The first weekend in April was reserved on my calendar to attend the Marvelous Midwest conference. This large gathering is on by six Midwestern chapters of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I was really looking forward to it. During the early planning of the event, I was co-leading the Wisconsin chapter, and I reached out to many of the planned faculty. As I had already stepped down from that role, I wasn’t privy to any decision-making after Sept 2021. However, we original organizers had hopes for an in-person event.
Alas, it was not to be. It was postponed due to rising COVID-19 cases to a yet-to-be-announced date. In-person events will come again. In truth, many are already happening, but event decisions need to made months in advance, and no one has a functioning crystal ball. Those who made their events in person rolled the dice one way. Others are rolling it another. If the pandemic’s taught us anything, it’s that it behooves us to be flexible. And so we have to accept this with understanding and grace.
In a separate act of support for creatives, I just renewed my membership with the Wisconsin Writers Association. I was on their board of directors last year before the big move to New York, and let me tell you, this organization has a lot of great things going on! I’m lucky to be connected to such groups. They really make this creative journey a pleasure.
Back home and added another member to our family. Glyph is eight months old, cute, cuddly, purrs a lot, and is a sweet and happy boy.
Those green nail covers, by the way, were put on by the shelter to prevent scratching. They’ll fall off naturally, and I won’t replace them. Cats gotta cat, after all. 😉
Whoo hoo! A short story I wrote will represent Wisconsin in a middle grade horror anthology!
THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA will be published by Henry Holt/Macmillan. HH joined forces with the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators to feature 52 spooky short stories, one from each state plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. All stories are inspired by local events or myths and written by SCBWI members with a connection to the place. I created a spooky tale of South Milwaukee’s Seven Bridges, a beautiful but supposedly haunted place where I spent so, so many hours in my childhood. The pictures of it below show how lovely — and at times secluded — it is.
I’m guessing the book will come out in one to two years, which is the usual pace for book publishers. When it does come out, I’m hoping you’ll buy a copy and read all the creepy tales.
And isn’t life funny that I learned this news the same week that I left my job at Scholastic? haha. But book news is great, and I can’t wait to read about our Haunted States.
What an adventure!
New York City has so much energy, excitement, and cultural relevance. Every bit of it seems famous, the food and social scene are incredible, and there’s goodness all around. I love New York, and I’ve loved my time here, but the adventure is coming to a close.After seven months at Scholastic, I realized the job wasn’t working out, which isn’t the end of the world. I’m proud of myself for recognizing it. Plus, I have forces pulling me back home, in a good way.
Experiencing the publishing world in its global heart was amazing. I learned so much, made great friends, and might continue in another capacity, just not in NYC and not in this moment. Here are a few final pics before I head back to a Great Place Near a Great Lake (aka, Milwaukee —- who remembers that jingle?)
Finally, some snow! Jersey City and New York City seems generally about ten to 15 degrees warmer to me than Milwaukee, and their weather events are a day behind. So when I saw that a snowstorm was expected to hit Wisconsin and travel on as a nor’easter, I was like, whoo hoo!!! Snow at last! It wasn’t deep, not a huge snowfall, but area officials and regular folks took precautions. It was a generally well handled storm, and yes, it was beautiful.
Every once in a while someone does something for you that melts your heart. That happened today, when I received this stunning keepsake from Lin Oliver and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. I’ve been a member of SCBWI since 2007 and was so honored to eventually lead my home state of SCBWI-Wisconsin as regional advisor. This big and beautiful desk ornament will get a special place in my home, and I will treasure it always.
Lin officially retired yesterday from running SCBWI full-time. She has touched so many lives that it’s hard to quantify how she’s influenced the world. What a life she’s led and what an amazing organization she’s built, one that’s still changing and growing and learning. And what a legacy she passes to her successors. She’s the gem here. I just got to be in her light. Thanks, Lin and SCBWI. I’m touched and amazed by this.