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 […]

When Procrastination Pays Off

Okay, you know how it goes. You haven’t quite got that story to the place where you’re ready to write. Or maybe you’re a pantser, and you’re always ready to write, but for some reason it’s not flowing today. The pants are too tight. Too loose. Whatever. So you find something else to do. Something […]

From Concept to Specific: Hunting the Perfect Detail

No, it’s not quite like hunting snipe. But it matters a lot more. Yes, I’m working on a picture-book revision this week, so the detail problem is more in my face than when I’m writing early draft thoughts about the YA WIP. But still…it’s relevant for all writing, I think. Yesterday, on Facebook, Hélène Boudreau […]