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Tag: Children’s Books

Can’t I Just Write?

This past weekend my daughter, granddaughter and I made what has become an annual fall visit to Weber Cider Mill Farm to buy pumpkins and to enjoy some of the activities. Amelia and I did the maze together. Looking at it now, the picture feels like a metaphor for life as a writer!  I wish I

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Going Batty: On Illustrating

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters (Mexican free-tailed batsUploaded by Dolovis) [CC BY 2.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons I made the decision to illustrate my trilogy for very selfish reasons. As a child, I hated it when there were pictures of the people in fiction. The illustrator almost always

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Written by Somebody’s Grandmother?

Who’d want to read a book about some random girl going West written by somebody’s grandmother?” Last year when Katie Schmidt talked with her class about the prospect of piloting The Black Alabaster Box, this was a question one of the children asked. I had to laugh when my granddaughter, a member of the class,

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Can you have a book launch without gingerbread cookies?

Thursday was the book launch for The Black Alabaster Box. I read the SCBWI website  for children’s book authors and illustrators. I talked to authors. I hadn’t done a launch before.  When my academic books were published, I put the title on my vita, and the publisher did the rest. So all this launch and publicity,

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Life on the Oregon Trail?

When I taught fourth grade in Portland Oregon–that was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth–we had a unit on Westward Expansion. A lot of schools teach about pioneers settling the West in fourth, fifth or sixth grade. We used Mary Jane Carr’s Children of the Covered Wagon as a read-aloud. It was a good match

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What Do Writers Do?

Writers write. Right? Wrong. Maybe wrong is too strong. Writers do write. But that isn’t all they do. They also work on their craft. They meet with other writers and talk about their work. They share ideas about writing. They take workshops and go to conferences to help them learn more about writing. When you study

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Reviews that count

When I began work on The Alabaster Box my granddaughter, Amelia, was of enormous help. I tried chapters out on her and we talked through issues. It was like having a junior editor. I asked friends, Isaiah and his mother, Sarah VanTiem, if they would kindly read it once I had a good draft. Isaiah is

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Where did you get the idea?

“Where did you get the idea for the book?” This is one of the questions Mrs. Schmidt’s class wanted to know when I visited her 5th grade class. It’s a good question. Where do ideas come from? Writing is different for every writer. Many writers say you should write from experience. You write from who

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