Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Critique Group
The three of us formed a critique group in March '09 
and the dynamics is amazing!  Karen (center) is a 
published illustrator and Jennifer is a published writer.  
Her three non-fiction books will be out next year. 
Our motto is "JUST DO IT!"  Don't procrastinate,
don't doubt, don't fret---just do it--by just practicing 
every day the writing gets better, the painting gets better.

We are all challenging ourselves and reading, reading, 
reading (mostly picture books and middle grade novels).  
I just finished M.J Auch's Trilogy (Journey to Nowhere,
Frozen Summer, and The Road to Home) and 
Linda Sue Park's The Kite Fighters. Both M.J. and 
Linda Sue are with RACWI as are Karen and I--
Jennifer will be joining in September.  RACWI
(Rochester area Children's Writer's and Illustrator's) 
has given me connection to the writing/illustrating 
community and has helped me attain my goals.

Our critique group tries to meet once a week, but 
because the summer is hectic for all of us we decided 
to set summer goals and meet together in September.  
I am working on a mid grade novel, a picture book 
and finishing the text/dummy for the third Marco
Flamingo PB.  Jennifer is also writing a mid grade
novel and keeping a journal on kid's dialog (she has 
three kids, so I think this is a brilliant idea).  Karen is
revising and illustrating previous work.  Karen and I 
are going to meet occasionally this summer to explore 
technique and paint.

A few quotes to keep the summer creative for all of 
you who read this blog:

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; 
it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of 
creative effort.

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. 
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the 
wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be 
wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. 
And never hope more than you work.

Sheila Jarkins, Karen Malzeke-McDonald and Jennifer Burrows
enjoying lunch at Karen's home.

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