Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On Rick Walton, REMAKE, and a Supportive Writing Family

Recently Alison Randall and I had the chance to visit with Rick Walton. I took my favorite of his picture books (PIG, PIGGER, PIGGEST) for him to sign. More important, I wanted Rick to know he’s a major reason I keep writing. At WIFYR a while back, Rick talked about how writers sometimes give up too soon, and said if we’d just keep trying, eventually things would work out.

Rick has also influenced the other reason I keep writing: He and Carol were a major force in making the local writing community what it is: a group of talented writers who encourage and support each other. Alison told Rick that it’s like being part of a big family.

I agree. So when I see my writing “siblings's” success, I feel like cheering. Last month, for example, I took Ilima Todd’s book, REMAKE, on vacation. Sitting on a beach, reading about an ocean, was wonderful. And REMAKE was fabulous. I hated to leave the characters when the book ended, and can’t wait for the sequel. The bonus: I’d read the first fifty pages of Ilima’s earlier draft in Ann Dee Ellis’s WIFYR boot camp. It was excellent then, and I loved seeing the changes that made her final story even better.

I look forward to writing conferences, especially WIFYR, not just to learn, but to see all of you, my writing family. My real family, wonderful as they are, don't always get my writing compulsion, but I know you understand. Your support buoys me as I go back to finish that next edit, write that next book, and continue to hope that someday we’ll all be on the bookstore shelf together. Maybe we’ll even claim our own section!

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