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?