Struggling with your stanzas? Cursing at your verse? I just wrapped up a Rhyme Clinic
over at Susanna Leonard Hill's
As Julie Hedlund's
November 12x12 Author, I talk about pathetic first drafts (and show some of my own), and offer 10 Tips for Getting Beyond the Bad Beginning
. If you're a 12x12 member, you're eligible to win a copy of The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books
or a manuscript consultation from yours truly. If you're not a member, be sure to sign up for next year's 12x12
THE NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE
TO WRITING PICTURE BOOKS
Tools and Tips for Writing,
Polishing and Selling Your Manuscript
"Clearly written, well-organized, and loaded with practical information, the guide would make an excellent textbook for creative writing classes and for the do-it-yourselfer." Rebecca Barnhouse, author and Professor of English, Youngstown State University
Working on a picture book? This 150-page handbook includes detailed instruction, advice, interviews with experts, exercises, resources and more to turn your ideas into a ready-to-submit manuscript. To purchase and download the guide, visit The Nuts and Bolts Guide
page or www.howtowritepicturebooks.com
illustrated by the fabulous Christian Robinson
was featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review
. And, in a starred review, Kirkus called it "Altogether delightful."
Like NO DOGS ALLOWED!
, this book has very few words -- just 78 in all. How do you write a book with so few words? Visit the RAIN! page
to download the manuscript.
NEW!"One of the best children's books of 2013 with its practical and poetic advocacy of peace in the everyday lives of boys and girls." Spirituality & Practice
, illustrated by the charming Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
, and published by Chronicle Books.
WANT TO BUY AN AUTOGRAPHED BOOK?
Stop by the BOOK STORE
to order some out of print titles.
Poetry mavens Sylvia Vardell
and Janet Wong
have compiled a must-have collection of poems with suggestions for how to use each one. Now, it couldn't be easier to incorporate poetry into your classroom or home. The poems, written by a who's who of contemporary poets (yes, including me) span a variety of subjects and styles. Visit Pomelo Books
After 10 years in Denver, we've packed up our stuff and moved east -- to beautiful Chapel Hill, NC. We'll miss our wonderful friends and neighbors and the good folks at the RMCSCBWI
and Lighthouse Writers
-- but we're excited about our new adventure. Hope to meet some of you in North Carolina! (P.S. Life will be messy for a while, so excuse me if I'm slow to respond. )
was one of ten picture books on the New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2011
list. "This ode to the glorious adventures — if also perils — of benign neglect pairs Ashman’s perfectly rhymed text with Davenier’s animated, humorous drawings."
SAMANTHA is illustrated by the fabulous Christine Davenier
, and is on the inaugural list of Margaret Ferguson Books
, an imprint of Farrar Straus Giroux. See a preview right here
NO DOGS ALLOWED!
was one of 20 picture books on the Texas Library Association's 2012 Texas 2x2 Reading List
. (Some of my favorite books of the year are here, including Lita's Judge's
RED SLED and Patrick McDonnell's
ME . . . JANE.
How do you "write" a wordless picture book, anyway?
Read more about the process, and download the manuscript, right here
Now that I'm of a certain age, I feel compelled to do a little proselytizing. I became a vegetarian more than 20 years ago, after reading the first edition of John Robbins's Diet for a New America
about the horrors of factory farming. All these years later, little has changed despite plenty of documentation about the inhumane treatment of animals at most of these facilities and the egregious impacts this type of production (it's hard to call it farming) has on the environment and human health. If you're still eating meat, read Food Matters
by Mark Bittman (for the gentler approach, with plenty of good vegetarian recipes), Farm Sanctuary
by Gene Baur, or Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer (for the more graphic depiction). Or watch Food Inc
. Each one will give you plenty of reasons to reduce or eliminate your meat consumption.
Also, I recently learned that the "cage free" eggs I've been buying for years aren't necessarily from happy, free-roaming chickens. Their lives may be better than those confined to crowded cages--the source of most eggs you'll find in grocery stores--but only marginally so. Watch a short video and read about the distinctions at Humane Society of the U.S.
Then consider the source next time you buy a carton of eggs, or choose some of the Humane Society's suggested alternatives.
Stella and Sammy ready for a party.
Give an animal something to celebrate.
If you're thinking of getting a pet, please consider adopting from a rescue organization or animal shelter; there are so many beautiful animals waiting for a loving home. You can find shelters near you through Petfinder
. As for our girls, Sammy came from Retriever Rescue of Colorado
and Stella from The Denver Dumb Friends League
A few organizations I like and support: