Shall we give this another try?

For two years I've been promising to post something on my blog! Two years! So what have I been up to, you ask? (I know you didn't but thanks for playing along.)
Let's see, family wise, one son has moved on to college, and another onto middle school. No big drama there. The hardest part was learning AIM and how to add buddies.
Work wise, there are no new books in the publishing pipeline, but a few manuscripts are making the rounds. I've written an upper middle grade/younger YA novel about a house I use to live in that was built by circus performers. A circus theme plays a major part in the story line. Since I'm the queen of the 2,000 word picture books (that's too long for those of you that don't know) I decided to try a novel instead. It was a blast! Who knew I had so much to say? Okay, that's my family you hear groaning in the background. Cough! cough!
This summer I attended a workshop with Executive Editor, Judy O'Malley of Charlesbridge, on shopping around your manuscript and what editors are looking for. It was held at the Writer's Studio, owned by my friend Joyce Johnson . That was very enlightening and gave me the push I needed. Next, I attended a Writer's Schmooze at the Poland Spring's Campground, run by my writing friend Tami Wight. The Editor was Andrea Tompa from Candlewick who was delightful and very down-to-earth. Lastly, I'll be attending Kindling Words East at the end of January, a retreat for working writers, illustrators and editors. Should be fun.
Illustration work has been pretty quiet. I had a piece in the July 2007 issue of Spider, and illustrated a book cover for Random House. The novel is called "Love Me Tender" by Newbery Honor author Audrey Couloumbis and will be out April 22, 2008. I had great fun coming up with the Elvis figure. I also did lots of good work for a very large office supply company.
This is the newest addition to our family—an Amphicar! An Amphi-what! you ask? It's an amphibious car made in Germany in 1964. My husband was in search of a hobby and has wanted one one of these cars since he was a kid. He's been working on it for almost two years now and nearly done. In this photo you see the new white wall tires.
In this photo, you can see my husband's car in the center, along with two friends and their amphis. If you look closely you will see the dual propellors under the rear bumpers. These kooky . . . er . . . kool guys get together and go for swims together (called swim-ins), stopping traffic and causing accidents wherever they go.

My oldest son, college boy, has become First Mate to my husband, the Captain. Hey! I thought that was my job! He's also the videographer and webmaster. He's even bought a sweet sun umbrella that matches the amphi perfectly. A chip-off-the-old-block I'd say! Picture to follow on another day.

And here's my husband swimming (that's what they call it) with his car in our local lake. In case you were wondering, the car can go 70 mph on land and 7 mph in the water.

Take a peek at the website my son (the college boy) designed for more amphi phun— Some of the videos there have also been uploaded to youtube.

More catching up to follow.

Update part deux!

Visiting Our Nation's Capital