Picture Book U. and Other Summer Endeavors

Summer’s here. How do I know? Because I’ve had it on my list to write this blog post for the past 3 weeks, and haven’t gotten to it until now. Oh yeah, and it has been about 95 degrees for a week straight.

Besides hydrating frequently, here are a few summer writing activities I’m up to.

PBU participantThe first is Pam Calvert’s Picture Book University. This is a great (free!) mini-workshop on picture books by the author of Princess Peepers. We’re three posts in, and already it’s clear she has so much knowledge to share, and the pace and assignments are do-able on my “relaxed” summer schedule. The latest post, on character-driven picture books, came at a great time as it is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately.

I’m also trying to catch up on some reading. Two books on my craft shelf this summer are Poem Making by Myra Cohn Livingston, and The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry. And of course, with every library visit I make my raid on the ‘new books’ shelf to keep up with new picture book releases. Summer offers plenty of time for read-alouds.

In June, I attended two free seminars given at Lesley University as part of their MFA in Creative Writing program. For anyone in the Boston area who is interested, they’ll be offering two more in January.

Mostly, though, as I spend time hanging out with my family, I try to look at summer as a productive ‘idea generation’ time. I just have to remember to bring along my notebook!