You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

There is a Book Bloggers Christmas Swap, but the deadline to sign up is in two days!

Last week Big A little a pointed out the New York Times Children’s Books Special Fall Issue.

Wordle is the fun program you’ve probably seen by now that makes a word cloud of any text you paste.  An interesting feature is the word count.  Under the ‘Language’ tab under such options as ‘Remove Common Turkish Words’ is ‘Show Word Counts.’  It shows each word in your manuscript alphabetically and how many times you’ve used it.  I can tell at a glance that my character might be woeful a little too much, and I mention trees more than trucks.  Sort of constructive!

Are you a writer in Seattle?  Write-O-Rama is coming up, and it sounds pretty nifty.

Have a great weekend!

Ok, I was browsing craft blogs this morning and I came across a couple of things that might work for a crafty writer and/or illustrator.  We can be pretty crafty, right?

First:  You can make your own cookie cutters (instructions are here).  camel_cutter

“What? What does a cookie cutter have to do with kid lit?”  You say.  

“Book launch.”  I say.  Stay with me.  

What’s your book about?  Squirrels on motorcycles take a cross country trip and fight an evil blob?Okey dokey.  You are baking cookies to give your book launch that personal touch, right?  And sending some to your editor?  And your favorite librarian? Great.  Now, are you going the chocolate chip route, or the custom-squirrels-on-motorcycles-kick-ass-sugar-cookie route?  Alright, then.  Thank you, Craft blog.

They also posted a lovely photo of a knitted up tree by Carol Hummel.


pobag1Ok, one more.  Do you carry big piles of manuscripts to the post office in a multiple submission bonanza?  Do they slip out of your hands and land in the scummy gutter?  Do you think muddy manila sends the right message to the editors and/or agents you wish to woo?  Whip up this handy dandy Post Office Bag (via Sew Mama Sew).








“This post is totally random!”  You’re muttering.  Yes!  Let’s keep it going, shall we?  Are you writing a story with a scene about a small child seeing a live lobster for the first time?  You’ve probably been wondering how such an interaction would go.  Here is the answer.

If you don’t read Fuse #8, you should.  That Betsy Bird is always posting great information and I think about linking it here, but then I assume that you already know because you read Fuse #8. Right? Like today, she pointed out that Bowen Press has a blog.  

Last but not least, I’m going to make this TWO POSTS IN A ROW relating to kid lit, philanthropy, and hair.  I’m guessing this will be the last time that ever happens.

Adam Rex (Author, Illustrator, Nice Guy, & Keynote Speaker at the upcoming conference) is growing a mustache to help underfunded students in Philadelphia, but he needs pledges!  Go support Adam’s commitment to cultivate face whiskers.

Go on, there’s nothing else happening here.

I thought my Google Reader was as full as it could be, but the Comment Challenge is pointing me toward more blogs!  So far, I’ve been easing in to commenting mostly by responding on blogs I already read regularly, but I’m branching out!

Crooked House is a blog I check often.  It’s a great combination of kid lit, art appreciation, and family life that’s pretty simpatico for me.  This week, she posted a cardboard city, made by artist Ana Serrano, which I think is marvelous.

Sara at Read, Write, Believe posted a lovely video that captures the feeling of writer’s block quite nicely.

Laini Taylor posted a preview for a movie, Slumdog Millionaire, that looks right up my alley.I love movies set in India.

I got a haircut last night.  The good news is, there is a foot of hair headed for Locks of Love.  I asked for your basic, under the jaw bob.  I have a round face, so picture a Campbell Soup Kid.  I just went to a walk-in place (Character detail: I lack planning.), and I wasn’t really watching (Foreshadowing!), and from what I did see I was hoping it would be alright in the end.  He FEATHERED my hair, and sprayed it.  When he was done I looked like Kate Jackson, circa Charlie’s Angels.  And he was proud.

I’m pretty busy this week, so I’ll be rocking the barettes until I can have someone fix it.  I was going to dye it a funky color when I got home, but I lost the mood.  Soon.

Ok, I’m not going to dwell on that.  Back to the kid lit!

The Longstockings have an interview with Matt Phelan, illustrator of Newbery winner The Higher Power of Lucky, among others.

Alright, I’m distracted again.  It’s dreary outside, and don’t noodles and gloom go together?  Have you tried the Noodle Soup Oracle?  Slurp up some inspiration!

A week and a day without a post?  Good grief.  Do you know why?  Because I said I would post shed pictures next time I blogged.  I haven’t been able to find the camera cable (A wifi memory card is on the top of my Christmas list), so I’ve been putting off posting.  Silly, huh? The good news is my parents are visiting next week so right now we’re CLEANING.  I should be finding the cable at any minute.

Where have I been?

I have been finishing my draft in the shed of solitude.  Woohoo!

I’ve been to an M.T. Anderson reading.  He’s an excellent speaker.  His writing isn’t too shabby either, is it?  He read a bit from Feed, and then some from the first Octavian Nothing.  The voice in each novel is distinct, and his actual voice changed as he read them.  I was going to have him sign a book for a blog  give away, but I got distracted and he just signed it to Kim (me), and you don’t want that, do you?

I’ve been cleaning.

I registered for the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York.

I have been celebrating the election.  Things went well for Washington, and very well for our nation (In my humble opinion).  We liberals have been kicked around a lot lately, so I’ve been walking around in a state of shock and awe.  Things went the way I hoped, rather than the way that truly perplexes me.  Things in California…well.  That’s the hair in the cake.  My heart aches for those whose marriages have been questioned and unacknowledged.  But, I don’t think it’s over. Fight back!  I think Melissa Etheridge is on to something with the no taxation without representation.


I have been commenting on other people’s blogs.  While some of us mostly just had silly fun at the Kidlitosphere conference, others were banding together to blog the vote and now Lee Wind and MotherReader have issued a comment challenge to strengthen the kid lit blog community.  Comments rock, and everyone loves getting them.  I’m taking the challenge.  Are you?  Reading blogs can feel a little voyeuristic, but we have stat counters that tell us when we have visitors.  We know you’re here, and it’s ok.  Say hi!

I’ve been reading a few good books.  One that stands out is  R.L. LaFevers new Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris.  I thought Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos was well done, and the sequel didn’t disappoint.  One reviewer compared Theodosia to a cross between Indiana Jones and a young, British Nancy Drew.  Spot on!


AND, I’ve been trying to make myself a website.  All the formatting is a bit tedious, but hopefully I’ll have it up soon.

Back to the cleaning.  Everything will be so organized and nice after their visit!  I’ll be back soon, with or without pictures.

I write stories for kids while volunteering as the Assistant Regional Advisor and Conference Coordinator for the western Washington chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I live in Seattle with my family and a small zoo of animals. I drink copious amounts of coffee and assign complicated life stories to passing strangers. I'm currently working on a middle grade novel.

There's a wee bit more on my website. You can also follow me on twitter.


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