2014 Accomplishments

Welcome to my new website and blog. I hope you like it! It's still new, and I have lots more to do here, but it's a start. I'll be adding more content over the coming months.


Regular readers of my old blog know that I stopped blogging last year when life got too complicated. We lost several loved ones and others faced difficult medical issues. With so much happening in my personal life, something had to give.

My primary goal has been to work as a children’s author.  Blogging can help raise an author’s profile and build a brand, but all that is pointless if you don't publish a book. So, I decided to stop blogging and to spend any time I had for building my writing career to focus on the writing. I’m happy to report that I made the right choice, for even though this last year has been incredibly difficult, I wrote more than ever and signed with literary agent, Jill Corcoran. My hope is that a book sale isn’t too far in the distance.

The other day, Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants in her “12 Days of Christmas for Writers” series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution!

I thought this would be a great way to launch my new website and blog.

So here is my list for 2014. I’ve left off many of the smaller accomplishments I listed in my journal and bolded the ones I’m most proud of.

  •  Completed the "Start the Year Off Write" challenge.
  • Participated in Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12 Picture Book Challenge.
  •  Drafted 5 new picture book manuscripts. Two are “on submission.”
  • Completed more than two dozen revisions.
  • Drafted and revised 3 cover letters.
  • Submitted a query letter for critique by Emma Walton-Hamilton.
  • Submitted a manuscript for the Penn/New England award.
  •  Submitted manuscripts to 5 different agents.
  • Received critiques on 4 different manuscripts.
  •  Applied for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress (WIP) grant.
  •  Applied for the (NE-SCBWI) Glass Scholarship.
  • Applied for a Boyds Mills "un-workshop."
  • Signed up for Video Idiot Boot Camp. (In 2015 I WILL create a welcome video for my website).
  • Signed with Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.
  •  Attended the NE-SCBWI spring conference.
  • Read FROG FRENZY at the NE-SCBWI open mic.
  • Met more than 20 “12 X 12” participants at NE-SCBWI.
  • Worked with 3 library directors to apply for a STEAM grant. Our program, called My Own BackYard (MOBY™), focuses on getting students in grades 3-8 outside exploring the ecosystems in our area.  We got the grant! (Twitter: @MOBYfun #MOBYfun. Facebook: MOBYfun™). You will also be able to learn more by clicking the My Own BackYard tab on this website once I add the details.
  • Completed my work as “Writer in Residence” for grade 2 students at Rochester Memorial School. All students published an illustrated story or poem.
  • Solicited blurbs from two teachers to use on my website.
  • Submitted 2 workshop proposals for the NESCBWI 2015 spring conference. My workshop on School Visits was accepted. (Will I see you there?)
  • Loosely participated in KidLit Summer School by Nerdy Chicks Sudipta and Kami. 
  •  Applied for a "Tiny Letter" Residency.
  •  Launched MOBY.
  • Presented MOBY™ at a small libraries conference with tri-town library Directors Gail Roberts, Susan Pizzolato, and Elizabeth O’Neill.
  • Began a focused study of structure in non-fiction with another NF author.
  • Participated in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) during November. Came up with 33 ideas. Two are already manuscripts.
  • Completed full reads of 3 YA novels for critique group members.
  • Contacted an expert to arrange an interview for my WIP.
  • Drafted back matter for FROG FRENZY and TIDE POOL SECRETS.
  • Arranged for Wood Frog expert to vet FROG FRENZY manuscript and back matter.
  • Launched this new website! (Which still needs work, but I wanted to get something up).

How was your 2014? What were your successes? Please share them in the comments.