Friday, September 7, 2012

Friendspiration Friday: Heather Newman on Elizabeth Stevens Omlor

If today's Friendspiration post seems like a love letter its no surprise! 
 
The 12x12in12 community online is one of the most supportive and encouraging communities.  And that very community is where Heather Newman met her Friendspiration, Elizabeth Stevens Omlor. Its a match made in 12x12in12 heaven.  A true coast-to-coast collaboration!
 
Please join me in welcoming Heather...

 
 
Elizabeth Stevens Omlor joined the 12X12 Challenge in a blaze of banana peelin' glory. I met her when she was looking for an artist to create a badge for her blog series Banana Peel Thursday and she was such fun to work with, I jumped at the chance to be in her critique group. Our group formed in February and by her own admission, Elizabeth was fairly new to writing with no experience in formal critiques. It was a bit of a rocky start. She shared her emotions about the first round of critiques openly on her blog and ended up touching on the side of writing that is rarely talked about. What to do when you feel like you've been walloped upside the head by literary feedback. Well, she crawled out from under the laundry pile, found her voice and kept on writing. Thank goodness she did!
 
I am in awe of Elizabeth's talent and passion. Over the past seven months she has honed her craft to the point of attracting ninja agents at an online conference with her humor and skill. She has written stories that have me laughing out loud as I read them, earning many odd looks from my kids. You'll understand when you have the opportunity to meet her macho men on the bookshelf of your local store because I know that excellent manuscript is going to find the perfect publishing house someday. Her blog offers a witty look at the process of writing for children and her Banana Peel series tames the publishing experience by featuring published authors who share their oops moments from their own writing journeys.
 
Elizabeth is genuinely excited when a fellow 12X12 member receives good news and she is the biggest cheerleader when someone is feeling down about their work. Her critiques have helped me to improve my own writing and I am very grateful that she's willing to share her hard earned knowledge.
 
So, thank you, Elizabeth, for your humor, support, enthusiasm and especially your stories.
 
However, you don't have to take my word for it. Here's what some other 12X12 members had to say about the lovely Elizabeth Stevens Omlor.
 
I love Elizabeth! She has a terrific sense of humor and her posts are always a bright spot in my day. I love the Banana Peelin' series because it humanizes the writing experience so well - we all make mistakes and have embarrassing moments and it's nice to know we're not alone.”
-Susanna Leonard Hill
 
Elizabeth is the most hilarious, humble, genuine person I've ever, EVER met! And, yes, I have totally met her IN PERSON! She has this ability to write stories that are bold enough and smart enough to make you sit back and say, "Woah." I'm astonished at her talent, and so grateful for her friendship. She inspires me to write from my heart and she has no idea how amazing she truly is. Love that gal...”-Bethany Telles
 
I admire Elizabeth's sarcastic optimism. She is able to laugh at herself and the absurdity of life, while also smiling and letting you know that it will all be ok.” - Marcie Colleen
 
"How do I like Elizabeth? I'd count the ways...but there are too many! I glommed onto Elizabeth right away because I like that girl's style and humor. She's simpatica, capite? She makes me snicker. She makes me not feel so weird. She shows me that it's okay to embrace -- nay, to CELEBRATE -- one's quirks, and to capitalize on them. She writes stories involving chest hair. She's not afraid to laugh at herself, or to invite everyone else to laugh at her, too. She's fearless. She's got my respect. I would buy her many beers. And if she ever gets to Italy, we are going to have one heckuva hootenanny!" - Renee LaTulippe


 
Heather Newman is an extremely talented illustrator living in Porter, Maine.  You can check her out at http://hnewmanart.blogspot.com/ and http://www.heathernewman.net/.  Her work has ranged from murals to pencil portraits to books, but her favorite projects have always involved artwork for children.

Do YOU have a Friendspiration you would like to introduce us to on a future Friday? Please send an email to marciecolleen@gmail.com and we will make that happen.
 
 

38 comments:

  1. I am completely speechless. So I guess that means I still have the ability to write. Maybe I am thoughtless. No. That doesn't work either. I know! Wordless! I don't have the words to express just how much I a) love Heather Newman, b) appreciate the amazingly kind things she said about me, c) am taken aback by the fact that in addition to Heather, so many people that I admire so much took the time to contribute some really sweet comments. I am floored. Absolutely, floored. My heart is filled.

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  2. Wait. I still didn't say thank you. THANK YOU!!! xoxo

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  3. Great Friendspiration post! Elizabeth Stevens Omlor-perfect choice! You are delightful Elizabeth.

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  4. This is GREAT! and so very true. Elizabeth is a joy to know (although I only know her cyberly). And what a wonderful community we have in 12x12!

    How cool is it that when I think of some day being able to be on Banana Peel Thursday, I think of it as a badge of honor?

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    1. It has been an absolute joy getting to know YOU Beth! I feel so thrilled that you look forward to being on the blog! Smiling ear to ear. Thank Beth!

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  5. Aw..it's all so lovely and so true! Elizabeth has the greatest talent for making others feel happy and inspired. What a wonderful idea for a series Marcie!

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    1. Cathy! Thank you SO much! This series is the best "feel good" place out there!

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  6. THIS IS AWESOME. I AM YELLING BECAUSE IT IS SO AWESOME.

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    1. I AGREE! TOTALLY AWESOME! I REALLY LIKE THIS YELLING THING WE'VE GOT GOING ON HERE! :)

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  7. I love this. I love the friendspirations. I love the kidlit community. Heather, Elizabeth and Marcie rock!

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    1. The kidlit community IS the best! So glad we all found each other!

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    2. Ditto on all of the above!!!

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  8. LOVE to read the painfully funny Banana Peelin' moments of fellow authors. Thanks, Heather, for sharing more about Elizabeth. I look forward to hearing good PB news from her soon :)

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  9. It brings tears to my eyes to read a strangers experience of my sister since it so closely reflects my own. She has always been my sisteration (kind of works right?) and it makes me so happy to get to see how far her passion, spirit, and genuine kindness has traveled and the impact it has on others. Thank you Heather for words and your friendship with my sister.

    Christy Stevens

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    1. It brought tears to my eyes to read your comment. I love you Christywisty. Just know this sisteration thing goes both ways. Love you and so proud of you!

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  10. Marcie, I agree with Carter that this is dripping with awesomeness. I'd yell too, but I'm feeling a little hoarse. What an uplifting idea for a blog series. I can think of dozens of people I'd be honored to get smushy about.

    Elizabeth, you are a beacon in the fog! Keep shining, my dear! And Heather is a treasure. MWAH to everyone!

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    1. MWAH to you. Thanks for getting so smushy. It's an honor to read those words coming from someone who I think is the cat's meow. MEOW! xoxo

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  11. We'll all say we 'read her when...' she is the first to host a Late Night Kid-Lit comedy show. And none of us will be surprised. Great post y'all!

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    1. Ha! Late Night Kid Lit TV show, huh? Now THAT's a fun idea! Thanks so much Julie for your kind words.

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  12. Wonderful post, Heather and Marcie, and all true Bananabeth :) xo

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  13. Thank you, Marcie, for letting me write about one of my favorite authors. It's lovely to read everyone's comments about Elizabeth! This series is such a fantastic idea, I hope you get many more submissions.

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    1. This series is wonderful. And so are you Heather and Marcie!

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  14. What an inspiration you are to everyone, Elizabeth! Great post, Heather! I like Julie's comment...hosting a Late Nite Kidlit show. :)

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    1. We can only do the show if you are our correspondent in Korea Tina! :)

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  15. I totally agree. Elizabeth combines inspiration with a giggle, and screw ups with a giggle, and embarrassment with a giggle.... You get what I mean. I love her! You said it all perfectly, Heather.

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    1. Thank thank you, so,so much Genevieve. What nice things to say. :) So touched.

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  16. There are certain people that you just get a feeling about...a gut instinct that they are going to make it in the kidlit industry...a certainty that at some point in the not-so-distant future, you will see their book in print. Elizabeth is one of those people.

    Thanks Marcie and Heather and Elizabeth for making such a positive contribution to this community!

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    1. Amy D.! This comment took my breath away. THANK YOU! It also makes me rethink my plan to become a coffee barista. :)

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  17. My comment from TWO DAYS AGO never posted?!?!?!?! Bollocks!
    Here's what I said:

    Elizabeth, I'm going to be serious for a moment. Mmmmkay? There has never been a single person in the world that I have ever connected with so genuinely because we were so dang similar. You have a gift, and I do not say that lightly. I meant every word that I wrote, and I'm thankful that Heather asked me to contribute. You, my dear friend, are so special. So witty. And so... honest, not just with others but with yourself, too.
    I cannot wait to see you become a household name. You deserve nothing less!

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    1. I am just so shocked by everyone's generous comments. Thank you so much Bethany. I am so grateful to have met you and feel such luck to have you in my SCBWI region! We will get to see each other quite often as our paths take shape. This is a huge gift for me. Thank you so much for all of your support and kind words and know that I can't wait to someday return the favor. =) xoxo

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  18. So glad to see Elizabeth featured as friendspiration! One of Elizabeth's many gifts is that she can always make me laugh. I am honored (and even a little humbled) to have her in the 12 x 12 group. She is one heck of a talented woman!

    Thank you Elizabeth, for brightening up the 12 x 12 space so much. I have no doubt your books will do the same for thousands of children in the future - because they WILL be published!!

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    1. Julie! Thank you so much. To know that I make you laugh is worth all of the banana peel moments in the world. What a compliment. I am humbled by your comments and would like for you to know that I still can't believe how this community has changed my life. Thank you so much for your kind words and know that what you have done, bringing us together to support each other in our journey to become published authors, is honorable beyond words.

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  19. Wow! Wonderful post and friendspiration. It's hard to follow all these comments with a new twist on this idea-- but it is so nice to read all the kindness and warmth and support. Carry on, ladies!

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