Thursday, January 29, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday


I'm reading Kate DiCamillo's, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride

This is a cute book! But, I must admit, when I first started reading it, I was a little skeptical.  There is a lot of repetition and a lot of dialog tags in the book. I started out thinking, are you serious? But, it soon won me over and I didn't want to put it down.

I would classify this as an early chapter book. Amazon lists the age range at 6-9 years. It is 80 pages, 14 chapters, illustrations on almost every page spread and published by Candlewick. Accelerated Reading level is 2.7 and it is worth .5 points

Click here to go to a Mercy Watson site I stumbled upon. It is a fun site with games, info about the creators, a teacher/parent section, etc. Play the matching games and you will get to watch a short video made by the illustrator in his studio. I know this because I played the games :o)

There are six books in this series about a fun loving pig who loves hot buttered toast.

Now, it is your turn.
What are you reading.
Tell us in your comment.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Accomplishments and Resolutions

Another year has come and gone.

I stopped making resolutions, because I usually don't keep them and then I am disappointed - again.

I keep writing, even though there have been times I have considered quitting.

My goal is to keep going forward. Learning and growing.

I did self-publish a book last year. It is far from being a best seller, but I feel it is a good book, and I am proud of it. It would have been a tough sell to a regular publisher, being the type of book it was, so I self published it.

It is a good book for kids. You can go here, to my author page, and read these wonderful testimonials. It is a great book for kids to get out when they are home from school because of snow days. They can read the stories, articles or poems, or do the activities. The articles are very informative and fun! Feel free to click on the link in my sidebar and go to Amazon and check it out.

I also placed three times (2nd place, 1st HM and 3rd HM) in the children's category of the 2014 WVWriter's Spring Writing Competition.

And, I continue to write a children's column in the regional magazine, Two Lane Livin.'

I know these are little accomplishments compared to getting published by a regular publisher, but these are the accomplishments that keep me going - and that I am proud of.

My goals are to eventually find a home for one or more of my babies. That's what I call my manuscripts. I gave birth to them and have watched them grow. Hopefully, I will some day watch them go out into the world.

What are your accomplishments and goals?
What keeps you going?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Hi all.

Sometimes I seem to disappear from my blog. I don't mean to, but I get so involved in my writing that I forget I have a blog.

I have been revising this month - mainly my picture books.

Amazing Miss Gracie, my manuscript about a pretty scarecrow, has gone through a huge facelift! 

This was my first picture book manuscript. It has went through numerous title changes and edits. I love this manuscript, so I kept overlooking its big problem.

Well - no more! I won a critique from a professional picture book writer. She loved the story, but her comments about the ending made me finally realize what I knew all along, but didn't want to admit. I needed to take the plunge and make some major changes.

I took the 'new version' to my writing group yesterday and they liked the changes. Now, it goes back to the lady who critiqued it. Keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn't think I made it worse.
But, I think it is better now - the main character solves the problem. Oh, I also changed her name back to her original name she had in the very first draft - Maizie.

Now - I've found another one of my forgotten picture book manuscripts that needs work.  Currently, I am changing the POV of the story to see if that makes it better.

Is writing easy? No!
Is writing fun? Yes!
Especially when you see your story grow and develop.

You can spend hours picking out just the right word. Do crows huddle, rest or roost?
You can spend hours thinking of the perfect title or name.
You can spend hours deciding on the best POV.

But, most of all you need to pick the best story.- the story everyone is waiting to read!


A few weeks ago Inspiration for Writers had a holiday short story contest. I won! Go here to see my story and leave a comment if you like.