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.

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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!