Monday, July 27, 2015

Hi there, partiers! Hope all is well with you and that you're working hard on your writing. Sorry for the prize delay, but my little one was sick and begged me not to draw the names without her! wink emoticon So, tonight we drew names out of her blue sparkly sunhat! So, without further ado......
Drum roll..........
The winner of the $25.00 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, generously donated by Maria Marshall, is: Angela Turner
The winner of Wow member, Vivian Kirkfeld's book "Show Me How!" generously donated and signed by the author is: Laura Rackham
The winner of the $250 Pinterest/Social Media/branding consultation, donated by Amanda Boyarshinov, is: Sue Frye
The winner of the Soiree Comfort and Relax Pack ("Southern Plate" cookbook by Christy Jordan, an antique teacup, White Heron Tea, and maple sugar candy), provided by me, is: Sydney O'Neill
The winner of the gorgeous Italian Artglass Fountain Pen and Ink, provided by me, is: Michelle Dragalin
The winner of the book "Where Are My Books" by Debbie Ridpath Oh and signed by the author, is: Maria Marshall
The winner of the book "Caterina and the Best Beach Day" by Erin Eitter Kono and signed by the author is: Kari Diederich Allen
Congratulations to the winners! Please message me this week with your email and mailing address. Thanks so much, everyone, for joining me for this little party! I hope that we can continue to help each other on the Facebook page, and I look forward to a party again next year. smile emoticon

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015  

To end our Soiree, today I'm highlighting the great Ellen Jackson, author of my favorite book for children Earth MotherPlease let me introduce you to……. the wonderful Ellen Jackson! Not only is she one of my favorite authors, she has penned more than fifty books and is a multiple award-winner. Ellen has written in many different genres, and isn’t afraid to step into something new! 

When Ellen was a child her mother worked for Walt Disney Studios, but discouraged Ellen from a writing career. So, Ellen was a Psychology/​History/​Philosophy major who ended up with a B.A. in English (UCLA), Teaching Accreditation (UCLA), and an M.A. in Counseling (California Family Study Center) with a specialty in early childhood development. She’s worked as an elementary school teacher, curriculum specialist, curriculum author, editor, and award-winning author of children's books. As if she has any extra time, she also volunteers at libraries and homeless shelters!

She says she likes to read, dance with her dog, collect rocks, play the recorder, hike among the redwoods, and make collages.

Presently, Ellen lives with her husband and dog in Santa Barbara, California, about a block from a very nice beach.

Here’s a good biography of Ellen:

Please visit her website at:

Here are Ellen Jackson’s books thus far…..


July, 2015




BEAR IN THE BATHTUB, Addison-Wesley, 1981.
ANTS CAN'T DANCE, Macmillan, 1990.
BORIS THE BORING BOAR, Macmillan, 1992.
CINDER EDNA, Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1994.
THE PRECIOUS GIFT, Simon and Schuster, 1996.
THE IMPOSSIBLE RIDDLE, Whispering Coyote, 1995. 
MONSTERS IN MY MAILBOX, Troll Associates, 1995.
THE WACKY WITCH WAR, Troll Associates, 1995.
A TALE OF TWO TURKEYS, Troll Associates, 1995.
WHY COYOTE SINGS TO THE MOON, American Education Publishing, 1996.
SCATTERBRAIN SAM, Charlesbridge, 2001.
EARTH MOTHER, Walker, 2005
THE CUPCAKE THIEF, Kane Press, 2007
THE SEVEN SEAS, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2011.
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG, Shenanigan Press, 2011.
BEASTLY BABIES, Beach Lane Books, 2015.


THE TREE OF LIFE, Prometheus, 1993. 
THE WINTER SOLSTICE, Millbrook Press, 1994.
THE SUMMER SOLSTICE, Millbrook Press, 2001.
THE SPRING EQUINOX, Millbrook Press, 2002.
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX, Millbrook Press, 2000.
THE MONTHS BOOKS (series of twelve books, one on each of the months of the year) Charlesbridge, 2002.
THE BOOK OF SLIME, The Millbrook Press, 1997.
HERE COME THE BRIDES, Walker and Co, 1998.
TURN OF THE CENTURY, Charlesbridge, 1998.
MY TOUR OF EUROPE, The Millbrook Press, 2003.
IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL WE GO!, The Millbrook Press, 2003.
THE WORLDS AROUND US, Millbrook Press, 2006.
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE, Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
ABE LINCOLN LOVED ANIMALS, Albert Whitman, 2008.
TOOLING AROUND, Charlesbridge, 2014.


STAY ON THE SAFE SIDE, grades 5-6 and 7-8, Office of Criminal Justice Planning, Sacramento, 1985.
STAY ON THE SAFE SIDE, grades K-4, Office of Criminal Justice Planning, Sacramento, 1987.
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY, Horizon Publishers and Distributors, 1991.
STRANGER DANGER, Safety Advice for Kids, Horizon Publishers and Distributors, 1991.
HOUSEHOLD SAFETY, Horizon Publishers and Distributors, 1991.

And now, heeeeeeeere’s Ellen!

How did your interest in writing start and what inspired you to write your first book?

As a child, I loved to write.  When I was in third grade, I wrote a poem that the teacher liked.  She make a bulletin board out of it, which made me feel really special.  My mother was a children’s librarian who worked at Walt Disney studios.  She brought home wonderful books and sometimes we read them together.  I read so much that my sixth grade teacher told my mother I really should play outside now and then.  If you want to know what I was like as a child, I kept a diary.  I have some of the entries posted on my website here:

When I moved to Santa Barbara, I left my teaching job to take care of my sick mother and was homebound much of the day.  From my years as a teacher, I knew children’s books, and I’d always enjoyed writing.  So I thought, “I know.  I’ll become a writer.”  So I just plunged right in.  Today I’d caution other people from making that kind of leap without a lot of research.

How long did it take you to see your work in print and did you have an agent before you published?

No, I didn’t have an agent. I sold my first book myself. I sold it to the first publisher I sent it to. Note to other aspiring authors: This is extremely unusual and almost never happens. I was too inexperienced to know how lucky I was.

As a member of a multiracial family I've noticed a very deep need for more diverse characters and books for children. How do you choose subjects that include diverse characters/story lines and how are these manuscripts generally received by publishers?

Publishers are eager to publish multicultural and multiracial stories. There seem to be more and more of these kinds of books around. Many of my stories (and nonfiction books) feature multiracial and/or multicultural characters. The main character in my book EARTH MOTHER is African, one of the main characters in my book SCATTERBRAIN SAM, is African American, various races are depicted in the series IT HAPPENS IN THE MONTH OF...April, May, etc. and also in my nonfiction books TURN OF THE CENTURY and IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL WE GO and HERE COME THE BRIDES. I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

Do you have a favorite character or book from your work?

I love all my characters, even the villains!  There’s a little bit of me in every character I create. The main character in CINDER EDNA is a spunky girl who finds a positive solution to all life’s challenges. Unlike Cinderella, she doesn’t need a fairy godmother. She finds other ways of getting what she wants in life. I like to think I’m a little bit like her.

Where or when do you get or have gotten your best inspiration for stories?

My ideas come from my life, my childhood, the books I’ve read, my hopes and fantasies–everything that’s gone into making me who I am. I’ve noticed that ideas come more readily to people who pay attention. After I published my first book, I was afraid I’d never have another idea again. But I kept writing, and the ideas kept coming.

I keep an idea file, and when I get an idea I write it down on a card.  I always check Amazon or the library to seem if anyone else has published something similar–and if so, how long ago that was and in what format.

I always picture a parent and a child walking into a bookstore and looking for the perfect book.  I want to come up with a topic so interesting that both parents and children would want to read about it.

 Have you ever really disliked something you wrote that others loved?

You’re the only person who’s ever asked me that question, and it’s a good one!  The answer is, yes. But, really, most authors feel as if all their books are their children. Just as parents don’t want to choose a favorite child, authors don’t like to choose a favorite book. Let’s just say that sometime a certain book will get a lot of attention, but another one is neglected. And sometimes I really like the neglected book better than the ones that are the most popular.

When you are working on a manuscript, do you direct your characters or do they direct you?

I’d say–a little of both. Sometimes the characters want to do something surprising. Sometimes I let them, and sometimes I say “no.”

Do you work on more than one genre or manuscript at a time?

I’m always working on more than one manuscript. I write both fiction and nonfiction, and no manuscript really feels complete until I’ve sold it.

How do you organize your research, manuscript drafts, etc.

I keep drafts of my fiction manuscripts on the computer. I number the drafts sequentially. I keep a large file envelope for each nonfiction book and organize my research notes within each file envelope according to subtopic. For example, I recently published a book on animal tool use. The book featured eleven different animals. Notes and book references for each animal were clipped together.

 Is writing/art your only career? If not, what else do you do professionally?

Writing is my only career at the moment. I was a school teacher for ten years.

 If you could be a superhero, what would your powers be and why?

I’d like to be a time traveler because I’m really curious about what’s going to happen in the future. But I’ve written a few books on historical topics, such as ABE LINCOLN LOVED ANIMALS, and I’d also like to visit the past and meet the people I’ve written about.

I have many dreams about flying, but I’m not sure I’d really like it all that much in reality. My sense of direction isn’t that great, and I’ll bet it gets pretty cold up there!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Don Tate Is In The House!!!!

Don Tate is the award-winning author and the illustrator of many wonderful books for children. In addition to children’s books, Don also licenses his art, My Peepz, a group of African American characters, is marketed to ‘tweeners and has been a hit in the calendar market.

Don has worked as a graphics reporter and as a publication designer. In addition, he was the art director at an advertising and market research firm and a graphic artist at a print shop. He also flipped burgers in high school and swept floors at the mall! He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and son. In his spare time, Don is a gym-rat, having competed (in better fit days) in body building.

You can connect with Don on Facebook or his website at Here are some of Don’s fabulous books:
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started To Draw, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, (Lee & Low Books, 2012)(ages 4-up) was his debut as an author, and won the Lee & Low New Voices Award and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor in 2012.
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, written and illustrated by Don Tate, will publish in September of 2015.
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans Publishing, April, 2015), written by Chris Barton has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
The Cart That Carried Martin (Charlesbridge, Nov. 2013), written by Eve Bunting, is a Junior Library Guild Selection.
Hope’s Gift (Putnam Juvenile, 2012), written by Kelly Starling Lyons, is a Winter/Spring Okra Pick by Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA).
Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Charlesbridge, 2011), written by Anna Harwell Celenza, has been recognized in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times holiday guides.
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story (HarperCollins, 2010), written by Audrey Vernick, is a Junior Library Guild selection.
Ron’s Big Mission (Dutton, 2009), written by Rose Blue and Corrine Naden, is a Junior Library Guild spring 2009 selection. 
Summer Sun Risin’ (Lee & Low Books, 2002)
Say Hey: A Song of Willie Mays (Jump at the Sun, 2000), illustrated by Don Tate.
Trade Books:
Black All Around! (Lee & Low Books); The Hidden Feast (August House, 2006) 
The Legend of the Valentine(Zondervan, 2002)

Don is one of my idols. His art is beautiful and we love his books at our house! Though I’ve not yet met him in person, he’s been wonderfully friendly and approachable. He didn’t hesitate to agree to participate in our little Soiree, and I can’t thank him enough!

And now, I’m proud to present…. Don Tate! (Booming applause…….)

How did your interest in writing start and what inspired you to write your first book?

After illustrating books for many years, some of my writer friends suggested that I write, too. At the time I felt unconfident about my ability to write (and about punctuation and grammar and proper English and so on). Instead I started blogging about my journey as a childrens book creator, figuring so what if my participles dangled in an informal blog post. My writing friends read the blog, enjoyed my writing, and encouraged me to put that energy into children’s book manuscripts instead. When I got past my fear of words, I wrote my first book, IT JESHAPPENED: WHEN BILL TRAYLOR STARTED TO DRAW (Lee & Low Books).

How long did it take you to see your work in print and did you have an agent before you published?

Im very lucky. I saw my work in print immediately upon graduating college—I worked for a print shop! It wasn’t books, but makes no difference. There’s nothing like seeing your creations in print. Soon I took a job at a local educational publisher as a book designer. Because I could illustrate, I was also given the opportunity to illustrate book covers, posters, all sorts of educational aids. After many years of developing myself as an illustrator of books for the educational market, I snagged my first trade contract with Hyperion Jump At The Sun. Andrea Pinkney was my first editor and, no, I was not agented at the time. After a few book were published, I was approached by an agent.

As a member of a multiracial family I've noticed a very deep need for more diverse characters and books for children. How do you choose subjects that include diverse characters/story lines and how are these manuscripts generally received by publishers?

As an African American illustrator, I was advised early on in my career by editors, agents, publishing industry professionals that my foot in the door to publishing would be by filling a niche—illustrating manuscripts by and/or about African Americans. I followed that path and it has been a good one for me. When reading a new manuscript or choosing a subject to write about, I prefer stories about real people, little-known but inspirational historical figures who have overcome great obstacles. My stories have been well received by publishers, Ive sold (my agent, Caryn Wiseman has sold) just about every one that I have written.

Do you have a favorite character or book from your work?

Whatever I’m working on currently is my favorite—it better be! But honestly, all of my books have special meaning for me. IT JESHAPPENED was my first authored book, and it won an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award. That gave me the confidence to keep writing, so Id have to say that IT JESHAPPENED has an extra special place in my heart.

Where or when do you get or have gotten your best inspiration for stories?

From writer friends. I belong to several critique groups. Several of the books that I have written happened because a writer friend suggested a subject. With IT JESHAPPENED, it was author Dianna Aston who suggested I write Bill Traylors story. With POET, author Chris Barton suggested I write about George Moses Horton. My mom, who is always looking to inspire me, mailed a book to me about black historical figures. Paging through the book one day, I came across the name of William Still, known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.” That became my next book.

Have you ever really disliked something you wrote that others loved?

No, but I find myself editing my printed words all the time. Ill read one of my books at a school, and Ill come to a word and think, “Hm, why did I choose that word? And wouldnt another word work better?” Ill read the book with the new word.

When you are working on a manuscript, do you direct your characters or do they direct you?

Because I write nonfiction, and everything needs to be based upon facts, my characters direct me. I dig for facts, and present them as truthfully—and artfully—as possible.

Do you work on more than one genre or manuscript at a time?

I always have several projects in the works, in differing stages. Right now, Im completing illustrations on one book. I also completed thumbnail sketches for the next book. Im expecting an editorial letter any day now for two other books Ive written. And I will soon work on revisions for a short story that will publish in an anthology.

How do you organize your research, manuscript drafts, etc.

With my first book, there was a learning curve. I did not organize my research very well at all. And towards the end of the process, I had a big mess to clean up. With succeeding books, I use Google Docs, I keep notes attached to my word processing file, browser bookmarks, etc. Pinterest has become a huge research tool for me. When searching visuals, I create Pinterest pages and pin sources that I can refer to later.

Is writing/art your only career? If not, what else do you do professionally?
Bookmaking is my full-time career. But Ive discovered that speaking is a big part of the bookmaking, so I do a lot of speaking at schools, conferences, bookfairs.

If you could be a superhero, what would your powers be and why?

Id fly. When I sleep at night, in just about every dream I have, I can fly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Party Favors: Some interesting thoughts....

Can't believe the first day of our party is over! :( Well, on to the second...

I thought I'd share a few thoughts I've gathered throughout the past few years I've been writing seriously. Sort of party favors, if you will. The first of these is parts of a picture book. Many people have many different ideas of what parts build a picture book. I've whittled down all of my notes from classes, theories passed along to me by authors, and information from conferences to the following. Please take a look and let's chat about it on the FB page.

The first three pages of your picture book are front matter.

Pages 4 & 5 are the beginning of your story, which is 10% of the story. It's here that the backstory is set, characters are introduced and the setting is "painted". In these two pages, the reader should also get a sense of what the problem will be as well as a hint at the resolution.

Pages 6&7 Begin the story, and the problem or challenge is introduced.

Pages 8 & 9 Where the quest to solve the problem is begun. This is the first attempt to overcome the challenge.

Pages 10 & 11 These are the pages that describe how the first attempt ends in failure, but suggests something that leads to a plan for a second attempt.

Pages 12 & 13 Discuss a second attempt to solve the challenge.

Pages 14 & 15 Describe the failure of this second attempt and suggest something that will lead to a third attempt.

Pages 16 & 17 This is the place where the problem/challenge is rethought and strategies are planned for a third attempt to solve it.

Pages 18 & 19 Hope is introduced here that the problem is surmountable, and a third attempt at solving happens.

Pages 20 & 21 The third attempt fails.

Pages 22 & 23 These pages set in motion a shift and the start of events that will lead to a solution.

Pages 24 & 25 The main characters look inward here to find a solution within.

Pages 26 & 27 The character(s) prepare to begin their final attempt at solving the problem.

Pages 28 & 29 This is where the characters make their final attempt at resolving the issue.

Pages 30 & 31 End of the story where the problem is successfully resolved.

Page 32 Like the Beginning of the book, this part is only 10 % of your total word count, but this one is a crucial part. Here is where you'll place your "twist" or a suggestion of more....

So, after reading this and looking at some of your own manuscripts, what do you think? Do your stories fit this outline? Hop on over to the FB page and let's chat about it!

July 21, 2015   The DJ Is Playing Walk Like An Egyptian.....
Welcome to the first day of The Writers' Soiree! We've got some rockin' tunes playing, punch is swirling in the punch bowl, and snacks are out and ready, so let's get this party started!
Please welcome our first guest, author Vivian Kirkfield! Thanks for coming, Vivian, what a lovely party dress you're wearing! I know that you're just back from the Wow Retreat, so thanks for joining our Soiree! Take it away, Vivian....

Thank you so much, Beth, for allowing me to participate in the Writer’s Soiree.
How did your interest in writing start and what inspired you to write your first book?
Even as a young child, I loved words...books were magical treasure boxes—you could open them up and discover...the world!!! And it wasn’t long before I was scribbling my own words and creating my own little stories. Then, when my children were little, I carried a pad of paper and pencil EVERYWHERE—a long wait in the doctor’s office could turn into a delightful adventure as I drew a story to entertain them.
But it wasn’t until after my kids grew up and got married that I thought seriously about writing a book. A book I wished I’d had when my kids were small. A book to help parents and teachers. A book filled with picture book recommendations, craft projects and simple recipes—all geared to building self-esteem, developing literacy skills and strengthening the parent-child connection.
How long did it take you to see your work in print and did you have an agent before you published?
 I started writing Show Me How in 2005, after my husband encouraged me to JUST DO IT! I did quite a bit of research, picking the stories and pairing them up with appropriate activities. And I read a couple of books on finding an agent and sent out query letters to several dozen. Now remember, this was 2005—the internet wasn’t what it is now. Some of the agents wanted the letters by snail mail and some by email. I got back about half a dozen positive responses, asking to see a proposal. Proposal? I had no clue what a proposal for a nonfiction book was. I was not yet a member of SCBWI. I had no critique group or writer friends. And I was a bit timid. So I picked the agent who seemed safe, non-threatening, and kind. NOT the best vetting for an agent. I passed on the bigger agencies (Jennifer DiChiara was one...Rosemary Stimola was another...and I am still kicking myself).
There was no contract—and for a full year or more, I honed that proposal. No internet presence or emails for this agent, so everything was via snail mail. Back and forth. Forth and back. Until she finally deemed the proposal ready to shop around. And then another year of that, with no communication to me unless I called to find out how things were going. Finally, I decided to go it alone. My husband and I had published a second edition of a book of we thought we would give self-publishing a go. And by the end of 2010, the book was in indie bookstores and on Amazon. And that’s when I discovered social media and the kid lit community. A bit backwards, I’m afraid.
As a member of a multiracial family I've noticed a very deep need for more diverse characters and books for children. How do you choose subjects that include diverse characters/story lines and how are these manuscripts generally received by publishers?
Beth, you are so right. It is so important for young children to see themselves in the books they read and listen to. This validates their self-worth—it empowers them! I do have several diverse nonfiction picture books and also several diverse fiction picture books. Unfortunately, as of yet, I haven’t garnered a book contract with any of them—but I am ever hopeful.
The recent renewed push for more diverse books is definitely long overdue—and I hope some of my manuscripts make the cut.
Do you have a favorite character or book from your work?
When I first started writing picture books in 2011, just about everything I wrote was in rhyme. And The Boots of Dylan McGee, a tale about a little cowboy-in-training who refuses to take off his boots, is still one of my favorites. More recently, I’ve been writing nonfiction, and the main character of my Sweet Dreams, Sarah story moves me to tears each time I read the manuscript.
Where or when do you get or have gotten your best inspiration for stories?
Oh my goodness, Beth—my brain is CONSTANTLY thinking picture book story. Anywhere and anytime! Online challenges like Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo and Kristen Fulton’s NonFicPic Week are major story sparkers. My six-year old grandson is always ready to play a board game with grandma—I only need to be open to it and I will have a treasure trove of ideas by just listening to him. And one of the best times for me to hear my muse is in the early morning hours—just before I am truly awake. I keep a pad of paper and a pen by my bedside, but unfortunately, I have such a sloppy handwriting (especially in the dark), I can barely make out what I’ve written.
Have you ever really disliked something you wrote that others loved? usually works the other way, I think. I might love something I’ve written, but my awesome critique buddies, although totally supportive and encouraging and loving (YES, I do have the BEST critique partners in the world), do their job by being honest and constructive. And sometimes that means they might not be crazy about something I think is pretty fine. But I welcome their feedback—without it, my stories would never grow stronger and sing.
When you are working on a manuscript, do you direct your characters or do they direct you?
Hmmm...very good question, Beth. I think, early on in my writing, I was the writer, director, producer...the whole kit and caboodle. But I’m finally listening to my characters and I think this will help them develop as they need to.
Do you work on more than one genre or manuscript at a time?
When you look in the dictionary under multi-tasker, I can guarantee my name is there. Yes, I do work on lots of things at the same time. Right now, I’m revising quite a few to get them ready for the WOW Retreat. But even without a special event, I’m usually working on a new nonfiction picture book, a new fiction pb and revising several others.
How do you organize your research, manuscript drafts, etc.
Not well enough! I’ve taken Kristen Fulton’s Non Fiction Archaeology class—she is a WHIZ when it comes to teaching how to organize everything. I do use index cards on the little metal rings—a different ring for each nonfiction story. I also use EasyBib for keeping track of my bibliography. And I also have cardboard magazine files and file folders. And a pile of notebooks. But I cannot tell a lie. Sometimes I just grab a slip of paper or turn to a page in any notebook and jot down an important piece of information. Getting ready for the WOW Retreat has helped me somewhat—can I keep the momentum going when I get back? I hope so.
Is writing/art your only career? If not, what else do you do professionally?
Back in the Stone Age, I was a kindergarten teacher. But I’ve worked in a library, typed catalogues for a used book store, was a registered representative helping my husband in his financial planning business, and now I’m doing a bit of freelance writing. Since I’m retired, I’ve got lots more time for writing than most others. (or I should) And, since I’m retired, I’ve got to stick to a budget. (or I should)

If you could be a superhero, what would your powers be and why?

If I could be a superhero, I would zap people with a ‘believe in yourself’ ray. I think one of the biggest problems in our world is that people don’t really believe in themselves. Therefore, they are constantly trying to feel better about themselves by putting others down. If people believed in themselves, they would step out of their comfort zones, step up to make needed changes and step in to help others.
Thanks again, Beth! This was lots of fun. Happy writing, everyone!

Vivian has spent her entire life surrounded by picture books and children. A former kindergarten teacher, she has a master’s in early childhood education...and when she isn’t scribbling stories, she is hiking and fly-fishing with her hubby, reading, crafting and cooking with kids and sharing self-esteem and literacy tips with parents. And definitely eating chocolate. Although she is not a fan of heights and was always a rather timid child, Vivian is constantly taking leaps of faith. In 2010, she self-published her award-winning parenting resource, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking...three years ago, she went skydiving with her May of 2013, she flew half-way around the globe to speak at the 2013AFCC/SCBWI conference in Singapore...and she is amassing a respectable pile of picture book manuscripts that she hopes will one day make children smile. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a lover of books and reading, you can follow her on Twitter, connect with her on Facebook, like her Show Me How page on Facebook, visit her blog at Picture Books Help Kids Soar or contact her by email.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Counting down..............

All systems are go...... Counting down to The Writers' Soiree!

Hope everyone has their pencils sharpened, erasers out, beverages stocked in the fridge, and your inspiration caps out and ready! I'm totally excited that we are only 5 sparkling days away from our party! :)

I have 4 terrific authors interviewed, 4 fun prompts for us to work on, and some very cool prizes to give away! More on the prizes later.........

See you soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
~Ernest Hemingway

Good morning! It's a lovely day today, and one perfect to channel the writing fairy. :) Today I'll be revising, revising, and revising again. I've found that sometimes the story completely changes as I revise. Do you experience that too? I like to think of revising as the sifting out of the chaff from the wheat, or dirt from the actual artifacts on an archaeological dig.