What NOT to ask at a Writing Conference

I’ve been to a fair number of writing conferences over the years. There is nearly always open question time for a presenter or two. There is also always those one or two people that take over the time. They ask things like, “How do I get an agent?” or “How do I write a query…

The Math of Writing

Let me say that math was never my forte. I barely skimmed by in Algebra and for some reason I did great at geometry (still don’t know why). When I set out to write this post it occurred to me that writing can be shown as a form of math or presented within the parameters…

Page One… How to Start Your Story

I’ve seen the advice repeated over and over and over again: START WITH ACTION! Like books are: Lights! Camera! Action! Gimme a break. Books are not movies and that’s why we have both. They do different things. After listening to a dialogue from Agent Hannah Fergesen on Manuscript Academy, you don’t start with action… you…

Putting Grumpy in Timeout

I think we all suffer from the occasional (or me a not so occasional) grumpiness. Certain things can get under my skin fast and make my mood turn dark within seconds. For example, loud chewing… I will excuse myself to the bathroom and “get lost” in route to avoid it. Put your big pet peeve…

3 reasons & ways to embrace mental health as a creative

The older I get, the more I understand how mental health affects physical health, relationships, careers, and life in general. I used to think I could get by on junk food, caffeine, minimal sleep, and negative self-talk compounded by toxic relationships. Well, at the confusing age of 27, I now know that’s not enough. It’s…

Open to Suggestions… Right?

I’m not going to lie, anything about performing arts scares me. Ask me to talk to a room full of people about a topic I’m knowledgeable about sure thing- I got it. But ask me to act like something I’m not and bad things happen, and by bad I mean embarrassing. Flashing back to jr….

Not What I Meant To Write…

Well I touched on this in my last post but I signed my agent not for a fiction picture book but for a non-fiction kid’s cookbook. Huh? Yep… Now before you say, “Wait! You can’t write non-fiction!” Let me break it down for you. I’ve spent years honing my writing skills for brevity, clarity, and…

Self-care for busy people – part 2

In this blog post, we discussed small spa-like actions you can add to your day that don’t take extra time but still offer you ways to care for yourself, body and mind. Today we’ll discuss my time-saving self-care tips. Time-saving self-care Unplug We receive hundreds of notifications every day, but how many of them are…

Wreath Wall DIY

I’ve made wreaths on this blog before so I won’t bore you with the details again. I’ve also made fun trees with grape vines that I love. But not this time… This time I’m making a wall! My girls want to grow climbing beans and I’ll be honest I prefer bush beans over pole beans…

Self-care for busy people – part 1

Self-care is so important, but when life gets busy, it’s easy to stop making time for ourselves. I get it. A lot of self-care articles say to journal for 15 minutes every day, read for at least an hour, exercise for 30 minutes, and start meditating. While these are all good things, turning self-care into…

DIY Veggie Bag

You pick out your veggies and put them in a bag. Which then goes into the grocery bag. When you get home you put that first bag into a garbage bag. At this point I’m feeling like I’m being punked. What’s the point of all the bags and can I change it? I know veggies…

3 ways to decorate Easter eggs with nail polish

I love decorating Easter eggs. I know it’s not a highly spiritual event, but I try to make time to do so, either alone, with my husband, or with my friends’ kids every year. It’s an annual art outlet for my creative side – one I don’t let out often because I don’t have the…

The Well of Creativity

I’ve been working on being creative for pretty much my whole life. In grade school I was “crafty.” In high school I was “weird.” Today I’m actually viewed as somewhat “cool.” Not sure how that happened… Mostly I’m thankful that I didn’t listen to those voices earlier in my life. My parents kept buying me…

Teamwork

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler After a whirlwind of excitement last week, which you can read about HERE, I’ve come to the full realization that I now have an even bigger team on my…

The Call!

I know I’m deviating from my regularly scheduled day but I can’t contain my excitement! I HAVE AN AGENT! I saw a #MSWL post asking for a kids cookbook proposal and freaked out. I’ve watched the #MSWL feed for three years and no one has ever asked for a kids cookbook. So I jumped on…

Query Letter Upgrade

I stumbled upon the best query letter advice in awhile through the Manuscript Academy. It’s called key selling points. Sounds super business fancy I know. But don’t let that freak you out. I’ll break it down for you super easy. If you want to watch the original clip or to see the whole video you…

Balance

This week has forced me, literally, to take a rest. It has shown me how to look for balance. While I’m not emotionally prepared to go into what happened this week I do know one thing, humans need balance. A balance between creativity, hustle, and rest. I’ve been able to read Called To Create by Raynor some…

3 must-haves for personalizing your home office

Warning: This is not a Pinterest-worthy post. But it is real. When I set out to personalize my home office, I wanted it to be beautiful, functional, and inspiring. What mighty desires for a room! I spent months not doing anything to my office because I had such high hopes for it and was intimidated…

Bullies vs. Cheerleaders

I’ve been blessed to join a new critique group of amazing ladies. If you are in a critique group you know it can be invaluable in so many ways. I try to have a writing group for each age category I write in if possible. This means I have my picture book pals, my middle…