Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chronicle Books

In June, while on vacation in San Francisco with my family, I had the opportunity to visit a Chronicle Books bookstore. It was so fun. My kids and I stayed for a long time reading as many picture books as we wanted. I love being surrounded by children’s books, and this little trip to the bookstore was perfect. I always try to take advantage of opportunities wherever I am. You never know what hidden gem is just around the corner. So go out, explore, discover, and enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Inspiration in Surprising Places


Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms. Even amidst chaos. Just ask my four-year-old. She can wreak havoc in no time flat. I’m always amazed at what she can do in the few minutes that I am upstairs switching laundry. However, I found that I sometimes welcome her destructiveness. That might sound crazy, but her path of destruction has often brought me great inspiration for my stories. I am writing for children after all, and who would know children better than my messy four-year-old?

My husband thinks it’s funny that I take pictures of all of her chaos, but I just say that it is for research and inspiration. I never know when one of her crazy ideas is going to be the perfect idea for my story.

Some of the best stories have been inspired from everyday occurrences. We just have to be open and ready to the things that are around us. If our eyes are open to finding the humor and fun in everyday situations, than we will find our needed inspiration.

So embrace the messy, destructive chaos. It just might be the inspiration you’ve been needing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Persistent


I follow a lot of writing blogs, and many of those blogs have contests to win a variety of prizes.  I enter all of them, and most of the time, I do not win.  But that does not stop me.  I am persistent. 

Well, I guess that persistence paid off, because a few weeks ago I received an email from one of my favorite picture book authors, Tammi Sauer, letting me know that I had won a copy of her new book, Truck, Truck, Goose!  I was so excited.  Not only did I win a book I had been wanting to read, but it was from one of my favorite authors.  The book has arrived in the mail, and it is adorable.  My kids and I love it.

I think that writing is just like contests on blogs.  They both take persistence and a little bit of luck.  We, as writers, cannot give up.  We have to keep on being persistent and put our writing out there.  We cannot let rejection make us quit.  We have to keep writing, keep learning, and keep submitting.  If I had not continued to enter contests on various blogs, I would never have won a book.  And if I do not continue to submit my work, and try to improve my craft, then I will never get published. 

I have to be … persistent.

Monday, June 12, 2017

SCBWI Idaho Conference on Youth and Children's Literature and Writing


In April, I had the opportunity to attend the SCBWI Idaho Conference on Youth and Children’s Writing. It was a great day filled with many authors, writers, and an agent and editor.  I learned so much, and made many new friendships and connections.  It is always nice to have an entire day dedicated to my writing.  I always learn new things, and I always make new friendships. I love attending this conference every year.

For a good portion of the day, I attended an intensive with the Bonny Becker.  She is the author of the Mouse and Bear books. She taught us her secrets to writing a great picture book.  She spoke a lot about ideas, character, traits, basic elements of a story structure, endings, research, audience, framework, and revision.  I learned a lot from her intensive.  It was very informative and helpful.  I always enjoy getting other authors perspective on the industry.

I also heard from the author, Leslie Patricelli.  She is the author of many board books about opposites—Yummy Yucky, Big Little, and Quiet Loud.  She spoke a lot about her journey to publication.  It was very interesting to hear her story about how she got her first book published.  I enjoyed listening to her.

Also speaking at the conference was editor, Wendy McClure from Albert Whitman Company.  She spoke about what it means to dig deeper in our writing.  I really enjoyed her presentation.  It was informative and fun.

Lastly, I heard from literary agent, Michelle Witte.  She spoke about rhythm and rhyme in our manuscripts.  It was interesting to listen to.

All in all, I had a wonderful time at the conference.  I am glad that I went.  I love this industry, and I love that I can attend a conference that teaches me so much about it.  I also love making friendships with other writers and authors. It was a great day.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Motivation

I find it funny that my kids will never willingly pick up anything off the floor, but when the chocolate chip bag spilled all over the kitchen, each child jumped up immediately to help me. They couldn’t shove the chocolate in their mouths fast enough.  It made me laugh, and I had to take a picture.  Who knew that all I needed was a little chocolate to get them moving?

The characters in our stories are just like my kids.  They need the right motivation to get them going.  They need a little chocolate.  We as writers need to figure out the driving motivation behind our characters.  We need to know what drives them.  What excites them.  What gets them moving.  Motivation is important in stories.  It helps determine how the plot unfolds, and brings out conflict.  Without motivation, the story falls flat.

So it’s time to spill a little bit of chocolate on the floor, and see if you can find your character’s motivation.      

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Possibilities

It’s a brand new year with so many possibilities. I’m excited to see where 2017 will take me. I have many new writing goals, and I cannot wait to get started on them. With a lot of hard work, determination, and creativity, I know I can achieve these goals. 

I won’t stop writing.

I won’t stop learning.

And I won’t give up.

I’m going to make 2017 a great year, and I’m going to find as many possibilities as I can.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Author Skype Visit


I recently attended an author Skype visit with Suzanne Slade for my daughter’s 5th grade class. And let me just say, that it was amazing. My daughter’s teacher was blown away, and the kids loved it. Suzanne did such a great job, and kept the kids engaged the entire time. I, too, had a wonderful time, and I was so glad that I could attend.

As an aspiring author, I want to learn more about author visits, and there is no better way than by attending one. It was such a great opportunity for me, and I learned so much. It was fun to see what really got the kids excited, and what interested them. I also got to observe how an author sets up her visit, and things she incorporated and did. It was very informative for me, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Now I’m off to find my next opportunity.