Jan 4, 2014

Dreams, Imagination, Resolutions: Yo, Vikings!

This post also appears on my website blog.

It's another new year.

Rather than reflect on resolutions, plans, and goal-setting, I'm taking a different tack. This is only one of many (MANY) new years I've welcomed in with well-considered, constructive resolutions. Truth be told, that's worked out well for me over the years.
Writing has always figured prominently among those plans. With resolutions to guide me, I've managed to write more, write in wider genres, learn more about writing, develop professional associations, find writing partners, and share my writing with wider audiences, including social media.
No regrets there. All of the above, and more, have led me to where I stand today, anticipating the release of Odin's Promise in just a few months.

What if I had been bolder, more imaginative, and even a tad foolish in the scope of my earlier intents?
What if I had been more  like a Viking?
Dutton Children's Books, 2002

Or at least like the daring protagonist in Judith Byron Schachner's picture book, YO, VIKINGS!  My previous methodical resolutions led me to become an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), including attendance at conferences. At our  October Wisconsin gathering I was privileged to hear Judy speak about her work. In the course of a lively, informative presentation on her process, her inspirations, and the irrepressible SkippyJonJones, she shared the family story behind YO, VIKINGS!
Click here to read about her bold and imaginative daughter Emma, and to view a news video of the real thing- Emma, Judy, and their backyard Viking ship!

This book is a treasure on many levels: compelling characters, vibrant and richly detailed illustrations that extend the text, delightful language, and the most improbably true story you'll ever read.

YO, VIKINGS! nudges me outside the comfort zone of my previous resolutions. Meeting Emma in the pages of this book inspires me to imagine beyond the "reasonable" or even "possible"  and set my sights on the vast unknown. Emma didn't hobble her dreams to methodical steps, nor wait for Star Trek Captain Jean Luc to "make it so".  She spoke her dreams publicly, she recognized the hand of fate when it showed itself, and she took its hand eagerly. The results were beyond even her wildest dreams.

The fact that Emma's imagination happened to land in the realm of Vikings is my signal that fate is offering me opportunities and adventures in 2014 that could lead beyond my annual steady pace. Rather than approaching this new year with plans and objectives, I intend to follow Emma's lead. I'll keep Judy's book propped on my desk as a reminder to sail into this year with true Viking bravado! 

There. I said it publicly. Watch me.

In coming months I may not maintain a weekly posting schedule on this blog, shifting focus to my website blog as the release date approaches. I have no doubt, though, that the amazing picture books releasing in 2014 will be featured here over the course of the year. I hope you'll continue to join  me for the ride!


  1. "Bolder, more imaginative, and even a tad foolish..." YES, sounds like a perfect resolution for 2014!!

    1. Christa, it really helps to have an endorsement from a writer as creative and bold as you are. Thanks for the vote of confidence!


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