Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 In Review

 Happy New Year everyone! 2021 was one of those strange years that was both slow and fast. Well, I'm ready to see what 2022 will bring. On the personal side it was eventful with Shawn and I navigating parenthood in the second wave of the pandemic and getting engaged in October. My day gig had me commuting to downtown Chicago on the train every day for 3 months. That meant at least 2 hours of commute time. I decided to make that my writing time, which ended up working well, as anyone with a 15th month old knows, it's hard to steal quiet time.

Here are my stats:

  • 2 articles published in 2021 in Cricket Media's Muse Magazine (One was a feature!)
  • Joined Storyteller Academy (Totally worth the monthly subscription, especially if you're someone who can't travel to in-person workshops. They do remote learning both live and recorded they also set you up with a critique group.)
  • Joined a wonderful critique group
  • Joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 
  • 16 article pitches submitted for various children's magazines for 2022
  • Workshopped my completed middle grade mystery/ fantasy and currently querying it.
  • Completed and workshopped first chap book. 
  • Did my first Inktober
  • Did my second Nanowrimo
  • Got first full request from an agent. (Waiting to hear back post holidays. Even if I don't get signed, I see this as step in the right direction. So far, I've queried this book to six agents. I've gotten 4 polite declines, 1 no response and 1 full request. The query journey is interesting.)

My 2022 Goals:

  • Complete my first upper middle grade fantasy 
  • Finalize the video for the comedic short film I wrote and directed with my crew a few years ago.
  • Get our short film into some festivals.
  • Finish the quirky romcom script I've been brewing on for a few years.
  • Get an agent.
  • Plan our fun fabulous getaway wedding for October with my love.


Falling Out of 2021

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


My favorite middle grade heroine said it best, and I really do love October. Maybe it's because I'm a fall baby, or maybe it's because Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. The tenth month of 2021 proved to be very eventful for my little family. The really big news is that my long-time fella, Shawn, proposed. 

On the publishing front my first feature article for Cricket Media's Muse Magazine dropped this month! I'm really stoked about this as I grew up reading many of Cricket's magazine and love that they remain to be an ad-free space for kids. You can purchase this edition, or get an annual subscription here

This year I tried Inktober for the first time and really enjoyed it. It took a while for me to get my sketching muscles back. I loved drawing as a kid. I drew before I wrote. I was the kid who’s mom had to teach her to write early because she was tired of dictating all the toddler stories I told her so she could keep up with the illustrations I sped through. I was the kid that got every art award at all the schools I went to until I graduated 8th grade. Art was easy for me, it came naturally and then for some reason I can’t really figure out, I put my art aside. Coming back to it over a quarter century later is humbling. I’m so out of practice. My sketch skills aren’t close to what they were, but that’s what I like about Inktober. The stakes are low and it’s all about creating a drawing practice. I’ve gotten better at sticking to my writing practice now I’m getting this pursuit started. I’d love to eventually illustrate my #ChapBook. This has been such a great way to start a real drawing practice. Next I’m gearing up for #NanNoWriMo project which starts Monday.






Friday, October 1, 2021

Slam-Packed Summer


Anyone else feel like summer just slipped through their fingers? 

(Story Time with Ms. Nora and all the kids.)

I spent mine running workshops with some of my favorite volunteers, moonlighting at Story Time and joining my first critique group with the Storyteller Academy Crew. 

The cherry on top was opening my package from Cricket Media and poring over my copies of Muse Magazine


Thrilled to see how my article “A Conversation with Ranger Kip” turned out and to see Mr. Baby Konrad and his daddy make a cameo in it. You can order your very own copy here
Ranger Kip Walton of the Indiana Dunes National Park is an amazing educator and advocate. Any kiddos in your life that dig mysteries and science will enjoy my interview with him where we explore the historic Bailey Cemetery. 
 Feeling all the fall feels on this first day of October. Pushing myself to try my first Inktober and gearing up for NaNoWriMo. I have The Secret of the Ghost Ship’s Compass out in the query-verse, so I’m trying to keep myself busy while my book baby finds its right home. 

My main focus is finishing up my first Chap Book. 

Hint if you like fish out of water stories laced with STEM opportunities, or chickens, this will be the story for you! Here are some pictures from the research trip we took to the Lake County Fair for it.

Stay tuned for how those go in my Autumn post and look for my next article in Muse coming out this month! It’s all about the science behind goosebumps. You can preorder it here.

2021 In Review

 Happy New Year everyone! 2021 was one of those strange years that was both slow and fast. Well, I'm ready to see what 2022 will bring. ...