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Linda Whalen: Will Write for Cookies PLUS Giveaway

 

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

Plate of Cookies

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

FOR WRITERS

TODAY’S GUEST

headshot

LINDA WHALEN

 

I first met Linda in the Picture the Books 2017 group…what an awesome array of authors and illustrators! I’m thrilled with the quality of books that are debuting this year!

Linda Whalen lives with her husband on a plot of land in Northern California. Born a city kid, she married a farm boy from the mid-west and fell in love with country life.  Surrounded by family, pets and bunches of wild creatures, life is never dull. After working in, and then owning her own child-care facility, Linda is now pursing her passion of writing for children. She also enjoys time spent with her art supplies.

Maybe Linda will one day illustrate her own stories…we’ll have to ask if that is a goal of hers.

Just a reminder that Linda is giving away give a copy of LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY. If you want to see my review of it, click here. Make sure you leave a comment below. And if you haven’t already joined my email list, please click on the sidebar logo. I promise not to send you any junk…just good stuff.

 And now, let’s give a big Will Write for Cookies welcome to Linda!

 ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

 LINDA:

There were no funds for books in our household when I was growing up. But I did get an understanding that books were important because my mother had a set of The Book of Knowledge that were very dear to her and I wasn’t allowed to touch them. She also had a book that was a collection of children’s stories which she read to me occasionally. I still have that book and read it to my children often. When I was eleven she bought a set of World Book Encyclopedia and I loved flipping the pages and reading about all sorts of things outside of my little world. I still have the set and every yearbook that goes with it. The fact that someone actually wrote what I was reading didn’t sink in until I was a teenager.

book cover

Once I started reading books I couldn’t get enough of them. To quote my husband in our early years of marriage, “you always have your nose stuck in a book.” He’s used to it now.

ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

LINDA:

Gag the internal editor! I was like so many new authors who think that the words you put on that blank piece of paper had to be perfect in every way until at a conference, I heard a speaker say “write crap, then edit.” It took a while for it to sink in but it really does release the creative side of writing to just let go and write what comes to mind. Believe me there is a lot of editing going on when I’m done.  Then there’s editing after critique and editing after the sale. So just let go and go with the flow on the first draft.

ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?

LINDA:

I resisted writing on anything electronic. I love the feel of a pencil in my hand however, I’m much faster on the computer and can get the words down in a hurry. When writing by hand I sometimes have a hard time reading my own writing when I’ve rushed to get an idea down. Now I do both. I print out what I write electronically, grab a pencil and cuddle up somewhere to read and tear apart what I’ve written. I never clean my car or purse out completely, I need those scraps of paper to scribble down ideas when I get them.  Of course, I do pull over and stop if I’m in driving. On retreat or vacation when life isn’t whizzing by I like to write outside if my allergies will let me. I’ve found the balcony of a cruise ship is wonderful place to let your mind go where it wants. However, that doesn’t happen often so wherever I can find the time and space, I write.

workspace

ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?

LINDA:

I’m working on setting aside a specific time to write (like a job…eek!) My life is way too crazy for that but I’m trying. If I haven’t taken the time to write for a while I get a little itchy to do so, it’s the same way with art. My daughter has said to me, “Mom, I think you need to go write something.” Maybe I get a little grumpy when I ignore my creative me. So, I guess I prefer letting the muse strike.

art space

ME: Why do you write for children?

LINDA:

Children have always been a big part of my life both personally and professionally.  I love reading stories to children and seeing their emotions dance through their eyes as they listen. What better way to connect with that dance than to write the words.

 Words written to bring joy, warmth, spark the imagination, sooth, and teach while entertaining young minds, cross all boundaries of color, gender, or wealth.

My husband while not an avid reader read bedtime stories to our children and often the words would spark his imagination and he would go off script and weave other elements into the story. While the author might not appreciate this, I think getting a reluctant reader to read stories to children is a great way to spark their imagination and interest to read more.

WOW! Linda…I love your reasons! And I know everyone joins me in thanking you for sharing those insights.

And now for one of my favorite parts of Will Write for Cookies…the treat recipe!

cookies

Coconut –Oatmeal Cookies

1 C. butter

1 C. brown sugar

3 eggs (well beaten)

2 C. Flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 C. shredded coconut

2 C. oats

1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  2. Add eggs. Mix well
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamons.
  4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture blending well.
  5. Add coconut, oats and nuts.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons on greased cookie sheet.

Bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.

Now, that’s what I call an oatmeal cookies that begs to be eaten! Dear friends, to find out more about Linda:

Website: http://www.lindawhalenauthor.com

Twitter:  @lindacwhalen

FB: Linda Whalen

LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY on Amazon

book cover

Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a copy of LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY.

And a BIG thank you to everyone who has been spreading the word about the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. Don’t know about it yet? Click on the link in the sidebar to get all the details…or email me at viviankirkfield@gmail.com…it’s going to be AWESOME!

 

Have a beautiful weekend, dear friends. Anything special planned? Our son is flying in from Chicago on Sunday to spend the night because he has a business meeting in Boston on Monday. Yippee! We love spending time with him!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Little Red Rolls Away PLUS Giveaway

Welcome back, dear friends. It’s been busy around here with TWO Book Birthday posts earlier in the week. And now it’s Friday already. Time for another Perfect Picture Book review.

Luckily, there is no shortage of amazing 2017 picture books to review. We’ve got a really special one today that is quite dear to my heart because it reminds me so much of one of my all-time classic favorites, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.

But first we need to GIVE AWAY A BOOK! Last week, Lori Richmond offered a copy of PAX AND BLUE.

AND THE WINNER IS…

KATHY ELSTAD

 Congratulations, Kathy! Please contact me so I can get your mailing information to Lori.

I also wanted to ask everyone to continue to spread the word about the #50PreciousWordsforKids Writing Challenge. I got a wonderful email today from a mother who wanted to know if she could write the story as her 5-year old son dictated it to her. I assured her that YES…of course she could. As long as the parent or teacher is not telling the story or changing the story, there is no problem with that. I’m grateful to everyone who has shared on social media and with their elementary and homeschool connections.

Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday also has a giveaway…so don’t forget to leave a comment. I also have a favor to ask. If you have not yet signed up for my email list, please do! Subscribing to my email list is different from signing up to follow my blog. I hope everyone does both!!!! Please click on the sidebar logo to subscribe to my email list. Below that, you can click to get a notification every time I do a blog post. And I know you don’t want to miss out on that!! If you already do both, that is awesome. If somehow you missed out, here’s your chance. And I thank you so very much.

As I mentioned, today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday reminded me so much of one of the classics I love. But author Linda Whalen totally changed it up in such a timely and relevant way. I hope you enjoy my review.

book cover

Little Red Rolls Away

Written by Linda Whalen

Illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Ages: Preschool – Grade 3

Themes:

Dealing with change, moving, friendship

Synopsis:

From Amazon:

When Little Red Barn wakes one morning, he finds his animal friends have gone. He’s empty and alone. And then big noisy machines lift him up and put him on a truck. As Little Red is transported across the countryside, down a major river, and through city streets, he feels anxious and a little afraid. Where is he going? Who will be there when he reaches his destination? When Little Red does finally reach his new home in a surprising location, he finds things are even better than before. The story of the little barn’s relocation and adjustment to a new place will reassure and comfort young readers facing changes in their own lives.

Why I like this book:

  • The text is picture book perfect! I love the element of threes which the author uses so well. The story is absolutely delightful.
  • There is short guide at the back of the book for parents and teachers.
  • The illustrator managed to show the emotion of the main character…A BARN. Hats off for that accomplishment! And the colors on each page are bright and bold.
  • This book would be a wonderful launch pad for discussions on anxiety over the unknown, moving, and the importance of friendship.

 

RELATED ACTIVITIES

MAKE A LITTLE RED BARN

barn-final1Photo courtesy: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/little-red-barn/

You will need: Cardboard box, construction paper, glue, scissors, markers or crayons.

For detailed instructions: http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/little-red-barn/

There is also a wonderful little guide at the end of the book that will help parents and teachers address young children’s issues with dealing new places and things.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends…don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY…and please come back tomorrow when we get a chance to Q&A with the author of LITTLE RED ROLLS AWAY:

 Will Write for Cookies

Linda Whalen

_

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

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