Sunday, September 2, 2012

Going on a Hiatus

This is something that I really did not want to have to do, but I have come to the realization that it is something I need to do.  I'm putting my blog on hiatus.

I sincerely love blogging.  I love sharing what I thought of books.  I love the blogging community.  I love discussing books with other bloggers.  I love hearing about new books coming out.

But there is one thing that's more important to me right now, and that is writing my novel.  And because I love blogging so much, it is too easy for me to get caught up in writing blog posts and posting comments instead of the other kind of writing I should be doing.

Besides being a full time teacher, I'm taking a writing course this fall that is going to involve presentations, critiques, writing exercises, and regular submissions.  Just looking at the syllabus made me question whether I'd have much free time this fall.

And then I sat down and did some goal setting.  I have set a goal for myself to have a revised and finished novel ready to query by this time next year.  In order to do that, I need to have a finished first draft by January 1st.  Which is entirely doable if I stick to a writing goal of 3,000 words a week.  I've consistently met this goal in the past, and know that it is something I can accomplish.  But not if I have distractions.

And because I love blogging so much, it is a distraction.

I want to maintain the friendships I've started with fellow bloggers, so I'm going to set aside two hours a week to comment on my favorite blogs.  (I'm so dreadfully behind right now, but thanks to Labor Day, you may hear from me tomorrow morning.)  Know that I'm still reading your blogs, often from my iPhone as I sit in a dreadfully boring school meeting, and you're making me smile.  But I may be a more silent, mysterious follower.

Much love, and hopefully you'll hear from a very happy me on January 1st who is holding a complete 1st draft of a novel in her hands.

(I'll still be on goodreads because I HAVE TO keep track of what I'm reading.  I won't be posting extensive reviews, but if you want to see what I think of books I'm reading, here's my goodreads profile.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 National Book Festival Schedule

The National Book Festival is my favorite book event of the year.  It's in Washigton D.C. on the National Mall and is TOTALLY FREE.  The DC Metro is easy to use, so you really don't have to worry about driving or parking in the city.  I've been when it was raining (very cold and miserable) and when it's sunny (glorious).   I've gotten books signed in the past, but what I usually prefer to do is find a good spot in the Teen Tent and sit and listen to speakers all day.  If you want to get books signed, just be prepared to wait in lines and realize that you will miss out on other authors speaking.

If you want to know what the Book Festival is like, I recommend reading last year's post: National Book Festival 2011

The event is very well-organized and this year's panel of authors looks fantastic.  Authors I'm especially excited about: John Green, James Dashner, Walter Dean Myers, Lois Lowry, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa Marr, and Avi.  This year's festival is Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23.  See a full list of speakers below:

Saturday, Children's Tent
Time                Author
10:00-10:45 Laura Amy Schlitz
10:55-11:40 Peter Brown
11:50-12:35 James Dashner
12:45-1:30        Jewel
1:40-2:25         Natalie Pope Boyce
1:40-2:25         Mary Pope Osborne
2:35-3:20         Jerry Spinelli
3:30-4:15         Chris Raschka
4:25-5:10         Anna Dewdney

Saturday, Teens & Children's Tent
Time                Author
10:00-10:45 John Green
10:55-11:40 Mike Lupica
11:50-12:35 Walter Dean Myers
12:45-1:30        Lois Lowry
1:40-2:25         Maggie Stiefvater
2:35-3:20         Melissa Marr
3:30-4:15         David Levithan
4:25-5:10         R.L. Stine

Sunday, Children's Tent
Time                Author
12:00-12:45 Bob Balaban
12:55-1:40        Patricia Polacco
1:50-2:35         Michael Grant
2:45-3:30         Erin E. Stead
2:45-3:30         Philip C. Stead
3:40-4:25         David Ezra Stein
4:35-5:20         Avi

Teens & Children
Time                Author
12:00-12:45 Bryan Collier
12:55-1:40        Ellen Hopkins
1:50-2:35         Siobhan Vivian
1:50-2:35         Jenny Han
2:45-3:30         Jacqueline Woodson
3:40-4:25         Sharon Flake
4:35-5:20         Sonia Manzano

More information on the National Book Festival can be found on the Library of Congress Book Festival Site.

Let me know if you're thinking of going!  I'd love to see you there!