Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Writing Tree

When I walk my dog, which is nearly every day, we take a meandering path leading us through a park and out into the woods. And because dogs aren't too interested in people chatter when they walk, I ponder and reflect. And solve all sorts of problems. Okay, not really. But I work through the problems in my writing.

As we walk, my dog and I pass by this tiny tree, and each day this tiny tree inspires me -- and my writing. Just in case the photo doesn't do the tree justice, this is the tree's story.

The tiny tree was growing. Then it broke. In half. Likely in a wind storm last spring. Its main trunk snapped, and its treetop now lies on the ground. But the tiny tree did not die; it did not give up. Inside its tree-self, it decided to keep growing, even though it grows differently than every other tree in the woods. Now, in early fall, the tiny tree has numerous new branches sprouting upwards, as well as the original treetop growing sideways. (Wouldn't this make a perfect picture book?)

Keep the image of my writing tree tucked inside your writing self. This little tree has so much to say. And what do you have to say - are there things you see that inspire what you write?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meeting my Friend Anne (and a Giveaway!)

It's not unusual, I don't think, to have friends we've never met in person. We get to know people through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, emails, or other internet places. And some of these people become people we call friends. And these types of friends are every bit as real and wonderful as those we sip coffee with. (Although I don't sip coffee. Or even drink it. It just sounds so cozy I wish I did).

For me, one of those friends is middle grade author Anne Ylvisaker. I first met her through Twitter. Then I read a book of hers, reviewed it on a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post (this one), she wrote a guest post on my blog (it's right here), and we began emailing. She's a wonderfully gracious, kind, encouraging, thoughtful friend who makes time for me - even when she doesn't have the time.

One week ago today, I read on Anne's blog that she'd be in Red Wing, Minnesota, on Saturday, September 10, for a children's book festival. Oh. My. Gosh. That's one hour from where I live! So my kids and I drove to the festival and met Anne!!

There are people who doubt a friendship can exist from online communication only. I am not one of those people, but I am grateful for having met Anne in person. I hope it's not the only time I do so. And......quite obviously, she's the published author and knows not to cover the cover of the book with her FINGERS!

Because she and her writing are so wonderful, I bought an extra copy of Anne's latest novel (I'm not nice enough to give you mine) The Luck of the Buttons and had it signed - to give away to one of you!! Comment by 10pm CST on Sunday, September 18, to enter the drawing for a hardcover, signed copy of The Luck of the Buttons.

And just because I'm curious, do you have friends you've never met in person?