PiBoIdMo Day 13: Jane Yolen Does the Work She Was Meant To Do

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Picture book stories are everywhere – just waiting to be told. Thanks to Jane Yolen for sharing!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

janeyolen© 2013 by Jane Yolen

I have a Muse who works overtime, or at least that’s how it looks from the outside. But I think about something my late husband once said. An ardent birder and, in his retirement, a bird recordist whose tapes now reside in both the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds and the British Natural History Museum, he was known in the birding community as “a lucky birder.” That meant he seemed to find more rarities and more hard-to-see birds than anyone else. But his response was, “I show up.” And that’s what I think the Muse actually is: the writer showing up every day and doing the hard work of writing.

If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on…

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PiBoIdMo Day 12: Elizabeth Rose Stanton Procrastidoodles (plus a prize!)

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Permission to doodle! Great post today for PiBoIdMo 🙂

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

The best part of the whole picture book making process, for me, is that moment when the idea comes—that SPARK happens—and there’s ignition!

EPSON scanner image

It’s mystical, it’s mysterious, it’s magical, it’s COSMIC!

But how do we get to that point where this happens—where “channel D” opens and the idea pops?

For me, it’s just one of those things that can’t be forced. I’m guaranteed not to think up any ideas when I tell myself I have to come up with an idea.

So how do I get primed for the muses to start singing? If I knew a sure-fire secret formula, I would certainly share it with you. But I do know two powerful “tools” that seem to work for me: procrastination and doodling. . . and the beauty of it is, you don’t have to be an artist or illustrator to do either one!

Each one…

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PiBoIdMo Day 11: Todd McQueen, Ships and Harbors (plus prizes!)

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Great inspiration. Todd McQueen keeps us afloat:)

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

ToddMcQueen_headshotby Todd McQueen

Two weeks ago, I delivered the final art and text of my first picture book, BOB AND ROB AND CORN ON THE COB, to my publisher. What a great feeling that is; years and years of hard work—and a lot of frustration—finally coming that much closer to fruition. Looking back, I see that the trouble comes not from where to find inspiration, or how to get inspired, or even whether an idea is good or bad—but from knowing whether an idea is ready yet, and if I get into it, will it float?

After all, an idea is like a boat we intend to take to sea on a long journey. That boat should be sturdy, because the conditions can get rough, and sometimes the progress won’t be easy, and we’ll have to fight just to stay upright. There’s a lot riding in that boat, and we…

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Book Review: Now You See It by Jane Tesh

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Now You See It

Jane Tesh

Poisoned Pen Press


230 pagesNow you see it

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Genre: Mystery

Camden’s renowned singing voice is not the only thing missing in the latest book in the Grace Street Mystery Series. Randall is hired to find a missing diamond bracelet for a local socialite. Then a priceless magic box once owned by Harry Houdini disappears, plunging Camden and Randall knee deep in mysterious world of local illusionists when they attempt to find it.

Fuel is added to the fire because the Finch brothers were holding a contest involving the box, which offers a piece from their magic collection to the person who wins. An ongoing rivalry among the magicians also hinders the search for the Houdini relic. Then one of the magicians winds up dead, and Randall’s girlfriend Kary goes undercover as a magician’s assistant to help him solve the case.

Randall has more on his mind than finding the lost items and solving a murder. His personal life is more stressful than his PI business. Kary will not marry him even though she loves him because they cannot agree on something very important. Kary wants children and Randall cannot get over the accidental death of his daughter, Lindsey. Pictures of her break his heart, and he recently received a DVD with Lindsey’s last dance recital on it that he cannot bring himself to watch.

Cam has finally decided to pop the question to his longtime girlfriend Ellin but literally does not have the voice to ask her. He is afraid she will turn him down. Shelia Kirk, the wife of a new sponsor, has taken over Ellin’s show and office leaving behind chaos and craziness.  The forceful woman has some crazy new ideas for the Psychic Service Network TV station and Ellin is not happy.

All of the elements of this book come together magically by the last page. It was fun to see how each part of the separate, yet connected plot came to a satisfying conclusion. It is fun to learn some little known facts about Houdini and magicians in general

I liked Tesh’s characters in Mixed Signals. I loved them in Now You See It. Maybe I knew them better, or maybe their vulnerability had me pulling for them to solve the mystery and overcome their personal demons to find happiness.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. Copyright © 2013 Laura Hartman

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