In the middle of last year, I was at a loss for words. I didn’t have any assigned writing projects or deadlines. I had been receiving lots of rejections from publishers (a part of the process, I know, but disheartening all the same). I had some old projects that I wanted to revise, but no […]
For Christmas many years ago, my aunt gave me a small flat package wrapped in red foil paper. Inside was a story my grandmother had written for a school assignment back in 1914 when she just 14 years old. My aunt gifted me this treasure because I was the writer in the family, and she often commented that I had inherited Grandma Meachen’s creative genes.
When I enter a bookstore or gift store, I’m immediately drawn to the journals. They come in all shapes and sizes, lined and unlined, covers for every taste: flowered, funky, silly, or serene. Slick, soft, leather, marbled, gilded, and more. I’ve purchased many journals in my life. To me, they represent expansive possibility. I line them up on my shelf and admire the beauty of their eclectic spines. They make me feel like a writer.
My mind is often full. As a writer and professor, days are packed with a constant stream of things to do, places to be, lectures to prepare, papers to correct, stories to write, emails to answer. The printer whirrs, the microwave buzzes, people enter and exit around me. That’s the stuff of life.
166 eyes stare at me from my home office wall. I’m not delusional. It’s nothing creepy. Our house isn’t haunted. It’s my family’s POP collection.
POPS are plastic figures of pop culture characters from movies, television, music, and games. And since 2014, my family has collected them. Sometimes they distract me from my work…like today…as I brainstorm the role they play in my life.
I have a new idea for a story, and it’s deeply steeped in art. This week, I’ve been diving into research. Way back when (25 years ago), I graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, with a double major in creative writing and art history. Over my career, I’ve obviously put the creative writing part to good use, but I haven’t exercised my art history muscles in a while.
I spent last weekend at the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference (NE-SCBWI) in Springfield, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to be chosen to present two workshops, but along with shuffling my papers on the podium and hoping my Power Point would work, I was able to sit in on many other workshops as well. And as always, I came away with tons of tidbits to apply to my own writing projects.
Last fall, I became a college professor. That’s part of the reason this blog was rather quiet for a while. From September to December, I was fully immersed in studying required texts, drafting lectures, making tests, and reading papers. I’ll never know which lessons stuck with my students. But I do know one thing for sure. I learned a TON!
A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to discover A Mighty Girl blog had listed one of my early readers, Robot, Go Bot!, among its 25 Books Starring Science-Loving Mighty Girls. I love that readers are finding this book an inspiration to curious, science-minded girls. But it’s funny, too, because Robot, Go Bot! was not conceived as a science book.
One of the perks of being a writer is that you can coin new phrases, put them out in the world, and hope they catch on…
humpback moment: (noun) an unexpected wave of emotion
Here’s how the phrase originated. My family often visits friends in Cape Cod. For years, we had been considering going on a whale watch, but we always worried that we’d shell out a lot of money and not see too many whales.