In the Spotlight: Meg Miller and ReviMo (Interview)
Meg Miller, who is in the spotlight today, is a picture book writer, artist, stay at home mom, wife, dog owner, chicken farmer and so much more! She loves writing — it has always been a passion. She enjoys creating art and acrylic paint is her favorite medium. She’s also an outdoor enthusiast. She loves mountain biking, snowboarding, snorkeling and hiking.
As you can see, she’s a person of many interests, and many talents. She’s also a spirited participant in the writing community, and has created an annual challenge that helps writers get from first draft to polished manuscript. You’ll learn more about that in the interview.
Thank you, Meg, for agreeing to be interviewed. I’m glad to give my readers an opportunity to get to know you better!
Beth: Meg, I know you as an active participant in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12, but not all my readers may be as familiar with you. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and about your writing and art?
Meg: Hi Beth, hi everyone! I started seriously trying to write children’s picture books almost two years ago. I, like so many people, thought I would sit down, write an amazing story and send it off to be published. Presto, fame and fortune! My first effort didn’t come out amazing at all (*cough cough gag*). Since then I have taken writing classes (Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic and Renee LaTulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab have been my favorites to date), attended local SCBWI conferences and workshops and have even gone to a Highlights Foundation workshop (amazing experience!). I’ve learned a lot and made a lot of wonderful friends. Kid lit peeps are the best!
I am an artist, you can see some of my quirky art here. I’d eventually like to illustrate picture books as well, but I’m a stay-at-home mom of a 5 and 3 year old, so for the time being, my time is more occupied with reading picture books and attempting to write them than illustrating them!
Beth: In January of this year, you hosted your first ReviMo – what is ReviMo and what was your impetus for starting it?
Meg: ReviMo is Revise More Picture Books Week. In 2012, I had just completed Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee; I was looking forward to Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo; and I’d been writing a rough draft monthly for Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge. I thought, I need to revise all these (crappy) stories. There should be a revision challenge. So… after coming up with a name for it, inspired by the other great challenges, I set to planning. And in January 2014, inspired by some fantastic guest posts, we had a revision bonanza!
I’d like ReviMo to be about playing with revisions. This quote from Anne Lamott captures the thought perfectly: “So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.”
Come on over to ReviMo, let’s scribble out some revisions and have FUN!
Beth: I see on your website that there have been several Petite ReviMo’s this year – how did they unfold and what do they entail?
Meg: Petite ReviMo’s are one day a month, mid-month. A guest blogger writes an amazing post (truly, such a lot of great inspiration we’ve received!) to jumpstart our revisions. Oftentimes the hardest part for me is sitting down and starting, so hopefully the camaraderie of ReviMo helps people start, and keep, writing!
Beth: And there’s also a tab on your website called ReviMo, Classroom Style. You’re really Rev-ing up a storm! Please tell us about this brainchild.
Meg: ReviMo Classroom Style was inspired by a friend of mine, Lisa, who is a literary consultant in Michigan. We love the thought of inspiring kids to write and revise! The next time we’re going to make it a summer event for parents to do with their kids.
Beth: When is the next full ReviMo? How can people participate? Is there a cost?
Meg: The next full ReviMo is January 11-17th. Sign-up will be up next week on my blog under the ReviMo tab! There is no cost to participate. Last year I set up a CafePress shop with ReviMo and miscellaneous writing gear, and proceeds were donated to RIF.
Beth: What’s next for Meg Miller, author and artist, outside of ReviMo?
Meg: I’m going to keep on writing, learning, revising and submitting. Hopefully someday publication, but if not, it’s still fun doing what I love. As Anne Lamott says, “publication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do—the actual act of writing—turns out to be the best part.”
And I’d love to go to an Unworkshop at the Highlights Foundation. All that loveliness, great food and time to write? Heaven!
Beth: Where can my readers find and follow you on social media?
Meg: My blog: http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.com/
Join ReviMo Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1422553434641402/
Join us in Word by Word — we are currently studying Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: https://www.facebook.com/groups/536519409761124/
I have a twitter account, but I’m not much of a tweeter: @MagpieMeg 😀
Beth: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Meg: Thank you Beth!
Beth: Thank YOU, Meg!
Great to learn more about Meg, where she’s come from and where she’s going. 🙂 The revision challenge is such a great idea (says the editor)! 🙂
Since manuscripts needing revision tend to pile up when caught up in life, this is the perfect opportunity to get your new year in order. Thank you, Meg, for organizing ReviMo and Petite ReviMo’s to inspire us all! A whole community of revisers is so encouraging.
Thank you Beth for interviewing Meg. I love to hear when I hear authors quote, Anne Lamont, (my overall favorite inspirational person) and experienced a Highlights workshop (I went last summer and it was life changing:) I hope to participate in ReviMo this year.
Thanks for all this information and for an interesting interview.
Great post, Meg. You inspire us all to keep revising, pushing, and dreaming. 🙂
I think Meg’s ReviMo is an excellent challenge. I participated last year in her big ReviMo and participated in at least one of the petites. (My memory is so bad I can’t recall exactly.) I do remember that the community and communication in the FB group was encouraging and helped me with accountability. Thanks for a great interview, you two! I really enjoyed it!
Meg is such a clever, busy gal, and a dear to boot! I’m so glad you’ve highlighted her and her fun ReviMo challenge here, Beth!
Love ReviMo challenge, Meg! See you in January. And great job in The Lyrical Language Class. That was such an awesome time!
A lovely busy lady and a great interview, thank you ladies. I just walked in the door from an SCBWI Editing workshop held here which was really good. So this was timely. I must remember to join in ReviMo next year.
Thank you all for your kind comments and thank you Beth for interviewing me! I’m so honored to be a part of the kid lit community, best group of peeps in the world! So kind and generous. HUGS! 😀
Thanks, Meg! So great to feature you here! *Hugs back*
I’m looking forward to ReviMo 2015, Meg. I can’t believe I’ve known you all this time and have not seen your portfolio. I love your work – but being a frog lover – those little guys get a little extra love. Thanks for the good interview, Beth.
Hey Meg and Beth! Great interview. LOVED learning more about you, Meg. You are the best!! Love you Meg and your ReviMo. I’m ready for another ReviMo too. WAHOO!!! *rolls up sleeves* After NaNo what’s stopping me?
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