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 »
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.
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 »
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.
I’m talking about FORGIVENESS. I read something very powerful years ago and it has remained forever etched in my mind:
When you don’t forgive, you give your power away.
The thing is, forgiveness is about you, not them. If someone has done you wrong (and believe me, it will happen), you have the right to be angry for a period of time. I get it, I’ve been there. But eventually, you have to let it go or it becomes toxic. It’s no longer about what this person did to you in the past. In fact, it has nothing to do with them anymore. Read the rest of this entry »
Kids grow up fast. At first they’re cooing in diapers and the next thing you know, they’re telling you they’re “pre-tween” and too cool for certain things. When they’re young, they’re filled with wonder and innocence. They buy into the magic without question. But somewhere along the line, they stop believing. They may even block their own imagination and creativity as they grow up.
Here are some easy ways to cultivate and keep magic alive with your children: Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
In my 40 years, this is what I have learned:
ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS!
Life is beautiful. But life, just like emotion and experience, is transient. Fleeting. Here one moment and gone the next. One minute you reach triumphant heights and the next you’re drowning. One minute you’re feeling the deepest joy and then suddenly tragedy strikes. This is the duality of life. Read the rest of this entry »