Q-Kids: Chicken Coop Club #3 & #4

Sorry about the delay in posting these stories. I’ve fallen a week behind with good reason. I welcomed my new little one into the world this past week. I feel so blessed to have her here amidst all the world’s craziness these past weeks. Story #3 is all about the game of charades and you…

Q-Kids: Chicken Coop Club Story #2

Week two of the Chicken Coop Club is now live! New feature this week is an audio reading of the full story. So print off the FREE activity page and listen to my story while you play with your kids. This week’s story is about the game of BINGO! I hope you enjoy it. Happy…

Q-Kids: Chicken Coop Club Story #1

I’ve been working with the amazing Townline Hatchery to create a fun children’s tale series focused around raising your own poultry. This new series is called The Chicken Coop Club. These mini stories focus on living out the backyard farm while under these strange circumstances we are all subject to right now. Bonus being that…

The Perfect Page Turn

With picture book writing their is a real art to handling a page turn. You have to think through not only the words but the accompanying art on the pages. There are many amazing tools out there to help you envision what your story will look like with each turn. You can find a wonderful…

Bibliographies for Writers

You know those pesky end notes after research papers in high school and college? Well they’re back. In fact they never really left and are super important for writers who want to write in certain areas. If you’re writing nonfiction I’ll assume this is all old news to you but other types of writing that…

Managing an Anthology

Sadly, I’ve been a part of two local anthologies that have fallen through. I’ll be honest it was due to the planning portion than the writing portion. How do you actually put it together in a coherent way. So if you’re on anthology train here are some tips to get your project into the station…

A New Kind of Note

I’m delving deep into a new type of childrens writing and am loving it. I’m five stories into a historical fiction STEAM series. It’s a blast. What I’m realizing though is everything can’t be an art note. I’ve talked in the past about what makes a good illustration note, you can read more here. So…

Revising Grief

Nothing kills my creativity faster than grief. It’s like my mind gets tunnel vision and my whole demeanor is sad. I try to find the creative pieces in every part of life but in these moments I can’t. So I look elsewhere for comfort. I usually start with my Bible and that helps the healing…

Why Snow is Like Story

I’m sitting at my desk on a cold February day and it hits me how much stories and snow have in common. If you’ll indulge my little analogy, here’s why I think so. At the start, small flakes are falling in a quiet tumble. Little whispers of plot are coming out of the sky and…

Research Tricks & Tips You Can’t Live Without

I’ve been digging deep these past few weeks working through a historical fiction picture book series (I’m so stinking excited about it). On that note I’ve gotten fairly good at finding information and I want to share some of my best tricks and tips. Unpopular opinion #1: Wikipedia is NOT a safe research source. While…

How to Pick A Point of View

I’ve been wrestling with a new picture book story that I want to write. I’ve got nothing on paper, yet. It’s just bubbling in the back of my mind. The story elements are all there, plot, structure, information, character options. What I can’t wrap my mind around is the point of view. WHO is going…

10 Reading Quotes to Fall In Love With

Oftentimes someone has said what I wish to say far more eloquently than I ever could. So today I’m going to let others way in on reading. I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I do. I’m also going to take Bill’s advice as the weather is dreary to a fault. So cheers…

Making A Holiday Journal

In one of my Christmas boxes I have a small, unassuming notebook. It lives there with all the decor for most the year. But when we pull out the holiday boxes I also pull out this notebook. It’s become incredibly special. It’s my family holiday journal. I’ve been adding to it each year for five…

How to Write During the Holidays

I’ve come to realize the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are somewhat of a twilight zone for writing. It seems like either it all gets written or none of it does. So how do you fit in a routine when life’s routine is out the window? The short answer is, I don’t know. The long…

You Should Talk to an Agent Today, Seriously.

So I’ve been steadily working through my stories as they come to me. I’ve talked before about choosing a story to write that really gets you excited. I still stand by all of that. However, there comes a moment when a choice must be made and that choice has consequences. I’m there. I’ve got five…

I’m Failing NaNoWriMo & Happy- You Should be too.

It’s Day 11 of National Novel Writing Month. If you’re like me you are slowly watching the gap between the words written and words that should be written graph on your NaNoWriMo home page grow. It’s not that I’m not writing. It’s that I’m not getting as many words as I need. I’m still happy…

5 Tricks to Fast Drafting

It’s National Novel Writing Month and word counts reign supreme in the writing world right now. The thing is we are all so short on time. When I sit down to write it needs to happen now. There’s no luxury of sitting and staring at the screen for hours. Kids, chores, other work, and the…

Don’t Say It That Way!

I really enjoy coming up with witty titles for my blog posts. It’s fun. Part of me (the stubborn part) doesn’t want to change. But one of my good writing pals pointed out the wisdom of key words the other day. She even backed it up with this fascinating and fear producing article. Have I…

Public Speaking: Conference Edition

On Saturday, I had the privilege to speak at a local writers conference hosted through the Kent District Library. I was one of four speakers and we were all focused on the craft of writing. While I know many writers cringe at the idea of public speaking don’t be too intimidated. It’s a room full…

Show Don’t Tell: Passive Verbs

I’ve been writing for some time now and some of the advice that gets pushed around is “show don’t tell.” Which is fine advice but no one ever gives a practical way to accomplish this. So here it is. A way to move your sentences from passive into active and therefore show instead of tell….