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.

Sunday Post: Goals…and the Writer’s Desk Competition

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…the past week’s theme was GOALS.

Did you set goals for 2013?

I did! If you click here, you’ll see that many of them involve writing.

When Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way issued a “Writer’s Desk” challenge, I knew I had to participate.

Nancy says:

“ Write a short essay or poem (between 33 and 100 words) about your writing desk, your writing rituals, why you write, how you write, how you stop writing, or . . . surprise us with a tantalizing tidbit about your writing life.”

For all of the rules, please click on this link.  There is still time to join the fun…deadline is January 25.

I used to have a room that doubled as both an office for me and a guest room…it looked something like this:

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

Then, my husband retired and discovered the world of watercolor painting. I gave him that room to use as his studio and now it looks like this:

goals,writing desk competition,vivian kirkfield

So I do most of my writing at the dining room table…and for me, fortunately, writing has very little to do with location, location, location and very much to do with motivation, inspiration and perspiration.

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

I WRITE, THEREFORE I AM by Vivian Kirkfield

A writing space by any name does serve me well.

By lamplight or with sunlight streaming

Ideas flourish while I’m dreaming.

From mind to pen words quickly teeming

Pages fill with stories beaming.

In quiet or with children screaming

Cluttered desk or table gleaming

I’ve found my heaven…not to write would be my hell.

Do you write? What inspires you? Check out the Writer’s Desk Competition and join in.

 time after time, positive parental participation

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge – Resolved / Jake’s Sunday Post – Goals | Travels and Trifles
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  2. Travel Theme: Multiples « East of Málaga
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  3. Lake Michigan Series | Canoe Communications
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  4. Blue Bridge and Sky | Northern Narratives
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  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
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  6. SUNDAY POST: GOALS « Francine In Retirement
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  13. Take your snout out of the trough Piglet! | Piglet in Portugal
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  15. Sunday Post : Goals « restlessjo
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  17. Sunday Post: Goals « The Day After
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  19. Dummy In Me Encounters the Go Get It Goal Coach! | Simply Charming
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  22. Sunday Post: Goals | cobbled toolbox
    January 11th, 2013 → 6:37 AM
  23. Still Traveling | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
    January 12th, 2013 → 12:28 AM

Pi Bo Id Mo: Throw me a deadline & I will write a story

Pi Bo Id Mo: Throw me a deadline & I will write a story.

Hurray!  Children’s author Emily Lim, the awesome lady who invited me to speak at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore, is joining PiBoIdMo!

PiBoIdMo is the perfect launching pad for picture book writers…not only will you create a notebook of 30 ideas that might someday become award-winners…you will also be exposed to over 500 (YES, 500) energized writers and illustrators who will be sharing tips and helpful information in posts (on Tara Lazar’s blog and in their own) and in the comments (I know, scrolling through hundreds of comments on each post takes time…but it is time well-spent…there are always excellent nuggets of knowledge lurking there). 

The Bible says something about if two or three are gathered  There IS power in community…and here we have over 500 gathering…don’t you feel the energy?

Haven’t signed up yet?  What are you waiting for?