Monday Writing Magic: 4 Timely Tips

Monday Writing Magic: The Leap from Reading to Writing

The leap from being a lover of books to becoming a lover of writing was not a very big one for me.  I’ve always loved to write . In elementary school, I carried around a small spiral notebook and would jot down little poems.  As a kindergarten teacher, I developed a program that utilized children’s picture books, not only for entertainment and enjoyment, but also to help young children deal with the challenges they encounter in those early years.  But it wasn’t until my own children were born that I began to write my own picture book stories.  And perhaps I have my husband to thank for that.

You see, my husband is an avid fly-fisherman and years ago he also refinished bamboo fly rods – he actually wrote a book on Continue reading

Why Attend a SCBWI Conference? #2013AFCC

Why Attend an SCBWI Conference #2013afcc

Why attend a SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference?

I’ve been writing picture book stories since I was a kid.

But it’s only been in the last couple of years that I have seriously pursued the craft of writing.

I joined Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 and Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo.

I participated in Susanna Hill’s various writing prompts and contests.

I even took the plunge and joined TWO critique groups whose members are all 12x12ers…a local one and an online international one (love you all, guys!).

Every month I would read about different SCBWI conferences that people in this kidlit community had attended.

New York, Los Angeles…from coast-to-coast, writers and illustrators were sharing how fantastic it was to connect with others in the field. They gave peeks inside the educational sessions.  They urged people to GO!

So, I did! Last week I took a leap of faith and boarded a plane for Continue reading

Short and Sweet: Creative Writing Fun

Winter BadgeSS Final

Do you want to stretch your creative writing ability?

Here’s another fun challenge, this one offered by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Short and Sweets is a great way to get your mind thinking outside the box!

This week’s prompt, called “Saying It Without Saying It”, invites you to describe a childhood event or common childhood occurrence…such as a Birthday Party or a Camping Trip. The trick is not to use certain words that are often associated with that particular event or feeling.

If you’d like to take part, click on this link:

Here is my entry:

We hold hands…the long windowless hallway seems to go on forever.

“You’re squeezing my fingers!” I try to loosen my grip. “Sorry.”

A cloud covers the faint sliver of the moon as we enter our room and feel our way to the beds. My sister dives into hers…blankets rustle as she covers her head.

At the edge of my bed, I hesitate. “Can I sleep with you?”

“Do you have to?” comes the muffled reply.


A sudden rush of air tells me she has flung back the covers. “Alright…but stay on the edge and don’t move around!”

Arms outstretched, I shuffle over to her bed and crawl in silently…warm…safe…waiting for morning to come.

Can you guess what I am describing? Hop over to Susanna’s Short and Sweet post…I’m sure you will know which of the 15 choices I picked.

I hope 2013 has started well for you…I feel like I am digging my way out of a mountain of emails and unread blogs after having been virtually (no pun intended) computer-less for almost two weeks. Visiting with my kids was a fantastic way to start the year…I’ll share some photos in another post.