Crossroads.

A few months ago, I came to a seemingly clumsy crossroads. I love blogging, and picture books are still one of my favorite subjects… but I’ve covered a lot of ground in the past couple of years and I don’t really have anything new to report.  (Still writing, revising, submitting and waiting.) I feel like I’ve run out of topics that would be helpful and informative and I loathe the idea of writing without substance. So, I stalled.  I’m incredibly grateful for Paper People, those interviews have kept me connected but once a month isn’t enough. I love writing to adult audiences as much as I love working through picture book revisions and I’ve really been missing it.  I thought long and hard about revising my content here, to make room for other musings, but it never really felt ‘right.’ I want to broaden my topics and write from my personal & parenting experience but couldn’t figure out a way that blends the two naturally.

Well, fast forward to the end of August, after a particularly powerful lunch with a friend, I had a message waiting in my inbox.  If you believe in coincidences, I can see where this might fit into that category, I prefer to think of it as incredibly serendipitous.  Long story, short, at the nudging of a (different) friend, I applied and was accepted as a contributor for Lafayette Mom’s Blog! I’ve been a follower and a fan of theirs for months, and I’m thrilled to have another writing outlet and find myself surrounded by like-minded mommas.  (Not to mention I have something to add to my cover letter’s now!)   

One of the things I’m most excited about it to have a platform to share my love of literacy, supporting local authors and shining the light on the up and comers of the kid lit industry.  I do imagine there will be a lot of crossover content, and I can’t wait! I hope you’ll click over and check out their website, even if you aren’t local (or a mom!)  I’m already overwhelmed with ideas and hope I can bring some of them to fruition.  I also feel energy and inspiration pulsing again, in the way that creativity begets creativity, writing helps me to write more! Now I have deadlines and decisions in front of me, and a whole world of topics waiting to be covered. I hope you’ll stick around; Magnolias & Manuscripts will always be my first love.

Would you believe it? Just sitting down to write this post lit a small but very necessary fire under me! Stay tuned for the October edition of Paper People, it’s going to be epic!

Thanks for reading, come back anytime!

-JP

 

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#SocialMediaStruggles

I was a part of the original Facebook generation.  I remember waiting, anxiously, for Facebook to find its way to our campus.  It did so right at the end of a semester, in the perilous time where finals were approaching and grades really mattered. I allowed myself to join as a reward for surviving another semester of nursing school and was instantly hooked.  I wish I could say that I kept up with the crowd, that it was easy for me to stay excited about and that it’s been a beautiful love affair ever since.  Sadly, it has not been.  Navigating Facebook was never an issue, but as it ventured away from a college networking site, and into the worldwide monster it is now, I lost enthusiasm.  My relationship now is friendly, but for the ten plus years in between, it’s been downright contentious.  It came to the point where my real-life friends, and even my husband at times, stopped asking, or caring really, when I mysteriously disappeared from Facebook, knowing I would always come back.  I appreciate it now, more so than I have in a while, and I’ve even branched out a bit. #backonagain

One of my writing friends, shout out to The Monster’s Club, told me that I needed an Instagram.  She added that it is one of the best places to keep up with the Kid Lit world, up and coming authors and new release books.  I’d be silly to pass that up, right?  Except I’m 30 years old and 7 years late.  Long story short, my social media-savvy sister agreed to spoon feed me everything I needed to know to get started.  So, I did and then panicked a bit.  Surely the Instagram world will sense that I’m illiterate?  I thought for 48 hours about my first post, and bam, I used my first hashtag.  I’m a few weeks and a handful of timid posts into it now… I have exactly 12 followers. EEK. #bitthebullet

The blog, not one but two Facebook accounts and now Instagram.  WHO AM I?  Do you want to know my secret? I am enjoying it.  They’re all pushing me in different ways, outside of my quiet, little comfort zone.  After all, I’m going to need people to buy my books one day, I’d better get a head start on finding them.  More importantly, I’m making connections and building a network.  I’ve been talking about this very thing since Magnolias was born, and each ‘follower’ is proof that it’s working.  #socialmediawin

I do struggle with boundaries though.  I’ve found that the days when I check Facebook early, I end up checking it often, often mindlessly, hoping for ‘notifications’, I don’t know why I have a hard time realizing that checking seldom and seeing 10 notifications is much more exciting, then slowly collecting one at a time.  In the same way, I’m excited with each new ‘like’ or ‘follow’, on Instagram or WordPress, but like many people, I’m sure, I tend to get carried away once I start looking.  And now I have a hard time keeping up.  My finger accidently brushed up against my screen while I was trying to figure out this whole hashtag thing, and I found a message from my sister.  What? How the heck did that get there? (B, I’m going need you to call me and talk me through this one.) Bear with me y’all, I’ll figure it out soon enough.  Surely I’m not the only one, right? #thankgodforlittlesisters

#toomanyhashtags?

Thanks for reading, come back anytime!

-JP