Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Save Every Note with Evernote

Every so often I stumble into something amazing and then wonder where it's been all my life.

This summer a friend recommended Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which has been on Netflix since 2012, and apparently watched by several of my friends. I'm still miffed no one told me about it sooner. But then I would have missed my Month of Miss Fisher, in which I watched every single episode at least twice, and was deliriously happy with it all.

I didn't want any of my friends to suffer the same fate, so I spent a good chunk of this summer making sure everyone knew about Miss Fisher, mentioning her on Facebook, Twitter, and blurbing her to several friends. I mean, she's a flapper detective. Think lots of sex, booze, a certain stony-faced cop, a penchant for the down-trodden in Melbourne, and murder mysteries. How could it not be fabulous? (notice I'm STILL pitching it!).

Where was I? Oh yeah, connecting this to writing. 

Every so often I also stumble across a website, or technique, or tool to make my writing life easier, and I have to shout about that, too. Maybe it's the teacher in me. Or maybe I'm just really enthusiastic. 

Around the same time as I was binge watching Miss Fisher, several sources converged to tell me about Evernote. I was just beginning a massive research project and desperately looking for a way to organize it all. So Evernote slipped into my life at exactly the right time, and was exactly the tool I was looking for. And I thought: "Where has this been all my life? Everyone needs to know about this!"

I pitched the article to SCBWI, and had it accepted. "Save Every Note with Evernote" was published yesterday in SCBWI's online newsletter, INSIGHT. You can read it here. And seriously, Evernote. Check it out! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


(resisting the urge to quote any more David Bowie...)

Fall colors in front of our new home!
One of the funny things about life is that sometimes years will pass in which nothing changes. I work, I write, I struggle for money, a clean house, getting dinner on the table every night, all the while dreaming... and then suddenly, everything changes, dreams really do come true. Sometimes those changes are gradual, a whisper, a promise, lots of bureaucracy and red tape. But sometimes they truly happen over night.

Why yes, this past month has been a bit of a wild ride.

Last spring, Scientist Husband was offered a job as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois. The position seemed a perfect fit, allowing him to research and teach what he loves, and hopefully offering us a permanent home in Urbana, Illinois, a small college town with a giant library, closer to family, and within a few hours drive of our previous home in Chicago.

This has been one of those gradual changes. Scientist Husband wanted to finish up his research in North Carolina, so we're in the process of one of the slowest moves in the history of moving (7+ months!).

Finally this fall everything started happening; we traveled to Urbana / Champaign (the twin cities of southern Illinois) to look at housing. We picked out a house, put in an offer, our offer was accepted. Our first home. But the day before we left on our house hunting trip, life shifted again, this time in the sudden, dramatic variety: an agent loved my latest novel, a middle grade contemporary. She wanted to represent me! And this isn't just any agent, but the rock star agent Kathleen Rushall.

Now it's all coming together. In three weeks, we will be moving. Kathleen will begin sending my novel to prospective publishers. And we will begin a brand new life in Urbana, Illinois.

It seemed fitting to share it all with you, especially on this day before Thanksgiving. Here's wishing you all a happy, warm, and loving day tomorrow, surrounded by friends, family, and good food. And here's to dreams fulfilled, the gradual and the sudden. May we all be so blessed.