An (Actual) Major Award

Okay, it's not the Newbery Medal, but I entered one of my picture book manuscripts into the SCBWI Midsouth Fiction Manuscript Contest for the most publishable manuscript, and I WON in the picture book category!!!

What did I win, you ask?

-The 2010 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market.

-A beautiful picture book biography The Secret World of Walter Anderson written by Hester Bass (who was so sweet and came up to me afterward to congratulate me and signed it for me).

-A basket full of candy that I gave away because I couldn't fit in my carryon for the plane ride home, but I did grab the pack of gum, and it came in handy on the first flight which was a little stinky.
-a detailed critique from the judging editor.

-AND...drum roll invitation to submit my manuscript

So said manuscript is getting polished up all squeaky clean with the judging editor's revision ideas (which were spot-on and resonated with me immediately).  And I'm trying to remain as calm and non-spasmodic as possible.  Which is impossible a challenge.

And the neat thing is that, even apart from the win, it was just such an amazing conference.  Everyone was so friendly and encouraging.  It was a bit mind-boggling to be surrounded by all these talented writers and illustrators who were happy to share their expertise and knowledge.  Final judgement: a wonderful weekend.

Also also...when I got home, Hubbykins had the house all clean and sparkly.  I heart my Hubbykins.

A Major Award!

I've won a major award!

(Okay, not that major, but still very cool).

Thank you, Michelle over at Red Headed Book Child for my ZOMBIE CHICKEN AWARD!

And here it is:

Ummm, I kind of love the chicken on the right.

“The blogger who receives this award exhibits the spirit of the zombie chicken– excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.”

Okay, everyone gets an honorary zombie chicken because all my followers are faboo like that.

But my official 5 picks are:

Kristin @ Another Gray Day
Tess @ Tess Hilmo 

And now, I must go pack for the SCBWI Midsouth Conference which starts tomorrow

yee hee hee.

Where I've Been/Where I'm Going

Before you worry that I'm going to start waxing philosophical on this here blog, have no fear!  I am speaking in the physical sense.  I've been to Disney World (and will post about that over at my personal blog, the Snarkington Post).  I am going, this weekend to the SCBWI Midsouth Conference.  I'm stark, raving, out of my mind a little bit excited.

This will be my first writer's conference.  Okay, technically that is not  true.  This will be my first adult writer's conference.  In middle school, I went to two young writer's conferences where the keynote speakers were S.E. Hinton and Judith Viorst.  Let me say that again...S.E. Hinton and Judith Viorst.  And, no, I did not appreciate the opportunities at the time.  And, yes, I wish I could go back to my middle school self and slap her and yell, "Write down everything these women are saying!  Transcribe it on papyrus!  Tattoo it on your brain!"

So, FYI, Caroline B. Cooney, I will be the one taking notes and not flipping through Rumblefish searching for kissing scenes.

My ABC's

I've been tagged!  I love these meme's.  And they're a great opportunity to learn a bit more about each other.  Michelle at Red Headed Book Child tagged me.  Go check out her blog if you haven't already because (a) she knows her books, and (b) that little red-headed kiddo of hers is pretty stinkin' adorable. goes:

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Share your ABCs
3. Tag three people at the end by linking to their blogs
4. Let the three tagged people know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website
5. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag

Here goes. . .

Available or in a relationship? Married

Best Friend? Hubbykins.

Cake or Pie? Cake.  But I prefer brownies to just about anything.

Drink of choice? COKE!!!! no diet.

Essential item for every day use? sunglasses

Favorite color? pink or green depending on my mood.

Google? is slowly taking over the world my life.

Hometown? Siloam Springs, AR (don't bother googling it)

Indulgences? asiago cream cheese bagels when I'm at my critique group meetings, pedicures, *occasional* nap, Entertainment Weekly on Saturday mornings

January or February? February.  It's short, and I love Groundhog's Day.

Kids and their names? 1 son, the Pea

Life is incomplete without…? I was thinking the other day that if the house caught fire, the ONLY thing I would care about would be getting the Pea and Hubbykins out safely (and then our naughty dog).

Marriage date? October 2004

Number of siblings? I'm the middle of 3 sisters.

Oranges or apples? This is a dilemma.  You can never go wrong with a satsuma.  On the other hand, there's nothing better than a really crisp, tart apple.  But nothing worse than a mealy, mushy one.

Phobias and fears? I do not like mice (or heaven forbid, rats!) or spiders.  I'm also not a huge fan of heights.  Or dark, enclosed spaces.  Snakes don't really bother me.

Quote for the day? "Be serious with God, and leave the rest gaily alone."  --Oswald Chambers

Reason to smile? The Pea said "Mama" and pointed to me for the first time this morning.  (And I'm at 13,500 words on my novel!)

Season? Autumn.  I love the start of school, the first hints of a chill wind, and the scent of fireplace smoke in the air.

Unknown fact about me? I had braces for 7 years growing up.

Vegetable you hate? I'm not loving the beets.

Worst habit? Inability to multi-task.

X-rays you’ve had? Lots and lots of dental x-rays (see "unknown fact about me" above).

Your fave food? Pizza.

One word to describe you (I'm changing this up and replacing "Zodiac" because I think that's a silly question that doesn't tell anything about me):  Sassy.

I tag:

Shelli @ Market My Words

The Doubts

The last week or so, I've been plagued with a recurring doubt...I don't have a full novel in me.  I've had several days where the story has flown out of me and a few where I've stared at a blank screen and rewritten the same paragraph ten times.  But the more I write, the louder the voice gets.

"Sure, you've written 12,000 words.  But you'll say all you have to say in 25K.  Then what?  Hum for 25K more?"  (And, yes, I know whose voice that is, and he can kiss my heiny)

It reminds me of my math classes in high school and college.  The first day of class, I'd always look at the last chapter in the textbook and wig out because there was NO WAY I would ever be able to learn those concepts.  My mom would sit me down, open up the first chapter and calmly say, "Well, just start here."  And by the end, I was always that annoying girl with 104%.

My plan of action:  Just keep writing.

Happy Labor Day!

Technically, the only "laboring" I've done is dressing up in sports garb and heading to Chick-fil-A for a free chicken sandwich.