Who Else Wants Less Clutter? Plus a Giveaway!

Hodgepodge! Jumble! Chaos! Muddle! Holy Mess!


There are many words to describe clutter—but it all boils down to one thing: a state or condition of confusion. And that is what most of us should be trying to avoid. Life is stressful enough without adding more, right? Yet even though studies show that clutter contributes to stress, many people live with it.

  • Do you have more than one ‘junk’ drawer in your home?
  • Is your email inbox clogged with messages you don’t even open?
  • When you open your closets, does stuff fall out on you?
  • If unexpected company comes, do you rush around, clearing books, papers, and other items?
  • Have you had a late fee from an unpaid bill because it got lost in the mess on your desk?

If you answered YES to any one of these questions, it may be time to take control. If you are a parent, organization is especially important – those last minute searches for missing homework or a lost shoe are no fun at all!

This is my plan:

  1. Get a big shopping bag for each room…clear off every counter/desk/shelf/chair of anything that doesn’t belong. Ahhh…now that looks much better. When I have time, I can go through each bag and decide whether the items should be stored, given away, or thrown away.
  2. Use a letter file holder to keep bills and important mail…if possible, set up auto-pay.
  3. Set aside 15-30 minutes every day to go through one drawer or one closet or one cabinet and divide the contents into three piles: keep, give away, throw away. If you are a fan of Craig’s List or garage/yard sales, you can have a fourth pile…you might even make some money!
  4. Do the same thing with my emails—15-30 minutes every day to delete and unsubscribe from unwanted spam.

Are you ready?

It’s really as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. CLEAR
  2. CLEAN


I’ve got a busy year ahead of me, so it’s really important that Continue reading

Anti-Resolution Revolution – Moving Forward in 2016


Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2015…

  1. I participated in 12×12 for the 4th year…I watched the new webinar series that Julie Hedlund put in place, I wrote 13 picture book drafts, I revised many of my manuscripts countless times, and I submitted to the 12×12 agents every month. In addition…
  2. I submitted to other agents via the Twitter #MSVL and #PitMad and #PBPitch and got several amazing agents who responded and wanted to see more work. My work started getting lots of positive attention! Plus…
  3. I submitted to an agent who had just signed a friend and I fell in love with her about page and then she fell in love with my manuscript, so…
  4. In October of this year, I signed with Essie White of Storm Literary and the very next month…
  5. Creston Books acquired my nonfiction picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah which has a tentative publication date of Spring 2017. Meanwhile…
  6. Essie has several of my other stories out on submission and…
  7. I have more than a dozen amazing topics/people I plan to write about in 2016, thanks to the fact that I participated in Kristen Fulton’s 12 Days of Nonfiction and I also went to the WOW Retreat in July and met so many of the incredible writers and artists in this kid lit community ..I have to say that was an extraordinary highlight of the entire year, but during the year…
  8. I also got up my courage and started doing a little bit of freelance writing work which helped pay towards the webinars and conferences and…
  9. I wrote a couple of middle grade short stories for two anthologies…Lucky Draw: 50 Stories, 33 Authors, 7 Genres that was published in April and Kissed by an Angel that was published earlier this month…what an honor to be involved in both of those projects.
  10. I sent quite a few manuscripts to Rate Your Story and 7 of them got 1’s and 2’s. I sent them my Sarah story for their contest and was thrilled to win second place for picture books and then just last week…
  11. I won second place in Susanna Hill’s Holiday Contest this month…but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention  that
  12. I’m thrilled with my on-going blog series, Will Write for Cookies…12 awesome authors took a much deserved bow in the spotlight: Marty Banks, Donna McDine, Laurie Gehl, Julie Rowan-Zoch, Lauri Fortino, Suzanne Williams, Miranda Paul, Becky Gomez, Ana Crespo, Katie Davis, Maryanne Cocca-Leffler, and Artie Bennett…and next year’s line-up is already filled through May. Since I’ve started blogging in 2011, Picture Books Help Kids Soar has published OVER 600 blog posts!!!

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