Writing

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Last month, I had the privilege of giving writing workshops at Westpark Elementary School. I always enjoy giving workshops, but this was a particularly thrilling experience.

Why, you may ask? Because….wait for it….

I WENT TO WESTPARK SCHOOL!

That’s right, many years ago, a Goomie-bracelet-wearing (remember those??) fresh faced little Lydia spent 7 years of her life there. It was and is such a huge part of my life. So I was so excited to return and relive that part of my childhood. Here I am below in a class photo, with my “Cindy Lauper hair” and all. (And yes, I may have been obsessed with her.)

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Hard Work DOES Pay Off!

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On a theoretical level, we know that hard work pays off. But sometimes, in our eager rush to succeed, we forget one thing:

PATIENCE!

The truth is that things may not line up the way we want, when we want. (If only life were that easy!) All we can do is a have a dream, work hard at it, continue to persevere and believe, and then release it to the Universe. I guarantee you that the dream will eventually manifest, but it may not be on your preferred time table.

As writers, we have certain frustrations. A few months ago, I found myself working extremely hard one particular day. I slugged out promotional email after promotional email. I painstakingly edited two of my books. I agonized over the right wording for my monthly Newsletter. I researched agents and publishers until two o’clock in the morning. When I finally closed my bleary eyes, this thought jumped into my head:

Yeah, I worked hard today. Really hard. But what do I have to show for it? Read the rest of this entry »

How to get Your Child to Eat More Veggies!

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I can’t be the only parent who finds it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to feed my child vegetables!! Things were easy enough when she was a baby and she gobbled down spoonfuls of carrots and beets without a clue as to what they were.

But then, she turned 2.

And along with the proverbial Terrible Twos came the “NO! I don’t wanna eat vegetables!” This was her face anytime I gingerly placed a piece of broccoli or a few shreds of red pepper in front of her:

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And on and on it went.

I was going baFinal Front covernanas. I obsessed over dramatic questions. How my child would grow without any vegetables? How would she be healthy? Would she be like this forever?

Out of my frustration, I decided to write a picture book that entices little ones to eat their veggies. That’s when the illustrious Mr. Broccoli Bob was conceived and soon enough Melvin and the Madcap Musical came to life. Mr. Broccoli Bob is the distinguished host of an all-vegetable cabaret. This was my attempt to make veggies more fun, and show the virtues of eating veggies in an amusing way children can relate to.

I wrote the book last year. And guess what? Since I read it to my daughter, she actually (GASP) started to eat broccoli! So I did my Happy Dance:

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Another trick I learned is that presentation is KEY. For instance, my daughter would never go near tomatoes or red peppers. But one day, I turned them into a happy face on a rice cracker with hummus and much to my amazement, she gobbled it up. Victory!

If your little one is a picky eater and doesn’t “love” vegetables, here are some fun and easy snacks to entice them! The bonus is that they take under 5 minutes to prepare. I got them off the internet and included the links with credits. Hope these recipes are useful! As for my daughter and I, it’s a work in progress. We have a select few vegetables that have been “approved,” and I’m hoping that the more my daughter sees me eating vegetables, the more she’ll be inspired to eat a wider variety herself!

Veggie Smack ideas

snailbutterFruit & Veggie Snails

Courtesy of Hello, Wonderful.

For details, click HERE.

 

Butterfly Veggies

Courtesy of B-Inspired Mama.

For details, click HERE.

 

 

flowers2Funny Veggie flowerFlowers

Courtesy of Gourmandelle.

For details, click HERE.

 

More Veggie Flowers

Courtesy of Noosh Loves Blog.

For details, click HERE.

 

 Another great idea is to make a smoothie with various veggies and then make Popsicles. Click HERE for some great recipes.

Children Rock!

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I love working with children. I love hearing their wacky ideas and I love peeking inside their incredibly imaginative minds. I love hearing about what they like and what they don’t like, and I especially love discovering what draws them in.

Good thing I’m a children’s writer!

But -writing can be an isolating experience. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy give writing workshops in elementary schools. I get to interact with the students while teaching them about the wonderful craft of writing. I absolutely love it! Read the rest of this entry »

The Editing Merry-go-Round

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Ahh….editing. For many writers, editing is a big challenge, one that is often accompanied by profuse sweating and anxiety. I, like many other writers, find it much easier to write than to edit. However, if you’re serious about your work and you don’t have an unlimited budget for a professional editor for each manuscript, you’ll need to pick up some trusted revising skills.
Here are some tricks that have helped me:

1. Walk away!
Believe me, I’ve been stumped in my writing many a time. I have literally bumped my head against the computer screen because I couldn’t find the right word or the best ending. But it’s remarkable what can happen when you simply walk away and allow the manuscript to breathe for a while. When you come back to it, I guarantee you’ll see your manuscript through fresh eyes, and you’ll pick up on things you didn’t see before. Suddenly, you have new inspiration.

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2. Read it out loud!
This one seems obvious, but I admit I never used to do this. I would just read my book in my head, without ever listening to how the words rolled off the page. But that’s not giving it a fair trial. You won’t know how your manuscript sounds to others until you read the manuscript out loud yourself. You’ll have a clearer view of what works and what doesn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Contest to Win a Free Personalized Story!

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Hello world! I’m hosting a contest for parents (or grand-parents, aunts, uncles, friends…). The winner will receive a free personalized story about their child, which I will write myself. Along with some pictures of your child, I will create a mini book in PDF format so you can have it printed. This would make a great gift, just in time for the holidays!

The contest starts today and ends December 16. You can enter as many times as you like, all you have to do is visit my Facebook page, Twitter account or blog. It’s easy!

Enter the contest HERE.

Please spread the word. The winner will be announced once the contest closes.

Good luck!

Top 10 Tips on How to Get Published!

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Many emerging writers often ask me what the trick to getting published is. But the trick is that there is no “trick.” It goes without saying that writing professionally is a labour of love and takes incredible amounts of dedication, patience and perseverance. Here are my top 10 tips that can help:

1. Write, write, write!
The trick to writing well is to KEEP WRITING! You need to spend time writing every single day. You may put in more hours on some days than on others, but the idea is to keep going. The gems emerge here and there, so the more pages you write, the more gems you’ll find.

2. Edit, edit, edit!
So you managed to get the first draft out, great. Now what? Time to edit! Editing is actually very difficult. You need to be able to look at your work objectively and ruthlessly chop what’s not working. I heard a great quote at a writing conference I attended: that you usually end up scrapping the first few chapters of your book entirely! Those pages are really just for you to situate yourself with your story. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to my Blog!

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Illustration by Kim Fleming.

Aloha and welcome! Here you will find my musings on various topics such as:

  • children’s literature
  • what it’s like to be an author
  • inspirational quotes and thoughts
  • my latest projects
  • the publishing industry
  • educational resources for parents and teachers
  • parenting tips
  • arts and crafts for kiddies  and much, much more!

Stay tuned everybody! Subscribe to the LL newsletter HERE.

The Rules of Rejection

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Nobody likes rejection. But if you pick a career as a writer, rejection comes with the territory. It will inevitably pop up in your life, whether you like it or not.

The first time I got rejected from a big publishing house, I was expecting it. I was prepared and had my shield up, ready for the attack. In an odd kind of way, getting my first rejection letter made me feel happy. I thought to myself, well, now I’m in the game and starting to “deal” with the big fish! The fifth time I got rejected I was still going strong. But by the time my new manuscript got rejected fifteen times, the novelty had worn off. I had written this book in 2013 but because publishing houses take a notoriously long time to answer, it’s been making its rounds for almost two years now. I started to wonder how long this would take.

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