How do you deal with writer’s block?

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Excellent question!  Writer’s block and the fear of the blank page is sort of the ‘common cold’ of a writer’s life.  Since I’ve experienced creative blocks numerous times, I’d like to pass along a few thoughts in the hope that at least one will help you should you ever run up against this particular brick wall in your writing:

  1.   “I don’t have writer’s block,” the voice in your head says, “I’ve just been busy!” Denial isn’t a solution for writer’s block but it sure is a sign that writer’s block has reared its ugly head.  If you find yourself fixated on cleaning the refrigerator with a toothbrush, or running errands that take you far, far away from your work space for days on end…you might just be blocked.
  2.  Admit i...
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Introducing MOO-seum: A COW FOR A CAUSE.

Imagine my surprise when Jennifer Cloward, director of the Paso Robles Children’s Museum (www.pasokids.org) and local artist Cindy Burnside contacted me to let me know that the main character in my picture book MOLLY BY GOLLY! THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS, AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER, had been lovingly re-imagined as a cow sculpture for the San Luis Obispo, California CowParade. Using artist Kathleen Kemly’s wonderful renderings of Molly Williams for the book as her inspiration, Cindy worked her own magic bring Molly to life in an udderly different form.

First, a little background on this unique program: CowParade™ is an international moo-ving public art exhibit that has been featured in 75 major cities since its inception...

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SIMPLY MOO-VELOUS, BY GOLLY! The heroine of my picture book, Molly Williams, transformed for the Cow Parade by artist Cindy Burnside

Inside Story about the MOO-velous Molly, by Golly! Makeover

The Cow Parade has come to town, and this author is thankful that Jennifer Cloward, director of the Paso Robles Children’s Museum in San Luis Obispo County, California, reached out to artist Cindy Burnside to create a mini-moo cow sculpture based on Kathleen Kemly’s fabulous illustrations from my picture book about America’s first female firefighter for the year-long program designed to raise funds for local charities in a very fun way!

All of the cow sculptures are on exhibit at various locations throughout San Luis Obispo County, and voting is underway for the ‘best in show’.  To view and vote for the Molly, by Golly! MOOseum cow, go to http://cowparadeslo.com/cow/32-mini-moo-mooseum-molly/.

But first, some Q & A with...

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LOOKING BACK WITH THANKS-GIVING

LOOKING BACK WITH THANKS-GIVING

What an amazing year 2016 has turned out to be for my work! I’m so gratified by the love my books have received. From the community StoryWalks in Somerset County, New Jersey, and New Richmond, Wisconsin, this summer for It’s a Firefly Night (Blue Apple Books) to the wonderful awards bestowed upon It’s a Seashell Day (Blue Apple Books) over the spring and summer, it’s extremely rewarding to any author to know that their books are touching people’s lives.

In April, I was honored to attend the 2015 Florida Book Awards in Tallahassee to receive the Gold Medal/Reichert Award in the Children’s Literature division for It’s a Seashell Day...

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IT’S A FIREFLY SUMMER

IT’S A FIREFLY SUMMER!

Like fireflies blinking in the night, books can have on/off bright-light moments long after the light bulb burst of its publication date.  That’s what happened for my 2013 picture book from Blue Apple Books, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT (which was so perfectly illustrated by artist Betsy Snyder) when it was selected by the Peapack-Gladstone Library in Somerset County, New Jersey for their community’s “StoryWalk” this summer.

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You may be asking, “what the heck is a StoryWalk?”  (I did, too.) Answer: StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path...

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IT’S A FIREFLY SUMMER

IT’S A FIREFLY SUMMER

Like fireflies blinking in the night, books can have on/off bright-light moments long after the light bulb burst of its publication date.  That’s what happened for my 2013 picture book from Blue Apple Books, IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT (which was so perfectly illustrated by artist Betsy Snyder) when it was selected by the Peapack-Gladstone Library in Somerset County, New Jersey for their community’s “StoryWalk” this summer.

You may be asking, “what the heck is a StoryWalk?”  (I did, too.) Answer: StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path...

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Thoughts of Earth Day, Seashells and Fireflies

THOUGHTS OF EARTH DAY, SEASHELLS AND FIREFLIES

Earlier this month, I traveled to Tallahassee, Florida, to receive the Gold Medal/Reichert Award in the children’s literature category of the 2015 Florida Book Awards for my picture book, IT’S A SEASHELL DAY.

I stayed on after the FBA events to participate in the Word of South festival of literature and music (http://www.wordofsouthfestival.com), doing a mini-workshop at the storytelling area for kids and appearing as a member of the FBA winners speaker panel for grownups.

There were just  three of us:  Susan Cerulean, http://comingtopass,  Gold Medal winner for Florida non-fiction for her adult title, Coming to Pass: Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change with photographs by David Moynahan (University of Georgia, 2015); ...

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CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Although women have made great contributions to society, science, government and the arts since the dawn of time, it was not until the establishment of WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH, now celebrated each March, that their achievements have been officially and publicly recognized.

Molly Williams, an African-American woman whose legendary service battling a New York City blaze in 1818 is the basis of my children’s book, MOLLY BY GOLLY! THE LEGEND OF MOLLY WILLIAMS, AMERICA’S FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER, is one such lady.  But she is not the only wonderful heroine I discovered in my research on female fire fighters...

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STILL CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

SPOTLIGHT ON MOLLY WILLIAMS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIREFIGHTER LEGEND

When my picture book based on the adventures of America’s first female firefighter, Molly Williams, was released in 2012, I did several interviews for bloggers.  One of the nicest was this one, from DEBtastic Reads, debtasticreads.wordpress.com. DEBtastic Reads! is Debbi Michiko Florence’s blog featuring author interviews and book buzz for books for kids and teens. I’ve know Debbi for years and it was a pleasure ‘talking’ with her about this book of mine, which went on to win the bronze medal in the 2013 Florida Book Awards, and others.  As for Debbi’s writing life, I’m happy to report that the first two books of her chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, will be released May 2017 with FSG...

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Celebrating Black History Month

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND MOLLY WILLIAMS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIREFIGHTING LEGEND

Black History Month gives us all a rare chance to meet or become re-acquainted with African-Americans of achievement in history.  One such individual is Molly Williams, who was not only the first female firefighter in America but also an African-American living in New York City in the early 1800’s.  Her story, while little known when I found it, was memorable.  I’d love to tell you how I ‘met’ Molly and why I HAD to tell her story.

As a writer, I’m always looking for a good idea for “the next book”.

However, some of my best book ideas have come looking for me.

That’s just what happened with MOLLY BY GOLLY! The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighter. 

I’d just star...

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