Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Break for Writers

There are a lot of students and families on spring break in March. Lucky! Though my thoughts may take brief creative vacations from the day job, I am still sitting at my desk. 

Plus, I want to be ready if/when the muse shows up. Although, maybe SHE is at the beach waiting for me to show up? Gulp!

Do you have traditional family activities or plan fun vacations for spring break? 

Write about them! They could be just the unique idea or slant that a publisher is looking for. 
Good luck! -Q

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Sweet It Is!

I just heard from my publisher that my medical picture book, Alphabet Puke - Monster's Medicine A-Z was named as a finalist in the Picture book - Early Reader section of the ForeWord Reviews 16th Annual Book of the Year Awards today!

As you can imagine, I'm thrilled. If you haven't seen it, you have to check out the wonderful illustrations by Charles Eubanks. They lend just the right amount of silliness to take the edge off any illness and lend plenty of medicinal giggles.  

Wahoo!! Tell your friends! Tell your pets! Tell the person sitting next to you on the bus/subway/airplane! Oh wait, that's my job. 

I'm only a little excited...-Q

Monday, March 3, 2014

Heart Connections in Children's Books

When I was little, my mother read The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton to me. By the time she got to the end, I was so happy TLH had made it back to the country. Fast forward to adulthood. When I read TLH now, tears roll down my face half way through. 

Why? Why after many years and life changes does this children's book still affect me? I believe it's the heart connections made in childhood. In TLH, the house was built on a pretty hill surrounded by daisies out in the country. Eventually the city expands until TLH is surrounded by high rise buildings that block out the sun. TLH longs for the sunny hillside. 

I grew up in the country and eventually moved to Houston, TX amid high rise buildings that blocked out the sun. I seriously missed the open countryside and seeing the stars at night. My childhood connections to The Little House can't be unmade. I can't unsee the illustrations. 

Now as I write this, I'm living in Arkansas and looking out the window at bright snow and woods. Like TLH, I'm back in the country.

Today I read The Boy who was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris. By the end, I was more than misty. Why? Another heart connection. My mother was a career librarian. I have been in a library nearly every day of my life. I connected in a very personal way to this story.

So here's what I'm thinking. As a children's author, I need to pay more attention to the story ideas that come from a heart connection in my life. I believe those are the ones where my best writing will emerge. Those stories will have connecting power. What do you think? -Q