General writing

Do You Use a Standing Desk?

Do you use a standing desk? I’m trying out a new standing desk in my office. I used to have a very tall craft desk. I thought I might stand to write, but I couldn’t stand for eight hours. I ended up buying a tall drafting chair so I could sit sometimes. Then I ended… Read more »

Pittsburgh Writing Events

Where do you find out about Pittsburgh writing events? Of course, my favorite is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  But there are many more writing groups active in our region. There is so much going on. There are so many opportunities even though we can’t gather in groups. Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed… Read more »

Writing with Your Senses

“The eye and the ear are different listeners.” – Jane Yolen When we read sensory details in a book, parts of our brain are activated. The parts that are activated are the same parts that would be active if we were experiencing the sense in real life. So if you write about the spicy sweet… Read more »

Being a Citizen Scientist – Firefly Count

I love being a citizen scientist. I participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I submit eBird checklists! I signed up to learn how to count pollinators for Project BeeWatch, but my schedule didn’t work for the training. Last week I started a new citizen science project: Firefly Count. It’s so simple. On lovely summer… Read more »

Researching for a Story

I’m doing some research for a story. My story involves baking. I’ve had some delicious success with pizzelles. I’ve had some terrible failure with bagels.   It’s ok. I’m not that upset about the bagels. Because sometimes things in our stories work, and sometimes they don’t. But we learn every time!

Making Picture Books

One of the best ways to learn how to do something like writing or art is to copy very good versions of said thing. That’s the goal of Pictures and Words OnlineOnline Summer Story Camps 2020 camp. We’re learning how to tell great stories using pictures and words!

ONLINE – Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words

Summer Story Camp  Pictures and Words **Online!** Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words is for creative kids grades 3 and up.  Each camp is limited to 10 campers.  All meetings will happen over Zoom. Each day we will learn about a different kind of picture book. Campers will create their own book (or “dummy”)… Read more »

ONLINE – Summer Story Camp – Big Ideas

Summer Story Camp  Big Ideas **Online!** Summer Story Camp – Big Ideas is best for creative kids grades entering 5-8. (Younger campers can check out Summer Story Camp – Pictures and Words Each camp is limited to 10 campers. All meetings will happen on Zoom. We will brainstorm and create new elements of stories each… Read more »

Ross Writing Club Story Collection 2 Now Available!

Every winter, I work with students at a local elementary school in an after school writing club. For six weeks we meet, discuss writing, share ideas, learn how to critique, and work towards a finished version of a two page short story. Then I gather up the stories and publish them in a book. (“It’s… Read more »