Blog Posts

BIG DAY TOMORROW!

Color me excited! Tomorrow is the BIG DAY for “Dewdrops to Raindrops” and this girl:) North Dakota bound I am to Ferguson’s Books and More, Grand Forks, ND, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. for my first ever, and previously only in my wildest dreams….well, maybe not THE wildest dreams but wild nonetheless book signing!!And following that, from 4-6 p.m., I’ll be at Ferguson’s Books and More in West Fargo, ND, signing more copies! I am so happy with my first venture into being a children’s book author. Come to one of these venues to enter into the life of a little red oak sapling who is very thirsty. Through the pages, this little tree learns about the water cycle, friendship, social skills and being patient and get your book copy (ies) signed by yours truly. Great Halloween, birthday, Christmas or just because I want to gift idea! Hope to see you there!

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Seeing, Smelling, Touching, Hearing is Believing

There are so many changes happening to the environment wherever you live. It could be a drought, like we have here in Minnesota. Or it may be unseasonably wet. Wildfire smoke in the air may be turning your bright, yellow sunshine to dim and orange.

The usual silence you experience may be pierced by cicadas buzzing or a cicada-like buzz from an airtanker carrying water or fire retardant to dump on one of those hard-to-put-out wildfires. You may be seeing a broader beach upon which your children can build sandcastles or a once-flowing creek now a nearly dry bed of grass. Yes, I guess one can watch this on the news and social media or hear about it on the radio but there is nothing, I repeat, nothing that can bring the true scope of the status of your natural environment than getting out and seeing it, feeling it, hearing it, smelling it, touching it. Nothing. It may be sad. How true for yours truly. I’d like to think it is another opportunity for education and problem-solving. We get very comfortable with the status quo in most areas of life. I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and start being the change to your world. 

Check out my children’s book, “Dewdrops to Raindrops, A Drip’s Trip to Make Sappy Happy” to educate your children about the water cycle and what it takes for it to rain. Then, discuss it and come up with some ways to conserve our water, the most precious, life-sustaining resource we have.

Whether it is in the mountains, an ocean, river, forest or your own backyard.

Cause for Celebration!

Last night, I was catching up on Instagram. And what to my tired eyes did appear? A photo of five books on @fergusonbooks with “Dewdrops to Raindrops” front and center right next to Stephen King:) They have copies at their three stores in North Dakota, Grand Forks, West Fargo and Bismarck. Color me EXCITED!

Let me tell you what this one photo has done in my life as an author. Fired me up, that’s what. Made me feel like a “real” children’s book author. Gave me new energy to keep working on editing the second book and working on the story board and outline for the third in the series of Sappy, the red oak sapling. My fingertips are itching to tap the laptop keys. Zap, zap, zapping like the sparks from Merlin’s fingertips. (That’s fast:)

What else has this photo done for my author journey? It has given me confidence. Such a huge word that I have struggled with so many times during my earthly life, thus far. I can do this for the long haul. Small steps at a time, negotiating the slick muddy downslopes, rocky pathways, tripping over tree roots, forks in the trail, rain-dampened spirits, mosquito infested forests, and sand fly ridden beaches all the while calling out “Hey, Bear!” Small steps, one at a time. Forging my own path rather than staying inside the typical picture book box.

Check out Ferguson Books and More. You can order a copy from them or one from right here on this website.

#childrensbook #childrensbookauthor #readmeastory #learningsocialskillsage4to8 #journaling #writingastory #teachersaid #gradeKto2curriculum #watercycle #oaktree #sapling #raindrops #dewtorain #findthecritter #writingforeducationandfun #imagination #writingtypes #writingstyles #writinggenres #writingforspecificages #naturestory #momlife #teacherlife

To Venn or Not To Venn….

Here is a simple method of deciding on the subject matter of your book. Write down what you enjoy, want to learn about yourself, what you already know and what you are good at in the darker crescent. In the lighter crescent, list the things you want your readers to learn when they read your story. In my first book, I chose to teach children ages 4-8 about the water cycle, being a good friend and how important it is to be patient! Those are items I would list in the golden spot.
This can be really helpful to keep you focused and on the right track as you write your story, paint your picture, plan a curriculum lesson or complete a journal entry. If your brain runs like mine, I can go off on way too many tangents and need a visual to bring me back to golden spot.
So, create your own Venn Diagram and write the first sentence!

Never Say Never or I Wish I Would’ve…..

As a follow up to my post on procrastinating yesterday, keep this in mind. “Life is too short to limit yourself.” I encourage you to not allow past failures keep you from doing something new. I encourage you to not let fear keep you from trying something new. I encourage not to allow excuses, your comfort zone, lack of formal education or your non-supportive friends or family members to quell the desire to write your book, try a new sport, paint your house the color YOU want to paint it, experience an activity outside of your usual box or norm. You can always say “I wish I would’ve” or you can say “I’m so glad I did it.” Your choice. I chose to write the book and I’m so glad I did! Go ahead, take the leap, write the first sentence!

#childrensbook #childrensbookauthor #readmeastory #learningsocialskillsage4to8 #journaling #writingastory #teachersaid #gradeKto2curriculum #watercycle #oaktree #sapling #raindrops #dewtorain #findthecritter #writingforeducationandfun #imagination #writingtypes #writingstyles #writinggenres #wrtiethefirstsentence #writingforspecificages #naturestory

Editing Your Manuscript

Congratulations! Your manuscript draft is complete. Wow. That feels so good. You’ve expressed yourself, the story that has been bubbling inside you has been released into words and you’re done. Right?!  Welllll, maybe yes, maybe no. I have a few more suggestions for you to think about if you haven’t already done so.

Editing.  Unless you are an English major or very well-versed in all things editing, you really should consider finding a professional editor. The polish an editor gives your manuscript will take it from being a stick drawing to a Rembrandt. Punctuation has several fine points and differs between the United States, England and even Canada.

Personally, I am fortunate to know a retired high school English teacher who was willing to read through my children’s book manuscript and edit it for me. A personal friend, relative, colleague, or a call to your local school could be of immense help in this area.

What’s the big deal, you ask? Professionalism. Producing a book that is worthy of a consumer buying. If your only goal is to record your memoir for your family you probably don’t need this step. Anything beyond that, you will be very glad you did!

As always, you don’t need to take blank pages to an editor! Write the first sentence!

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Write! There is No Wrong.

Writing types differ from person to person. Writing styles differ from person to person. Writing genres differ from person to person.  You get where I’m going with this, don’t you? There is no wrong way to write however there is a right way to find your writing fit. Basically, what do you enjoy reading yourself? Fiction or non-fiction? Biographies or autobiographies? Documentaries or documents? Opinion pages? Celebrity paparazzi and its narratives?

Below are listed four main types of writing types according to www.grammarly.com:

Expository

Descriptive

Persuasive

Narrative

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Today’s blog will focus on the expository writing type. This type of writing endeavors to explain to and inform the reader. Think textbook, essay, technical manual, instruction manual, and recipes as long as it does not include the author’s opinion on the topic at hand, or should I say, on the page. The text contains the nuts and bolts of the topic in a logical and progressive format. Personally, I really enjoyed this type of writing when I was in school and college as I could research, learn about and write about a topic of interest. Straightforward and factual. If this type of writing speaks to you, GREAT! There is a definite need for writers with this gift as for some, it is difficult not to insert one’s opinion no matter how subtle it may be. The main thing is to write the first sentence!

#childrensbook #childrensbookauthor #readmeastory #learningsocialskillsage6to8 #journaling #writingastory #teachersaids #gradeKto2curriculum #watercycle #oaktree #sapling #raindrops #dewtorain #findthecritter #writingforeducationandfun #imagination #writingtypes #writingstyles #writinggenres

Inspiring wildflowers on a hike

My Inspiration to Write-A Month Long Series of How to Get Inspired!

Do you journal or keep a diary? Are you the family historian or genealogist?  Good for you! You are already a writer, an author, or poet, or even a playwright of your life story. Take one of the entries and see what inspired you to write that day? Most likely, it was an experience, conversation, or emotion you had experienced recently. A common question I’ve been asked is “Where do you draw inspiration from?”  In this and the remaining posts this month, I will list what starts my creative juices flowing. Hopefully, there will be a source that resonates with you!

The definition of “inspire”, from Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, is “to bring about, occasion, e.g. the book was inspired by his travels to the Far East” and “to draw forth or bring out, e.g. thoughts inspired by a visit to the cathedral”.   Creative expression can be inspired in so many ways. I encourage you to think about the senses and be inspired!  Each sense will be broken down into more specific suggestions in the next few weeks.

Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, Smell, Pain

Sources of Writing Inspiration, The Beginning

Seek out something familiar, a topic or event you know, a conversation you’ve had. As you look for inspiration to start your adventure, and I do mean adventure, into writing, don’t make it any more difficult than you have to. Unless you want to.  There is that, I guess. The tougher you make the writing process, the more likely, at least for myself, to become overwhelmed leading to slowing or stopping the drive and ambition you were feeling when you started the project.  That’s when it is easy to say, “I’ll work on it later.” I have several of those projects. Do you??  If you are one of the fortunate people that work better under this kind of stress, go for it! Either way, pen the first line. I promise the next lines will come. And, have fun!  The sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when your project, no matter if it is a Haiku or a novel, feels amazing😊

# writing #journaling #inspire # inspiration #books #childrensbook #writethefirstsentence

Your Adventure Awaits

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

Yes, indeed! Adventure is out there waiting! The perfect time is now! It is yours for the experiencing! What? Not ready? Let’s face facts. You will probably never have enough. Enough time. Enough money.Enough time. Enough support. Enough time. Enough creativity. Enough time. If these are excuses for not trying out a new adventure, I say HOGWASH! If you want it, do it. No excuses. No fear. (Well, maybe a little fear.) Take 5 minutes from social media scrolling and write the first sentence!
Check out my first children’s book writing adventure right here on my blog. Order your copy today.

#childrensbook #childrensbookauthor #readmeastory #learningsocialskillsage4to8 #journaling #writingastory #teachersaid #gradeKto2curriculum #watercycle #oaktree #sapling #raindrops #dewtorain #findthecritter #writingforeducationandfun #imagination #writingtypes #writingstyles #writinggenres #writingforspecificages #naturestory #momlife #teacherlife #kidlit

Inspiration in the Dry Times

Inspiration. Whether you are a writer, journal-keeper, author, artist, creator, teacher or other educator, poet, photographer, social media marketer or any other vocation or avocation, dry times invade everyone’s creativity. With that comes writer’s block in my case. Where do I find inspiration? Outside using my senses.

Being outdoors with the fresh air, natural colors, sounds of songbirds, bees and neighbor life, feel of the leaves, grasses and flowers, and following the movement of the wind on the water restore my soul, my thoughts, my brain, my creativity and my drive to keep pushing through the dry times.

What inspires you? Share it with the rest of the viewers. It may be just the ticket to get those creative juices flowing. If not, it’s just the greatest to be outside in nature, anyway😊

#childrensbook #childrensbookauthor #readmeastory #learningsocialskillsage4to8 #journaling #writingastory #teachersaid #gradeKto2curriculum #watercycle #oaktree #sapling #raindrops #dewtorain #findthecritter #writingforeducationandfun #imagination #writingtypes #writingstyles #writinggenres #writingforspecificages #naturestory #momlife #teacherlife

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