Thursday, September 29, 2011


Last week I cruised over to my author site to do a little maintenance work. The only problem was that mere maintenance wasn't going to cut it. Fact is, my site has been in "overhaul" mode for well over a year (okay, two years this month!), and I just couldn't get excited about completing the work I'd started.

That was not the first time this had happened.

But. It was to be the last.

I finally fully realized that I wasn't motivated to implement the changes I'd put in motion because deep down I knew they wouldn't solve the main problem — that maintaining both a stand-alone author site and a separate blog doesn't work for me anymore.

So in the weeks to come I'll merge the separate entities to create one Blogger-hosted site found at my typical (redirected) author site's URL.

It can be done, it shall be done, and it will be grand.

Friday, September 23, 2011

KidLit Quote of the Week #2

Time again for a KidLit Quote of the Week! Last week's entry was on the practical side (the funny one, too), while this week's is all about inspiration — and motivation.

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

I consider raising the bar for yourself one of the most important guiding principles a person can embrace, and because I am a writer with ever-expanding writerly aspirations, I feel Alcott's articulation of it directly applies to my work. And, yes, to my sense of self, too.

It can be hard to walk that talk some days (and, no need to pretend — it's difficult some several years at a time), but I know that when I do "look up," the beauty is right there for the seeing and helps light the path I need to travel.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

EFA's Fall Lineup!

I still serve as education chair on the Editorial Freelancers Association's Board of Governors, and I am happy to share that the Fall 2011 Education Program is all set — with registrations streaming in at a nice clip!

None of this season's classes are directly related to children's writing, but I know many children's authors also freelance in other areas, and I thought readers might like to at least check out the offerings. They include
Let me know if I can answer any questions about the lineup!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

KidLit Quote of the Week #1

I've decided to do a weekly post in which I share one of the countless quotes I've collected about writing and books. I'll focus on quotes by children's authors, quotes by others about writing/creativity that I think can apply to writing for kids, and passages from children's books.

Why start this now? How about "Because it's Tuesday." It'll be fun!

This inaugural KLQOTW is by an author I admire for his versatility and inspirational personal story. I saw him speak at either an IRA or NCTE conference in the 1990s (ah, the books* he signed for me say the year was 1997), and his advice on finding success as a children's writer is timeless:

"Stay out of the refrigerator, read good books, steal good ideas, develop good writing habits, and marry wealthy."

Good one, huh. And in a Universe-is-funny COMPLETE coincidence, I saw after I wrote this post that Mr. Gantos's latest book, Dead End in Norvelt, releases in hardcover today.** I will be buying that soon!

*Jack's New Power and Desire Lines
**A little synchronicity report for Artist's Way lovers.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Book a Virtual Visit with Skype Authors and Help Fund Education Charities!

Just in time to celebrate "back to school," I am thrilled to help spread the word about Skype Authors!

This newly launched author group offers virtual visits to schools, book clubs, and, really, any organization looking for an easy and inexpensive way to host an author talk. (And, yes, I'm one of the authors — and I am so pleased to be in such excellent company.)

Suzanne Williams formed the network to benefit schools right here in the U.S. — while adding the goal of raising money to help support education efforts worldwide. To that end, each of us at Skype Authors has pledged to donate 25 percent of our virtual-visit fees booked through our site to a select charity each school year.

For the 2011–2012 season, we've chosen to contribute to Camfed, an organization that supports girls' education initiatives in Africa. Watch this brief introductory video about Camfed's mission to see why, as narrator Morgan Freeman says, "When you educate a young rural girl, you give her a voice."

Would your school or organization like to book a Skype Authors virtual talk for HALF OFF the regular fee? You can if you win our Half and Half Contest running through October 1! All you have to do is surf over to our site and comment on this September 6 blog entry. Two lucky commenters chosen at random will receive a half-off Skype visit — and the entire half-priced fee you pay will be donated to Camfed!

I'm excited to be part of this new venture, and I hope to see you on the online video phone soon.