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I know I have needed to update you all on my New York Trip last week, but I really have not had the words to say in order to truly do any of it any justice. Because of that, I’ve been trying to process it all thoroughly before I put any words down on here. I still don’t think I can do my thoughts and emotions justice, but I will try. The adventure of my trip is competing in my head with the actual revelations that came from last week, and all of the things I have to do because of last week, so my head is a bit full and on overload. Consider that a fair warning…

The actual reason I travelled to New York City was for several reasons. One of them, was to have meetings with publishers, agents, etc. Anyone who would listen and be interested in the children’s book I have written. I had meetings with a few publishers before I arrived so that was helpful in not feeling desperate! Each of those set meetings went very well. No one closed the door in my face, so I take that as a positive. I have a couple of things to do though…One of them would like to keep the conversation going and would like to see the next two books in the series along with my Bella book all at the same time before they make a decision. I think this is good because it has lit a fire under me to get to work on the next few books! I’d been dabbling in them, but now I am actively researching and writing the next two. They do not involve Bella but two different, and just as cute, animals that I think kids will love. I already do anyway. So, as for that one publisher, I am going to do my work and then try to continue that conversation once I am done. It’s all I can ask, right? Another publisher seemed to be very interested, and I am leaving the ball in their court so to say. We will see what happens… I met two other publishers while at the convention who asked me about my book while in line to see another author and get a signed book! I had to give a pitch to them right there, which was extremely exciting and nerve-wracking! Both of them asked me to send my manuscript to them, which is just crazy! I really did expect all doors to shut-not for more to open-so this is amazing to me. I guess I prepared myself for the worst before I left so that maybe I wouldn’t be disappointed?? Anyway, all of that is good news as far as I am concerned.

I am still looking for a literary agent. I met a wonderful gal, again while standing in another author’s line, who is a literary agent for adult fiction. As we were talking and I told her how I was looking for a children’s literary agent, she suggested a friend of her’s and gave me all of their contact info. It was so nice of her. This is one more thing I have taken away from BEA and will be working on in the next couple of weeks. In the area of my book, BEA was really very good to me.

All of that is just the tip of the iceberg though, really. My week in New York brought some things into very sharp focus for me. It made me realize that I was made for this. This world of writing, reading, and promoting-the world of literature-I was made for it. I love every aspect of it. I met Marketing Directors, Publicists, Authors, Illustrators (I’m not made for that!), PR representatives, Librarians, Teachers…and I realized that everything I have done in my life has led me to and prepared me for this moment. It is an overwhelming and crazy feeling to have. It’s knowledge that I do not take lightly. It means, to me, that I have a job to do and I must be a good steward of it all. I have always wondered why my background was varied…Music, Teaching, Marketing, Writing, Business…I have loved all of it. I’ve also always wondered-when does it all come together? Can it all come together to make the perfect career for me? This week, it has… I am not one of those authors who just wants to write and be a recluse. Believe me, I saw plenty of those this past week. I want to write and read, and I love the community of other writers and readers. This week, I felt alive and part of that was because of the community I was sharing at that convention. Authors, readers, publicists, marketers, publishers…we all spoke the same language and it was a beautiful thing. I have experienced that sense of community before, within my Element  community back in Scottsdale, and I know the importance of it. I know how it can change you in wonderful ways. Already I am seeing that happening! For instance, yesterday was a day of research for me for a couple of manuscripts I am in the process of starting to write. Ideas that have been ruminating in my mind for a while now. Anyway, a lovely author that I follow on twitter asked what we were all working on that day. A few of us replied and then proceeded to cheer each other on all day. It was fun, and it kept me focused to get my job done for the day! Accountability and all that you know…community at its best with people I’ve never even met face-to-face!

I have known that eventually my life would lead to a place where career, hobbies, passions,etc would meet up and become one, and I have always felt like I was waiting for that time. One of the revelations I had while in NYC was the time is now. This is it, and now it is up to me to move and do something with what I have been shown. So, I will keep writing, marketing, and loving trying to get published. If (WHEN!) it happens, I will be thrilled, but I am committed to loving the journey as well.

The second reason I attended BEA and went to NYC last week was to help promote BookshelfBanter.com. I will be starting to do reviews for them on a regular basis. Some of those book reviews will be written and some will be videos. I will be focusing the most on children’s and middle grade books, but will dabble in some YA and Adult literature as well. I just finished Maggie Steifvater’s Shiver series. The last book comes out soon, and I will be doing a review this weekend of that as well as a Mac Barnett book called Mustache! You can find them on the website or the BookshelfBanter Facebook page. Go and push the Like button!

Anyway, those are the two main reasons I went to NYC, but, as you can see, I got so much more than that. I found the place that I am most comfortable in my skin finally. I was confirmed in what I am doing, and it just makes me want to work harder and longer for it. Again, I know my words are not doing any of what is really inside me justice… To break it down into words that the 16-year-old girl, who still lives deep down inside me I think, understands…Last week made me feel alive and all shiny. I’m not sure I’ve felt that way since we left Scottsdale, and it is a beautiful feeling to have again.

Staring Up,