Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Adoption Journey/Book Auction

I received this email recently and wanted to share with all of you in case you are interested in donating a book.  I've gotten Amanda's approval to share their letter, and it is their hope that any donated books will also help promote the authors who are willing to donate as well.  She searched Facebook for Children's authors and found my name and website and perhaps some of you have heard from Amanda as well.  If not, this is the email I received.
We are writing with possibly an unusual request. We are in the process of adopting internationally from Eastern Europe, our third special needs adoption in three years. This adoption is for an older sibling group who has waited a long time for a family.
Adoptions are very expensive so we have had to do many fundraisers to raise the funds needed to bring our children home. We are doing an all-book auction in August and were looking to include some signed copies by the author/artist of popular children’s books for more interest. Any unsold books will be donated to the orphanage when we pick up our children.
Our question is: would you be willing to donate a signed copy of one of your children's books? We are trying to raise the funds needed for our agency expenses and we believe this will help us get much closer to our goal. We would be so grateful and you would be making a huge difference in the lives of two children!
Thank you so much for considering this. You can read more about our adoption journey here and see the son we brought home in 2013 and the daughter we brought home in January 2015:
Traver & Amanda Sutton Family
I have been in contact with Amanda Sutton and have spent some time on their website.  I will be donating a signed copy of Bedtime Kisses for their auction in hopes of helping in some small way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Well, submit I did and now I wait!  While it is hard to know the next part of the process is out of one's hands, there is also a comfort in knowing I've worked hard, created what I hope is a publishable manuscript and am now in the position to move on to the next WIP (until such time as edits are needed, that is).  Which brings me to my question...

To pull out, dust off and tackle something I've already started or start from scratch on something new?  I've had many flashes of scenes, characters and ideas recently that are beginning to form a possible (probable) new manuscript but am not sure the idea is yet fully formed and ready to tackle.  How do you handle those flashes of inspiration and nuggets of idea?  Do you wait until you have a fully formed idea from which to work or do you flesh out ideas as they come and see where it may lead?  I would love to hear what works for you in terms of that exciting new seedling which (hopefully) grows into a new life and story of its own.

At this point, my ideas are like these flashes of color every once in a while, puzzle pieces straggling in that I hope will come together in the mosaic I foresee but am not yet sure if I am "seeing" one manuscript or many.  I've, thus far, only completed picture books and not chapter books so think I need to start with an outline as these ideas and visions come to see where I am with what I have thus far.  Perhaps that will clarify the direction in which I am moving.  I am excited for the challenge ahead and welcome any advice from those of you who are veteran authors in the chapter book and young adult genres.

Monday, April 27, 2015


The sun is shining, Spring has sprung and Prom is done...whew!  I've been busy on the home front as well as working on final edits of my current WIP which is, hopefully, going to be submitted this week.  This is just a quick check in to say I am continuing my plan to write first.  Having said that, I did just tidy my kitchen and run my dishwasher but haven't yet worked out or showered and I REALLY do function better in a tidy atmosphere!

I hope writing and life are going well for all of you.  I thank you for checking in on me and hope to be able to announce an acceptance for MORNING HUGS in the near future.

Until next week...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Beautiful Libraries

I don't know if you receive the Worldwide Freelance Writer newsletter, but Gary McLaren shared pictures of the most beautiful libraries around the world in the most recent.  There are some very cool libraries in this world! 

I loved going to the library when I was a child and still love all libraries and bookstores.  If you do as well, check out Mr. McLaren's pictures on his blog at http://www.garymclaren.com/20-beautiful-libraries-of-the-world/.  You won't be disappointed!  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Crystal Kite Awards

The first round of voting for the Crystal Kite Awards is now open and runs through April 14 at 5:00 PM, Pacific time.  Top vote getters will be placed on a short list for a second round of voting which will begin on April 18th.  If you are a member of SCBWI and are so inclined, consider logging in and voting.  South Dakota is in the West Division. 

"The annual Crystal Kite Award is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world." 

You can log in here...https://www.scbwi.org/login/

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pressing On...

Well, I'm 11 days in on my 21 day bad habit breaking trek.  I can't say I am making significant changes as of yet, but I am working in that direction.  In that light, this is just a quick post telling you I am marching on, one day at a time. 

I found a poster on Pinterest, and I am not sure to whom to give credit for the words, but it contains great advice to which I have been referring often as of late.  I leave you with it today as I get back to work...


Have a wonderful weekend and happy writing!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Breaking Bad Habits

It's been said it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.  Yikes!  That is a long time.  This time frame kept playing through my head this morning as I re-read a chapter in Page after Page by Heather Sellers.  The chapter discussed the old "butt in chair" theory and how one needs to sit quietly, butt in chair, and write without distraction.  Not do the laundry, answer email or the phone, wash dishes, etc., or any other of the multitude of time sucking tasks on one's long list of things to do. 

Now, I, for one, and am all for the butt in chair phenomenon; however, I also don't function well with chaos around me--to include dirty dishes, laundry, dust bunnies or any other issues staring me in the face.  Thus, I deal with those things first but then, voila, the day is gone--poof!  How?  Where do those minutes and hours go? 

I'm now determined to break my bad (one could argue good given it is cleaning) habit of organizing my environment to death before writing.  I'm going to give it the old college try anyway.  So, today is day one (of the LONG 21 day stretch supposedly necessary), and I will report in along the way.  As the old saying goes...where there's a will, there's a way.

Happy writing to all of you as well!