Find Your Passion

Kind of in love with artist Lisa Congdon’s work. Her series of quotes is fantastic, too. I especially like this one:

Good advice for pretty much anyone. Work like writing can be hard, especially when there’s a lot of rejection involved. Staying tremendously interested in stories can help you move forward through those hard times in your writing career.

It doesn’t look like this image is up on her Etsy site (yet?) but I’d love to have a print and hang it above my desk. Great writing inspiration!

(image: Julia Congdon)(via A Beautiful Mess)

Blueberry Fields Forever

Last weekend I packed up my computer, bathing suit, and best blueberry-picking bucket and headed to Maine for the Blueberry Fields Writers Retreat. It was my very first writing retreat and it was a blast. Since time was devoted to actual writing, I ended up getting a lot of work done. Of course, I could take a random Saturday and do the same thing in my apartment, but I think there’s a lot to be said for going somewhere with the specific purpose to write and knowing that this is your only responsibility.

Also, it was a fantastic chance to connect with other New England-based writers. I hadn’t officially met any of them before this retreat, but everyone was so welcoming that I felt comfortable right away. And even though writing is thought of as a very solitary activity, it’s so important to connect with other writers. It’s invigorating, and it’s helpful to hear about the general ups and downs of everyone’s careers.

I posted a preview on Monday, but now here’s a more extended glimpse at life at Blueberry Fields:

Art projects get the creative juices flowing.

I should probably stick to writing.

Sunlight on the blueberry fields early Sunday morning. Check out the bee boxes on the right!

Picking tasty Maine blueberries!

There were SO MANY!

I’m so glad I had this opportunity. It was the best weekend, and reminded me of how awesome YA/children’s writers are. In all honesty, I was a little nervous heading into the weekend; it was my first retreat and I didn’t know anyone else involved all that well. But I am so glad I attended. I left Maine on Sunday feeling so inspired and psyched to get working on my latest project. Another reminder that it pays to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Special thanks to Julie Kingsley, Meg Wilson, Cameron Rosenblum, and Susan Casey for making this all come together so beautifully.

More recaps of the retreat:

Links Galore

A few more links for today:

  • YA characters aren’t the only ones who like to use lists. Check out these examples of great lists in literature.
  • Awesome interview with author-illustrator Peter Brown.
  • Not sure why you’d need to buy sets of color-coordinated books when you can organize books you already own by color.
  • Glad Young Writers Workshop is flourishing even with the new setting. (Also, assistant director Jeff Martin was my fiction counselor back in ’01. Way to lead, Jeff!)