I am continuing my New Year's goal of attending different regional conferences with a 3-day event in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's the first in what will be a busy 2nd half of the year. There were a few specific sessions listed on the schedule that attracted my attention, besides kinda liking the area a lot and wanting to visit Charlotte. Also offered was an optional intensive session, and it looked like Gary Schmidt was one of the choices. His session, "Your Narrator, Your POV and You" sounded exactly like it applied to what I was currently working on with my YA Historical Fiction. It wasn't a hard decision. I would attend the RedHot Carolinas conference.
The middle of July each year brings a favorite event for me, Alumni Weekend at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, where in 2009 I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults. I look forward to it for a variety of reasons. Writing can be a very lonely activity and this is a chance for some camaraderie with a group of people who have gone through the same program, and understand the same struggles I am experiencing now that we are out on our own.
Writing is an odd thing. When you graduate, finding a job isn't necessarily the next natural progression. For many of us, it's trying to complete a manuscript and finding either an agent or publisher. During our intense time together we bonded and learned to trust each other with our writings. We learned to give comments, advice, and suggestions in a nurturing way. We learned to be each other's biggest supporters. There are days, still, when an alum will send me a message and say, "Hey, did you see this article on octopuses?" or "Did you see that this agent is interested in giant squids?" remembering a workshopping session where I submitted my octopus manuscript.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: