I thought that October was going to be my busiest month this year, but it looks like this month is just as busy or busier! I don’t know how this happened. I’m going to talk about what I’m working on later, but for now here are some events, classes and submissions that I’ve been telling people about. It’s just that there are so many that I just want them in one place!
Picture Book Palooza
Price: $20 (or donate more to help this cause!)
Runs Dec 5-7th! It’s a big online event that talks about all aspects of Picture Books. The event is to raise money for diversity scholarships for the Children’s Book Academy. It’s $20 and there are a lot of prizes. All webinars are recorded:
SCBWI Graphic Novel Conference
Turning Writing and Illustrator Ideas into Graphic Novels
10:00 am – 3:30 pm
A one day conference for graphic novel writers and illustrators. When I signed up there were a few spots left with Natascha Morris for a paid critique. Submission opportunity available after the conference!
Black Friday Bootcamp with Storyteller Academy!
Arree Chung is the founder and one of the teachers at the wonderful storyteller academy. Come join in the free event and see if the Storyteller Academy is right for you! I’ve learned a ton at this academy and my son adored the kids classes that were offered!
A YA writing event. Most of the webinars are for YA writers, but there was a talk on MG books. I haven’t watched the events so it could be good for MG writers as well. There is a talk for graphic novelists and one with a queer talk!
This event is now over, but most of the webinars are posted on Youtube!
YallWrite Twitter: https://twitter.com/YALLFest
Youtube Replays: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLuk7vwjbCbcfvt5K22xlF_6HS4WWcCoB
7 Turns – Novel Writing Course
This is an absolutely wonderful course to take for anyone wanting to write a novel for any age. Ksenia teaches the 7 turns of creating a novel giving you an excellent and fully customizable blueprint to make your novel sing. The community surrounding this course is very supportive and I love everything I’ve learned.
7 Turns Vision: To be the world’s first creative healing company, to create a healthy place to work for, and to build a safe, trusted, and uplifting online community where people can share and discover any story they want.
The 2021 Craft & Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books
A wonderful course by the Children’s Book Academy. Work on your writing craft with three fantastic teachers. Submission opportunity after the course with 10 Editors, Agents and Publishers who will look at your work!
I have been in the illustration course 3 times. It is a fantastic learning opportunity. I learn something new every time I’m in a CBA course.
The BIPOC Bookshelf
A list of BIPOC Editors and Agents. Not all agents on this list are open to submissions!
“The purpose of the BIPOC Editors & Agents database is to be used by both literary publishing professionals and potential writers – with the goal of bringing more stories from the perspective of BIPOC writers into the world through traditional publishing.”
The BIPOC Twitter Account:
I meant to announce this sooner. I’ve been extremely fatigued this past week and before that I’ve been so busy.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any Smart Dummies this year. It’s something I wrestled with a lot. It’s been an extra busy year for me. COVID has really messed things up. Also, I feel like I need a break.
This year I’m running a relaxed event called Doodles and Dreams! This will be an event much like my Spring into Writing Event. I will be releasing the Smart Dummies booklet again this year. If possible I’ll also do a fun booklet for Doodles &Dreams as well.
Doodles & Dreams wont have prizes, but I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun! We’ll do some art sharing and maybe even have some chats. I’ll be talking more about this before September starts. I hope to see you there!
Sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
I’ve been feeling better since my endoscopic sinus surgery last Monday. It’s been an experience. Right now I’m rinsing out my sinuses every hour (I know TMI, but I promise I’m not sharing photos). If you want to know what it’s like, it’s basically like having a sinus infection, or a head cold. It would be a bit worse though if I hadn’t recovered so quickly from the anesthetic.
I was really worried about the surgery before I got it. It wasn’t bad, and I hope to never have to do this again. Enough about my nose and on to creative and book stuff.
All of my creative goals have gone out the door with this surgery. I have been so busy doing nothing lately. Recovering is just so exhausting!
I dread this one most of all. I really don’t — just that it’s a long list of books. I finished Parachutes by Kelly Lang and The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding.
Parachutes by Kelly Lang is about two girls Dani who is Filipina American and Claire who is Chinese. Early on it’s decided by Claire’s family to send her to America because Claire refuses to cheat on one of her exams. Claire’s family is rich, so it’s nothing for them to send her to the US. Claire does not like this turn of events. Claire ends up living with Dani’s family. Unlike Claire Dani is poor and is on a scholarship to attend school.
This book comes with a big CW for Rape & Rape culture. Both girls are thrown into bad situations. Claire ends up in some bad relationships. Dani’s teacher ends up putting her in a terrible situation. The way that the school deals with both situations is disappointing to say the least. This story is very hard to read at times.
Though it is a hard read, I really liked the characters in the story. Both Claire and Dani were strong female characters. They had big personalities. There were a few times I disagreed with the character’s actions, but there was never a doubt of my mind that the characters involved felt like real people.
The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding is just a whole lot of fun! It was the perfect novel to follow up Parachutes. The story is about 17 year old Abby who has applied for an internship at her favorite fashion boutique. Abby is fat and is a fashion blogger and is just too fabulous (if I have any criticism of this book it’s that Abby is too fabulous). Abby is gay and I love that the characters in this book are all supportive of her being gay. Abby gets the internship, but is surprised that she has to share it with Jordi who is an extraordinary photographer. There is a job at stake at the end of the internship, and Abby has all kinds of doubt about the future.
Abby has a fantastic summer of eating burgers with a guy named Jax. She does not get to spend as much time with her friends as she’d like, especially her best friend. She also has a mom who is a blogger and a health food celebrity. Abby struggles with her relationship with her mother because her mother is all about eating low carb foods and the whole Healthy Eating with Nora has taken over their family’s lives.
Abby soon finds herself falling for Jordi Perez. This begins a wonderful sweet romance. Is this romance too good to be true?
I highly recommend the audiobook for this story. Abby is just so adorable, and hearing Cassandra Morris reading this story really brings Abby to life!
I’m currently reading We Use to be Friends by Amy Spalding and The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. I’ll be talking more about them next week!
More Fun Stuff:
Please join me and Jeanette Bradley for Queer Kidlit tonight at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET. The LGBTQIA+ chat is every Wednesday night! All kidlit LGBTQIA+ and allies welcome. This is meant as a fun chat for all involved. Please be respectful of pronouns!
We will be talking about what you’d like to see in books, LGBTQIA+ book recs and censorship of LGBTQIA+ books! I hope to see you there!
I published this and realized that I forgot to mention that I’m going in for sinus surgery on Monday August 10th. It’s a minor surgery, but I have no idea how I’ll recover from the surgery. I’ll try to set up posts for next week if possible, but it’s possible it may be a couple weeks before I’m able to post again (but that’s the worst case scenario).
I have a big announcement for Smart Dummies this year, but I will save this for a bit later in it’s own post. The only thing that I’ll say now is that the event will be a little different this week.
I need to go back and edit some of the images I was working on for my comic. I believe I’m done with the current ones, but the older images need some work. After that I need to add in text and edit the images I created.
I worked on a promo piece this weekend for the SCBWI spectacular. I like it, but I feel as though the coloring is not quite what I want to do for this, so I’ll be trying some other things before settling on a style. If I go with this one I’ll be developing the colors/shading further.
I’m currently reading Thorn by Intisar Khanani. It’s a wonderfully magical story about princess Alyrra who finds herself in an arranged marriage she has no say in. Though she does not want to leave her home, she is relieved to get away from her abusive brother.
Before she arrives at the castle a witch forces Alyrra into body of another person. She soon finds herself in the role of a servant cleaning up after geese and spending her time among common folk. Alyrra loves it all!
Alyrra doesn’t want her old life back. She may not have a choice where she stays, because the fate of the Kingdom may depend on her retaking her old body.
I am only halfway through this book and I do not know how things are going to end up! This is a wonderfully fun adventure. Here is a link to the book if you want to pick it up: https://bookshop.org/books/thorn-9780062835703/9780062835703
More Fun Stuff:
It’s been quite the week! I attended the SCBWI Summer Spectacular and it was Spectacular. Lots of great advice and fun with lots of wonderful industry people. Here is the link to the registration: https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-summer-spectacular-2020/#event-registration
How about an LGBTQIA chat for kidlit? It’s happening soon. I’m still planning out the details with Jeanette Bradley. The first Twitter Chat is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday August 12th at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET with the hashtag #queerkidlit. Since this is a new chat there may be changes. I’ll officially announce the chat here in it’s own post when we get everything sorted out.
I’m pretty much finished with 2 of my spreads for my graphic novel. That means I’ve got one left to do, plus some (hopefully minor) edits on the 2 spreads that are already in my portfolio! After I’m done with this I’ll be moving on to my character sheet and maybe a drawing of the interior of the library that’s the setting for the whole story.
I’ve also got inks done for 2/5 of the illustrations for another graphic novel project. Hoping I can finish at least the first one soon!
Since last week I’ve read Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen. When Cori decides to stay home from a party her friends Maritza and Jakory think Codi isn’t ready to grow up. Cori ends up at the party anyway (as her friends are too drunk to drive) and ends up making a friendship with a boy that takes her on a journey of self discovery.
Cori is lesbian, Maritza is bi and Jakory is gay. The story does a wonderful job of talking about queer relationships. I love the relationships that Cori makes, and how supportive everyone is of each other.
This is a book that’s about discovery and acceptance of one’s own queerness and a coming of age story. I wont say that there is no sign of queerphobia in this book, but it is pretty positive overall. Most of what happens is microaggressions and ignorance of the characters being queer. I love the supportiveness of the main and side characters. The ending of this story is pretty magical.
More Fun Stuff:
Looking for art events? Abelle Hayford has put together a great list of Twitter hastag events for artists: https://twitter.com/abellehayford/status/1283566529544503296?s=20 It’s a WIP so keep checking back for more events. If you know of something not on the list. Please let Abelle know!