Blog Posts

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

The 15 Letter “P” Word

We are experiencing savagely hot weather in MN for this time of year. It does not help the motivational level for any activity, not even writing! However, I have now acknowledged this “weather-issue” and plan to write at least one sentence in the second in the series of books about Sappy! I challenge you other procrastinators, weather-related or sloth-related, to do just one thing even though you don’t feel like! I am pretty certain we’ll all feel a bit better about our day:) So, if you are writing your memoir, poetry, a novel or in your journal, 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

First Time Author’s Mistake or Is It?

So, I requested and received feedback on my first children’s book, “Dewdrops to Raindrops, A Drip’s Trip to Make Sappy Happy” from the owner of an indie bookstore in the arrowhead region of MN. “A sweet story overall” it began. So far, so good I thought. The review then went on to say I ignored the suggested word count for a children’s picture book. Wait! What?! Oh crap! “The words and pictures should be balanced.” Well, I have to admit, I can improve on that one.

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Okay, so honest feedback from an expert in all things books. Now, what to do for the next story in the series? Reduce the word count to 500-700? That is not an easy task for this girl. Obviously, I need more experience in this area! Keep the word count similar and say “It’s my way or the highway?” It is my book, after all. Scrap the first book as a picture book and make it into a chapter book for young readers? Hmmmmm, not sure I am ready to reduce the number of illustrations as the next books’ lessons will be greatly enhanced by the illustrations. I’m pretty visual so that makes sense to me.

I am feeling stressed when working on the next story now. How can I say this in less words? Can I keep the conversation that lays out the science lesson to fewer words and questions from the main character to the older, wiser characters he is asking? Writing is a creative, fun outlet for me and many other people. Do I stay inside the “picture book box” or write outside of it? Since I’m self-publishing these books, for now, do I still have to color inside the picture book lines? More to think about and mull over. I’m a good muller over-er so no doubts that I’ll come up with the answers to my questions. Until next time, this adventure never would’ve begun if I neglected to write the first sentence!

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

Be Aware of Who May Read Your Book

I loved the book. The illustrations are so beautiful! Jeanne Braun, Retired First Grade Teacher

This review came from yet another expert in education. She was able to give me insight as to what is occurring in other states’ classrooms with first graders of diverse cultures. Valuable? Without a doubt, YES! Jeanne’s expertise and input helped shape the manuscript and pull it all together. Be well.

Get outside. Enjoy nature. Find peace in nature. Notice how being in nature makes you feel. Draw it, write it, sing about it, let your imagination run wild!

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