My Word for 2019 is “Stretch”

My Word for 2019 is “Stretch”

Ever since I started doing this–thanks to Jo Knowles and Erin Dionne, I’ve liked the idea of picking a word for the coming year (as opposed to making resolutions, which I never liked and never kept). I skipped last year–not sure why; maybe the world was too wobbly, maybe I was foggy on where I […]

Picture Books & Me

I had a couple of thoughts this morning. First: “Writing a picture book goes really fast at the start, then you get to revision and it goes really slowly. It’s hard, but amazing, because it’s when the story really comes together.” Followed by: “Oh! Maybe that’s what writing novels is like for other people!” When […]

The 2018 Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop…Wow.

The 2018 Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop…Wow.

Last Friday, I drove down the coast with a writing friend to attend this 3-day workshop put on by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. I had four picture books ready to share in critique and a new idea to work on. The two groups I was in were really wonderful, both because of the […]

Book Moods (with Examples)

I don’t think I’ve ever been what I would call an “adventurous” reader: someone who reads widely in genre, age, length, era–mixing it up with every new book they choose. I tend to go in waves–a pile of MG books, a stack of fantasy, a single author for as many weeks as they have books […]

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 […]

Relationships with Agents: Some Links to Good Information

Recently, there was news about a former literary agent and the ways in which they essentially lied to the clients they were supposed to be representing. I’m not going into details or names here; this is just context for a couple of links I want to share. The first is a link to a recent […]

Humiliation in Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea Trilogy

I know, right? Humiliation? But I have been hunting for the right word as I try to explain to my husband what these books are like, and, really…the thing that is making them feel like something new is the way Joe Abercrombie humiliates his heroes. Or, if I’m looking at it from more of a […]

Roshani Chokshi: In Which I Go Down the Fantasy Genre Action & Philosophy Rabbit Hole

I was griping on Facebook the other day about needing some new fantasy novels to read, and a FB friend recommended Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes. I hadn’t realized until I looked up Chokshi that she is also the author of Aru Shah and the End of Time, the first book in her middle-grade […]

Shaking Things Up a Little

So I’m two weeks into the new job, and I’m loving it. I feel like, finally, I’ve found my day-job home. The job is also having some unexpected benefits on my other life, the writing one. In the past, or at least since I haven’t been driving the boy to school, I’ve scheduled my work […]

How Revision Sneaks Up on You: Case File #219

Here’s how it goes: You get a picture book idea in October. Halloween is in October. The story vibe starts with a gently spooky tone. The idea comes to you, of course, with a little black cat as the littlehero. You play with the idea for a while. The story becomes, on paper, less spooky. […]