Ramping Up and Rambling On!

First off, I would like to thank each and every one of you that donated to my bike ride in September for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. I did not reach my stated goal, but I did reach my personal goal of donating and raising more than last year, a bit over $1,400. It was a great ride, aside from the horrid pending weather, and more than $277,000 was raised overall for kids to go to camp! An excellent showing for one of the best causes ever. Thank you!!!

Now it's time to ramp up for the upcoming goals for writing and illustrating. It was a lazy, slow summer and I took time off after graduation. Now that Fall is here, I get all antsy for change. Cool weather gets me going and I have a lot to get done.

I registered for the upcoming SCBWI's 14th Annual Winter Conference in New York in February and am looking forward to a great conference. I can't wait to see old friends and make new friends! It is a wonderful opportunity to reach out and immerse yourself with interesting people. Every conference I go to, I imagine being at a business conference for economics or dentistry and I smile and think how horridly BORING they would be and how lucky I am to attend one of the best conferences around!

With the NY conference comes the opportunity to enter the Tomie dePaola contest! The illustrations this year will all be B&W, a new twist, and come from a verse of your own choice from either Little Women, Tom Sawyer or The Yearling. I have only read Little Women so I am cruising through the other two, well slowly, The Yearling is longer than I expected, as to give myself the best opportunity to choose a scene that speaks to me! I can't wait to see everyone's submissions, which will be hosted and posted again this year by the wonderful Diandra Mae at the Unofficial Gallery of the Tomie dePaola Award. Here's a look at the wonderful variety of last year's submissions, hosted by Diandra, at the Chicken Licken Gallery.

Also coming up in November is PiBoIdMo hosted by the great Tara Lazar on her blog Writing for Children (While Raising Them) at http://taralazar.com/. Registration starts October 24th and runs through November 4th. It's an excellent way for Picture Book writers to gather, spark a multitude of story ideas and meet lots of amazing people! Plus you can win some awesome prizes and learn so many new things about writing and the children's book industry. Check it out!

And so I need to get some new work going, update my portfolio and website, finish reading and get the Tomie done, work on some new promotional material and work on some writing.....ramping up indeed!! And with that I leave you with some HDOTD and my other favorite, Led Zeppelin. Ramble on my friends!!