Writer’s block is something writers have had to face over the ages. It’s the fear of a blank page. The fear of having nothing to say. The fear that your execution of plot, imagery, characterization, and language will not live up to your inner vision or outer expectations. The Writer’s Block First Aid Kit has always had good suggestions on ways to coax back your Muse, including the method of dictating a story rather than writing it down. We are, after all, story TELLERS not story writers. Telling your story to a scribe encourages spontaneity and authentic voice, proponents say. Literary luminaries such as Milton, Dostoyevsky, Winston Churchill, Thomas Aquinas, and Earle Stanley Gardner used archaic forms of this method...Read More
MEMORIES OF FIREFLY NIGHTS
A new version of It’s a Firefly Night, illustrated by Betsy Snyder and published originally in 2013 by Blue Apple Books is being released this month, and I couldn’t be happier! Originally published as a hardcover, it’s a paperback this time around, with a glittery cover and lots of brand-new extension activities in the back matter. (For a sneak peek, and more information, check out the publisher listing at www.blueapplebooks.com/book/its-a-firefly-night/.)
When the book first came out, we did an interview discussing how the story came about in my imagination and then made its way to the bookshelf. I’ve gotten permission to reprint the article here, which is also posted on the newly-updated BAB website (www.blueapplebooks...Read More
CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK WITH READING EVENTS ACROSS THE U.S.!
Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of children’s books and reading. This year will mark its ninety-ninth year, making it the longest-running national literacy initiative in the United States. And it’s just about to kick off again: from April 30 to May 6. Next week, bookstores, libraries, museums, and schools across the country will celebrate the joy of reading in oh-so-many ways.
For a preview of what’s planned for 2018, you may wish to go to this recent article from Publishers Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/76648-children-s-book-week-2018-preview.html.
But how, you may ask, did Children’s Book Week come about in the first place? Read...Read More
WRITERS ON WRITING: QUOTES FROM THE FAMOUS AND NOT-SO-FAMOUS
“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist.”
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.”
“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”
“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.”
“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.”
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
Henry David Thoreau
“My own experience is that once a sto...Read More
MAY YOUR WISHES FOR NEW VISION AND INSPIRATION COME TRUE!
Every new year brings with it creative resolutions: to work smarter, to delve deeper, to tap fresh inspiration whenever we touch the pen or paintbrush. As much as I wish an ‘inspiration fairy’ with a magic wand existed out there…the truth is that we creative types need to be our own fairy godmothers.
First, connect with other creative people to build a support network, if you do not already have one. Join a critique group. You will never regret time spent with like-minded people who are passionate about writing great books for children. If you are already in possession of a cheerleading squad, double down on your commitment to lifting them up as they in turn lift you.
Learn to be your own cheerleader, too...Read More
10 Steps To a Better Body (of Work)
What Fitness Training Taught Me About Writing
I took my first aerobic exercise class years ago, after the birth of our first child. Although I never quite regained my pre-pregnancy figure, I’ve been a dedicated fitness fanatic ever since. Whether weight-lifting or jogging, the time spent in pursuit of muscle tone has taught me lessons which can be applied to my writing efforts as well.
1. GET TO THE GYM. This is an obvious first step, but one that has tripped up many a new health club member. You can’t see the results of a stair-climbing machine on your thighs until you’ve actually stepped onto it. Likewise, you can’t finish manuscripts and query letters until you’ve spent the hours required in front of the word processor or typewriter.