I truly did not mean to just peace out the way I have, so I apologize. I think part of the reason I became so silent is because so much was going on and there is so much to say but not enough words to say them. So, this is my apology for that and thank you very much for sticking with me and by me.
The high points:
- I've been writing! As you know, I released Go with Your Heart back in August and the response for that has been wonderful. Beautiful Trouble Publishing is a supportive publisher and I appreciate them giving me the chance to tell that story and for trusting me to help format their books! I just finished this year's NaNo (still in the RJC universe, but this time it's about Henry's parents Lydia and Takeshiro Inoue!) and as exhausting as that experience was, I was grateful for the challenge. I really enjoy writing these two!
- I made a contact with an editor at Harlequin who was so giving of her time and dispensed very useful advice. The trick now is for me to follow it!
- Kwame Alexander has offered me wonderful opportunities this fall, including being part of his Kwame and Friends (including Marcus Amaker and Joanna Crowell) reading at the John. L. Dart Public Library at the beginning of October and being a panelist at the Capital BookFest in November, along with Heidi Durrow and Noni Carter. Both women are fantastic writers and wonderful people, so it was truly an honor to share the panel wtih them! I also met Carol Mackey, who was so gracious, and Ms. Dori Sanders, with whom I had a fangirl moment. She said I could write! Y'all, I was definitely beaming like a kid in a candy store (speaking of which, definitely need to read Clover again! I also met another writer, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond who encouraged me to keep my chin up and don't give up on traditional publishing. I took a picture with Victoria Rowell (that didn't save to my phone! *cries*), who is as gorgeous and talented in real life as she is on screen and I watched her panel with AlTonya Washington. I started talking to a young student who was also presenting because she was part of Kwame Alexander's Book-in-a-Day Program, and that was one of the most worthwhile conversations I'd ever had. I have every confidence this young lady will go far! The final panel was with Ms. Tananarive Due and Tina McElroy Ansa, who were fantastic and spoke some serious truth about what it means to be a writer and a community of writers. It was the perfect way to begin NaNo and a recharge of why I wake up at five or earlier every morning and start writing.
- Please go support my girl BJ Thornton. She's awesome and I want to write like her when I grow up. And Karen Lord. She was reviewed in The New York Times. Holla!
The low point:
I lost a very dear friend to me, Ruthy Charlot, in mid-October, which just really threw me for a loop because it was so unexpected. But every writer has their go-to cheerleaders, and Lord knows she'd become one of mine. She challenged me to be better, not in terms of skill, but in terms of having the courage to tell the story I truly want to tell...or the story that truly needed to be told. She made me more discerning about what I say, how I say it, and to whom I listen. She was even editing a story for me that was to be published back in November (That's on indefinite hold right now, but it will be released at some point.). She was brilliant, encouraging, and one of the most beautiful people I knew. She's missed. Dearly.
So, in these last four weeks of 2010, I hope I continue being productive and that 2011 sees more of me on your bookshelves and this blog, quite frankly!