PB Biographies: Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist

I’ve been saying for a long time that, someday, I want to write picture book biographies. In a recent Duh! moment, I realized that isn’t going to happen until and unless I get serious about reading and dissecting them. So I’m starting a new series on my blog featuring picture book biographies and my thoughts […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Better Questions This Time Around

Better Questions This Time Around

I’ve pretty much spent the last year in picture-book revision mode–before the Big Sur workshop to get ready and after the workshop to integrate the feedback I got.  I’m sending these stories through my new critique group and then using their comments for yet more revision. But, as I submit to the group and wait […]

Keith Negley’s MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS

Keith Negley’s MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS

I love good nonfiction picture books, but I don’t purchase a lot of them–I’m writing fiction, and so most of my book budget goes toward good examples of that genre. Every now and then, though, I come across a nonfiction book I can’t leave at the store. Keith Negley’s Mary Wears What She Wants was […]

Finding Balance (In Picture Books)

Finding Balance (In Picture Books)

Rhyming in a picture book is one thing–and, so far anyway, it’s definitely one thing I can’t do. (If you want to read a few books by authors who can, I suggest pretty much anything by Sue Fliess; Interstellar Cinderella, written by Deborah Underwood; and Cheerful Chick, written by Martha Brokenbrough,) There’s also rhythm which, I think, is made […]

Fall Writing Plans

For a while now, I haven’t put any real schedules on my writing. I had been in a bit of a slump for a year or so, and I was changing jobs, and…well, life. But the slump seems to have shifted away for now, and the new job came with new hours, which unexpectedly got […]