I’m sitting here in a gorgeous home in Sarasota, Florida looking out at the bay and watching the birds dive into the water and the occasional boat go by. I could get used to writing from this view.
I’ve started my “Advocate Across America” tour here in Sarasota, but I say “sort of” because I’m not participating in any public events on this trip. I have one private meeting here. I plan to return later on and attend a number of events including Sarasota Woman’s Club, book clubs, and bookstores. I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, I’m visiting with friends, working on the third book, and getting some much needed R&R before I move on to Columbia, South Carolina for the South Carolina Book Festival. So if you’re in the area, please come out to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on February 27th or 28th and stop at the Echelon Press booth and say hello. I’d love to meet you.
Since I just got here I don’t have much to report, but I’ll try to report in from South Carolina and let you know how this part of the trip went.
And if you’ve been to Florida I’d love to hear about your experience. Just comment below.
I just spent five days in Michigan with my nephew Chet and his family where I received the red carpet treatment and had a pleasant, restful time–a much needed break. After a fabulous weekend in Chicago at Printer’s Row Book Festival, Chet picked me up and drove me to Bay City. Michigan was beautiful, so many shades of green (as opposed to our southern California brown hills) and lots of spring flowers still in bloom. While I was there I researched an area where one of my characters will go in my next novel. It is a sequel to The Advocate. It’s so much easier to write about an area when you’ve actually been there. I was quite surprised how different things were from the aerial maps I saw online. My highlight in Michigan was passing through Paw Paw and seeing where Norm Cowie, author of Fang Face, went to high school (great book, by the way!)
When I started to write this blog I thought about how the “M” states had played an integral part in my life. In addition to Michigan I have a connection to most of the “M” states. Growing up in Minnesota I remember jumping rope to the Mississippi diddy: M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-crooked letter, crooked letter-I-hump back, hump back-I. A good part of my family lives in Montana, so many that we chose to have our “Family Onion” there last year. My very dear friends live in Maine and I have the good fortune to visit there quite often (going again the end of next month). We had our last sister trip with all five sisters in Missouri (memories that will forever be dear to me). My publisher, Echelon Press, is located in Maryland. So that only leaves Massachusetts. Although I’ve been there several times, have some nice memories of Boston, but it’s the remaining state to develop a real connection. Any suggestions? Any of you connected to the “M” states?
This is a thank you to all the people out there who have dedicated their lives to working with children—the teachers, the classroom aides, the doctors and nurses, the social workers, the attorneys, the judges, the police, the coaches, the CASA volunteers, the children’s charities, and anyone else who spends their time and money to help our precious “little people.”
There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing a smile appear on a child’s face for something you have done for them. If you haven’t done anything lately to make a better life for a child, start today. You’ll be glad you did.
My novel, The Advocate, (Echelon Press, publisher) gives you a glimpse of what goes on in the juvenile court system. I’m hoping it will help to educate the masses a little on what the process is like and how much some of these children suffer. I’m in the process of setting up speaking events at non-profit functions where I can dedicate the proceeds from the novel to support organizations dedicated to child advocacy. It’s a small way to do my part.
Please add your thanks to these special people with your comments on this blog.