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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

I hereby announce that I am reviving my blog. So yup, it’s been more than seven months since I’ve updated here, for various reasons. Anyone who’s visited here during this time has been greeted by a glowing Christmas tree – so I guess it’s been Christmas on my blog all this time. That’s okay with me, I guess, being a total Christmas nut.

During that seven months, every time I considered doing a new post, I just ultimately wasn’t inspired. I didn’t really know what to write about. My blog felt like it had no focus, or that maybe I’d moved past its original intention, or a combination of the two. When I first started this blog almost three years ago, I was heavily influenced by lots of “mama”-type crafty blogs (i.e. the mother of them all, soulemama), and my blog was an attempt to chronicle my attempts to be more crafty and domestic during my first maternity leave with my son, who’s now almost three.The crafty experimentation was fun and all, as were the photos of all the food I cooked up during that mat leave, but ultimately that’s not what I want this blog to be about in the long term. And that’s because, well, I’m just really not all that crafty. Knitting annoys me, sewing gives me a kink in my neck, and I’m just not a natural housewife. That year of crafty/domestic experimentation helped me to realize these things about myself, and that’s helpful in and of itself. But glowbuggirl is not really a mama-type blog, and I wanted to find my new focus.

When I went to revive the ol’ blog, I thought about starting afresh – leaving this one behind, and starting a whole new one. But then I decided, no, I am Glowbug Girl, and I shall evolve! So, what has been occupying my life and body and brain for the past seven months?

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Two of my current “projects” – a baby in the belly and a freshly completed manuscript at the ready. The cat’s cute, too. It’s blurry because I took it with my iPhone. Sorry. 

1) I’ve been busy growing a new addition to our family of three. I’m 36 weeks along, and so ready to be done. With my son Keaton I could have kept on being pregnant, but this time it’s different. Something about chasing around a toddler while feeling like a galumphing elephant in the summer heat has taken some of the charm out of the late third trimester. When I was pregnant the last time I could just sit in front of a fan all day and have unlimited naps (when I was on mat leave, of course… although come to think of it I did close the door to my office more then a few times because I was “on deadline.”) Don’t mind me, I’m just feeling complainy today.

2) Just finished the first draft of my latest children’s novel, tentatively titled Mint Magic. I cannot express the relief that I felt when I typed “The End” last week. I started that book six years ago, and I’ve taken big breaks from it in the meantime while I wrote other stuff. It’s a totally different book than when I first started writing it, in my creative writing class during my MA program. But now it is done, at least.

3) Working on a very exciting digital children’s book project with a few other collaborators. I don’t want to say too much in these early-ish stages for fear of jinxing it, but let’s just say I’m super-stoked about where we’re headed with it. More later.

4) Taking courses toward the PIDP (Provincial Instructor Diploma Program), which nerdy me is loving. When I’m done the program I’ll go up a pay grade, which is nice, but just taking courses in curriculum development, evaluation of learning and instructional strategies get me all excited. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I love being in school. And for those reasons (and a few others that I’ll write about later) making the career shift from communications and marketing office slave to university instructor a couple of years ago was one of the best things I ever did. More on this later, too.

So there we go. And that’s where I want to head with this blog, too. Mama and baby/kid life is great, but that’s not the focus of Glowbug Girl. I go more than slightly nutty if I don’t have some sort of cerebral/creative outlet, so this blog will (hopefully) be one of my sanctuaries for the preservation of my sanity. I want to talk about creative writing. I want to discuss the intersection of traditional children’s book publishing and digital publishing. I want to talk about arts and culture. I want to talk about childhood nostalgia and my favourite movies and music, and random thoughts, and other things that have already found a place here. And so I shall continue.

Coming up in a future post: why I call this blog Glowbug Girl.

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Book Launch!

Okay yes, so it’s all the way in South Surrey, but at least there will be free wine and treats. Hope to see you there!

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My new children’s book, the aforementioned Farmed Out, is released today! Yippee, hooray! You can order it online through Chapters or Amazon, or ask for it at your favourite bookstore. Stay tuned for news of a book launch in October…

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For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’ve got the perfect amount of busy going on in my life. A balance between activity and rest, nights out and nights in. It’s the amount of busy that I’ve been hoping for and trying for for so long, but just never achieved. And it’s been years, too, too many years. My too-busy-ness before was entirely self-wrought, I do realise, but still. It’s temporary, I also realise, and all too soon I’ll be right back to too busy again. But for now I’m savouring it. Last semester was crazy, and I barely had time to sleep, but this semester’s workload totally makes up for it. (Funny, now that I’m an instructor I’m like a student again – thinking about the year in terms of semesters.)

So, fortunately, lately I’ve had time lately to:

– Finish that patchwork baby quilt I showed you last post, and now I’ve started on the embroidery for another baby quilt, this time for my sister-in-law’s soon-to-be-released wee one. It’ll be another patchwork quilt, using the most darling charm pack fabric from Moda.

Listen to me: I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about. Really, everything I know about quilting (which is very, very little) so far I’ve learned from the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s online tutorials. Jenny’s my favourite – she’s hilarious and I love her gel nails.

– Take a one-day drawing class on ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ with the Vancouver School Board. Just for fun, of course. I have absolutely no dreams of actually being a good artist – I still draw like I’m twelve, as I’ve mentioned. But it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years, so I was glad to finally do it. But it definitely confirmed the fact that I still draw like I did when I was twelve. My favourite things to draw then were hamsters and gymnasts.

And the class was in a high school science lab, so that was cool.

– Write a new picture book manuscript. Not sure exactly what I’ll do with it, but it’s an idea I’d had for a while, and I sure was glad that I found the time to write it. And last week I put Keaton in daycare for a few hours and worked on the edits for my new novel that’s coming out in the fall. That’s been my dream for a long time, too, to work on creative writing in a coffee shop.

So yeah, I’m enjoying all this extra creative time while it lasts. ‘Cause I know that pretty soon Too Busy will come along and kick me in the ass again. But, for now, it’s all good.

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Fan Mail

I now have proof that at least two members of the target market for my book, Explore, have read it – I received my first fan letter on Saturday! Okay, so they were from my friend’s husband’s Grade 7 class – he has them read it as part of their Reading Circle (I know, adorable), but still, they’re two kids that wrote to me enthusiastically about my book, so I’m counting it as a fan letter. Hee hee. And when my friend presented it to me when she visited us this weekend from Prince George, well, let’s just say, it warmed the cockles of my heart to no end. It’s so cute, I can hardly stand it.

I’m so totally going to write back to them.

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Celebratin’

Okay, so remember this post from all those months ago? (Well, about four months ago, to be exact.) Back then I was burning the midnight oil to get the darn book finished, and… it all paid off! Today at 4:50pm, just as I had Keaton all bundled up in his stroller, ready to head out for some groceries, the phone rang. It was a 250 area code number that I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t pick up. But then I thought, “Wait a minute, it’s a 250 number!” A glimmer flashed into my brain that maybe, just maybe, it might be my publisher. So, with poor Keaton waiting so patiently for me, I checked the message. And yes, there was the voice of my editor: “Hi Christy, it’s Melanie from Orca Book Publishers…” And as she was saying this, I thought, Okay, it’s 4:50pm on Friday. It couldn’t be bad news, could it? “Since you’re not there,” she continued on the message, “I’ll send you an email with the good news.”

So, to make a long story somewhat short – Orca Book Publishers will be publishing Farmed Out in Fall 2011. Oh, you should have seen me leaping around in the hallway!

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Dear Loyal Readers (of which there are approximately two),

Please excuse my absence from the blog this week! I wanted to post more images from my childhood sticker book (my unicorn shinies page is to die for), a recipe on Thursday, and a “this moment” photo from the week today, but I didn’t.

My excuse? I was finishing my latest children’s book, a second hi-lo chapter book for Orca Book Publishers… putting in hours reminiscent of my college all-nighter essay-writing days (ie. staying up until 4a.m., except now I have a baby so that’s a really dumb idea). I was just so determined to get the blasted thing done, and I’m really happy with it. I’d been writing it for waaaay too long (since I was newly pregnant with Keaton), and it is so very wonderful to have it all sent off to my editor. Who knows, my publisher might want it, they might not, but it’s a satisfying feeling to know that it’s now in their hands and our of mine. Phew. And now I am so excited to finally be able to start something new!

But first, my little family and I are off visiting the various grandparents in Chilliwack, Vernon and the Kootenays for the next almost two weeks. I’m so looking forward to days filled with river floating, drinking & eating, lolling and other fun summery-ness.

Love,

Christy

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