Picture Book Writer

Picture Book Writer

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cue victory song...


Thank you, Tara Lazar, for an amazing PiBoIdMo! 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Brilliant Idea of the Month (MyBrIdMo) #1: The Book Drone

I pride myself on having great ideas. I'm talking really, REALLY great ideas!!!

Like the one where I recommended all hunting shacks in Arkansas be turned to deer shelters to keep those poor little (ahem) dears...warm during winter. Or the one to throw out the idea that people are citizens of a specific country and granting each man, woman, and child a Citizenry of Earth Passport to freely live and travel as they please. No more borders!

I know. BRILLIANT!

So when I heard the Everett book mobile was retiring due to lack of funding, I thought to myself, WE CAN'T LET THIS HAPPEN! Something needs to be done. Maybe Pegasus (the bookmobile) just needs a little R&R. After all, she's been a faithful worker since 1924...

In the meantime, how about we continue her job of getting books into the hands of readers by this: we send a fleet of drones to do the job for her. Introducing…drumroll please…the Book Drone Delivery Program. A fleet of baby Pegasuses (Pegasi?) delivering books near, far, and wide! I mean, drones are all the rage now, am I right? What could possibly go wrong? Besides maybe a book falling on someone's head…or into a lake…or getting shot down out of the sky into someone’s backyard...

Brilliant Illustration of the Book Drone Delivery Program.
All rights reserved.

Hey, is that really so bad? 

Amazon...call me. Maybe I can help get your program off the ground...

You, too, Washington. 

Books are powerful weapons.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Book Potluck

Books are social creatures. They need to meet and be around people. They can't sit around on the shelf forever. It's bad for their health. Just think of all that dust!

Apparently, my little neighborhood understands this. We brought together (like a book potluck) over 100 children's books for the Snohomish Book Cafe. Board books, easy readers, middle grade, YA...you name it. The bottom line - that's over a hundred children who will get their hands on a free book throughout the summer!

Imagine what we can do by this time next year.

So keep 'em moving, folks. Get those books off the shelves. Get those pages turning! Read them, love them, share them. Send them out into the big, wide world. Oh, the places they will go...

Thank you, neighbors. I hope this will become an annual book potluck tradition!

Cheers =)

The Snohomish Book Cafe brings books to children
at various locations within Snohomish County, WA


Ain't she cute? We call her Polly
=)

[ Photos courtesy of Jenny Granger ]



Friday, July 11, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo


Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing!

For those of you familiar with NaNoWriMo, you know it usually takes place in November. Participants take on that no small feat of writing a novel...IN A MONTH. They are able to track their progress, get encouragement, and (most importantly) join fellow writers of all kinds and become one with the writing community. Om......

photo source: MyCuppaYoga

If you're more of a picture book writer, like myself, don't feel left out. Why not still join?

50,000 words just ain't our thing. We take days, weeks, months to get our big little ideas down on paper. We agonize over every word. Pry, squeeze, wrench them out. We rejoice when we get 100-200 of them.

Don't forget that brevity is our friend! Hold your head high. Count every hour of work and revision as 1000 words if you like. Whatever helps get those words down...DO IT. Even if it means pulling an odd trick out of the bag and diving into uncharted territory. Use every tool possible.

Right now, I'm roasting s'mores and sitting around the campfire with fellow campers. Star-gazing. Maybe I'll even work up the courage to tell a story of my own. Care to join?


Let us go forth, 
the tellers of tales, 
and seize whatever prey 
the heart long for,
and have no fear.

Everything exists, 
everything is true,
and the earth is only
a little dust under our feet.

-W.B.Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Discover the Forest

You know it's gotten bad when commercials for products turn into commercials for forests. Yes, you can now "shop" around for a forest near you at http://www.discovertheforest.org.

Here's one:



and another...



and another...



y otro...



I think you get the idea.

The AdCouncil and US Forest Service have partnered up to encourage families to "unplug" and explore the great outdoors. Does anyone else find this a bit odd? To have commercials showcasing Earth's bountiful "beauty products"? Have we really become so disconnected with Nature? Have we really become permanent cave dwellers? Sadly, I think we have.

And so, here I am, plugged in and sitting on the couch (no need to get extreme, people!) with hope that you will join me in getting outside. It's time to leave the cave. Get in touch with our nomadic roots. Explore the world. Take a walk around the block. Visit a state or national park. Take (as I'm doing right this minute) the laptop to the patio. Open the damn window. Whatever it takes to bring the inside out and the outside in.

But wait. There's more...

It's completely FREE. Take a deep breath of fresh air. Watch the sunset. Stargaze. It's all available in the largest, most spectacular, unbelievably diverse produce section of our solar system: EARTH.

So let's GO!

Here is a helpful link for parents, teachers, and kids. http://www.findingmyforest.org. And if you would like to, please post a nature photo in the comments below. I'd love to see what you discover.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Get to Work

I'm a fretter.

I overthink EV...ER...Y...THING.

Why, yes. You're right. It IS very annoying! So what do I do to combat this flaw?

I get to work.

***

For the past month, I've been fretting over this blog. Should I even have a blog? Should I use my name for the title? Or something cuter? Maybe a clever pun?

And what will I write about? Obviously, as a picture book writer, I could focus on something within the kid lit community. But wait! What about all this other stuff going on in my head? I know! Water towers! How about watertowergirl@blogspot.com?! (Only a few friends at Arkansas SCBWI would get that one). Maybe a little discussion on 17th-century concrete poetry? Tardigrades? Politics? Ack! Don't go there. Nooooo!

No, no, no. DELETE

Then I remembered the advice of Justin Chanda, VP publisher and editor at Simon & Schuster (so he must know what he's talking about, right?!). I had the opportunity to hear him speak at the SCBWI Western Washington Spring Conference back in April. He said not to worry about a blog or website. That you're a writer FIRST. And he's right. I quit thinking about having a website and got down to work. And the most amazing thing happened...

I finished a manuscript. Oh yeah.

I started a submission letter. That's what I'm talkin' about!

And then I had an idea for a post...

So yeah. I'll worry about a fancy website later. In the meantime, I'll have this blog for connecting with other writers. Maybe you'll get a small glimpse of my journey in writing. Maybe you'll even be inspired on your own journey. LET'S DO THIS!

So what are YOU waiting for?

GET TO WORK!