Friday, January 08, 2021

Retreat Week Starts Tomorrow

Our annual retreat week, when we head off for the snowy north to do nothing but read next to that wood stove you see to your right, snowshoe or walk, and eat in restaurants, starts tomorrow. Except, of course, things being what they are, we aren't heading north or anywhere else. So we are retreating in place.

I will be reading like mad next week, doing more home yoga, heading out walking more frequently, eating takeout, and maybe binge watching a French TV show Netflix e-mailed me about today. What I won't be doing is writing for Original Content.

I will probably be posting at Facebook about our walks, so if we're Facebook friends you may see me there. I may Tweet about my reading, so if you're a follower, you may see me there.

As I've mentioned a couple of times this week, I'm missing a couple of virtual book launches in order to maintain the integrity of my retreat. However, next Saturday afternoon the retreat will be over, and I'm registered to attend an on-line event with Sharon Dukett, author of the memoir No Rules, which was published last year. Sharon is a Connecticut author I met in 2019.

Virtual Book Launch Coming Up For "I Dream of Popo"

Another book launch is coming up next week (Sunday the 10th, in fact) while I'm on a reading/yoga/walking/whatever retreat. This one is for I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne with illustrations by Julia Kuo. They will both be at the launch, along with their editor, Connie Hsu.

Sigh. This one is on the west coast, sponsored by the bookstore Once Upon a Time. That would have been an excellent grab for what I hope will be a 2021 virtual book launch collection. 

A virtual book launch collection that I haven't actually started.


2021 Connecticut Book Award Submissions Start Next Month

The Connecticut Center for the Book will begin accepting submissions for the 2021 Connecticut Book
Award on February 1. The submission period closes on April 17, and the finalists will be announced in September. Books are considered in four categories including Books for Young Readers, which is broken down into three categories--fiction, nonfiction, and picture books.

Check out the submission guidelines.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

January Childlit Book Releases

It looks as if childlit publishing is back after it's almost break for the holidays. I'm doing the first January post early in the month, because I won't be blogging next week. More coming later.

As always, I've collected this information from various social media sources.

January 1, First Day of Unicorn School, Jess Hernandez, Mariano Epelbaum illustrator, Capstone







January 5, The Lion of Mars, Jennifer L. Holm, Random House/Penguin Random House






 January 5, Mr. Corbett is in Orbit, Dan Gutman, Jim Paillot illustrator, HarperAlley 




January 5, Unplugged, Gordon Korman, Balzar + Bray/HarperCollins





 January 5, Root Magic, Eden Royce, Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins 






January 5, I Dream of Popo, Livia Blackburne, Julia Kuo illustrator, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan






January 5, Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, Niki Grimes, Bloomsbury






January 5, Dr. Mae Jemison: Brave Rocketeer, Heather Alexander, Jennifer Bricking illustrator, HarperCollins






Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Time Management Tuesday: Let's Get Those 2021 Goals And Objectives Planned

For years I've been droning on about planning work goals and objectives for the year. Goals being what people want to do, objectives being how they plan to do it. I cannot say enough about how they helped me in 2020. Having something in mind I could work on was a to speak and helped me maintain normality and interest in my life.

So here's your model for planning your own writing goals and objectives. 

Goal 1. Finish a draft of YA thriller that could become an adult thriller. It has a name this year, 143 Canterbury Road


  • I haven't work on this for a few months, so I'll need to reread what I've done to bring myself back up to speed.
  • Go over the outline/blueprint.
  • Assign writing tasks to time frames each week.
  • Just work on scenes. Don't worry about connecting things. 
  • Read YA thrillers.
  • Read history, since that's a significant factor for a character and maybe in other ways.

Goal 2. Concentrate on submissions and concentrate on increasing the number of submissions I make.


  • Submit book length projects to the agents I researched last month.
  • Spend more time with essay Facebook group and flash Facebook group. Those people are publishing and share their work, exposing me to new markets. Which is not stalking them.
  • Use that agent Twitter list I made a while back.
  • Use that publications Twitter list I made a while back.
  • Do a lot more reading of markets for short-form writing.
  • Not to brag, but I got my first rejection yesterday.

Goal 3. Work on short-form writing, essays and short stories.


  • Commit a month or two to flash writing. I was happy with how that worked this past year.
  • Look for more on-line writing classes/workshops.
  • Commit more time to reading essays and short stories
  • Tinker with the 365 Story Project.

Goal 4. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding

  • Provide social media support for writers/bloggers generating diversity material.
  • Pay more attention to community events like Multi-Cultural Children's Book Day; plan ahead for reading to support these events
  • Continue the monthly childlit book release posts
  • Attend virtual book launches and promote here.
  • Continue with Original Content.
  • Continue with promoting Original Content at Facebook communities, Goodreads' blog, and Twitter.
  • Get into the habit of checking my monthly plans in my bullet journal.
  • Check-in with goals and objectives quarterly. I'd say "monthly" but that was an objective for last year that I didn't touch.

I have so much to do!                             


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Barbara O'Connor's "Halfway to Harmony" Publishes This Month

Facebook friend Barbara O'Connor's new book, Halfway to Harmony, will be published on January 12. She'll be doing a virtual launch that day at 6:00 PM, hosted by Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Virtual, people. That means that no matter where you are, you can attend.

I'm going to miss this, because I'll be doing my annual retreat week. (Whatever that means in the time of Covid.) Otherwise, I would be all over this. I attended virtual launches in the midwest and Massachusetts last year. This year I want to go to book events all over the country. North Carolina would have been an incredible start for 2021.

Hmm. Maybe Barbara will do another.

Friday, January 01, 2021

New Year's Day Means The Cybils Short List Is Out

New Year's Day is my favorite temporal landmark. It's also the day each year when the Cybils folks announce the finalists for the Cybils Awards. I happen to be reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, a
finalist for YA speculative fiction

And would you get a load of this year's logo?