Sunday, January 31, 2016

COSCBWI Meeting January 2016

It's a brand new year, which means it's time to jump back into COSCBWI meetings!

As you may have read in my "About Me" section of this blog, I'm the Illustrator Coordinator for the Central and Southern Ohio Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers Illustrators.  (Try to say that 10 times fast!)  I help plan events and love contributing to the organization.  A few years ago, I started posting summaries of the monthly meetings on my blog for any local folk who missed attending, as well as for my readers spread far and wide who are interested in children's literature topics.  I plan to do so again in 2016, so I hope you will enjoy these COSCBWI posts!

The first meeting of 2016 was a meet-and-greet and overview of the organization.  2016 has ushered in some changes for the chapter, including a new Regional Advisor.  Former Regional Advisor Linda Miller decided it was time to retire from the position after several years of service.  We know she'll remain active in the group, though, and wish her the best of luck as she focuses on her own writing!  YA author and active member Jody Casella will be stepping into the RA role, and we know she'll bring a lot to the group with her personal experience in the publishing industry.

It's always a good idea to make sure everyone has the most up-to-date info at the start of each year, so here is where you can find COSCBWI online:

Twitter: @CSOhioSCBWI
Facebook: Central Southern Ohio SCBWI

We also talked about some awesome events already on the calendar for 2016 including...

Saturday, February 13th:
Half-day workshop with YA author Emery Lord called "Taking Your Manuscript to the Next Level"

Saturday, March 5th:
Half-day workshop with associate agent Victoria Selvaggio called "Agent 101: An Inside View of Acquiring Clients"

You can find out more information and sign up for both workshops here:
(Each event is on the purple menu on the right-hand side of the website.)

We also talked about some other big upcoming events around the literary community including the SCBWI Multi-Chapter Spring "Wild Wild Midwest" Conference on April 29-May 1 in Chicago (website) and the 10th Annual Ohioana Book Festival on April 23 in Columbus (

The meeting ended with member manuscript critiques.  Group critiques are a wonderful way to get feedback on your work, as well as share your writing and illustrating expertise with other members.  COSCBWI keeps the atmosphere informal and encouraging for group critiques, so don't be afraid to to share your work when opportunities come up throughout the year!

This is shaping up to be a very exciting year for COSCBWI (and it's only January 31!)  I hope to see you at a meeting or event soon! 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Happy 2016 Blog Post

Happy New Year!
It's that time again--time to take stock of the last twelve months and look ahead to what the next year may bring.
2015 was nuts.  I feel like I say that every year, but this past year was a doozy.  First off, I've never traveled so much in my entire life.  The year took me to St. Maarten, Cleveland (x2), Hocking Hills, Pittsburgh (x2), Hilton Head, Michigan, New York, Niagara Falls, Akron, Chicago, and Cincinnati.  Some of the travel was for conferences; some for work; some for family togetherness; and some for play.  I'm not kidding when I say I still have a half-unpacked suitcase sitting on my bedroom floor as I type this.  (Note to self: catch up on unwashed laundry in 2016.)
When I was home during the year (and neither packing nor unpacking suitcases), I spent the bulk of my time going to appointments and tending my bum shoulder as I talked about in this rather grumpy blog post.  This made 2015 not as productive as I would have liked art-wise, but I didn't just sit around like a beached whale, either.  I still forced myself to do at least one artistic thing per month and was quite active in my local SCBWI chapter.  I even managed to fill up this annual art chart, so huzzah!
You may notice two weird things on this summary.
1) What the heck is November?  
Long story short, 10 years ago, my hubby wished he'd purchased a geeky tee shirt based off of the "Halo" video game franchise.  Since then, he's wistfully looked for it every year, but has never been able to buy it online.  I found a pic of someone wearing the shirt, re-vectored the design and cleaned it up, and printed it for him as a Christmas surprise.  Original art it is not, but it did take me lots of time and love, so I'm counting it as my artistic creation for November.  :)
2) What's up with December?   
I spent December writing, that's what's up with December!  (And working on WIP illustrations for my nephew that I don't want to spoil.)  Yes, it took over two years, but I'm happy to say that I've finally reconnected with Pirate Ferret.  I've been working my way through a round of revisions, chipping away at my novel during my lunch breaks at work.  
Although I'm EXTREMELY bad at turning my creativity on and off like a light switch (I prefer to "binge write" for hours on end), I've come to the realization that I need to take better advantage of the tiny chunks of writing time I can scrounge up during the day.  It's been a bit of an adjustment, but I'm learning to celebrate mini-progress and not expect the same level of productivity from myself as when I used to work part-time.  Editing a sentence or two during lunch is always better than editing nothing at all.  :)
So what will 2016 bring?
The new year has already started with another shoulder injection, so I'm quite sure I'll be dealing with my body being stupid again this year.  But my shoulder does feel a little better, and I'm still working with someone for my migraines, so maybe 2016 will find me the healthiest Kathryn yet!  (Or bionic.  Can I just swap out my innards for a steel frame?)      
Overall, I plan to keep moving forward in 2016.  Pirate Ferret is going well; I have lots of art I want to do; and writing and illustrating events are quickly filling my calendar.  Plus, I already have one trip planned...
That's right!  2016 is a Disney World year!  So how could it not be great year?
I wish you a bright, healthy, and inspired new year!  Let's all keep moving forward in 2016! 

Note:  Blank art summary meme edited from DustBunnyThumper on deviantArt.  link   All art and stick doodles are mine.