Monday, October 22, 2007


Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new Milestone Monday feature dedicated to sharing important posts and passings in your journey. The trek to publication and success of any kind can be a long, arid haul. This is our opportunity to give you a hoot, a holler and some cyber-confetti to cheer you on along the way. And, to remind you that you are not alone in this!

Robin and I want to throw out the first handful of e-confetti to Milestoners, Farida Dowler, Tony Dowler and Kimberly Lynn. (Insert sound of blowing horns and near-deafening cheers here.)

Farida, aka Alkelda the Gleeful, reports that she lined up three storytelling gigs all at once! Strong work! Robin and I think we'd need both CPR and an IV (introvertous fluids) if we attempted that. Good on you, Alkelda! May your storytelling talents and prowess become legendary.

Tony Dowler is working on a game about the Renaissance with wicked cool ray guns and robots. He's been talking about it on message boards and unveiling rough drafts for a few buds. Just last week someone Tony doesn't even know “name-dropped” his game as an influence on their own work. Sweet! You can check out Tony's work at

Kimberly Lynn shared a great story that I think is best told in her voice.

“Three years ago, I attended my very first SCBWI conference. I was signed up for a manuscript and portfolio critique with Gaby Triana and Frank Remkiewicz. No one other than my family and a couple of friends had ever read my writing up until that point, so I was utterly terrified of hearing 'the truth.' I was so afraid in fact, that I actually considered getting back into the elevator, but then I thought about how rude it would be to leave them sitting there waiting with no explanation. (I can be so silly!) When I walked toward Gaby Triana, she said, “Are you Kimberly?” I smiled and shook her hand. She said, “Wow! Great writing! Do you have an agent?” Totally not what I had expected to hear! She recommended her agent but when I checked his submission guidelines later, he didn't rep fantasy - which I love writing! Rats. Anyway, it was a moment I will never, never forget. My portfolio review with Frank Remkiewicz went really well too. He said I needed to get it “out there” to publishers. Did I get it “out there” after that? Nope. Let's just take this one baby step at a time.”

Kimberly Lynn also reports that she was asked by her SCBWI Regional advisor to write the Illustrator Intensive article for the newsletter. It's her first published work! You can take a peek at it at and scroll down.

Robin and I have a milestone of our own to report. Over the weekend we attended the 55th Annual Santa Barbara Author Breakfast, which was a fun event. And they had quiche AND scones which is like heaven in a Prada bag. The event organizer put us at the same table, and it was the FIRST time Robin and I ever sat together, and didn't pass notes. <-“

Kimberly, Tony, Farida, thank you for sharing all your great accomplishments, and being the first to march in our Milestone Parade. We are raising out Diet Cokes, iced teas, mocha lattes, V-8 and mountain spring water in a happy toast to you each!

And be sure and keep those milestones coming for next month!



Saints and Spinners said...

Thanks so much, and Mazel tov to all of you, too. Since I wrote to you, I lined up another gig for the day after the three gigs in a row. I'll remember Mother Reader's advice for throwing birthday parties: asprin beforehand, booze after. Yee ha.

R.L. LaFevers said...

Wow. Aspirin and booze! If only I'd known that back when I was still throwing birthday parties!

Congrats on your newest gig!

Anonymous said...

Robin and Mary,

Quiche AND scones, now that is heaven!

Seriously, thanks for setting up this site and taking the time to write all the helpful articles. And WOW, now we get Milestone Mondays! I almost tipped out of my chair last night. I do want to mention for those who suffer a similar type of anxiety like me, I actually did get back in the elevator at another conference and run. Thankfully, it wasn’t a scheduled meeting but somewhat of an assembly line agent pitching. I was supposed to introduce myself and throw out a pitch. Three minutes for crying out loud and I couldn’t do it. And I paid for it! Sheesh.

Kimberly Lynn

Congrats to everyone mentioned on this first Milestone Monday and good luck with your writing engagements! Shivers.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to everyone! There are wonderful steps on this journey, and it is so nice to take a moment to acknowledge each one.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Bouquets of violets to all.

Saints and Spinners said...

Hey there, me again.
I just wanted to let Mary know that I finished The One Where the Kid... in one sitting the other night, and am now at work on Theodosia. Truly, had you not had this blog in place, I would have thought, "Yeah, these books look interesting, they've gotten good reviews, but I just have soooo much to read." While I believe in gauging an aritist's work independently of the artist, in actuality the book/film/cd becomes more important to experience when I have some sense of a personal connection.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to correct that it was actually my Assistant Regional Advisor who asked me to write the Illustrator Intensive Article. She does the newsletter for our region. Thanks again.

Kimberly Lynn

Margay Leah Justice said...

I just wanted to add that I am gaining steady recognition for my blog and for my debut novel, Nora's Soul. My blog ( was listed as one to read by the founder of Authors Promoting Authors and Nora's Soul just received its first review on - a four star (out of five) review! - to go along with two four star (out of five) reviews on
Margay Leah Justice