Creatives in the Time of Social Distancing

Crazy times, right? Hard, frightening times for some more than others–if you’re sick or know someone who’s sick, if you’ve lost your job or have to take time off without pay, if you’re trying to juggle anything with caring for children–homeschooling or not. I’m counting myself on the incredibly lucky side–I have work, I can do […]

Getting My Dream Ducks in Order

Getting My Dream Ducks in Order

As good as I am at multi-tasking, my natural, happy mind-state is to think and act in a linear path. One thing at a time, put it down, pick up the next, work on that, repeat. And for many years that has worked for my writing. Until recently, I was never popping with story ideas–I […]

Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder Challenge

Yes, I’m posting a lot lately. No, it probably won’t continue, since I head back to the day-job tomorrow, will be doing Storystorm all month, and will be digging into two or three new picture books. Not to mention getting my yarn stash down to a non-intimidating size. But…maybe I’ll be posting about challenge books. […]

Looking Back & Moving Forward: My Word for 2020

Looking Back & Moving Forward: My Word for 2020

I’ve been reading and enjoying people’s posts about their last decade. I kept thinking, though, I don’t even remember what I was doing two years ago, let alone ten. But then I put some actual numbers to the years and said–oh, okay! So I’m adding my list to the mix. Published The Writing & Critique […]

Storystorm 2020: I’m in!

Storystorm 2020: I’m in!

I just signed up for Storystorm 2020. If you aren’t familiar with Storystorm, it’s the creation of Tara Lazar–author of so many fantastic picture books. To name just a few you should definitely check out: The Monstore, Normal Norman, and The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City. Every January picture book writers sign up to participate in Storystorm […]

Some Favorite Books from 2019

Without description and with only a hint of organizing, here’s a list of (some of the) books I read and loved in 2020. Picture Books Pluto Gets the Call, written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Laurie Keller Maximillian Villainous, written by Margaret Chiu Greanias & illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow Mary Wears What She Wants, written […]

Writing without a Critique Group: Looking Back

Writing without a Critique Group: Looking Back

When I published The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide in 2010, I wrote a lot about the process of finding a critique group and a little bit about waiting until you found the right one. Maybe I should have written more about the waiting. For various reasons, I was recently without my own critique group […]

Where to Find those 10,000 Books

Where to Find those 10,000 Books

So at some point in Outliers, I guess Malcolm Gladwell said a few things about putting 10,000 hours into something you want to do well. And possibly there is debate about not only what he said, but about whether he was right. Whatever Gladwell actually said, how many times have you heard other writers, publishers, agents, […]

Fuse 8’s List of Easy Readers & Early Chapter Books

If you haven’t seen this post, take a look. Good books in these genres were the hardest to find when my son was young. These look so wonderful, I’m putting some on my to-read list just for myself. http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/07/02/easy-readers-and-early-chapter-books-some-of-the-best-of-2019/

Review: Just Right – Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Review: Just Right – Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

I have a bit of an infatuation with nonfiction picture books. Yes, I love them, but infatuation implies a sense of distance, of something out of reach. At this point, writing a nonfiction picture book feels out of my reach. In a good way–yes, someday I might write one–but for now I get to experience that […]