Thursday, July 30, 2015

Drifting on a lake of peace—and I've got a chapter in a new book that just came out

© Photo by Nancy Butts
The wandering writer has found her way home at last. I just returned from a nearly-idyllic month away from the suffocating heat and humidity of summer in the South. I spent all that time in one of two mountain ranges: the Blue Ridge in Virginia; and the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, about an hour from the Canadian border.

I am lucky enough to have a sister with a camp, as they call it up there, on a lake in the Adirondacks, and that’s where I spent three weeks with my loud and crazy family.

And for those three weeks, I found I was able to live each day for itself, not worrying about what went before or what lay ahead. That is a gift that is rarely given, and I tried to appreciate every moment of it. Being unplugged from email, television, newspapers, and the Internet certainly helped banish the usual stresses of modern everyday life. And so I was able to steep in the refreshingly cool silence, and bask in the bright sunshine like the little brick-colored lizard that lived beneath the outdoor shower. My favorite thing was to get up at dawn to kayak when the lake was like glass, with loons trailing along behind me and a bald eagle soaring overhead. 

But all idylls have to come to an end, so now I’m back at my desk and already a little cranky from having to juggle deadlines. Sigh.

© Photo by Nancy Butts
However, in the days and weeks to come, whenever I need a respite, I think I will be able to dip from that deep lake of peace inside me that I filled up while I was in the mountains.

And I do have some exciting news to share. Chris Eboch, my fellow writer and instructor at the Institute of Children’s Literature, has recently published a new book, You Can Write for Children.

She has kindly included a chapter from me inside! With my permission, she used some of the material from my web series on viewpoint in a chapter in her book on POV. So please, check it out. Chris’ latest book makes an excellent companion to her other guide on writing, Advanced Plotting. That’s a resource I recommend constantly to my students and clients.

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