m wood pen

freelance illustrator: have pen, will travel

while i was delivering my youngest child to her first year of college (yes, it’s happened. yes, i’m okay. yes, she’s happy!), the wheels of marketing and promotion for my very first book began to spin.

a happy new team of certain-to-be fabulous new friends in the guise of the social media, marketing and promotions leg of my wonderful american publishers (time to name drop as i, apparently, have wonderful united kingdom publishers as well), have arrived via the internet to kick me into motion.

a few of my new tasks: create yet another page on facebook which is for m wood books only; clear up the navigation on this site/blog to aim kind visitors to the area where indeed, the book/books i illustrate will be situated and discussed; set up an author page on goodreads; plus more things than i absolutely cannot remember, due, yes, to the fact that i’ve been delivering my youngest to her first year of college.

the idea of working at home while raising my three children came ages ago, and it’s a really good thing i went in this direction…otherwise, i’d have been fired years ago.

the thing of it is, three children require days when you just have to play hooky.

which is what i did today, actually.

visiting my very first state fair, i’ve actualized a lifelong dream. well, one that started when reading e.b. white’s ‘charlotte’s web’ while young.  i’m a huge fan of all of his work, particularly his essays.  describing either the buzzing life in new york city or the humming life in rural maine, he’s always conjured up for me such imagery of the world the way it used to be. which is a world that i wish still existed. which, to continue on this mode of repetitive sentence structure, is a world that i find i gravitate towards creating with my pen.

but anyway, indeed, i wandered through the horse barn, cow barn, swine barn.  found my wilbur.  i then became a vegetarian on the spot. then sat to enjoy a llama competition. clapped for all of the contestants, but was in awe of this llama-whisperer teen girl who just magically commandeered that ginormous animal around the obstacle course. i also remembered, during this, that i was jealous of any child who had access to a 4h club. ate fried pickles for breakfast.

avoiding the midway, which i now know means amusement park ride area, i spun the wheel of chance at the minnesota public radio booth and won a postcard from the f. scott fitzgerald theatre. good thing i packed stamps.

feeling a bit parched, i downed a bottle of cold water, although i was extremely tempted to try to get my money’s worth at the dairy booth that offered all the milk you can drink for one dollar.

next up, the 4h building, an art deco-styled hall which was akin to a farm kids “oz”, where i fell upon a rousing song and dance routine performed by dozens of glee-like (and very talented) 4h-ers.  the crowd, mostly peppered with grey hair, clapped along to the medley of show-tunes.  and so did i!

the heat finally setting in, and my guilt over much work to finish today, i consulted my nifty state fair app so that i could find the ‘robin’ parking lot where my car awaited, which, thankfully i did without too many wrong turns.

however, i did feel a palpable pain as i walked past a shady spot lined with the most gorgeous leinenkugel-themed adirondack chairs filled with smiling fair-goers, sipping desperately at tall, ice-kissed mugs of cold beer. damn, that looked good!

but, ever-diligent, i kept my eye on my own blue ribbon prize: a return to the pen & the paper, and the work that i so love to do.

note: i intended to write my new post about a neat article in the “spoon” blog, but as usual, my mind wandered and i got totally sidetracked. here’s the link! http://www.quarryspoon.com/2013/08/the-architecture-of-cocktail-interview.html

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