Yesterday, I met poet Liz Garton Scanlon, author of A Sock Is A Pocket For Your Toes: A Pocket Book (HarperCollins, 2004), for a brunch-ish snack beneath an umbrella outside the new Whole Foods. I gobbled down a brown sushi rice spicy tuna roll with a bottle of water and was delighted by her gift of a handwoven basket and more from Tanzania.
It was fun. A lot of shop talk and an effort to save the American political system. We also brainstormed on balancing being a writer (creative side) and an author (business side). It's a tough job.
I also picked up my signed copies of Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, 2005) and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (Viking, 2004) from BookPeople. I'm still vexed that I wasn't able to go to the signing, which was scheduled against the TLA publisher party.
Great mail included a stack of promotional cards featuring the cover art to my chapter book short story collection Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002), courtesy of the publisher, and my check in payment for my recent YA short story, "Riding With Rosa" in the March/April issue of Cicada.
I was corresponding with an author pal recently who was in the midst of a million to-dos that were all about being an author and not at all about writing. She'd asked me something to the effect of: "Is this the life I was seeking?"
Right now, I'm not working on my own stories. I'm preparing for talks, speaking, traveling, reading, critiquing, waiting to hear back from my editors on manuscripts under contract.
What I do is set aside a few months in the winter just for writing and then try to fit everything else around it during the rest of the year. But sometimes I just let myself be an author without writing every day (beyond blogging and email), though I still build on related skills as a reader/critiquer.
Maybe all of that wasn't originally a part of my vision of the writing life I was seeking, but each is an aspect of the life I've crafted so that I can go after my dream.
Picture Books Go Graphic: