I decided at the last minute to take a weekend trip with Eric and attend the Florida regional SCBWI conference in Orlando. We had a blast!
Look what we won at the silent auction! Eric said they fit me perfectly and we had to have them. They were made by an author…of course! Gaby Triana is not only the author of four novels but she’s also a cake decorator. Thank you, Gaby!
It can get lonely sitting here typing with only my zoo for company. I decided it was time to meet some writers in person…actual people I could speak to…not online. Meeting authors online is comfortable for me but it was time to break out of my comfort zone.
Eric and I reached Orlando just in time for the elixir mixer. Eric was very happy for three reasons.
My coach told me I was doing great throughout the evening. “Good job! I’m really proud of you for talking to so many people.” He’s adorable. Actually, after a beautiful woman and (my new best friend) exclaimed that she didn’t believe I had a daughter in college because I looked seventeen… well, that’s when I realized just how fun elixir mixers are!
Afterwards, Eric and I celebrated with sundaes. There we were at Disney all by ourselves eating ice cream at eleven at night. Awesome!
Saturday morning I was up with the sun.
I attended the fantasy workshop with Matthew Kirby and Joe Monti where I listened to them talk about one of my favorite subjects–writing fantasy. During our lunch break Eric asked me to ask Joe for a list of recommended reading. The two of them had had a brief discussion about George R.R. Martin’s books at the mixer. Eric LOVES George R.R. Martin and let me tell you it is very difficult writing fantasy and asking Eric to edit. The bar is set at George R.R. Martin. Once Eric even made the mistake of saying George R.R. Martin was his favorite author. My reply, “excuse me?” “Oh…ah not including you, honey, sweetness, sugar pie…” Yeah right I know better.
Well, the Universe was on Eric’s side because as soon as I returned from lunch Joe announced that he was sending us all a list of recommended reading. Eric was very excited later when I told him. He asked me to forward the list right away. I’m a little afraid my husband is going to stalk Joe Monti just to talk books.
Since marketing has become a big part of my writing career I asked Eric to scout possible locations for a Disney picture of MYSTIC. He found some great ones but by the end of the conference the rain poured. I’m not one to give up easy. I needed a picture. We searched the gift shops and found the perfect spot. While I stood and considered which was going to win, my desire to have the picture or my fear to ask permission to take the picture, Eric (who would’ve just taken the darn picture regardless) went right up to the manager and asked permission for me. What a guy! After 23 years together he knows me so well!
We hopped in the car and drove in the downpour towards home. There was one stop left to make. Hello Cheesecake Factory and peanut butter cup, Butterfinger cheesecake. Wow! The perfect ending to the perfect weekend.
K.D. Rausin is a former teacher living in sunny Cape Coral, Florida. MYSTIC, her middle grade fantasy, and Elle & Buddy, her picture book, both feature strong female protagonists who use wheelchairs. Both books were inspired by her daughter, Arielle Rausin.
K.D. Rausin is a former teacher living in sunny Cape Coral, Florida. MYSTIC, her middle grade fantasy, and Elle & Buddy, her picture book, feature strong female protagonists who use wheelchairs. Both books were inspired by her daughter, Arielle Rausin.
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.