cooking, Writing

5 Ways Kids Books Are Like Jelly

Have you ever made jelly or another type of preserve? It takes more than a recipe to get the results you want and kids books are very similar. Here's how: Recipe like Voice- To make jelly you need a recipe and the first few times I'd recommend sticking to it. However, now that I've made… Continue reading 5 Ways Kids Books Are Like Jelly

Writing

Emotional Plotting

It's that time of year again! The time to dive deep, start drowning, and scramble back up to breath by December. It's time for National Novel Writing Month! If you didn't read Samantha's post about generational plotting be sure to check it out because I'll be building off of her thoughts here. Character is sovereign… Continue reading Emotional Plotting

Writing

Negotiation No Go

A couple months ago I got that magical email that said "we'd like to publish your story." And before you get too excited, that's where the magic ended. I received a contract via email and I began the painful process of looking up how to negotiate a book contract solo. Folks this is why agents… Continue reading Negotiation No Go

Writing

Visual Writing Prompts for NaNoWriMo

I think we've all fallen down the jumbo dragon hole of Pinterest at some point or another. Repeat offender over here. As a writer it can suck up all my time quicker than syrup on a pancake. On the other hand it gives me immersive and intense inspiration. Are the jewels hidden within Pinterest worth… Continue reading Visual Writing Prompts for NaNoWriMo

Writing

A Chilling Tale

Being so near to Halloween I've had scary thoughts floating around in my head. So when Brandon Ide contacted me about doing a photo story together I couldn't resist. You can check out The Ides Photography Blog and see his amazing photos for yourself. Brandon's photo of The Auction House Cafe inspired the following tale.… Continue reading A Chilling Tale

Writing

Flipping Cliches

We've all done it, see there I just did. I used a cliche. A common phrase or string of words that most folks like us understand. it's good to be understood.  The problem is, cliches are boring. So let's take some examples and flip them. What we are hoping to do is convey the same… Continue reading Flipping Cliches

Writing

Scene by Scene

After working on nearly a dozen picture books over the last year I want to go back into a longer story. I dusted off one I had a good start to (I've talked about before) and dove in. While I know first drafts are not worth sharing I couldn't help myself and let a few read… Continue reading Scene by Scene

Writing

3 things to avoid as a new writer

Sheep are cute and fluffy. They are very useful in many ways, which is why farmers have raised them for thousands of years. But sheep aren’t something we should aspire to be. Yet, many writers, especially new writers, struggle with many temptations. Temptations of becoming sheep. Here are 3 things to avoid as a new (or… Continue reading 3 things to avoid as a new writer

Writing

Favorite Middle Grade Book Quotes

I've been compiling a book full of best quotes for years. When I find one I add it to the pile. I've noticed a trend of having quite a few from books from the middle grade reading level. Here they are and I hope you have as much joy in them as I do. “The… Continue reading Favorite Middle Grade Book Quotes

Writing

Expanding Vocabulary Or Not…

I had admiral goals when I stated to my critique partner that I wanted to expand my vocabulary. The issue was in execution. Read the dictionary, was the first thing we thought of. Then realized that retention of those words would be dismal. We'd have to create an exercise to make the words become organic… Continue reading Expanding Vocabulary Or Not…

Writing

A Note On Perseverance

If you've been rejected by a person, a job, a college, or anything else you'd set your heart on having, you understand what it means to be a writer. Dealing with rejection is normal on multiple levels and in different ways. You can be rejected by the reader at any point. Whether it's the first… Continue reading A Note On Perseverance

Writing

An Editor For That Mess-uscript

Each of us have strengths when it comes to evaluating writing. Do you know what yours are? Here are the types of editors. You can hire one and you can work on being one for yourself and others. Developmental Editor- looks for big picture problems like plot, structure, characters, pacing, and world building. Line Editor… Continue reading An Editor For That Mess-uscript

Writing

Why Your Picture Book Needs An Antagonist

Most people think of picture books as cute and cuddly with elements of teach-ability. But every good picture book has a villain. I can tell you don't believe me... Let's talk it out. The types of villains in picture books are often not your standard looking villain. Why? Because we are telling a story to… Continue reading Why Your Picture Book Needs An Antagonist

Writing

Villains, Antagonists, and Baddies

Writers tend to slack on writing good bad guys. We do pages and pages of backstory on our main characters but our villains are cookie cutter. That really ought to change. Let's talk about the characters in a book that give the hero problems. Just like the hero there are also many types of villains… Continue reading Villains, Antagonists, and Baddies

Writing

How to Research Agents

You've written your book, polished it, and gone through rounds of editing. It's time to send your story out into the world to see if you can get an agent. But who do you send your story to? How do you choose? Carefully. I've talked before about what not to say to an agent. I've… Continue reading How to Research Agents

Writing

The Humble Filing Cabinet

The papers around, across, and under my desk area have become like snowbanks in summer drifting into other areas of my home. I'm lost in my own space and it's nearing the point of needing a snow shovel, in July. As I've gotten farther into my writing life I've realized my organization has not grown… Continue reading The Humble Filing Cabinet

Writing

A Bow to Editing Services

If you've been reading my posts for any length of time you'll have noticed that grammar rules and spelling are not in something I hold in spades. In fact, I'm down right atrocious. I do try but grammar and spelling are a constant struggle for me. Which is why I've decided to take the next… Continue reading A Bow to Editing Services

Writing

Building Your Bouquet of Stories

When I buy flower seeds I read the back of the package first. It tells me what kind of sunlight, soil, and climate this little seed needs to thrive. It also says how long it will take before I see any blooms, sometimes it takes months, a big investment. Like a flower, how do you… Continue reading Building Your Bouquet of Stories

Writing

Sweet Seven: A Picture Book Challenge

I'm fairly competitive and I also like teammates. So how's about a friendly challenge? For those of us writing picture books we have ideas floating around to infinity is seems, see last weeks post for more on that. So it hit me to put my ideas into a challenge. There are many ways to format… Continue reading Sweet Seven: A Picture Book Challenge

Writing

A Fish Full of Ideas

Many years ago I bought a metal fish used to hold papers, letters, whatever, at a yard sale. It was so handsome I couldn't part with him move after move. I found him this week as I looked through boxes sorting trash from treasure. I've talked about ideas before and I often liken ideas to… Continue reading A Fish Full of Ideas