Be in the Zone- But Don’t Get Too Comfortable!

August 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but I like things to stay the same.  I find comfort in the familiar. Comfort zone, here I stay!

Yet moving outside my comfort zone is where I really experience life in its fullness.

This spring, I planned and completed a twenty-three day trip to Europe. Except for five days in the early part of the trip when my son joined me, I was traveling solo.

Yes, I was outside my comfort zone on numerous occasions.  And I loved almost every minute of it! I was there to experience life I had only seen in movies or read about in books and magazines.

I relied heavily on my Kindle guidebooks before and during my travels. I have to be honest and say that, sometimes,  I was not myself in Europe so that I could fit in and not look like the “always smiling American.”

The truth is that stepping out and experiencing other cultures sounds great, but we love to have a familiar something to keep us connected to our life at home. So once I knew I was going to Europe, I wondered if there was any way I could meet up with people in SCBWI (Society  of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). The answer was on our international website: A Master Class on Saturday the 13th of April in London.  Perfect timing and the perfect topic for me: nonfiction.

I anticipated being in a room full of people speaking with English accents.  But after checking out our presenter’s bio, I prepared myself for native Californian Michelle Markel speaking ‘American’. It turned out there were four writers originally from different parts of the USA. But the lack of dialect barrier did not diminish my enjoyment.


I hope you enjoy reading the blog post about Michelle’s presentation.  Not only do I include some of her exercises and her suggestions for books to peruse, I open my notebook and share my writing samples.

On that day, I found that London’s SCBWI is in my comfort zone. The culture is different, but we share the same commitment to the pursuit of excellence in children’s literature!

And yes, that is me at King’s Crossing.  Beautiful architecture and it is across the street from the British Library.  See you in the pages of a good book!


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