A few tidbits of "news" for February...
Very exciting, my new website address is www.theislandwriter.com with a new blog name: Making Waves.
Plastic Ocean Project update:
The connection I made with Plastic Ocean Project is going really well. I helped them secure a boat out of Oriental, NC (land of Camp Seafarer and Camp SeaGull where I have a lot of history and very connected friends in that area). Thank you to those who helped point me in the right direction to help me help them! They leave on Sunday for their first 3-night research trip into the Gulf Stream to track the migration of the Right whales! They have beautiful weather in the forecast and I hope they are able to have a few whale encounters bringing them a safe and successful trip! They will have a film crew onboard using 360 and a research team taking samples of surface sargasm. This is all for the completion of their documentary, If the Ocean Could Talk...
If you are interested, here is a link to read more about it. This group is based out of Wilmington / Wrightsville Beach, NC right off of Figure 8 Island where I spend a lot of time, so it means a lot to me to help out such great people who share a passion of mine.
I really want to support their organization because they are doing such a great job educating communities about the problem with plastics in our oceans what what they can do now to help. One of my books, ISLAND GIRLS: TURTLES IN DANGER aligns directly with their mission of spreading awareness about plastic pollution and what is happening beneath the surface. As a dive instructor, I have seen it all first hand and it's really sad to witness. Check out their page, What Can You Do? for lots of information on what you can do now to help from home. I look forward to future projects with Plastic Ocean Project and hope to have a few exciting announcements on this front in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, check out my reviews & endorsements page. There are quite a few new ones that have come in from some incredible people and organizations and it's all very exciting!
On the publishing front, no news to share here, still waiting. Apparently editors are very backlogged from the submission surge and publishing shut down of 2020 and are still trying to recover. I'll share updates when I have them. Thank you all for your continued support and interest.
Stay tuned :)
A note from the query trenches and writing zone that is inside of the four walls of my house:
I've been reminded lately to be yourself. Not only in my day-to-day life, but also in my writing. You may ask why I am saying this now... that of course we should be ourselves... but here is some background. Some of you may know that I am a part of the Picture Book 12 x 12 Challenge. It's so inspirational and the biggest community of talented writers that I have been a part of to date. At the beginning of this challenge, there is a forum to form critique groups and meet other writers. Critique groups are kind of like support groups for writers, your writing family, and you will depend on their commitment for (years) and their experience and feedback to critique and edit manuscripts each month. We have all committed to writing 12 picture book manuscripts this year, but this forum allows people who also want to commit to critique each others work to meet and introduce themselves. I found the search to be kind of like interviewing for a job. You want committed people to be your partners to take your work to the next level and want to make sure they will put in the same effort you will. Well, I have totally found my people. We are a dynamic group of four women. We email almost every day with different pieces of news to share from our agents or advice to each others, videos are shared about learning rhyme and meter. We each bring something different and unique to the table and we live all over the world. We have two fantastically talented author/illustrators in our group, one in England, one in California, and an amazingly gifted actress who is hilariously funny with her writing, and then me. At first I was thinking, what on earth and I doing in a group with these women who are so talented, already published, and have so much experience writing, what could I possibly bring to the table?! I got in my head a little and I was so nervous about our first meeting but quickly realized we each bring something totally unique to this group. I need to focus on my own voice and let my own quirkiness shine. That's what makes unique manuscripts. This business is all out the unique storyline you can write, and I have it. Over a year into writing, I feel so much more comfortable with writing and less afraid to let my colors shine. Picture books can really teach adults a thing or two! Such a great reminder from Dr. Seuss, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." I plan to take this mantra throughout my writing career because when you are you, that's when the magic happens. So I'm off, to continue writing my own unique magical stories, with the support and encouragement from the 12 x 12 challenge and my critique group... while publishers and editors review my manuscripts that are still on submission. Time will tell where my beautiful stories will land. Can't wait to take the next step with them.
Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events. They feature kid’s curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.