Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Interview with FreelanceSwitch

Freelancing super site FreelanceSwitch recently interviewed me about life in the children's writing and editing business. We talked about my 15+ years as a freelancer, making the final transition to full-time freelancing, and maintaining the work. I had a good time with the questions.

Read the full interview "Freelance Writing and Editing? That's Child's Play" here. Let me know what you think — feel free to leave comments either here or there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Waking Up the Muse

After months upon months of being buried in intense writing work and being absolutely thrown by a peak period in that never-ending work of life-writing, I've recently noticed something:

I've been waking up. And doing so has made me realize that I may have had a bit of a long-ish nap.

Has this sort of thing ever happened to you? You know, when you're busy with a capital B. When life drops orange pylons onto your course and you zig-n-zag all around, missing or barely nicking some but flattening others. When you become so focused on one problem or goal that everything else could blow up — right in front of your face — and you wouldn't know it. Has it?

That's the kind of reality I've been living in for a while. I think it's pretty normal to go through such phases. I hope so, anyway, because I've been through them before. I've always come out the other side, thank goodness. In my current not-quite-middle-age-YET-thank-you era (right? hasn't the lower end of middle age been bumped up?) — I am pretty good at not letting phases like that fully engulf me. When one arises, I still function well, maintain a positive outlook, stay on top of important business, keep up with daily hygiene . . .

But during my present re-re-re-reawakening, I've realized that the one thing I do that I wish I could altogether avoid in the sleepy phase is COAST. To me, coasting means that I'm doing little more than getting by. Things fall off my list. Important things. For example, writing for pleasure — or, to be more precise, taking pleasure in my writing.

I know, I know. We all have to cope with those pylons the best we can. The collision course will always crop up again, and sometimes you really can't do better than coast your way through it. But where my writing is concerned (since that's the only acceptable topic for the blog!), I want to work on not letting other challenges sap my energy for/delight in doing the one thing I'm here to do for myself.

Not sure at all how to accomplish that. Yet today it seems possible. My "muse" is active. Suddenly, any act of writing inspires me to do more writing. Ideas flow, solutions flow, excitement flows, WORDS flow.

At any rate, I'm awake at the moment — and I don't plan to succumb to another nap anytime soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Scholastic Reports on Kids' Reading Habits

I'm still buried in work and life, but I took a minute to click on this article from Publishers Weekly Daily today.

Scholastic has just released a report discussing a recent survey on kids' reading habits. The good news is that the majority of kids think it's important to read for fun — and most of them at least "like" to. But many don't get to it. Main reasons given include having more interesting things to do, spending too much time on homework, and not being able to identify enjoyable books.

The Harry Potter series seems to have had a positive effect in recent years, getting more children reading just for the fun of it. Interestingly, though, many kids would rather just make do with the Harry they've got, and 31% of the children surveyed think the series will continue . . .

You can read the full report here.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Thought I'd pass along links to some great sites I've recently bookmarked.

Alice's CWIM Blog
CWIM editor Alice Pope talks publishing.

Children's Writing Web Journal
Syndicated content you'll want to read.

Includes a database of literary agents.

Highlights interesting nonfiction for kids.