Monday, February 13, 2017

Cute Picture Book "Eddie the Bully" by Henry Cole

I have to admit when I read the title of this book, Eddie the Bully by Henry Cole, I walked right by it. Too many bully books on the market, not interested. But the cover drew me back, and before I knew it the book was mine! Take a look at Eddie. Don't you have to know his story? Up

Eddie's classmates are darling. But the cuties are picked on unmercifully by the rude and mean Eddie. Then one day a new student makes her way into the classroom. One who is cute, but not by today's standards. Oh, no, and she is assigned a seat next to Eddie. Everyone prepares for the worst!

I'm pretty tough on picture books. Most just don't make the grade with me. But I think Eddie the Bully is not only full of cute illustrations (which originally is what I thought I might be getting the book for) but the story is well told, too. Although a quick fix for a difficult problem (bullying), it's a start.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Self-Editing Can Hurt

It's always so hard to self-edit. In fact, it's only been within the last few years that I realized I have been interjecting "just" a kazillion too many times in my writing. When I first came to this realization I was very defensive. After all, I'm telling my stories through the voice of a middle grade person. Maybe he/she uses "just" a kazillion times. So there. I can do that. I am justified!

After a few nights sleep (or lack of sleep), I realized it was not okay. Sometimes, the things we learn through self-editing don't feel too good. But then again isn't the main idea to get published! :-)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Finally, Another Picture Book to Share

I'm pretty sure that I rate picture books tougher than most.  I will see a picture book with wonderful critiques and ratings and when I read it I'm wondering if those people read the same book I did. Really, I have a hard time finding cute drawings with a story that is fun for both kids and adults. After all, aren't we the ones who will be reading it a kazillion times to the little ones? I remember my mom telling me about a couple books she read  to my daughter and son. The minute she finished reading, she would hear, "Read it again, Grandma." I know one of the books was "Are you my Mother?" I don't know how mom didn't lose her mind over that! Maybe that's why I always made weekly trips to the  library with the kids. I COULDN'T read the same book over and over again. And I was secretly afraid I would lose my mind!

But back to my newest discovery. Otter Goes To School, by Sam Garton is not exactly what you might think. It may remind you of lots of other stories of going to school for the first time, but let me assure you, it's not.  It will give you lots to talk about with children and lots to smile about. Give it a try. I've already pointed out that I'm picky. The illustrations are great. It's not a story that's been told before, it's a little different. And it gives you plenty to talk about.

I think you'll like it.  But if you don't, head to the library, and let me know what you come up with. I'm always looking for fun picture books!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Six Podcasts for Writers

Some of us are driving in the slow lane while others are at the finish line and heading for Starbucks to celebrate. As one who is sightseeing along the way (and likes Caribou better than Starbucks), I have been shutting my ears when my son brings up the subject of podcasts. I know, I know, Son, you have been telling me about podcasts for ages, but just like children, sometimes parents don't listen.

Recently I've stumbled on the value of podcasts. Why has it taken so long? I'm sure it has nothing to do with the type of podcasts my son is recommending. Hmmm, I guess like children, parents occasionally lie too. But on with the story. I discovered they have podcasts for writers! Now we're talkin'!

So for those like me who have been on a long Sunday drive and missed some important things, you can locate great podcasts by Googling the type you're interested in, or I downloaded an app on my phone called Podcast Addict, but there are many others to choose from.

I realize this is a very late news bulletin, but here are some podcasts you might want to try:

Seated at the Writers Table

Writing Excuses

Grammar Girl 

Helping Writers Become Authors

The Newbie Writers' Podcast

Grammar Underground

If you have a good podcast you'd like to share, let me know.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Promoting Your Book

I haven't really been able to
promote my book or post for the last few months due to back surgery and complications, but during that time I've enjoyed lots of reading and posting on Goodreads (I've even met a few friends there).  If you're a book lover and haven't discovered the site, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try.

Meanwhile, as I said, I haven't been able to publicize my new book, The Blabbermouth Club. If you find yourself with a book you'd like to get reviews on or simply get the name out to readers, you might try this site: Goodreads Giveaways

More information:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Goodnight Already! Another Great PB Discovery

I'm always excited to share when I find a good book.  Goodnight Already! by Jory John & Benji Davies doesn't really tell a new story, since it's one we're all familiar with. The characters may change, but the story is the same:

Bear can't wait to go to sleep, but Duck is wide awake. Will Bear ever get Duck to leave him alone?

This book is well worth taking a look at. Both young and old will enjoy the story and cute illustrations.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Dreaded Synopsis

I thought the hard part would be finishing the book. But now it seems publishers and agents want to see a synopsis. Really? Won't the first two or three chapters work? Why didn't I write a picture book?

If you, like me, are facing the dreaded synopsis you might want to check out the sites listed below. Consider meditation and deep breathing along with the detailed directions.

The Sum of the Parts: Writing a Synopsis

Babbles from Scott Eagan

Writer's Digest

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wanted: Agent Or Publisher

Since finishing my MG book, The Puzzled Detectives, I've been searching for an agent.  I like QueryTracker and thought it might be worth sharing. This is the place to research agents, publishers and organize and track your queries. It's free, unless you feel like a Premium Account would work better for you.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Writing With A Sense of Humor

This found its way in to my email several years ago, but it seemed worthy of sharing.  Sometimes we need to step back, take a breath and smile at life.


Dress Code:

1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.

2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

3) If you dress poorly you need to learn to manage your money so that you can purchase nicer clothes. Consider a night course in economics, not a larger income.

4) If you dress just right you are exactly where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:

1) We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor you are able to come to work.

Personal Days:

1) Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are better known as Saturdays and Sundays.
Bereavement Leave:

2) This is no excuse for missing work since there is nothing you can do for these friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the funeral arrangements, and if necessary going to the funeral in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Bathroom Breaks:

1) Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.
Lunch Break:

1) Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch since they need to eat more in order to look healthy.
2) Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

3) Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch because that's all the time needed to consume a protein drink.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management