Being the 1st is not enough.” I’ve heard these words from editors who probably receive way too many picture book manuscripts about someone who did something first. Authors scramble to uncover inventions and accomplishments, discoveries and honors, breakthroughs and court victories. Being first is commendable and implies individual greatness, but it’s not always interesting, engaging, … More Behind the Scenes: “Being the 1st Is Not Enough”
Have you heard complaints about the deterioration of the language? How kids don’t learn cursive anymore? How texting is ruinous? Well, it’s nothing new! Today, in honor of Ben Franklin’s 313th birthday, I’d like to invoke a birthday Festivus and air his grievances. Ben Franklin is a historical rock star with his endless curiosity, sharp wit, … More Behind the Scenes: Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin! You’re Quite a Character!
This is the second in a new series I hope to grow – about what goes on “behind the scenes” in writing for children. If you put together all the writing that’s done for a picture book, it would be enough for a novel. All the revisions. All the cuts. Ideas tried and dumped. Information … More Behind the Scenes: Out-Takes from An Inconvenient Alphabet
What a perfect time of year! What a perfect place! What a thrill to do my first school visit where my writing journey began – at Woodview Elementary School in Grayslake, IL! Last Friday, while visiting family in the area, I returned to the school where I attended 2nd through 5th grade, oh so long … More Of Home and Gratitude
In previous guest posts, other authors have written that the heart of the story is in the characters and their relationships. I agree. But when writing about real people from history using limited resources, it’s often a challenge to get to know them. When I’m digging for what makes an historical figure tick, I look … More Mining for Heart: Listen to Your Characters
For me, digging out unknown nuggets of history is great fun. And if these interesting tidbits have something special to offer kids, then I start my search for a story. Every once in a while someone asks me how I organize the information I gather for a picture book, so today I’ll share my method … More One Writer’s Journey: Organization Optimization
“Revising for Heart”- shaping, connecting, honing, reframing, filling in the potholes. … More Mining for Heart: “Revising for Heart”
WooHoo! I’m thrilled to share the cover as “our” book steps out into the world with its ISBN number and (soon) listings in cyberspace! A picture book is a collaboration, and there are so many people who have contributed to this: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, my agent who found the right editor; Sylvie Frank, the editor who … More An Inconvenient Alphabet – Cover Reveal!
Instead of a “Mining for Heart” post this month, I wanted to take a moment for a special shout-out from my heart at this time of giving thanks and sharing gifts. It’s been a year of learning with two books on their way to real. And it would never have happened without the amazing … More Of Gifts and Gratitude