Tools for the Taking

What Would You Have In Your Dream Writing Space? I Need Your Advice.

A personal massage therapist to work out all those keyboarding kinks? Ahhhh, of course. So I’m taking my new-found empty-nest-hood rather seriously and refurbishing my kids’ computer room to be my home office (the kitchen table just isn’t cutting it). Other than lots and lots of shelves, some workhorse filing cabinets and a wide surface… Read more »

Picture Book Peek Week #12 – A TOO PURPLEY! Board Book Birthday

TOO PURPLEY! comes out in board book format on July 19th. It’s purple. It’s adorable. AND it’s virtually indestructible. Now that’s something to celebrate!So in honor of its board book birthday I’m holding a TOO PURPLEY! Board Book Birthday PeekJuly 19th!! Win a free critique of a selected picture book manuscript. WHEEEEE! Here’s how it… Read more »

Totally Awesome Takeaways from Mary Kole’s Beginnings Workshop

Literary agent, Mary Kole, who specializes in children’s literature at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, recently completed her 5-part Novel Beginnings Workshop. Her thoughtful critiques of 5 submitted novel openers are brimming with tips on writing beginnings that hook your readers. Stop by her blog to read these detailed critiques AND to have a look… Read more »

Writing Book Review: Second Sight

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adultsby Cheryl B. Klein Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Asterisk Books (March 9, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0615420826 When I received the request to support Scholastic (Arthur A. Levine Books) editor, Cheryl Klein, in her endeavor to publish this book, I… Read more »

The Necessary Work of Downtime

How many of you meditate? Take a daily walk? Go for a run without your iPod? If no downtime is built into your day, you may consider it too much of a luxury in an already over-scheduled life. But, in fact, practices like meditation or quiet walks are a necessary part of your writing work… Read more »

I Love Picture Books – Peek Week #10 – February 14th!

 It’s a Valentine’s Day Picture Book Peek WeekFree critique of a selected picture book manuscript It begins February 14th! Here’s how it works: Sign up for a critique by entering your picture book WORKING TITLE in the comment section of this blog post anytime (midnight to midnight Mountain Time) on February 14th. Titles submitted before… Read more »

Examine Your Scene Arcs with Chapter Titles

I’m currently revising my latest middle grade novel and going through the exercise of dropping the chapters into a spreadsheet with columns labeled for chapter numbers, chapter description, setting, and a column for each major character where I place an “x” if the character appears in the chapter. This helps me find scenes more easily… Read more »