Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Hoppin' Month

September has been busy with all sorts of writing-related events. Lucky for me, that's a nice way to be busy.

I already mentioned Kim Baker's launch party for her debut novel. I read her book last weekend, and I really enjoyed it--not just because Kim is a nice writer in my region, but because PICKLE is a super fun story that's very well-written. I was impressed with her opening, her cast of characters, the heart, the humor, the tightness, the freshness, the ending...the whole enchilada. I think her characters were my favorite part, but it's hard to say because the shenanigans they got into were clever and entertaining. PICKLE is a great example of excellent middle grade.

Liberty Bay Books hosted a launch party for my friend Suzanne Selfors on September 9. I have not yet read THE SWEETEST SPELL, Suzanne's first fairy tale, but I definitely will. I sent my autographed copy to one of my cutie-pie nieces who is an avid reader, so now I need to get my hands on another one!

You know those authors whose books sing for you and help you slip into your own work? Suzanne's books are like that for me. Meg Cabot's, too, though I've never met Meg Cabot. I hope to someday, though!

Lots of friends were at the launch party for Suzanne's latest novel.

Left to right, here are authors Susan Wiggs, Carol Cassella, Suzanne Selfors, Sheila Roberts, and Elsa Watson. I'd like to note that Sheila mentored me for six years, and I will forever appreciate all she taught me about writing. And life.

SCBWI Western Washington kicked off the 2012 season on September 13. Agents Bree Ogden and Mandy Hubbard spoke at our meeting, and each one led a workshop. I attended Ms. Hubbard's, which was on revision. Ms. Hubbard is also an author, and it was really cool to hear how she approaches the same hurdles I encounter when revising. I picked up some helpful gems I can apply to my own work.

Author and illustrator Richard Jesse Watson spoke at a Field's End Roundtable on September 18. His talk, "The Up-Close, Far-Out World of Kids' Books," was excellent, and it gave me a mid-week creative boost! If you ever have the opportunity to hear Richard Jesse Watson speak, don't miss it!

In other news, my husband returned yesterday from a business trip to Australia. The good news is he's back and he returned with gifts! The bad news: he forgot (supposedly) my request to film a flushing toilet, providing evidence that the Coriolis effect is not a myth. That would be fun and classy blog footage, yes?


Janet Johnson said...

You have been busy! Both those books sounds wonderful. I especially love fairy tale retellings, so I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy, too. :)

And I lived on the other side of the equator for a little over a year, but the toilets where I was just exploded in a rush of water and went straight down. No circular motion at all. Very disappointing.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi Janet, I heard the opening at the book launch, and it was sooo good!

My husband said his hotel toilet did that, so I sent him on a mission to find a clean public toilet to film for me... Some girls ask for jewels, but I ask for toilet footage. Yeesh, what does that say about me?!

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Thanks for sharing all this encouraging SCBWI WWA news! My own copy of PICKLE is on the top of my pile, but I've been so tired I can't seem to make it past one page of anything. Sorry you didn't get your toilet footage. ^_^

Al said...

I can't help with the dunny question either.
Modern Oz toilets are designed to use minimal water, so the flush is over and done before you know it (and pretty straight down).
Your request says you are interesting! (In a nice way)

Dawn Simon said...

Angelina, it totally makes sense that you're too tired since you just moved! Holy smokes, you've been busy!

Al, I am so glad you stopped by as our expert! Saving water is a good thing, though this definitely affects my approach to gathering evidence. And thank you! :)

Barb Davis-Pyles said...

Thanks for the fairy tale recommendation -- a must-have for me! I plan to pick up a PICKLE next week. Will you be going to the Seattle meeting?

Sorry, I have no insights regarding swirling loos.

Dawn Simon said...

Barb, I'm really looking forward to reading it! Suzanne's books are wonderful! And as I told Janet, the opening totally hooked me.

I plan to go to the next meeting! I hope you're going!

Al said...

I'll have to take note of which way the water goes down the drain when I brush my teeth then

Dawn Simon said...

Woo-hoo! We have official scientific research going on, bloggy friends! We're like Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso...well, we're kind of like that--you know, with a stretch of the imagination. To scientific research--with or without a porpoise! *clink*

Anonymous said...

These look like awesome local events and authors.

I just looked up the Coriolis effect. Very interesting.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow...what a fun month. It is so fun when your writing friends have a success.

Glad your hubby made it home safely.

Dawn Simon said...

Medeia, I feel super fortunate to have so many great events going on around here, events involving very creative people.

Hi Sharon, it was a fun month! And I agree, it's exciting seeing friends succeed! Thanks for the kind thoughts about Jim's safe return.

J.L. Campbell said...

Now that's an interesting title for a book about a fairytale.

Dawn Simon said...

J.L., I didn't talk about the premise of THE SWEETEST SPELL, but I think the title is excellent! Yes, very interesting!

Faith Pray said...

Dawn, sorry you didn't get your flush photo. I guess that means he has to take you back there someday so YOU can film the flushy proof! I'm glad you enjoyed my dad's roundtable. I got to hear Janet Lee Carey earlier that week through Field's End, and it was amazing. I sat there and though - Dawn lives around here! Thanks for sharing tidbits on your reads and meets!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Faith! I was thinking of you just tonight! Yes, I really enjoyed your dad's roundtable! It was so great! Your dad told me you took the Janet Lee Carey class (which I wish I'd taken!), and I had the same reaction: Faith was here?! I also enjoyed talking with your super sweet mom. I hope to see you soon!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Book launches are so much fun!

It sounds like you had a good time at the conference. :)