My motto for 2017 was Stronger Together. It meant spending time with family and friends and getting involved with my community.

I was in San Francisco for my grandma’s 80th birthday. I loved seeing everyone again.

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Read about my San Francisco trip here. One of the highlights was definitely getting to visit the inspiration for Tales of the City.

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Volunteering and Commitment to Literacy

I wanted to do as much good as possibly can for as many people as possible. A large part of this was upping my volunteering hours to 150 for this year. With my final shift of the year at the library earlier this week, I was at 171.5 hours- and I signed up to volunteer for a fun event at New Year’s Eve at another library! (Plus, I have some things scheduled for the new year already!)

[Update 1/1: After the New Year’s Eve library event, my volunteer hours in 2017 rose to 176!]

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And, since tracking my volunteer hours in 2012, I realized I’ve reached (at least and definitely more than) 1,000 hours since moving to Portland in 2008!

I found myself seeking to do something good whenever I was feeling down or when the world seemed out of control. In 2017, there were definitely lots of those moments. I was also super impressed how the kidlit community stepped up during difficult times.

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Bookstores and Bookselling

I celebrated my five-year anniversary at the bookstore this summer. I love being a bookseller, particularly at Green Bean Books. It’s a truly special place that encourages creativity and discovery and promotes diversity.

I was thrilled to attend the Children’s Institute in the spring. I was so inspired and had so much fun talking with and learning from other booksellers across the country! And, let me tell you, book people throw the best parties!

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I also got to attend Portland’s literary festival- Wordstock- again for work!

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I got to dress up for work again this year- twice, in fact. The first time was as the Very Hungry Caterpillar…

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…and then as the Poky Little Puppy.

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I loved getting to meet Dan Santat and see him read at the store! I tried not to be too much of a scary fan. (Another time I had to pretend to keep it cool was when I ran into Mo Willems at a Starbucks here in Portland!)

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One of my favorite moments of the year was when a customer let me help her out for an special reading at her son’s school. She invited both the author and the illustrator of a book they loved; and, she organized the whole thing!

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Blogging

One of my goals was to get 150 likes on this blog’s Facebook page. Thank you to everyone who’s made it happen! And I invite those who haven’t liked it yet, to do so!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!
Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

My Reading Life

I had a hard time concentrating this year. My reading tally was at the lowest it’s been in years- only 614 books read this year!

Here’s the breakdown:
31 Adult Fiction
18 Adult Non-Fiction
53 Graphic Novels
59 Middle Readers
446 Picture Books
7 Young Adult
(137 Nonfiction Picture Books)

mustreadin2017

With my ever changing list, I ended up not reading 5 titles, a few of which I want to carry over to next year. I updated my Must Read in 2017 list with links to posts of the books I’ve read!

My Writing Life

I successfully completed StoryStorm!

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I submitted one of my picture book manuscripts to agents. While I didn’t hear back from any of them, I will continue trying.

I completed another picture book manuscript; and, I’m excited and inspired to write more.

How was your year?

One thought on “Looking Back at 2017

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