field notes (8.26.16)

Attended the Tall Ships Duluth festival and it was heartbreaking in two ways: the ships were heartbreakingly beautiful and the crowds were heartbreakingly enormous. (It was absolutely worth the headaches and long lines of waiting once, but I will not be back.)

Enjoyed a backcountry wilderness trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and it was amazing and beautiful and restorative. Grateful for the opportunity to return to one of my favorite places. Grateful for a safe trip. Grateful for all the stillness, hiking, paddling, exploring, swimming, snorkeling, laughing, adventuring.

Continuing to work on figuring out a new journaling system that incorporates textual notes, visual notes (sketches), character sketches, purge writing, and because I can’t seem to eliminate it, notes about my to-do list.

Reading: THE WOLVES OF CURRUMPAW by William Grill, HAWK RIDGE by Laura Erickson and PLAINS NDIAN DRAWINGS 1865-1935: Pages from a Visual History by Janet Catherine Berlo

Preparing for the wild rice season!

field notes (8.19.16)

committed myself to 90 days of deep textual & visual journaling as a practice (my ideas come so fast and furious and I do my best to capture them but it often feels as if I’m trying to catch a tiger by the tail)

trying to purchase the correct size of filter holder and polarizer filter for my camera is beyond complicated

mind-mapping everything: all the books ideas, travel plans, memories (so helpful!)

Reading: Lit by Mary Karr

field notes (8.12.16)

What a full week!

My latest essay, BROKEN TOES AND BROKEN PLANS, was published.

I visited Wild Rumpus and discovered some new books and publishers and had long, beautiful conversations with two of the booksellers and it lit up my month. Thank you Wild Rumpus!

Did  an abbreviated version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul walking tour.

Viewed the Seeing Nature exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and it was mind-blowingly good. Overflowing with ideas and beauty and connections. A favorite insight from Claude Monet, “Monet painted what he sensed, not just what he saw.”

Went to the Children’s Literature Research Center at the University of Minnesota to view archives from Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis, Richard Scarry, Wanda Ga’g, Lynd Ward (and more) that are a part of the Kerlan Collection. Life-changing. This was on my Life List.

Reading: THE PLAGUE OF DOVES by Louise Erdrich, SHACKLETON’S JOURNEY by William Grill, NATURE ANATOMY by Julia Rothman

Struggling to settle into a project: I’ve got so many ideas that I end up doing a bit of work here and there on each of them. I’m doing a lot of mind-mapping, in my efforts to corral my ideas. Need to settle in and finish something!

My 11 x 14 sketch pad is magical. Its large, unlined format is freeing.

field notes (8.5.16)

My library presentation, 13 LIES YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER TOLD YOU, was a success! People showed up! They participated!

Weighing my options regarding the fall SCBWI conference offerings

Went to Ely, Minn. and visited the North American Bear Center, the International Wolf Center and, oh my heart, my favorite place, Sigurd Olson’s home and writing shack

Enjoyed a two-day, solo, silent retreat and it was delicious: so many insights…I’m sure they will show up in my writing and work moving forward (Lesson: make it a practice to regularly get quiet and take good notes.)

Reconsidering how I can best utilize social media platforms

A reminder: You are more powerful than you realize. You really can make your life into what you want it to be. (N.B. you must know what you want in order to get it)


Reading: GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell. I am sooo close to being finished with this tome. I love it, I hate it, Scarlett O’Hara is wearing me out in the best possible way and I am learning so much about writing and plot and character

And finally, it’s August! I love this sultry, luscious, hot month with all that I am. Enjoy!