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 […]

Peace & Quiet, Plus Family, Food, and D & D

Peace & Quiet, Plus Family, Food, and D & D

Just got back from a few lovely days of vacation, in one of the most restful places I’ve been. We traveled North to Oregon and stopped about an hour from Bend, outside the little town of Sisters. We picked up our son on the way and met up with my siblings and their families, plus […]

Review: The Remember Balloons

Review: The Remember Balloons

I don’t remember why I put The Remember Balloons on my to-read list. I’m very glad I did, though. The book, written by Jessie Oliveros and illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, is a lovely story that does an absolutely beautiful job depicting the magic relationship that can exist between a child and their grandparent, what it looks like […]

Knit-Thinking

Knit-Thinking

Knit-thinking is what I’m calling my writing sessions during which I use yarn to get me away from my actual computer, making brain-room for actually brainstorming ideas about whatever isn’t working in a WIP. For years, I’ve heard other writers talk about the activities they do to clear their head so their minds can wander […]

A List of Books I Couldn’t Find

Yesterday, I went book shopping. I went to one of my favorite stores, where they are wonderful and helpful and where I almost always find something I haven’t seen that looks like something I want to read. I was looking for a book to give as a gift. But it’s not a big store, and they […]