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Sunday, May 19, 2013

What's Been Going On

I blinked and then it was May.  Just like that.

I am trying to slow down and enjoy moments this Spring, but instead it's more like diggings my heels into the ground and attempting to skid to a stop while being pulled by a rope attached to a crazy bull.

It's not that effective.

But it's quiet here on this Sunday morning so I can take a sip of tea and be a bit reflective before everyone wakes up and the roller coaster starts up again.

So, here's life as I know it:

1. At the end of April, I found out that THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET was a finalist for the California Book Award.  I was blown away and very honored.  The gold medal ended up going to THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, which I could not complain about because, well, IVAN was awesome.

2.  My team of teachers just won an "Outstanding Education Program" award for that cow eyeball dissection lab we organized. The award includes funding so that we can continue the project next year. 

3.  I have two graduations looming (eighth grade and college), which begs the question, how does one make fajitas for fifty people without losing one's mind?

4. I've been thinking about writing more than I have been writing.  This has not necessarily been a bad thing.  Since I am in the midst of reworking a chunk of a middle grade book, I kind of feel like I am laying each word down, brick by brick, ever-so-slowly, so that they don't topple over.  I know the weight that they need to hold up, I know the pattern they must make so that the structure will be sound and stable. It is a gift that the only deadline I am under to make it work is self-imposed.

5.  Everyone keeps asking me what I am doing or where I am going this summer, but I don't want to really go anywhere or do much of anything. What I really want are huge blocks of unstructured time. Here's hoping.

6. I've read some great books:

This is such a beautifully written book--very reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling--at least to me--and I love Kipling.
If you want to write middle grade and you are not reading Rebecca Stead, you should stop everything you are doing and read one of her books.  I insist.

Creepy. Scary. Gritty. Hopeful. Wow.
So, there's life as I know it.  How are you getting yourself ready for Summer?



Jessie Oliveros said...

Congratulations on being a finalist! I am also a fan of Rebecca Stead. But not of cow's eyeballs.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Shelley. CONGRATS on The Seven Tales Of Trinket being a finalist for the California Book Award. Also CONGRATS to your team of teachers for winning the Outstanding Education Program award. I hope you get your wish of huge chunks of unstructured time this summer. : )

Julie Dao said...

Congrats, Shelley!! That's fantastic news. I too hope you have many blocks of unstructured time this summer. I can't believe we only have two weeks of May left. *sigh*

Joanne R. Fritz said...

I absolutely adored THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT. It has the timeless feel of a fable.

And I've read all three of Rebecca Stead's books (her first was FIRST LIGHT). Still think WHEN YOU REACH ME is the best.

Congrats on being a finalist for the California Book Award!

Stasia said...

Wow! What a great spring! Congrats on all fronts. I've got a high school graduation in a couple of weeks and I'm already getting misty-eyed. Hope your summer (and mine) are full of good writing.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I hope the crazy bull goes to pasture soon so you can daydream and write to your heart's content. I can't wait to see what stories you are weaving.

Congratulations on all the great news!