Losing and Finding your Muse

My how time flies! Apparently, while I was snoozing à la Rip Van Winkle, four years have passed me by. That’s an eternity in the world of writing – or almost any other field these days. I don’t really know why I stopped reviewing and writing but I definitely lost my desire for quite some time.

What made me dust off my old blog? I can’t be quite sure but the creative rumblings have been stirring from somewhere deep within as of late. I have realized a couple of things during my hiatus: I am not interested in promotion – that’s a tough thing if you want to be a commercially successful writer. I’ve come to terms with it though, and realize I must be happy even if my creations reach an audience of only one. My interests have changed somewhat, so I am expanding my vision as a writer. I love children’s literature but I have a hankering to try my hand at stuff for grownups.

So, where will tomorrow take me? I’m not sure but I’ll do my best to keep you posted.

Why I Write – Thanks Baranoff Elementary Students!

Yesterday I had a school visit to the Buffaloes at Baranoff Elementary School in  Texas.  I had a great time sharing about story elements and talking some about my book, Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate. We even got a little Cajun storytelling in before the end. I’ve been out of the library and classroom for almost two years now and I will confess I miss that daily interaction with the students – although I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day.

Thanks to Book People for setting up the visit and for Madeline Smoot’s service as chauffeur and escort extraordinare! And special thanks to Baranoff’s librarian, Susan Jetton and her wonderful parent volunteers for inviting us and providing such great hospitality – lunch was yummy!

But most of all, thank you to the students at Baranoff. Your energy and enthusiasm reminded me why I write – to share stories with children. This author is grateful for the opportunity to share mine with all of you.

Taking the Plunge

As a young child, I looked forward to the last day of my swimming lessons each year with a mixture of dread and fascination. Our community pool had a high-diving board, approximately 10 meters. Today it is rare to find a board so high at the local swimming pool, but liability issues weren’t such a consideration back then. The final day of lessons brought the opportunity for each child to jump from the high dive. I relished the prospect, in spite of my fears. On the last day of the session, I would carefully climb the ladder and inch toward the end of the board. Looking down 30 feet into the crystal water usually sent my heart into palpitations – but the lifeguards had a rule – if you decided to climb the ladder, the only way down was by jumping. I didn’t understand how patient the instructors were, treading water in the deep end and coaxing me to jump, until I became a lifeguard as a teenager and joined the annual ritual from their perspective.

And so, I’ve been taking my author lessons for awhile now, writing, selling manuscripts, and watching my first novel become a real, live book out there in the world.  But blogging has been my high dive. I’ve inched closer and closer by guest blogging with my author groups, commenting here and there on other blogs, and generally coaxing myself toward the precipice. I’ve been standing here for awhile, toes curled around the edge of the board, and it’s about time I close my eyes and jump.

Here I go – wheee!