It’s been a long time since I’ve written an update on what’s been happening with me, though if you follow me on social media, you’ll have a pretty good idea.
After I released “Gnomeling Goes Home” in September, I spent October doing an art challenge called “Inktober.” It was really fun and awoke the artsy side of me, making me want to sketch and watercolor—more than write. I began a new hobby called “Urban Sketching,” where I went out about town to sketch and watercolor things I saw in the community. Though amazing, it quickly grew too cold to paint outside, so I went to the mall, the local art museum, and eventually met up with other artists to draw at the downtown Dayton Metro Library. Drawing is good. Drawing with friends is even better.
In November I buried most of my artistic urges, and as has become the ritual, began NaNaWriMo with a story called “Starfrost: the Junkyard Unicorn.” I really struggled with my characters this year because though this is a side project in The World of Christian Tompta, Christian and his friend kept trying to tak
e over the story. It was very frustrating.
I found out mid-November that I had actually broken my spine in two places when I fell down some outdoor hotel stairs at a book event in August. My doctor told me I needed to slow down, rest and not lift more than ten pounds. What a good excuse to stop lugging my computer around to meetups, so I quit NaNoWriMo and decided to take the rest of the year off from writing.
I’m not good at sitting still, so I putzed with editing the third book in “The Tales of Christian Tompta,” during all the activities of the holidays. My daughter brought home a Japanese exchange student to spend Thanksgiving with us, and while she visited, we went to cut down a real Christmas tree. Christmas is my favorite time of the year so I was on board with starting early.
My daughter came home for a month before Christmas and went back to school mid-January. This being her first year away from home, I made a point to spend as much time with her as I could. I didn’t get much work done, even though the rest had really helped heal my back.
At the end of January I did my first author talk in an elementary classroom. The class was small which made it easy to interact with the children directly. I am so grateful for this small blessing. The children and their teacher enjoyed it, and so did I. Those first events are always a bit nerve-wracking, but it turned out great!
In a funny turn of events, my cousin requested I take pictures with her daughter’s Flat Stanley. It was great fun and ironic to take it to the Dayton Art Institute’s “Above the Fold” paper-folding exhibit. I think Stanley fit right in.
My husband and I also celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Disney World and Universal Studios. It was truly an art experience as I took lots of photos around the parks and several resorts, participated in a Disney drawing class, and attended the Arts Festival at Epcot.
Over the past few months we’ve gotten to see a lot of our family too. God truly blesses me in so many ways!
During February and March, I’ve been working diligently on book 3, “Gnomeling Journeys to Joddeburg (Yo-da-burg)” in preparation for its release date of April 15th. I’ve just finished the art and the edits have come back. Now it’s time to input those adjustments, design the cover, listen to it again, then format the art, and then format the book and voila! Done. lol… All these things take time. In between all this, I’ll be attending a conference at Highlights Foundation, which I am super excited about. Highlights. Amazing.
Since I missed the holiday update, I hope yours were great. I think it’s still early enough in the year to wish you a blessed 2018!
Take care and don’t catch any thistle-stickers!