Thursday, January 29, 2015

COSCBWI Meeting January 2015

It's that time again--time to kick off a new year of COSCBWI meetings!

As I've mentioned in the "About Me" section of this little blog, I'm the Membership Coordinator for the Central and Southern Ohio chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  (Yes, that is a mouthful!)  I love going to the COSCBWI meetings and events, and post summaries of them here on my blog for anyone who may have missed attending, as well as anyone who is interested in children's publishing topics.  I've done this for the past few years and look forward to doing so again in 2015.

The first COSCBWI meeting of 2015 was a meet-and-greet and overview of the organization.  Introductions were made around the room, and it was great to see old faces and meet brand new members.  Some changes have been made regarding the COSCBWI website, contact info, and social media sites, so here is all the updated group information as of 1/2015:

Twitter: @CSOhioSCBWI
Facebook: Central Southern Ohio SCBWI

The listserv is a particularly neat benefit for COSCBWI members.  It's an online network provided for active members, where writers and illustrators can share news, look for critique partners, and ask questions to other members in the COSCBWI region.  The region oversees Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton, so the listserv is a great way for members to connect across the state. 

Don't forget that the national SCBWI website has a wealth of resources for writers and illustrators, including a forum, past issues of The Bulletin, and grant opportunities.  If you're a member of SCBWI, or thinking about joining, do check out the website at to see everything SCBWI has to offer.  And if you ever want to learn more about the upcoming events and news specific to the Central and Southern Ohio region, the chapter website is the best place to go and will be updated regularly in 2015.  (That's in case you missed it above!)

The meeting ended with a member manuscript critique.  Group critiques are a great way to get feedback on your work, as well as share your writing and illustrating knowledge with other members.  COSCBWI is a welcoming and encouraging community of children's lit enthusiasts, so don't be shy about sharing your work when opportunities come up!

The next meeting will take place on February 25 with details soon to be posted on the website.  I hope to see you then!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Happy 2015 Blog Post (Complete with Resolutions!)

Happy Official New Year!  (It's only January 8th--but who's counting, right?)

I've always thought this is a bittersweet time of the year.  Looking back on the past twelve months brings mixed feelings of accomplishment and discouragement.  My resolutions were pretty simple last year: keep moving forward in my writing, art, and spend more time doing things I like and enjoying my loved ones.

Overall, I did pretty well.  I created a lot of art, tried some new techniques, and drew new subjects.  I compiled my first portfolio and had my first professional illustration critiques.  I think I've become a bit speedier in my art, and I even drew some humans (which I enjoy about as much as eating broccoli).  I'll call this category a success.

My writing life wasn't as productive as I hoped, due largely to the passing of our second ferret just six months after we lost our first one.  But I reconnected with Pirate Ferret over the summer at my Highlights Unworkshop and worked on some picture books during the second half of the year.  I attended conferences, had encouraging critiques, and moved forward, even if it was just with baby steps.  I'll call this category a half-success.

On the home front, I made a conscious effort to shut my work-self off from time to time and do more things with my loved ones.  I even finished a few video games in my ginormous backlog of titles and read a few books just for fun, so huzzah!   I'll call this category a significant improvement.  (Although there is still plenty of room to do better!)

So what are my thoughts for 2015?

I have no idea where this year will take me, so I'll just keep moving forward.  I want to dive back into Pirate Ferret and become brave enough to work on concept art for my characters.  I want to not hate drawing humans and not be an utter nitpicker.  I want to simplify, simplify, simplify.   I want to submit some stuff to some places.  And I want to play The Legend of Zelda for hours on end from time to time and have some Netflix marathons with my hubby.

I think that's a good start. 

I wish you a very creative, happy, and inspired new year!  Let's all keep sailing towards our dreams in 2015.

Note:  Blank art summary meme was created by user DustBunnyThumper on deviantArt.  link   It's such a fun thing to fill out each new year.  :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Last Illustration of 2014

Okay, I know it's 2015 already, but I was so busy ringing in the new year that I didn't get to post my last illustration of 2014!  So...voila!

These two characters are part of a work-in-process manuscript that I'm taking to a SCBWI picture book workshop in a few weeks.  I can't wait to attend!  It's a rare opportunity where I get to bring both a manuscript AND illustration to work on.  My goal for this piece was simplicity and fun to match the tone of the story.  I ultimately want to do more character development of these two fellows, but it's a good start.  :)

Now, so long 2014!  I'll have a more appropriate New Year's post soon!