May Notes: Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, Rad American Women A-Z, and The Artist's Way

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.

I've spent the month knee-deep in my blog, whittling it down to the stuff that is most reflective of my work and evolving curiosity. (What a slog!) I was happily surprised to see I had written 118 posts to date. Fifty-two of these no longer seem relevant or that good so I've deleted them, which leaves a grand total of 66 decent articles. I now have a better sense of what I actually like writing about—these are the kinds of of stories I'm after and will continue to explore, circle around, and pitch to editors. Here's the thing though: I did not figure this out in one super-productive brainstorming session but in the course of two years and two months and 118 blog posts, a good portion of which have been satisfyingly crunched in the virtual trash can. Sometimes you round the corner in your creative profession after years and years of doing the work and throwing half of it away.

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

What I'm Reading

Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market 2016Felicity by Mary Oliver; Meet the College Student Who Started a Restaurant in his DormGrace Coddington's Next Act on Lenny

What We're Reading

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty et al.; Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz; The Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems (recommended to us by our local children's librarian and currently showing at the NY Historical Society)

What I Wrote

5 Ways to Grow your Email List with People who are Really Into You on the atly blog; Not-to-Miss Spring and Summer Events North of NYC

What I Heard + Saw

Tiffany Shlain, Internet Pioneer and filmmaker on Krista Tippett's On Being; Bindercon Special: Breaking into Podcasting (if you are a writer or storyteller, there is much to ponder here on the future of audio); Advice on writing from the Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates; Troy Young, President of Hearst on digital media & publishingHow Kate Kordsmeier doubled her income freelancing on Food Blogger ProPolitico's Off Message weekly podcast because... this election; the latest season of Broad City (and their ongoing references to jam bands and Phish tour)

From the Archive

The Artist's Way, Synchronicity and a Wish