a continuous basis. A few examples of ways he spreads joy:
Watching him run and romp with his canine friends – full of joy and endless energy.
Complete strangers turn to jello in his presence. Just the other day, a man stopped to meet Charlie and his last words to him: “I love you and I’ll never forget you!”
The way he wants to be close, usually with a paw on me, wherever I am. He’s definitely attached.
Charlie’s a great hiking partner and gives me a good reason to explore and enjoy nature on a daily basis.
Charlie has worked hard on his training. He’s good at sit and down, getting better at come and still working on stay. Yes, there are lots of treats involved.
He’s adorable and watching him grow, learn, and explore is a never ending source of amusement.
the color of both strength and relaxation
Symbolizing life, renewal, energy, growth
healing powers creating hopefulness and optimism
balancing the sun and ocean
the center of the rainbow
Sorry, Kermit but it is easy to be green.
Green is also my dear friend Sophia’s favorite color. This post is written for her with all the love in my heart sending her positive healing energy on the eve of her surgery. I can’t be with her, so as a writer and a photographer, I’ve created this message with positive energy across the miles.
I am a cheer leader
here to celebrate your victories
creating the party.
I am a cheer leader
here with gentle support
when the world offers only icy stares
creating a warm soft place to land.
I am a cheer leader
creating space for you to be your best.
I am a cheer leader
knowing that positive energy
multiplies in the universe; hopefully
creating a better world.
I was inspired to write this poem by a few different conversations recently about how we are not in competition with each other and the need for more kindness in the world. The photo was taken from my balcony after a hailstorm yesterday afternoon.
I don’t typically write about my own writing in my blog so indulge me, if you will.
Today a friend who is a very accomplished author with wonderful habits and rituals came for a writing date. She explained how she infuses fun in her daily life and writing process. We visited for a while and she met my new puppy, Charlie. 💗🐶💓
Then we agreed to silent, dedicated writing time sitting side-by-side. We’ve talked about how writing alone shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes the focus isn’t there.
It was a lovely morning for so many reasons. I wrote the final draft of the back matter for a picture book and revised another book based on feedback I received over the weekend. Thinking about the ritual of writing and what makes it both gratifying and successful is now something I will consider as I write. I know this will impact my productivity and my enjoyment.