Big Ideas

Tech Tricks for Writers: Looking for Comps

Here’s a tech trick for writers who are looking for comps. When you are querying a book with an agent or editor, it’s important to have good comps for your manuscript. What is a comp? It’s a book, movie, or story that is a good comparison for your story. It’s telling an agent or editor,… Read more »

2021 Year of Writing in Review

2021 Wrap Up 2021 is almost done. I like to take a look at the past year and acknowledge the highs, the lows, and all of the “I don’t knows.” I have kept a tracking sheet of my writing pretty regularly since 2013. I use Numbers, but I also use a little book. Yes, I… Read more »

Fall Migration 2021 Has Begun!

  It’s so thrilling to know the birds are on their way south! Follow along with the raptor migration over Hawk Mountain here!¬† If you can get up early and look and listen in your own backyard, it’s worth it. Get real time bird migration maps at BirdCast!

How to Write Poetry Without Writing Poetry

Do you want to write poetry, but think you can’t? Try not really writing poetry. Try finding it. I like reading poetry and I like trying to write poetry, but I’m no expert.¬†Poetry can be intimidating. It can be hard to think of the right words. There are a few ways you can write poetry… Read more »

Ideas for Bored Kids

Need some ideas for bored kids? Many years ago, I sold an essay to Family Fun magazine about a “what to do” idea cube. My kids took an old box and covered it with construction paper. They wrote six ideas, one of each side of the cube. They rolled the cube and voila, they did… Read more »

Best Gift Ideas for 2021 Inspired by What Helped us Handle 2020

I don’t usually write gift guides, but I thought this list of best gift ideas for 2021 might be useful as we eventually leave lockdowns and create our new normal lives. Life after 2020 isn’t going to look like life before 2020. In a lot of ways, that’s wonderful. REALLY wonderful. During the past year,… Read more »

How Storytelling Helped Me as a Mom

We all love a good story. This is the heart of the practical takeaways I shared in my interview with Rachel Nielson, the host of the incredible 3 in 30 Podcast. My episode “Using Your Own Stories as a Parenting Tool” aired in January 2021, but the ideas we discussed work any time of year…. Read more »

Children’s Book Publishers and Reading Lists

If you’re interested in writing for children, it’s essential to learn what kinds of books different children’s book publishers produce. You need to know if they are the right house to give your story life. But how do you figure out if the publisher is right for you and if you are right for that… Read more »

Tools for Writing a Novel

I’ve been to many conferences were successful writers share their tools for writing a novel, and I now have my own set to share. I am working hard to get my current manuscript done – and basic proofreading corrections made – before February 26. The novel is called DNF (Did Not Finish) and it’s middle… Read more »