Well, as you can see by my last blog post, I've NOT been blogging. So, what have I been doing???

In addition to all my PTO Secretary, Room Parent, School Raffle Organizer, New Girl Scout Daisy Troop Leader, Mom, Wife, and Schnoodle Owner duties... Let's see...

Of course, Spring Break was amazing. After spending some lovely time with some friends in Chandler, Arizona, we enjoyed an excursion on the Grand Canyon Railways with our kids.There was snow on the trail and it was C-O-L-D, but it was beautiful and lots of fun!

Here's my husband and two older kiddos on the trail...

Okay, so here's a zoom shot...

We all admired this super-cool squirrel from afar. As you can tell, he loves living on the edge of excitement, just like me.

Now, on to the GREAT NEWS! Warning: I'm taking the scenic route to get to the best stuff...
This past weekend I was privileged to attended the SCBWI-LA Writer's Day. I really don't know where to start! First of all, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my talented critique partners from the PICTURE THIS critique group, Sherry Dargert. We hadn't met in person yet, so we decided to carpool up together.
We heard about "How to Wow an Editor" from HarperCollins Editor, Rachel Abrams. She said to find your voice, write effective dialog, develop your characters and she discussed plotting, pacing and style.
Next, my rhyming hero and friend, Lisa Wheeler, shared her tidbits on Rhyme with Reason with the group. Right about that time I was pretty much in a daze. At the break, I added four of her books to my library, including Castaway Cats, and managed to walk away with this lovely picture. THANK YOU LISA!!!
I also met Nancy Sanders, author of D is for Drinking Gourd, one of my favorite picture books! She spoke to the published authors at the break out session, so I didn't get to glean from her speech (this year, that is... just you wait).

As if seeing lots of friends, making new friends, and learning from other brilliant and hilarious speakers (including Rachel Abrams, an editor at HarperCollins Children's Books, Herman Agency's, Jill Corcoran; middle grade author, Kathleen O'Dell; and YA author, Libba Bray), something even more exciting happened.

Just before we were dismissed, the contest winners were announced and my very own manuscript, Starry Kalahari, WON the non-fiction category! My friend, Rita Crayon Huang, posted a photo of my win on her blog here. All I can say is that my head is still spinning from it all and I'm floating on a cloud. Now I have something awesome to reference on my BIO for my query and cover letters - woooo hooooo!!!