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 […]

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 […]

Playing with Wonder

Playing with Wonder

Kristi Wright posted this blog entry at KidLitCraft a few weeks ago, and the idea of wonder has apparently been simmering in my brain since then. I’m going back to a picture book idea I had just begun to play with in December, when I went to the Big Sur Writing Workshop. During the revise […]

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 […]

Picture Books for Presents

This Xmas, I asked for and got three pictures books–three of my favorites that I’d read in the past year. (Thanks, Kathy!) Typically, I get picture books at the library–I go grab a stack, bring them home, read them, and see if there’s anything I can learn from the ones I like. Then, back they […]

Doing the Hard Work

I’ve been working on three picture books for a while now. Okay, quite a while. And I’m close. Sooooo close. But you know what it’s like? It’s like when you fold a piece of paper in half, then in half again, and again, and again…Apart from the physical difficulty, you could–theoretically–be forever able to fold […]

Review: I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN

I dare you not to love it. Okay, yes, that was a cheap play on the title of Hélène Boudreau and Serge Bloch’s picture book, I Dare You Not to Yawn, but it’s true. And I’m going to tell you why, or at least why I loved it. But first, here’s your warning: Basically, I can’t […]

The Problem with Endings

You’re writing along. Things are good. You’ve got a sweet, but not perfect protagonist developing, the supporting cast is strong, and you’ve hit the funny bone in some of the right places. You’re happy, you’re feeling like…oh, yeah, I’m a writer! Basically, that first draft was a: And then you get to the end. The […]