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    Monday, April 21, 2014

    The Writing Process Blog Tour

    The Writing Process Blog Tour

    Margot Finke tagged me in the Writing Processes Blog Tour. In this tour, you answer four questions on the writing process, post them on your blog, and mention who tagged you. Then you tag three other authors who have agreed to do the tour in your post. Unfortunately, with this being a holiday week, I didn't get many responses, but I did hear from my writing pal Donna Shepherd who was excited to participate. Be sure to visit her blog via the link at the end of this post.

    So, here it goes! My answers about my writing process:



    What am I working on?
    I am always working on the content of My Light Magazine. I also have 2 book projects in the works, 2 works in progress and am toying with a chapter book idea. Yes, it may not seem like I’m writing much as I go through my day, but I am.



    Why do I write what I do?
    Interesting question. I write what I do because I can’t avoid it. Does that make sense? When an idea pops in my head it does one of two things.  It disappears faster than the snap of your fingers, or it haunts me. The story idea will linger in my head – especially if I can’t write it down right away. Every once in a while when I think of something else, BING! The idea returns. That is usually the cycle until I can get to my desk or any piece of paper sitting around.



    How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    Each story I write has a specific goal to reach or purpose to it. All of them started out with the thought, “Hmm. There should be a book about this topic.” Angel Donor is a very special book designed to help children in need of an organ transplant.  Teresa’sShadow started out as a bedtime story, but turned into much more when she learns about friendship and fear.

    How does my writing process work?

    Right now I work full time, so I mainly write on the nights and weekends. That is a tough schedule for me because I do better when I write in conjunction with my inspiration.  When I write, I like to capture a “snapshot” of my idea along with the emotions, settings, senses and details that hit me.  I have been known to doodle story notes when away from my desk. In fact, I think I have a napkin in my purse somewhere with another story idea. So, stay tuned!


    Who’s up Next


    Children’s author Donna Shepherd 




    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Grammar Help is Here

    As an author and editor, I enjoy reading. I read everything.  I read Facebook posts, books, magazines, articles, and submissions for My Light Magazine. I will read anything just to read. I have been caught reading notices on the refrigerator (that I've already read a hundred times), cereal boxes, every memo my boss sends out, and notices posted at work (ones that are usually ignored by everyone else). I don't just skim these. I read them. Some people are addicted to T.V.  The addiction for me is reading. 

    As a result of all this reading, I've come to accept that I love the written word. The greatest gift I've ever been given was the ability to read and write. My life would be missing something without these abilities. Because of this, some of my favorite Facebook pages are pages such as Grammarly and Grammarcheck.net  I enjoy reading the writing and grammar tips. 

    There is a downside to all this. As I venture out in the world and read away, I notice many grammar and spelling mistakes. It happens everywhere. I've seen it in professional presentations and many other unexpected places.  I know I am far from perfect. I bet some of my grammar friends could pick out a few mistakes in this post alone. The small and hard to miss mistakes are not what I'm referring to now. I'm talking about blatant "their" for "they're", general subject-verb agreement, and obvious spelling errors. I am often tempted to point out the errors I notice. I don't do it, but I want to. Then, I remember to keep my inner editor in check. 

    What about you? How often do these errors drive you to the brink of insanity? 


    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    The World of Writing Distractions

    I saw an awesome image by Zachary Petit about all the crazy distractions we writers delve into once we actually put that BIC ("butt in chair"). Head on over to view the infographic and see where you fall, after reading and commenting here, of course.

    The graphic is amusing to most of us because it is something we can relate to. This got me to thinking: Why do we procrastinate so much as writers. We LOVE our craft and we love everything about the writing world. So what about it makes us get distracted?

    To start, writing is tough work. We love it, but it is hard - even for those of us who are quite gifted in this area. It can take a while to get your brain working, which probably explains the massive amounts of caffeine we find irresistible.

    Then there's the writer's block. No matter what we do, we've hit a wall. Really, the best thing we can do is to keep writing. Add another word. Take it one word at a time. Often though we tend to allow the distractions to enter:  "I'll just take a small break while I check my e-mail, roam Facebook, tweet how horrible writer's block is..."

    But there may be a glimmer of hope to us procrastinating writers. For some, the distractions aid in the thought process. How many times has a plot twist or story idea hit you while you're doing the dishes or taking a shower? How many times while playing a game with your child have you thought, "You know, if this happened and then that happened, I'd have a great picture book!"  How many times after googling about writing did you find one sentence that inspired you? This blog post alone was inspired by an image someone posted on Facebook. Something stirred in me and I dropped everything to get the post in. (Being a mom too, I had to pause here and there to feed the kids, but it got done. )

    So, maybe there is a method to this madness and that is why we not only are able to laugh at ourselves, but also embrace our distracting habits.

    Now, stop procrastinating and get back to work!

    Happy Writing!

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    A Star in the Night featured on Blog Talk Radio's show Halo Kids

    I'm excited to announce my book A Star in the Night, illustrated by K.C. Snider and published by Guardian Angel Publishing, will be featured on Blog Talk Radio's show Halo Kids. JD Holiday will be there as well to ask a few questions. This is a great opportunity to see if my book is something you might want to purchase.



    What is the book about? On Christmas Eve, David sees this is no ordinary night. Accompanied by a shimmering star David encounters three experiences that will change his view of Christmas forever.


    At Halo Kids Tales, JD Holiday reads 2-3 stories per show and talks briefly with the authors of the books. What a fun way to connect with books and an author. 

    Where:  Halo Kids Tales  Be sure to click the show link.
    When:  Thursday December 19, 2013  1:00 PM

     So tune in, give my book a listen and get the book for this Christmas season.  See you there!   












    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Book Review: Wild About Books

                                          Wild About Books  




    What do you do if you drive your mobile library to a zoo? Why, share the books of course.  That's just what the mobile libarian Molly McGrew does in Wild About Books. In this rhyming picture book, the librarian ends up in a zoo and decides to introduce the animals to the world of reading. The flow of the poetry was music to my ears and it captivated my preschooler's attention the entire time.  Favorite lines of the book mentioned other popular children's classics, which exited my class even more. The illustrations by talented illustrator Marc Brown were engaging, colorful and fun.

    However, as an author I have to say MY favorite part of the book was how naturally the readers turned into authors. What a great lesson and how true to life that is. The book beautifully painted how authors begin as avid readers then grow to have a desire to create their own story.  This is a must read for children, teachers and of course authors. You won't regret it! 

     Where to get it:

                or


    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    The Words of a Teacher

    Tonight was a big night. I took my oldest daughter out to a high school open house. It wasn't just any school. This open house was at the school I went to. As soon as we pulled up, a flood of memories rushed over me.

     As we entered through the auditorium door, I remembered the last day of Junior Year. It was dismissal time and we juniors were anxious to start our summer vacation, when we heard the words "Seniors, you may now leave the auditorium." It took us a minute and then we realized the speaker was talking to us. We broke out in cheers and began our summer vacation.

    As my daughter and I made our way into the cafeteria to wait for our tour, memories of friends, dances, and warm cheese reminded me of high school days.

    However, the highlight of the night was the tour. Our group entered into the English department in Room 107. As soon as I saw the classroom, chills ran down my arms. This was THE room. This is where it happened. It was the first time someone ever called me a writer! In Senior Year, we worked what seemed like an entire semester on an essay. We worked in groups and critiqued each other's work There were rewrites and more rewrites. Finally, we were ready to turn in our papers. A few days later I got my paper back and it said, "Great job, you little writer you!" I've never forgotten those words and I wished she was there tonight to tell her that her words helped give me the courage I needed to become an author.

    The words of a teacher can shape a child. As a teacher and an author I try to remember that. As my daughter and I made our way home tonight, I left the school cherishing the memories and honoring that little encouragement I received so many years ago. Now as my daughter embarks on her high school journey, I hope she finds the same support.


    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Funding an Author Visit

    Summer 2013 is coming to a close at a speed faster than lightning. Pretty soon new classes will form and friendships will be made. As the school year begins and routines take shape, it is important to spark and encourage the children's interest. It may be challenging, as students may still be thinking about the beach. Or their thoughts may turn more toward Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. One way to spark some interest is to host an author visit.  It brings the world of books alive for children and integrates language arts skills.



    As much as an author visit sounds like a fairy tale come true, funding it can be as tricky as a Harry Potter spell. Here are some tips to help you:


    • Check with organizations such as the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) or the American Library Association (ALA) for grants  that may be available. This is most helpful if you are hosting an out of town author where expenses can triple.
    • Hold classroom fundraisers to raise money for the visit: hold a bake sale, art sale, Movie Night, etc. ----Be creative.
    • See if a local business will help sponsor a visit
    • Auction off an autographed copy of one of the author's books -contact me and I can help with any of my books-just ask!

    Need more ideas, check out my fundraising tips!

    To contact me for your next author visit, please visit my Author Website contact me via e-mail.



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