It’s been awhile…

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Time flies. Yes, it has officially been 16 months since my last post. That’s a little pathetic, I know. I promise to do better. But, if it’s any consolation, I have been writing. During the last 16 months, I’ve written numerous magazine pieces, a bevy of educational materials, and also (if I’ve counted correctly) 12 books on all sorts of fun topics! I’ll be posting some of the published ones within the next few days. The yet-to-be-published ones will be posted once they hit the market.

I recently had the opportunity of attending another writers’ workshop sponsored by the Highlights Foundation. (Yes, you’ve heard of them, think Highlights magazine.) I honestly cannot say enough great things about these workshops. I learn amazing things each time I go and always, always meet some pretty incredible people who turn out to be dear friends. The theme for this workshop was “Food and Fiction.” The lovely chef, Marcia Dunsmore, led the food part of the workshop and acclaimed children’s author, Rich Wallace, led the writing part. On one day, we got to embark on a fieldtrip to a creamery to watch cheese being made and then scooted off to the local farmer’s market in Hawley to get produce for the evening’s meal. An extraordinary greenhouse/nursery owner came to visit us one afternoon toting along some of her amazing home-grown masterpieces. Cookbook author and Boyds Mills Press acquiring art director, Robbin Gourley, dined with us for lunch on one of the days, too. Each day was also filled with mini workshops on how to improve our fiction writing and our writing in general. We were even able to incorporate the senses used in cooking and eating into our writing descriptions…yummy! I left this workshop with a repertoire of new skills in both cooking and writing. In fact, I was able to use some of what I learned immediately. I made Old Fashioned Peach Preserves (thanks Marcia for the recipe!) with the peaches from my backyard tree. Then, I used some of the new writing techniques that I learned in our daily workshops in one of my most recent books (thanks Rich!).

Another fun part of the workshop was that it was held in the brand new barn at Boyds Mills. If you’re thinking of a barn as a stinky place where animals live, then think again. This “barn” is more like a luxury lodge. It’s beautiful, cozy, and just as inviting and wonderful as the old Founders’ Home. It’s a wonderful addition to the Boyds Mills property and will be the site of loads of delightful memories for years to come. Seriously, go to one of these workshops if you ever get the chance. Here’s the website: Highlights Founders Workshops. See, now no more excuses. Just go! 🙂

It’s October and the weather is starting to turn into fall. We’ve been spoiled with 90 degree weather and beautiful sunny skies up until now. According to the weatherman, it’s supposed to drop 30 degrees within the next day or so. Well, it was good while it lasted!

More to come soon, I promise!