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Catching Up With Ann

September 2008

Hi, readers!

It's been many years now since I left my full-time job as a children's book editor in New York City to focus solely on writing. It was definitely scary to give up the security and routine of an office, but I felt confident that I could make the transition. Those first few years in my home office were some of the busiest of my life, but I learned a lot about how to plan my days, weeks, and months in order to be as creative and productive as possible. A number of years ago I set up a schedule that allows me to work for three months in a row, and then take the fourth month off from writing. It takes a huge amount of organization to meet all of my deadlines, but I love knowing that the busy months will be followed by time to relax and rejuvenate.

At the end of July, when I crossed the last item off of my to-do list and turned off my computer, I felt the way I used to feel on the final day of school. Hooray! Vacation! Well, it's not exactly the same, but it's still pretty exciting. My August got off to a great start with a visit from my Kentucky relatives, my Aunt Adele, my cousin Margaret, and Margaret's four-year-old son. We packed a lot into a few days, including an outing to the town of Woodstock for ice cream and window shopping, and lots of games and arts and crafts at my house. We visited Bluebell, my neighbor's cow, and walked through the woods. And at the end of their visit, we all headed to Pennsylvania so my aunt could visit my father (her brother) before returning to Kentucky.

Right after the trip to Pennsylvania, I packed up again and joined my friend and her two children for a few days on Martha's Vineyard. I love the time we spend together each summer, and this year we enjoyed visiting art galleries, going to shops in nearby towns, and eating in some fun restaurants. I was even able to fit in a little reading and some needlework. An added bonus was celebrating my birthday surrounded by good friends. All in all, a perfect August getaway!

The rest of my time off was spent at home tending to things that are often neglected (my garden!) during busy work months. My new kitten, Pippin, continues to be the most active cat I've ever known (just ask Gussie and Woody, who yearn for some peace and quiet), and I have a new foster cat, Hannah, living with me until a permanent home can be found for her. I'm happy to say that I also made great progress with my sewing projects, so I'm hopeful that my creations will be ready in time for Christmas.

Just as summer has ended and it's back to the classroom for students, my vacation has ended, and it's back to my daily writing routine. As always, the break in my schedule has left me feeling rested, invigorated, and eager to jump back into work. And today, as I watch out the window as autumn slowly comes to the Hudson Valley, I know that I've got the best job in the world!

Wishing you a wonderful school year,