Monthly Archives: August 2011

My Mini Man

Last week Jacob flunked his eye exam. He could read the top two lines and that was it, so a trip to the optometrist was ordered. We picked up his glasses today. Personally I think he looks absolutely adorable and super handsome. My little mini man.

IMG_7903

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Filed under Children, Every Day Life, Jacob

Our Summer in Pictures Part 2

We went swimming at Houston Woods State Park a few times

Houston Woods 1

Houston Woods 2

Houston Woods 3

Cincinnati Fire Museum

Cincinnati Fire Museum 1

Cincinnati Fire Museum 2

Cincinnati Fire Museum 3

Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound 1

Serpent Mound 2

Serpent Mound 3

Serpent Mound 4

We went Canoeing at White Water Miami Forest

Whitewater Miami Canoe 1

Whitewater Miami Canoe 2

and at Houston Woods

Houston Woods Canoe

Jacob participated in his first Raingutter Regata

Raingutter Regata

Finally, we made a number of fun zoo trips to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Zoo 1

Zoo 2

Zoo 3

Zoo 4

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Filed under Bobert, Children, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

Our Summer in Pictures Part 1

Okay, well our summer plus a little extra. 🙂

Liz’s Birthday – She had a reverse, upside down, inside out party 🙂

Liz B-day

Dot’s Birthday

Dot Birthday

We worked on clearing a trail in the woods in our back yard. Here are the beginning stages.

Yard Fixing

Jacob joined Cub Scouts and got to attend Tiger Treks

Tiger Treks

We explored the Clifton Mill and went hiking in Clifton Gorge

Clifton Collage 1

Clifton Collage 2

Clifton Collage 3

Clifton Collage 4

We went hiking at Shawnee Lookout

Shawnee Lookout Collage 1

Shawnee Lookout Collage 2

And we explored the Gorman Family Farm

Gorman Farm 1

Gorman Farm 2

Gorman Farm 3

We hiked around Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana

Clifty Falls 1

Clifty Falls 2

Clifty Falls 3

Clifty Falls 4

Jacob got to go to Twilight Camp – cub scout day camp that meets in the evenings. 🙂

Twilight Cub Camp 1

Twilight Cub Camp 2

Emily had her 9th birthday

Emily B-day

and Paul and I got to go on a couple tours exploring Cincinnati

Cincinnati 1

Cincinnati 2

Cincinnati 3

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Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

I blinked and over three months rushed by

I hadn’t planned a hiatus from blogging. It just happened. A lot happened that wasn’t planned this summer. Doesn’t it always? And now we are a week away from kids starting school and Autumn will set in. Robert is nearly one and I’m sure if I blink again he’ll be two, and all the others will be older and taller. So, no more blinking for a while, they’re growing up too fast as it is.

Summer has been wonderful, and I’ll do a fabulous summer post with pictures of the little people and all our activities… later.

My hiatus has not been from the world of writing. Just blogging and I am so excited about the ideas rolling around in my head and things being accomplished.

I am up to 40 rejections on my YA novel, The Heart of the Castle. Yay! And it really is yay. I figure I can’t complain until I hit triple digits, and since I take joy in the writing, getting published is just a bonus.  It’s been a while since I’ve read it though, and I thought I might do a reread this fall and see where I can tighten it, etc.  I’m happy ,too, that I’ve had a few manuscript (partial and full) requests. Even though they’ve come back as a no, it’s still encouraging.

I also finished cleaning up Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor (my middle grade book) and started to query it, but in the last couple weeks something amazing has happened and it is on hold and it’s about ready to morph into something totally different.  A while ago I had a little conversation with myself. It went something like this:

“Self?”

“Yes?”

“Belinda would make a great middle grade mystery.”

“Ha! It’s done. Completed. Polished. I like it.”

“Ummm. It would make a GREAT middle grade mystery. It could be a series.”

“Too many rewrites. Go away.”

And myself left me in peace. Until a couple weeks ago.

“Self?”

“You again?”

“Yep, we’re kinda attached.”

“True. What do you want now?”

“It’s about that Belinda book idea. The mystery.”

“Oh. Again?”

“Yup. Maybe you should listen.”

I sighed. “Ok. Listening.”

“The ghost of Nancy Drew.”

“Oh puhlease. Really?”

“Yeah, really.”

And, with that,  I began to listen to my crazy thoughts as they took shape. The more I looked the more I realized that all the plot lines for a mystery were there, they just needed to be tweaked and encouraged. The idea morphed and morphed and morphed some more. In my head Belinda wound up meeting Nancy in the attic of an old house. She was real! She had been a detective in the twenties before the first book was written. Belinda was shocked. The author of course changed her name in the books – but she looked exactly like her character. Her real name? Miss Eugenia Potts.  She helps Belinda solve her mysteries and Belinda in turn helps uncover the mystery of who murdered her.

One major problem….  copyright. In a bold stroke I wrote a letter to Simon & Schuster’s rights department, told them about my brilliant idea and asked about copyright issues. I’m looking forward to hearing back from them. Chances are I won’t be able to use Nancy. But, the ideas are still there, and ,Nancy or not, Miss Eugenia Potts is going to be the ghost who helps Belinda solve her mysteries. I am excited  to get editing – but I’m waiting until I hear back so I know whether of not to work with Nancy.

While I wait on that, I am happily editing my second YA book – which still remains untitled. I have slogged through the first 100 and so pages and have lots more. But, I am slogging happily, turning my rough NaNoWriMo mess into a readable first draft. My characters are developing some great motivations and we’re having some pretty nifty conversations – at least they tend to argue amongst themselves rather than pestering me, like “self” does.

I’ve also been working a little on a new book, which keeps warping into something different. My brain has been rivaling our summer of thunderstorms. I have enough to do without throwing myself full force into something new.

Finally, for my birthday I got the best present ever, which was the 2011 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Now I can keep upping that YA rejection count and hopefully it will come to an end sometime.

To all you who are writing, querying, and writing some more – hang in there and take joy in the journey! And all the rest of you – I’ll post something non-writing soon. I promise! 🙂

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Filed under Writing