October Notes: Canceling Plans, Last Stop on Market Street, and SCBWI

About this blog post: Each month, I send an email newsletter to friends on my list. Below is a condensed version of last month's letter.

Here are some things I'm reading, thinking about, and working on this month:

What I'm Reading

On the nightstand: rereading Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life, Caroline Moorehead's wonderfully crafted biography of war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. Children's Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling by Martin Salisbury & Morag Styles. Philip Pullman's Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. The YA book Women of Steel and Stone#MSWL (Manuscript Wish-List), posted by agents. Also on Twitter: #HighlightLGBTFamiliesThree ways to use picture books with older kidsThis brilliant jam-session on the idea of Jeffrey, of Ina & Jeffrey fame. Michelle in the NYT Style Magazine. “In terms of, like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.” Fran Lebowitz Doesn’t Have a Cell Phone, But Knows Everything That Happens on Social Media Anyway.

What We're Reading

Alphabet Trains by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke. Vehicles by Xavier Deneux. Five Little Pumpkins (obv.). The Penny Whistle Halloween Book (from the 80s, but definitely inspired by the 70s) found at the Irvington Library book sale. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena; pictures by Christian Robinson.

What I Wrote

How to Simplify and Organize Your Writing Process to Unearth Your Best Ideas on Dear Handmade Life. My favorite newsletters, lately (updated).

What I Heard + Saw

Crazy Ex Girlfriend is back! Speaking of girlfriends, Call Your Girlfriend co-host Aminatou Sow chatted on Recode Media. Westworld: do I love it? Or am I constantly creeped? It's a draw. (See what I did there?). Women are going to be the reason. The finale of Transparent (spoiler!): Judith Light singing Alanis Morrisette. Her storyline is the heart and soul of Season 3. Not the debate. Instead, Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon on SNLJonathan Safran Foer reminiscing with Terry Gross about Maurice Sendak's wise words: "Live your life. Live your life. Live your life."

What I Did

Printed this and have been playing every night after dinner with the kids despite my toddler's best efforts to eat the game pieces (cheerios). I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators! I'm trying to figure out how to get a children's book manuscript published, and everything I read, advice-wise, says to join this org. Are you a member too?