NaPiBoWriWeek–My Turn!

Today marks the halfway point in Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee, and it also happens to be my turn as a Guest Author. So, here’s the tease…Want to learn something about me that only a handful of people know? (seriously, only my family knows this and some of them even raise an eyebrow at it).

Read my interview on Paula Yoo’s NaPiBoWriWee blog. I’m also chatting with participants so stop on by!


I’m so excited that the amazing Paula Yoo has asked me to be part of the 2017 NaPiBoWriWee. What exactly is this mouthful of a word? It’s National Picture Book Writing Week! In just one week, participants will write seven picture book manuscripts–one per day. Do they have to be polished, ready-to-submit drafts? Of course not! We all know it takes months (or years) to work a picture book into perfection. But this is an opportunity to commit yourself to ONE WEEK of writing picture books, to get that first messy draft down on paper, to put those ideas that have been floating in your mind all year down on paper. Yee-haw! Pull out the pencils!

Along the way, Paula will have guest authors (like Jason Gallaher, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, Emma Otheguy and myself) giving you some tips and insight. And did I mention there are PRIZES??? Yes!

So stayed tuned for registration announcements so you can join in the fun. And best of all, have SEVEN picture book drafts in one week! Warm up those fingers, folks. As the great Kathi Appelt would say, you’ll “write like your fingers are on fire!”

Book Two Ups and Downs

Today on EMU’s Debuts, author Katie Slivensky talks about writing the second book of a 2-book deal. I’ve always been TERRIFIED at the thought of writing a second book (especially a novel!) and the pressure that would come with it. But Katie points out that usually the second book is not in fact the second book you’ve written. Check it out here!

Great Blogs to Peruse

It’s hard to find time to read all the great blogs that are out there. Really? Who has the time to read them all? Of course, EMU’s Debuts is fabulous! (ahem, yeah…it’s composed of my literary agency-mates). And I enjoy Picture Book Builders, as well. And another terrific one is BookMom: Picks from a Publishing Parent.

But perhaps what I feel is the blog to end all blogs is Betsy Bird’s Fuse #8 “31 Days, 31 Lists” where for each day of December, she posts a list of the year’s best books (by category). I mean it! You want “funny” then go to Dec. 7. You want a list of alphabet picture books, it’s there! Board books, bilingual books, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, chapter books, poetry, nature, the list goes on and on until the last day of December. I have a feeling if December had 6o days, Betsy could find enough books for that too!

So, while you’re standing in line to buy that reindeer sweater for your Uncle George or taking a break from the holiday shopping at your local coffeehouse, give some of these blogs a look.

Enjoy the holidays and happy reading!




Last week I read a delightful blog post on Family Briefs: A Few Briefs Along the Parenting Journey sharing how the reading of Blackberry Banquet actually saved a blackberry bush from sure death (a near tragedy, for sure).

Apparently, the encroaching bush was merely doing what all blackberry bushes do, taking over everything around it, which included the blogger’s family garden. Mom was prepared to get rid of the bush, but through the insistence of her children and their desire to see if Mouse, Bird and the rest of the characters in Blackberry Banquet really were right about the delicious nature of blackberries, the bush was spared (but it doesn’t sound like Mom was too thrilled ;-).

In my mind, I envisioned Mom heading towards the bush with an axe, the children at her side, begging her to stop (yes, a bit like Fern trying to save poor Wilbur).

For a sweet chuckle, and the full read, click HERE.

Happy New Year

Happy new year, everyone! While I took a two-week break to spend time with my family for the holidays, some folks stayed busy (and I’m not talking about elves here–well, let’s call them cyber-elves). So, here are a couple of things to announce:

First, the finalists for the CYBILS Awards have been posted. Congratulations to all of the authors and illustrators whose books made it to the final phase! Click here to see the complete list (winners will be announced mid-February).

Second, Jill Corcoran has been posting some links to terrific writing tips on her blog. To see Jill’s blog, click here.

More good things to come later, but for now, I have GOT to climb out from under the pile of stuff that has accumulated on my desk for the past two weeks…