Posts tagged with "Arlington Academy of Hope"

Autumn Update

Whew!  I had to step away from blogging for a while to keep up with some other commitments, but I’m hoping to share my thoughts and experiences more in the coming days. I’ve just finished the most grueling two months of my life workwise, at least so far.  I seem to be collecting part-time jobs these days. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Arlington Magazine finally became a reality, so I’ve been very busy writing great articles and profiles for them. I learned sooo much researching my upcoming article on raising girls and bullying issues.  Next up:  yoga!!
  • I started teaching College Writing part time to sophomores at an amazing school, Don Bosco Cristo Rey,  in Takoma Park, Md.
  • I finished a major novel revision.
  • I’ve had five floral appearances, including the mid-Atlantic SCBWI conference, the U.S. Botanic Garden, Fall for the Book festival, and several garden clubs.
  • I procured donations for the Arlington Academy of Hope auction.  This is an amazingly successful school in a remote village in Uganda, which we support with all our hearts. The auction was a great success!

So I’ve been out and about in the world, and I’m thrilled about my new students. It’s very fun to be freelancing again, and I love my editor, Jenny. I’m not quite up for NANOWRIMO, but I do plan to start writing my new novel soon.  Very excited!!

And I finally bought a copy of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel The Language of Flowers, which I’m looking forward to reading. Hers sold about six months before Forget-Her-Nots came out, but it is an interesting coincidence that two writers should be writing novels about a topic that’s never been the focus of a novel before. Has anyone read it? Let me know what you think.

Sweet basil, Amy

Playing Catch Up ….

Whew! I just helped to organize an auction fundraiser that took place last night. It was for my favorite charity in the world, the Arlington Academy of Hope in a small village in Uganda. If you’re looking for a way to make a personal, lasting, and financially responsible connection to someone on the other side of the world, this is the way to do it.  My family sponsors four kids, three of whom have moved onto secondary school in one of the larger cities.  It has been a joy to be able to transform these kids lives with education, medical care, good food, and hope for the future.

However, I am excited to get back to my writing career full time. I love, love, love doing school visits and have a bunch coming up. I had a marvelous time with the girls at St. Margaret’s boarding school in Tappahannock, VA.  After I did my tussie-mussie demonstration, I asked if it was anyone’s birthday, and girls all pointed to the lovely girl below. We’re in their spacious dining room with the flags of the nations of the girls attending hanging behind us.

She was so sweet and said she’s going to keep the bouquet forever! The school also rocks, because they let me borrow a kayak the next day. They have a gorgeous setting on the banks of the Rappahannock River. It was so beautiful to paddle up one of the creeks, past the trees turning to gold, and the grasses swishing in the breeze. I wish I had pictures, but I was scared of dropping my phone in the water. (Earlier in Sept. I stepped off a dock and missed the boat — literally — so no pictures this time.)

Later this week I’ll be heading back to Philly for two school visits and a local authors night at the awesome Children’s Book World for their Local Author and Illustrators Night.  I know, I know, I’m not exactly local, but they invited me.  And I just found out one of my dearest friends will be in town too, so I can’t wait.

I’ve also been all over the web as part of The Crossroads Halloween tour. It’s an incredible group of writers and bloggers with a scavenger hunt and tons of fun prizes.  I’ll be chatting with a group of paranormal writers live at 8 pm on Halloween night.  (Here’s the link.)  Should be super fun!!  I’m with the Book Swarm today, so come visit us.

Now … back to working on my next novel, String Theories, which I’m trying to take to the next level. Basically, that means pushing everything harder — being tougher on my characters, bumping up the writing quality, and refining my plot. I hadn’t looked at the manuscript for several months, which is always a great thing. So off I go. Wish me luck!