Summer 2013 + MAJOR Happy News September 2, 2013 08:00 21 Comments

Maybe you've noticed it’s been a bit quiet over here this summer, but I have a good excuse, I promise! In addition to some MAJOR happy news that I'll share with you at the end of this post, here's a recap of my summer: njscbwi13b I attended the New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference in Princeton where I also gave a workshop called WHAT IS YOUR BRAND?: Set Yourself APART With Branding. I made everyone switch gears for a bit—from the creative side to the business side of things—to think about their own marketing messages. I'm happy to say the workshop was well attended and ran smoothly (my top two fears!). For those of you interested in becoming an author or illustrator and don't know where to start, look up your SCBWI regional chapters here. See what's going on, get involved, and attend some events! sleepyheads-beara I turned in my final drawings for Sleepyheads, a picture book by Sandra Howatt for Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster that will be out Fall 2014. The book was drawn entirely in pencil and colored digitally in Photoshop which was a first for me! Above is a picture of one of the preliminary color proofs. I was nervous at first with the new technique but I'm really happy with the way it came out and I can't wait to share this book with you! owl&frog-bookbirthdaya I celebrated the release of two of my latest books published by PSS!/Penguin, Owl & Friends and Frog & Friends. These books got some awesome reviews here and here! lascbwi13b I had a fabulous, yet exhausting, time at the Annual SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles. You know how much I love this conference as I've been attending for years and have blogged about it before here, here, and here! It was a cool summer in southern California and I attended a workshop given by Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz), need I say more? epcot-norway-family-a I conquered Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom in 4 days with my in-laws and 4 kids (nieces & nephews) ages 5-8. The trip had its moments but I felt like I needed a vacation after the vacation, you know what I mean? The kids had a BLAST though and that's what's important. scholasticmeetinga I had a lovely brainstorming meeting at Scholastic and received advance copies of my two upcoming Cartwheel/Scholastic board books: Hug You, Kiss You, Love You (November 2013) and My Lucky Little Dragon (January 2014)! The books are adorned with glittery covers and absolutely adorable. They are available for pre-order on Amazon now. I can't wait to share these books with you too! And now for the BIG news! With today being Labor Day and all, I thought it would be the perfect day to announce that my DH and I are expecting our first child in February—a girl! We are SO excited and can't wait to welcome our very own little Cupcake to the world! joyce-pregnanta I can't say I've had the easiest first-trimester. I've been begrudgingly taking some time off (for anyone who knows me that may be hard to believe!) as I was hit pretty hard with that first-trimester ickiness that include nausea, fatigue, and strong food aversions. Having a job where I work for myself during this time has been both a blessing and a curse. I found it hard to get motivated some mornings and the temptation to take an afternoon nap was all too great on some days (ok, many days) that I gave in and did. Much to my relief, I'm FINALLY starting to feel like myself again and I'm ready to really get back to work! (I'm sure my Editors would be happy about that!) I hope you've all had a super lovely weekend, friends. Happy Labor Day! xo Joyce