Blog Posts

The Writing Goes On………

In the long hiatus from this blog, I have been working on several story ideas. The main goal has been to complete the second in the series of three books about Sappy, the little red oak sapling as he experiences the changing seasons in Minnesota. Or Wisconsin, Michigan and anywhere else the red oaks grow.

I can’t lie. It was tougher to write the second book. As I wrote the first story, “Dewdrops to Raindrops, A Drip’s Trip to Make Sappy Happy”, the words literally flew from my fingertips like lightning from a cloud. I had formed the outline of the story in my brain for so long that it was a snap to put into words. This story, from the beginning of autumn to early winter, took longer to write. And more effort.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

What I had to do with this manuscript was schedule time to write. If you aren’t currently purposefully setting aside writing time, I encourage you to do so. In my case, I had to plan meals ahead of time, let the laundry wait another day and the dust bunnies grow a bit larger. In other words, I had to give myself permission to let some things go so I could focus on letting the second story grow. Oooh, I kinda like that! Let some things go so other things can grow. You heard it here first, folks!

As always, just write the first sentence. However, if the subsequent sentences are slow in forming, you know what to do. Take the time, make the time to write. No multitasking. Just focus on writing. Or illustrating. Or editing. Or promoting. Or working on your blog.

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

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.

Photo by George Becker on

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