A Non-Children’s Book Recommendation? What’s Up With That?

I’m recommending Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah as a must-read for anyone with a website.  The book helps you understand how to get readers to your website using Google, blogs, and other social media.  It’s written in readible language so non-techies like me can easily grasp the concepts and put them to use immediately.  Read, go forth, and conquer!

Free MG or YA Edit by Deborah Halverson

Don’t miss this opportunity for a free substantial edit of your MG or YA manuscript by a true professional in the children’s book world. Freelance editor and writer, Deborah Halverson, is holding a contest for the edit. Even if you don’t have a manuscript ready to send by January 31st, sign up for the feeds from her incredibly helpful blog at http://dear-editor.com/. Here is a blurb about Deborah from her blog:

Deborah Halverson is the author of the upcoming Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies (June 2011) and has been working with authors—bestsellers, veterans, debut, and aspiring—for over fifteen years. The books she’s edited have garnered awards and rave reviews, and many of the aspiring writers she’s coached have landed agent representation and lucrative book deals.

Good luck!

I Totally Get What She’s Saying…


Dear Sydney,

I’m glad you enjoyed my presentation.  I enjoyed being in your class. Except for when that boy decided to take the tarantula out of the terrarium and put it on Josie’s desk.  I must say her screaming was a little distracting…

“Handling the wait” is the hardest part of being a writer.  Really.  It can be very frustrating.  But, it teaches you how to be patient like nothing else can. Well, except for children.  When or if you have children, Sydney, you’ll really learn about patience.  Sorry… I’m getting off track.  If you like to write and want to be an author, you do have to get good at waiting.  But then you can add that to the list of things you are good at!

Go for it, Sydney!


A Really Good Waiting Person

In Revisionland

Over the Thanksgiving vacation, many people traveled great distances to visit family and friends. They wined and dined and reminisced about old times.  But not me.  Nope. I traveled right up to my office (OK, after a little yummy dinner and a very small glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay) to Revisionland.  In case you aren’t familiar with this place, it’s an alternate dimension where time does funky things.  The hours can drag mercilessly and my flattened bottom complains (“Just stand up for a minute, would you?”) or the minutes whiz by more quickly than is possible to comprehend (“What? I’ve worked on this transition sentence for two hours? How can that possibly be?”). It all depends on how the words flow — and how quiet the rest of the house is.  If you are a writer, you understand this strange place.  You’ve traveled here, too.     

Thanks for the reminder, Thomas

There are no rules here.  We’re trying to accomplish something.”
                                              — Thomas Edison

I ran across this quote today and boy, was it timely.  It was just the slap in the face I needed when writing the first draft of a new story…

Superior Hills Elementary School Visits

I so enjoyed meeting the 4th graders at Superior Hills Elementary School.  They were respectful listeners and thoughtful contributors to our conversation about writing, reading, and animal adaptations in the winter. Thanks for the opportunity to spend time in your school.  Remember, if you can think, you can write!


I wanted to acknowledge everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my midgrade historical novel manuscript, EXILE. Their insights have been crucial to the development of this story.  A special thank you goes to Oscar A. del Junco for his thorough review and Spanish language corrections.  I’ve been blessed with several readers in the Pedro Pan, Cuban and middle grade communities and within my circle of family and friends.  I appreciate all the new friends I’ve made through this experience and look forward to many more interactions in the future!

SCBWI-MI fall conference October 8-10, 2010

True to the organizers’ word, it was a magical weekend.  Despite Marquette being eight hours north of everything, the drive is always worth it the moment I arrive.  The speakers, critiques, friends new and old, plus a little time to think only of writing and children’s books, all contribute to a successful weekend.  Plus, it isn’t every day a person wins a magic wand contest (and $50 towards any SCBWI related expense)!  If you want to know more about SCBWI national or the Michigan chapter, go to “contacts” above. 

School Visits

Just firmed up a visit schedule with the 4th grade classes at Superior Hills Elementary School in Marquette, MI.  Hello Mrs. S. Anderson’s class, Mrs. J. Anderson’s class, and Mrs. Menhennick’s class! I’ll see you the last week in October.  Since we are heading into our chilly seasons, we’ll talk about writing and my story of how animals adapt for the cold weather.   See you soon!