I taught four college classes all about OCD. Two were biblical counseling classes and two were abnormal psychology classes. I’m so grateful to the professors at my university for allowing me to share my story! I also was a part of an OCD Awareness Week event in Minneapolis, where I was invited to read an excerpt from my first novel, Lights All Around.
I took part in a panel on mental illness for a breakout chapel at Northwestern. OCD, ADHD, Bipolar, and GAD were all represented! And then, that evening, I was able to get coffee with a very special family. Their sweet 11-year-old daughter developed a sudden onset of OCD a few months ago (PANDAS, you suck), and we’ve been communicating about Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, a journey this brave girl is tackling! I am so, so impressed with them– with the parents’ drive to do the research to help them understand what their daughter is going through and with their daughter, for her maturity and courage and tenacity (and brio!).
My friend Addie Zierman’s new book came out, and Northwestern hosted a reading and Q&A with her. (So proud!) The next evening, Rainbow Rowell did a reading and Q&A in St. Paul. Friday, I have tickets to see Billy Collins at the Pantages! (I love how literary the Twin Cities are!)
I got my first rejection from an editor this month. Truest is still in the hands of five other editors, and I am essentially heartsick with longing for a book deal. It was so comforting to hear Rainbow Rowell discuss how difficult it was to sell Eleanor and Park, which is a masterpiece. (A relief because, you know, then maybe that means my book is under-appreciated masterpiece, right? Faulty logic? I can’t hear you!)
I’ve been writing one thousand words a day of my new manuscript: mysterious boy, small island, need I say more?
I finished up my fall travel for off-campus recruitment, which included high school visits, college fairs, and presentations (presentations was essentially the theme of my October; I believe I gave ten, all told). It feels good to have fall travel done so that I can be on campus and in my office for students.
I’m getting antsy to go somewhere: I’d really like to do some sort of writing retreat or conference. Tossing around the idea of the SCBWI conference next summer, but that feels so far away!
One more thing: I’m working on a new project with Elyse Kallgren of the Inksplotch blog. We will likely unveil it right around Christmas.