Pat McCarthy is the author of a dozen nonfiction books for children and young adults. She has published numerous stories, articles, puzzles and quizzes in magazines for children and adults. She teaches for the Institute of Children's Literature. She has also written encyclopedia articles and school curriculum. Pat is a retired elementary school teacher who subs to remain in touch with kids. Her hobbies are photography, travel, birding and scrapbooking.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Book Contract, Scrapbooking, Lunch with Writer Friends

Well, it's been awhile since I've written anything. I just got back from nine days at my sister's house near Wadsworth, Ohio. That's close to Akron. It was Kay's turn to host our scrapbooking retreat. We used to pay to go to weekend retreats, but then four of us decided to get together at each other's houses and the only cost is feeding the other three when it's our turn to have it. It's worked out great and we can stay longer. Kay and I worked on albums about her great-grandchildren, who are my great-grand-nephew and niece. Becky was working on an album from 1990 for her kids, and Karen, who still has little kids, worked on their current albums. She could only stay a couple of days because she had to work. That's what happens when you hang out with old people! She calls us The Golden Girls. We're all retired, so we can come and go more or less as we please. We had a lot of fun, lots of good food, and got a lot done.

I went to Kent on Thursday for lunch with friends Rhenee McGraw-Harris, Jean Daigneau, and LeeAnn Blankenship. They're all active in the Northern Ohio SCBWI, and so is Joan Arbogast, who came with them. It was nice meeting her. I met Rhenee and Jean about five or six years ago at the Wildacres Children's Workshop in North Carolina, and we've been getting together ever since. They put on a great conference in September every year. I've been to three of them, one as a breakout speaker. This year I couldn't afford to go.

I got good news when I got home today! I had an e-mail from the editor I've been working with at Chicago Review Press on a proposal for a Pioneer book for their For Kids series. He e-mailed me that the revised outline I sent was fine and they would go ahead with the contract! He wanted me to contact him when I got home from Kay's and let him know when it would be convenient for him to call and discuss the details of the contract! How about right then, at 7:30 on Saturday night? I restrained myself and e-mailed him that sometime Monday would be fine.
I had to tell him to use my cell phone, because my phone isn't working. That happened last week, after I had trouble getting online. I may have done something when I unplugged and replugged all the tangled wires behind the computer desk. But the base for the phone IS plugged into both the phone jack and the power strip, so I don't see why it isn't working.

On Monday, Nov. 5, I picked up Adam to go to Dayton for a great slide program put on by famous photographer Adam Jones, who was sponsored by our Focus Photo Club and Canon. On the way back to my house to meet Thelma, the car started making a grinding sound at every stop sign. Adam thought the brakes were going out. Needless to say, Thelma drove! I had to get the brakes fixed before I could go to Kay's, so I went Friday morning instead of Wednesday night. Gary, my mechanic, was able to turn the rotors, so it cost less than his original estimate.

At Photo Club on Nov. 1, I got a first place on one of the photos I took of the purple-edged mushrooms and also got an honorable mention on a black-and-white photo of a stream in the Smokies.

I also found out last week that my undependable e-mail cost me $800-1200. A woman had e-mailed me about writing some test passages and questions because my friend, Suzanne Lieurance, had recommended me to her. I wrote back immediately that I wanted to do it. It would be from Nov. 1-Dec. 1. Well, I never heard, so in a week I e-mailed her again. Still no answer. When I got ready to go to Kay's, I e-mailed her again and said if she needed to get in touch with me, to call my cell phone. She wrote back and told me she had never received my other two e-mails and had assigned the work to someone else. Bummer!

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