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.


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


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!]


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.


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!


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


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


…and then as the Poky Little Puppy.


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!)


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!



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)


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!


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

  1. Loved reading all of this Earl. WE are heading to San Fransisco this March so I especially loved that post! Congratulations on your volunteer hours. Wonderful commitment.

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