Starting to rub the sticks together

I am in Burlington VT, taking a break from chapter 20, to say how exciting it is to be here at the Kindling Words retreat! There are old friends here, and people I’ve been looking forward to meet.

Oh, and there is food.

No, not your typical rubber chicken fare. This retreat is held at the Inn at Essex. Yeah, that’s right. Home of the New England Culinary Institute.

Yes, that sound you hear is me gloating. And trying very, very hard not to be a glutton. For lunch I had Thai carrot soup and an omelet with portobello mushrooms and a little tiny bit of boursin cheese (I asked them to go easy on it) and it was so yummy I nearly wept.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Dinner included butternut squash ravioli. This photo does not do justice to the dish.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The dessert table looked killer, but I managed to satisfy myself by taking pictures.

I want to do some writing before bed. Tomorrow is my first presentation. I am so stoked! Jane Yolen is here, and Ellen Wittlinger, Sara Zarr, Vera B. Williams, Tanya Lee Stone, Kate Messner, Linda Sue Park, Gregory Maguire, Wendy Mass, and many, many more!! it is a rare treat to be in the same space as so many creative people.

More photos tomorrow.

polishing presentation, packing for take-off

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to Kindling Words. I have about 48 hours of work to do before I leave. It’s going to be a long day.

Re: Heath Ledger. So very sad, so awful for his loved ones.

I am syndicating this blog to Amazon Connect. It’s a terrific idea, but I’m having a hard time with some of the technology involved. The first thing I had to do to make it work was to change my browser from Safari to Firefox.

Do any of you have an opinion about Firefox vs. Safari? If I stay with Firefox, which add-ons should I consider?

Have any of my author buddies out there done this? Did you have any trouble finding your titles with the Verification process? They don’t seem to be listing some of my books in the box where I am supposed to verify things – like Speak and Twisted – which is kind of a big deal.

Do any of you read author blogs via AmazonConnect?

(No, I’m not listed yet, I think it will take a day or two for everything to be verified.)

I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging from Kindling Words. I promise to take lots of pictures.

on trying to be a pro

The snow stopped, so our lake effect storm was a brief one (compared to last February). We wound up with almost four feet, but the driveway is plowed, the streets are plowed, we were able to get out yesterday afternoon. Oh, and school is open today.

In Fulton, NY, (a few towns over) the roof on the Department of Public Works garage collapsed under the weight of the snow. CNN is covering it. Sure would be nice if CNN would come back up here for the apple harvest, or the perfect summer nights when we can see the Milky Way from our back yard.

An interesting question about being a professional writer turned up in the comments section a few days ago.

wrote: I love how you write about the writing process in your journal. I’ve only found this journal a little while ago, but I’m been following the entries, and as a writer, it’s really something I can relate to. Writing is so unpredictable and since I’m still just a young wannabe (I’d like to think I’m a writer, even if not a professional one), I can’t even believe how professional writers can put writing’s unpredictableness aside and meet their deadlines! Care to enlighten me?

By “unpredictableness” I assume you mean that we rarely feel totally inspired every single day. I sure as heck don’t. But I have to write every day. First and foremost because I like it and it is good for me. Second, because by staying in touch with the story every day, the writing flows better. Third (though this one is pretty important, too), the writing pays my bills.

Any career in the arts has a simple truth attached to it: you have to do the work every day. That is how you get better.

It doesn’t matter how many books I’ve published. I have never before written the book I am writing now. I have to respect the work and keep striving to learn more, keep searching for new tools for my work chest. If you are standing on the outside looking in, it might seem a little boring, and I admit, there are days when I long for a job that has a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks and some kind of health insurance, but the truth is, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to write stories that people want to read. That is extremely motivating.

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 3 – Miles Run: 21.75, YTD: 62.75
Week 3 – Days Written: 7, YTD:21

Only 49 weeks to go!

True this

I still believe, too.

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We’ve had almost three feet of snow in the last twenty-four hours. Needless to say, we’re staying home today.

scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble…..