Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

I absolutely loved Debra Shumaker’s book, FREAKY, FUNKY FISH, so when I learned of her new one, PECULIAR PRIMATES, I invited Debra back in hopes she might share something about it. Her topic in this post is valuable not only for authors, but educators, too! I get stalled way too easily and frequently on imperfect … More Behind the Scenes: “Using Placeholder Words and Stanzas until the Lightbulb Moment” by Debra Shumaker

Behind the Scenes: “Composition 101” by Julie Rowan-Zoch

I’ve been in a local critique group with Julie Rowan-Zoch for nine years (Oh wow, has it been that long!) and have had the good fortune to learn a lot of from her. It’s always fascinating to see another creator’s process, especially illustration, since it’s foreign to me.  Here’s a great post from Julie sharing … More Behind the Scenes: “Composition 101” by Julie Rowan-Zoch

Mining for Heart: “Setting as a Window into Character”

Writing CLOAKED IN COURAGE: UNCOVERING DEBORAH SAMPSON, PATRIOT SOLDIER was a challenge in many ways, just one being that the misinformation about her made it difficult to find HER, the person in history. Why did she do what she did? and What made her who she was? As always, setting was key. And books of … More Mining for Heart: “Setting as a Window into Character”

Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

As a teacher, I always loved classroom projects like this! Thank you, Laura Perdew for sharing this terrific activity for educators and your brand new Biome Explorers series! AND thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY of a complete set of the BIOME EXPLORERS series! Just leave a comment below for a chance to win! (And … More Especially for Educators: “Using Picture Books to Create a Classroom Museum” by Laura Perdew

Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

So many of us have manuscripts in a “drawer”—waiting for a block to clear or a better ending or a new take. I love hearing about the rare occasions when the lightning strikes and the manuscript emerges from doom with a revelation that transforms it. Here Jeanette Bradley shares how a manuscript became more than … More Mining for Heart: “The Heart Can Surprise You” by Jeanette Bradley

Behind the Scenes: “Writing a Picture Book Sequel” by Isabella Kung

Every once in a while, kid lit creators get a chance to create a sequel to a picture book they’ve done and let their beloved characters live on. Yay! But there are a few important things to consider. Isabella Kung takes us through her process of creating a sequel to NO FUZZBALL!—her latest release, NO … More Behind the Scenes: “Writing a Picture Book Sequel” by Isabella Kung

Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Though we often hear the phrase, “write what you know,” a good many of us are drawn to topics and ideas that we don’t know about, by a natural urge to know more. And kids are, too! I can totally identify with author Kristen Nordstrom’s experience. In this post, Kristen shares how she turned a … More Behind the Scenes: “Find the Spark that Ignites Your Story” by Kristen Nordstrom

Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

After a short lull in posts, we’re back digging into the “heart” of a story. I’m guessing most all of you are familiar with Mister Rogers and know that he made music a part of his show. Here Donna Cangelosi examines music as her focus in writing a bio on Fred Rogers.  GIVEAWAY! For a … More Mining for Heart: “Highlighting the Essential in Biographies” by Donna Cangelosi

Behind the Scenes: “Illustrating ‘A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth'” by Dow Phumiruk

If there ever was a dream team to share a Thai woman’s story with children, it’s Dow Phumiruk and Christina Soontornvat! Here we get to hear from Dow about the thought process of illustrating the story. GIVEAWAY! For a chance to win a copy of A LIFFE OF SERVICE, just leave a comment below! Behind … More Behind the Scenes: “Illustrating ‘A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth'” by Dow Phumiruk

Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple

In the classroom, I found that mentor sentences and mentor texts provided opportunities for student writers to amaze themselves and tackle many forms of writing with confidence. Now, as an author, I analyze mentor texts for my own learning. Thank you, Annette Whipple for this post for educators on using your nonfiction series in the … More Especially for Educators: “Nonfiction Mentor Texts for the Classroom” by Annette Whipple