Good morning, Everyone
While my home up north digs out of the big freeze and my Hilton Head Island adopted home dries out from a spell of cold rainstorms, my husband and I took a ride south to Florida, where my Mom spends the winter. Grab your coffee. Let’s catch up.
Her cozy condo is near my brother and cousins, and the international waterway is in the backyard. Pelicans dive, and a lone dolphin swims by each morning. It is a beautiful and serene oasis.
Although Dad’s absence weighs heavy, Mom is doing okay. New normal adjustments are difficult to get used to. This week my sister and cousins are here as well. We sat on a warm beach yesterday, and I jumped in the ocean for a full-body immersion—a real treat in February.
If we were having coffee together, I would report that the Zoom Early Morning Writing Sessions have been fantastic! I get to chat with fellow writers about our current projects and the day’s writing goals. After no more than 10 minutes, we mute and commence writing for an hour or so, then unmute, update our progress and get back to work for another hour. We meet three times a week. I can’t believe how much more focused and productive I am. Sometimes I continue to write for another hour or two after the session is over.
If we were having coffee together, I would continue the Zooming update. Stephanie Larkin, publisher extraordinaire of Red Penguin Books, organized a Zoom Family Meeting with fellow authors and an itinerary. We introduced ourselves and discussed strategies to further our audiences. Sharing and interacting with authors is a big first step. It was a great gathering. There are amazing and interesting people in this tribe. If you are looking for your next compelling read, I urge you to take a look at the Red Penguin Books’ lists of novels and anthologies.
If we were having coffee together, I would add that my latest research has taken me to possible cover designs and ideas. I browsed through hundreds of photographs of Edwardian era kids in urban settings, early 20th-century baseball parks, and kids playing stickball in alleys. I am far from an illustrator skill level to do the whole task, but I do need to communicate a look so that the designer can come close to my vision and a sellable cover.
If we were having coffee together, I would say that I am now eligible to be on a COVID vaccine list in New York because of my cancer status. I will be back in New York by mid-March, so I hope to have an appointment by then. Mom, aunts, uncles, and sisters who are teachers, a brother-in-law who made the age requirement are successfully vaccinated. Slowly but surely, this awful pandemic will come under control. In the meantime, Everyone, be well, be safe, be smart.
That’s it, Everyone. Thank you to Natalie the Explorer for keeping the coffee share up and running.
Have a good week. Make it Funtastic.
Attention Teachers and Librarians
March is National Reading Month!
Schedule your virtual and live Book Club Events and Creative Writing Workshops.
Download FREE Curriculum Connections
Take a picture of you with Daily Bread and/or Becoming America’s Food Stories, and I’ll send you Reader’s Swag and add you to the Becoming America’s Stories Readers slideshow, coming soon! Kid pics are welcomed with parent or guardian permission. Don’t forget to leave a rating and quick comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
Daily Bread is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself.
Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
“If you don’t cook with love, you have to get out of the kitchen.” Florence Messina