I'm taking a blogging break, but I'll be back in the fall, with a new look for the site and revived blogging energy. I won't be idle over the summer, though. As well as working on my own writing, I will be revamping all my websites with a new look. I'm ...


Taking a Break — Website Updates Coming Up!

I’m taking a blogging break, but I’ll be back in the fall, with a new look for the site and revived blogging energy.

I won’t be idle over the summer, though. As well as working on my own writing, I will be revamping all my websites with a new look. I’m looking forward to the new look.

Please note, my freelance editing service, FLUBS2FIXES will remain open for copy editing and proofreading throughout the summer. If you have a need for copy editing or proofreading, either before starting the querying process, before finalizing a manuscript for submission, or before self-publishing, I’m here. Check out my services, procedures and rates. I’m here for you.

Otherwise, see you in the fall!


Where to find webinars — a boon for writers

In the first half of this year (how can we be halfway through the year already?) I benefited from several webinars about different aspects of writing. A few were free, a few had a fee, but all were worthwhile.

Among them were an Agents Day hosted by SCBWI Wisconsin, a webinar about writing first pages in middle grade and YA novels hosted by SCBWI-SouthWest Texas, one on writing the middle of novels entitled (Un)Stuck in the Middle presented by Lorin Oberweger and hosted by SCBWI Nebraska, a couple of webinars about revision from the Children’s Book Insider, and a couple from KidLit Nation. It was a rich time of learning.

How did I find out about such fabulous webinars, you ask? Here’s the scoop:

SCBWI-Nevada does all SCBWI members (and others) a huge favor by keeping track of SCBWI webinars that are happening all over the United States. You can access the list at their site, Nevada SCBWI (you’ll see webinar in the sidebar if you’re on their homepage). Their listing of webinars is kept current and there are always gems to be found. Usually there’s a charge for non-members, as well as a lower charge for SCBWI members. For someone like me, who lives out of easy traveling range to my SCBWI chapter, this gives me an opportunity to make use of my membership in a tangible way. And my writing has definitely benefited!

Children’s Book Insider is a fantastic resource for anyone who writes children’s books, from board books on up through YA. There’s a membership fee involved, but the tons of resources, monthly ‘magazine’, and frequent learning opportunities make the fee worthwhile. Some of the webinars I’ve participated in have been free, others have had a fee, but all have been excellent.

KidLit Nation is a fabulous source of webinars and of great discussion on Own Voices writing, and on ensuring that diverse books are available to all, and that our writing is sensitive to the needs of all. In their own words: Our mission is to help educate and provide opportunities for diverse children’s writers and illustrators of color and connect them to resources and opportunities from around the publishing industry.

Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Foster Hedlund offer great webinars from time to time, as well as the fantastic one-day online conference, Picture Book Summit, coming up this year on Saturday, October 6. For the Summit, they are joined by Laura Backes and Jon Bard of Children’s Book Insider and Katie Davis of the Institute for Children’s Literature. Watch for the Mini-Summit coming up at some point before the full one!

There are many other sources of great webinars. This should get you started.

(and, in passing, I hope you’ll be able to read this post — at the moment, the message on the bottom of my screen says “not saved, editor out of focus.” LOL)



Picture Book Summit is coming!

Well, not until Fall, but early-bird registration begins on June 14th!

What is Picture Book Summit? It’s a fantastic day-long conference for picture book writers, that happens entirely online, so there are no travel or accommodation costs, and you can attend in your jammies if you want. It is hosted by author, editor and educator Emma Walton Hamilton, author and founder of the 12×12 picture book challenge Julie Foster Hedlund, author and CEO/School Director of the Institute for Writers Katie Davis, and editor and co-founder of Children’s Book Insider and Writer’s Blueprint Laura Backes Bard.

They will be presenting stellar workshops, and will be joined by other outstanding workshop leaders as well as agents and editors (some of whom are offering submission opportunities to conference participants) PLUS (as if all that wasn’t enough) keynote speakers who are some of the top picture book creators around.

There is a cost to attend this online conference, but keep in mind that the only cost is for the conference itself, unlike in-person conferences for which there is usually accommodation, meals, and travel as well.

To find out more about the conference, to sign up for emails that will keep you informed about upcoming conference-related events, and to be ready for early-bird registration, go to the Picture Book Summit link.



The Best Man by Richard Peck (MG)

I need to change this category to Recent Reads, because when I am into a book like this, I don’t want to stop to write a blog post, even a brief one!

You may know that author extraordinaire, Richard Peck, died recently — on May 23rd. There is a hole in the kidlit universe since his death. I am grateful we have his books with us to continue his legacy into the future. In tribute to him, I recently read THE BEST MAN (in one evening, because once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.)

Quoting from the publisher’s website, “In pages that ripple with laughter, there’s a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be. … … … Newbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos.”

Yes, this wonderful book is insightful, and filled to the brim with laughter and tears and learning and growing up. I highly recommend it.

To learn more about Richard Peck, you can read this tribute from the School Library Journal, read the New York Times obituary, read the New York Times review of THE BEST MAN, and best of all, see and hear him (all too briefly) in this little video about reading and writing.

THE BEST MAN. I highly recommend it. (That link is to the book trailer, uploaded by the Texas Bluebonnet Award.)


Celebrating Tony Walton again!

I read an all-too-brief article on Broadway World, with an equally brief — but delightful — video, and I wanted to share them with you (in an equally brief blog post!)

Those of you who’ve been following my blog for some time may recall my previous posts about illustrator, costume designer, set designer, director Tony Walton. I featured Tony as a “Wednesday Worthy” back in 2012, and in October 2013, I celebrated Tony and his career after reading a marvelous book called THE DESIGNS OF TONY WALTON by Delbert Unruh.

For the last few years, Tony has focused on directing, and he’s currently directly a production of MY FAIR LADY in Oklahoma. You can see and hear him, as well as reading about him, at this link to Broadway World‘s article and video.