Friday, September 14, 2012

Storyteller's Journey

       The Heart of a Student

It's been unusually warm here in the Pacific Northwest for the prelude to autumn, still, the seasonal events arrived right on time: the start of the school year, football games, and falling leaves. Autumn has always been my favorite season, primarily because I so thoroughly loved my school days. It wasn't just the school supplies, my new school clothes, and seeing my school chums was the thought of learning.
When I began seriously writing several years ago, I realized that I was back home. Home meaning a new field of learning, new goals put upon myself, and a new level of excellence to hope to attain.

My husband and I have many friends who are artists, musicians, and writers; we really enjoy their energy because they seem to stay creative and they keep striving to learn. Several of them are published, or accomplished in their field. One of Michael's artist friends has received national awards and has several oil paintings hanging in European galleries. But guess what! He is the most humble man, and is always learning from artists older and more experienced than himself; he's a great guy and a great family man. He has maintained a heart of a student.

To help me keep learning, and hopefully to maintain a heart of a student; I'm looking forward to broadening my knowledge base by attending the following events:

* SCBWI Oregon Open House tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 15th in Portland, Oregon. The event is entitled: Got Genre? Several authors will chair different tables dealing with various genres. It should be a great place to pick the brains of published authors! (This event is free.)

* SCBWI Clark County Schmooze - Saturday, Sept. 22nd in Vancouver, Washington. This quarterly event is mostly a place to network, and meet new writer and illustrator friends. However, the first two meetings folks shared news on upcoming workshops, contests, their agents, etc. It has already been a wonderful place to get great information, as well as have fun! (This event is free.)

* The Toad Hall Writers and Illustrators Retreat - This regional retreat is scheduled for October 19th-21st in Turner, Oregon. Toad Hall is primarily made up of a group of crazy writers and illustrators from Oregon. ^_^ However, Oregon has such a strong representation of wonderful writers and illustrators that the group has attracted children's book enthusiasts from all over the Pacific Northwest. (I can't wait to see some of the friends I made from last year again!)

* Authors and Illustrators Dinner - sponsored by Fort Vancouver Regional Library. This annual event will be held on Wednesday, November 14th in downtown Vancouver, Washington, at the Hilton Hotel. I'm so excited, and my husband has agreed to join me! This year's guest speaker is Nicholas Sparks - the author of numerous novels, including The Notebook. (I guess I'll have to wear make-up that day! ^_^)

As you can see, my autumn is shaping up to be a busy one. And, I still haven't decided if I will participate in (dare I say the word?) NaNoWriMo!

If you are in the Pacific Northwest region and would like to check out the Oregon chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) here is the link:

How do you keep learning - to maintain a heart of a student?


  1. I'll be seeing you at most of those events!

    1. Hey Deb, that's great! It's been a while since I've seen you. See you tomorrow!

  2. I read a lot, both fiction and books on writing (my latest purchase was HOOKED), I get magazines, I follow aspiring writers blogs as well as published writers who offer tips of the trade, and I practice - a lot.

    1. Thanks, Marcy. I feel like reading is the very best way to keep learning, but boy, practicing can't be far behind!