Thursday, November 12, 2015

Think and Act Like a Kid

As a writer for children, I have to make sure that I remember to think and act like a kid. This means that I skip, jump in puddles, dance in the rain, swing, go down slides, explore, find new things, put things in my pockets, be silly, dance without refrain, laugh, play, and the list goes on and on. Luckily, for me, I like thinking and acting like a kid. It's fun. It makes me see the world with new eyes. And it makes me a better writer. So excuse me while I stop blogging, and I go climb a tree.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love Your Manuscript

I read a blog post a few days ago, that made me laugh out loud. It basically said that if you are sick of reading your manuscript for revisions, then what makes you think parents and kids will want to read your manuscript night after night. This really stood out to me. When I am writing a new manuscript, I have to make sure that I love it enough to read it over and over and over again. I have to love every sentence, every word. I have to love the dialog and everything else. It is not enough to like it. I have to LOVE it. I have to be willing to read it so many times that I have it memerised. I have to love it enough to still laugh and smile in all the right places. I have to love it enough that I can't wait to get it out and start on another round of revisions. Basically, I have to have a lot of love for my manuscripts.

So make sure you're not sick and tired of your manuscript. Make sure you love it enough; because chances are, if you do, so will your readers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I listened to a webinar yesterday about voice. It talked about how each of us have our own unique way of writing that no one can duplicate. Everything that we have experienced and done in our lives contributes to our writing voice. No two people can write the same story the exact same way.

I really enjoyed this webinar. I liked learning more about how each of us has our own voice. As writers, we each have to work on finding and developing that voice. I know I am constantly trying to develop mine. I am ever learning, growing, and developing my craft. I am happy that no one can write just like me. I want to write my own unique stories, in my own unique voice.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Just About Anywhere

One of the great things about writing, is that I can do it just about anywhere. Some of my recent favorite places to write are: the shower, while rocking my daughter, the car, on walks, during bike rides, outside with my son and a Popsicle, while cleaning the bathroom, while doing dishes, and late at night when everyone is asleep (my favorite).

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

7th Annual Idaho Conference on Youth and Childrens Literature and Writing

Two weeks ago, I attended my first SCBWI conference, and I can’t even begin to say how much I enjoyed it. Learning from professionals in the industry was amazing. Mingling with other writers was fun. And getting to spend the entire day focused on nothing but writing was perfect. I loved the entire day. I couldn’t write fast enough in my notebook. I wanted to capture every moment. I wanted to remember it all. It was a wonderful experience.

I learned many things from the different authors who presented, and from literary agent, Sean McCarthy. They each gave wonderful speeches and presentations that helped me to learn more about the craft of writing for children. I also had a critique with Sean that I found very informative and helpful. He was kind, thoughtful, and he gave me comments and suggestions on my manuscript that have been beneficial towards my revisions.

Some of the main things I learned from attending this conference were:

• Readers need to feel at home in a book.
• Readers need to see themselves in literature.
• How will children interact with your text?
• What will your characters do that will be visually stimulating?
• We need to care about the characters.
• The transformation of characters is what readers keep going back for.
• Just because it is well-written, doesn’t mean it will sell.
• Clearly see how a character is different from beginning to end.
• Fresh, original concept
• No one can do character like you can.

These are just some of the many things I wrote down during the conference. There are so many more.
I am so glad that I attended the conference. It was a fantastic experience, and I would tell anyone who has the chance to attend an SCBWI conference, to do it. It is worth the money and sacrifice. I will definitely be attending next year.

I want to end this post by quoting author, Matt de la Pena. “If you’re good, and do the work, you can do anything.”

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Books are Friends

Books are like dear friends. You care for them, cherish them, and visit them often. I, for one, cannot imagine my life without my dear friends.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Shower Power

I just got the most brilliant idea for a story. It came to me while I was in the shower. It makes me want to do more of my creative thinking while washing my hair. But I don't think my family would appreciate never having any hot water.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Books Vs. Flowers

For Valentine’s Day, instead of flowers, my husband lets me pick out a new picture book. Now that is love to me. Plus, a book is something that will not wilt or fade away. It will last years to come.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Perfect Ending

Lately, I have been studying the ends of picture books. I have been trying to figure out what makes a perfect ending. It has been fun to analyze each book. I have come to find so many endings that I love and admire. And it is amazing to me that an ending can really make or break a book. The ending is the author’s last chance to make an impression on the reader. No author wants the reader to feel dissatisfied at the end of a book. In fact, an author wants the complete opposite. He or she wants the reader to feel completely satisfied when they turn the last page.

This rings true with me, because of an experience I had with my son a few years ago. We had gotten a book at the library that we were both really excited to read. We brought the book home, and started reading it right away. But when we got to the end of the book, the last page was missing. And of course, that was the page with the final punch line. Without this page, my son and I had no idea how the story ended. We felt dissatisfied and frustrated. It really bothered us to not know what happened. Later, we were able to get a hold of another book which contained the last page. Reading the end of the story, made such a difference in our feelings about the book.

This experience made me realize how important a good ending is. Without it, a book is just a book. But with it, a book becomes magic. And I, for one, want all of my stories to be magical.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Hold

I love when I get an email from the library telling me that a book I requested is on hold. It makes me happy. I usually pile my children in the car and head straight there. Luckily, I have trained my children to think that libraries are awesome, and books are a special treat. Basically, we all love it when good books are on hold.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

First SCBWI Conference

I just signed up for my first SCBWI conference. Saying I am excited, would be an understatement. I signed up for everything I could—lunch with speakers, critique—so that I could get the most out of this conference. I want to learn all that I can, and find new ways to improve my craft. This conference is going to be so much fun, and I know I am going to learn a lot. And I will, of course, report back here on everything I learned, gained, and gleaned from attending my first conference.