1. KIDLITCON 2019! Last weekend I attended KidLitCon, and participated in my first panel. Along with Andrea J. Loney, Alison Goldberg, Gaia Cornwall, Jannie Ho, and Emma Otheguy and moderated by Charnaie Gordon of Here Wee Read, we talked about the ups and downs of our picture book debut year. I’m not going to lie. I was very nervous. But I am so glad I had the chance to share some of my debut story. The whole conference was really amazing. It was a small group (about 150 attendees) and a mix of bloggers, publishers, librarians, and authors. I met so many new and wonderful people in person. It was a very happy, laid back vibe overall which I greatly appreciated. I learned so much in different workshops over two days and felt extremely lucky (and inspired!) by keynotes LeUyen Pham and Varian Johnson.
2. EXETER LIT FEST Next weekend, I will have a chance to be on my second panel (here’s where I will see if experience will make things a little less nerve wracking!) at the very first Exeter Lit Fest. Together with authors Lisa Bunker and Paul Durham we will talk about our experiences in kidlit. The whole schedule is remarkable and can be viewed here.
3. MFA APRIL VACATION WEEK The following week I am pleased to share that I will be part of the Boston MFA’s April Vacation Week programming, along with fellow author/illustrator Jannie Ho. We will both have two interactive, all-ages presentations celebrating the Art of the Story. See dates, times, and details here.
4. ON MY DESK Despite rumors that Mercury Retrograde would halt all progress, I have been very busy this month revising two early reader / graphic novel projects as well as pulling a new picture book dummy together. It feels great to switch gears between these books and see them evolve and improve. The picture book came from smack dab in the middle of this year’s Storystorm month. Looking back, I can see where I built ideas up in the first two weeks only to find this gem in the middle. Thank you, Tara Lazar for creating the arena for idea generation!
5. WHAT I AM READING Lastly, I wanted to share what I have been reading. 1) I beat down a path to get Lucy Knisley’s KID GLOVES when it came out last month. I adore her instagram feed and love watching videos of her cute boy and cat Linney with my daughter. It’s an amazing graphic novel - I love the way she wove her own journey from pre-pregnancy through birth with the history of pregnancy and myths. It’s honest, sweet, funny, and eye opening. 2) I picked up Science Comic The Brain when I was at KidLitCon and met illustrator Alex Graudins. My daughter and I love this series - they really are all so well done. I love the characters and narrative set up contrasted with the illustrated science of the brain. 3) I am about a 1/4 through Jo Knowles latest book, Where the Heart Is and can’t wait until tonight to dig back into the story.