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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

picture books, picture books, picture books!

I've been reading a lot of picture books lately. . .

on line,
from my bookshelves,
and from the library bookshelves.

Why? To help me in writing picture books!

Here is a list of a few. I have put my comments in italics out from some of them.

Froggy Plays in the Band - Froggy's Sleepover - Froggy's Day with Dad - Froggy's Baby Sister
In the Froggy series of books I noticed the repeated phrase - more red in the face than green
Root Beer and Banana

Passing the Music Down - biographical - loved the language used in this one

 Bats at the Library - rhyming

Martha Doesn't Say Sorry - good

Oh, Daddy - very short 

Little Hoot - fun! Little owl wants to go to bed.

It's Not Fair - cute

Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site - rhyming - good one! 

What's Under the Bed? - simple rhyme

This Place in the Snow - loved the language and use of words!

A Silly Snowy Day - a ridiculously cute story about a young tortoise who wants to enjoy winter

the dot - a simple, but lovely picture book about a girl who thought she couldn't draw
Duck at the Door - very cute. About a household and how a little duck disrupts it - but they loved him anyways 

The Bumpy Little Pumpkin - a cute story about Little Nell, BIG Mama, BIG Sarah, BIG Lizzie and a bumpy little pumpkin her forest friends helped her carve. Like people, Jack-o-lanterns come in all shapes and sizes!

My Working Mom - Love it. The story, as written by the author, could have been about any working mom, but the illustrator did her magic. Have you read this? Do you know what her mom's job was?

I Took my Frog to the Library - cute. It is not just about a frog, but many other animals the girl brings to the library. They all wreck havoc, except for the elephant. But the elephant is so very, very big! So, she leaves her animals at home and the elephant reads to them.

The Lonely Scarecrow - I love books about scarecrows and have even written my own, which I hope some day will be published!

Owl Moon - One of my very favorites! I love the language in this one.

These are just a few of the many I have read in the last couple of weeks.
Are picture books just for kids?
Of course not, they are for the kid in all of us!

What are some of your favorites?


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What Do You Write?

As most of my followers know, I write picture books, middle grade books and children's articles.

I also write poems and I write about Appalachia.

Recently, I have tried something new. I have written something I never thought I would write.

I woke up one morning with a song in my mind. It was only a few sentences - a start of a chorus. But, I went to my computer and typed it down before it flew from my mind.

Before the day was over, those few sentences evolved into an entire song! A few days later, after tweaking it a little, I emailed it to my cousin, who sings and plays the piano, to see if she thought it had any merit. She liked it - and we are still working on it.

 my little hand made Teddy (made from a family quilt that had seen better days) holding an old song book

And, I am considering giving greeting cards a try.

What do you write?

Have you ever wandered into a different writing territory than you are used to?

If not, maybe you should give it a try.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - and Interview!

First - the winner of CHOMP is DMS. You can click here to go to her website - The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow.
Congratulations to Jess!

This week I've read Just Juice by Karen Hesse.

 Image result for just juice images
Juice lives with her mom and dad and four sisters. She doesn't like school and letters and numbers don't make any sense to her. She has to do third grade all over again.
She usually skips school and spends time with her dad. Her dad has a secret - he can't read, either. So when he gets warning letters about not paying taxes on his house, he ignores them. But, he can't ignore the last one he gets telling him that his house has been sold for back taxes.
Juice and her dad work together to try to figure out a way to fix the problem.

Just Juice has 19,422 words and worth 3 AR points.

What are you reading?

AND . . . drum roll, please!

I would like to invite all of you to click here and go over to the Grog Blog to read an interview with me!
Learn a little about me, see pics and, if you like, I'd love for you to leave a comment.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - and a giveaway!

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just finished reading, Katie and the Cupcake War by Coco Simon.

Katie and Callie used to be best friends. Then Callie dumped Katie and joined the Popular Girls Club. Katie has new friends now, but still feels resentment toward Callie.

Katie's school holds a fundraiser each year. Students sell things in groups and the group that sells the most wins. Katie's Cupcake Club won last year selling cupcakes. They are selling cupcakes again, but Callie and her group, renamed The Best Friends Club, are also selling cupcakes. Katie is upset that they are copying them so they can win.

Let the cupcake wars begin!

This is book #9 in the Cupcake Diaries series.
It is a fun, quick read and I liked it.
This book comes in at 24, 718 words.

Last week I posted about reading CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen.
I finished reading it and although it is a good book, I am having a giveaway.

Be a follower of my blog and comment for a chance to win CHOMP. I will announce the winner next Wednesday.
Post, Tweet or tell about the giveaway on Facebook and earn extra chances to win. Just let me know in your comment if you have did any of the above.

What are you reading?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pile of Books

I received a gift card for Christmas for Books A Million!

Here is my pile of books I came home with.

I am going to get serious and start going through the 2015 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, looking for publishers to send my manuscripts.

My only complaint - there are so many where you can't send in unagented manuscripts. So, I go through and put big X's where these publishers are listed.

I have finished reading CHOMP and I posted about it last Wednesday (before I had finished reading it). After reading, I consider it an upper MG book or maybe lower YA. On the downside, there are a few instances of bad language in the book. Call me old fashioned, but I don't like reading or writing bad language in books. There is also some violence, abuse and drinking (mostly by the father of the female character, Tuna). On the good side, the child characters in the book are likeable and responsible people.

Visit my blog on Wednesday. I'll be giving away CHOMP to one of my commenters.

Well, I've got to get to work searching through my writer's market book. I need to send out my manuscripts!

Happy Writing.