Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That...

October came in with a whisper and marched out like a giant. Between managing a class of always-excited third graders, holding down the home front with a three year old (who NEVER stops moving), a greedy, lazy Beagle, and a husband who I'm convinced is a 5 year old trapped in a 35 year old man's body, let's just say life has been pretty "interesting."

Business aside, I haven't given up my writing appetite. I had the opportunity to attend the Rutgers One on One Conference on October 19th and what an experience! For every conference attendee, there was one author, editor, or agent. Can you say SCORE? At the beginning of the conference, they separated the attendees and the professionals with an air wall. Then the conference organizer, Marietta Zacker, told us that the air wall would open momentarily. And when it did, the scene turned into a real live "Hunger Games!" Every writer for himself! Find your agent! Find your editor! Impress them with your writing savvy! It was great and I loved every second of it! It was definitely worth every penny and I hope to be selected to attend next year's conference.

On to November....I've pushed my Picture Book writing aside (for a moment). My focus this month is Nanowrimo. 50,000 words written in 30 days. I know, I must be friggin' nuts! I'm holding strong at 41,827 words and hope to finish before Thanksgiving. December will be spent editing and revising. But let's be honest, I'll probably edit and revise for the next year...or three! I'm hoping to fix it up enough to submit it for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest in January and then really get it ready in time to pitch it at my FAVORITE writing event...the NJSCBWI June Conference!

I hope everyone will take a moment to smell the pumpkins and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones!

Til next time....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Two years ago, I  applied for the Rutgers One-on-One Plus Conference. Unlike many other conferences where you pay your fee and are an automatic shoe-in, this one was much different. Candidates had to basically "audition" to be accepted. Long story short, when I applied two years ago I didn't get in...womp womp womp!

That was okay because as the saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try again." And that's exactly what I did! As writers, time is precious. Therefore we cannot waste it on losing our confidence. I did, however, take the time to self-reflect ad work on my craft. At the time that I originally applied, I was writing a Middle Grade novel. Over the course of two years, I started experimenting with Picture Books and quickly discovered the task of writing one to be equally challenging. But lo and behold, my picture book is what earned me a slot in the Rutgers conference! Yay for picture books!

My journey with middle grade, however, is not complete. I've challenged myself to start something new and look forward to entering Nanowrimo, better know as National Novel Writing Month. In this online challenge, authors are encouraged to write 50,000 words towards a novel they are working on. I've already given myself a head start and am currently at 6,000. It's not 50k, but hey it's a start!

I will post back in October with a summary of how the conference went. I'm really looking forward to it. For more information on the Rutger's One-on-One Plus Conference, click here.

Til next time.....

xoxo Tami

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hiring an editor....take the plunge!

For the past few years, I've always gotten my critiques from the members in my Westfield Children's Writer's group. Now don't get me wrong, each member over the years has given me feedback that has challenged and inspired me. (and in some cases brought me right back to the drawing board!) But, that's ok! That's what a good group does....rips your work to shreds and sends you off with a hug to go fix it and make it better! Oh, how I love my critique group! :-)

Up until recently, however, I'd never entertained the thought of paying an editorial consultant to read and critique my work. Mostly because a) I didn't even know that there was such a service and b) my humble teacher's salary has turned me into a penny pinching, clearance rack sifting, couponing FOOL! So paying hundreds of dollars on a hobby (when I had big girl bills) didn't seem realistic at the time.

But, alas, I have seen the light! Sure, writing is my hobby, but in truth this is something that I hope to one day turn into my business. Investing in myself, I've learned, is necessary if I am to take my writing to the next level. With that said, over a year ago, I had the opportunity to have a critique session with Simone Kaplan from Picture Book People. Signing up for her email list was simple. I did it right through her website and whadd'ya know she sent me a COUPON to receive $50 off a critique! Oh, I couldn't pass that up!

This is now my third time working with Simone and I'm VERY pleased with her work. She has given me some sound advice and great ideas on how I can market two of my manuscripts to make it more appealing to editors and agents. I'm confident that her feedback will propel me in the right direction...onward!

My selfish inner six year old doesn't want to give out her info (I want her all to myself!!!!), but I'd be wrong for not sharing. Check out Simone at

And tell her Tami sent you!

Til next time....

xoxo Tami

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Five Things I'm Excited About:

1. The second installment of the Percy Jackson series is coming to movie screens across the country! It's been a long time coming! It debuts August 7th in a theater near you. But if you are a book geek like me, make sure you READ "Sea of Monsters" before actually going to see the movie. Let's be honest...the book is ALWAYS better than the movie!
                                                        Click above to see the trailer!

2. My critique partner, Christine Duval, is now SIGNED with Bloomsbury!!! Wooooo hooooo! There is hope for us all! I've known Christine for two years now and have had the pleasure of not only reading her New Adult Fiction book, Freshman Forty, but I've seen it evolve over time. The story hooks you in right away as 19 year old college freshman, Laurel, discovers that she is pregnant at the beginning of the semester. Whereas most college freshman gain weight from the God-awful campus food, Laurel's problems are so much bigger than that. I wish Christine the BEST of luck and I'm oh so proud to have followed her on this journey!

3. Super good news! My virtual friend, Tara Lazar's picture book, The Monstore, will now be sold in brick and mortar Barnes & Nobles. I can't WAIT to get my copies! Congrats Tara!

But if you can't wait, you could always order your copy here.

4. Women Who Write, Inc. will hold their annual conference on Saturday, September 28, 2013! It's not too late to join, but hurry! Manuscripts are due by August 20, 2013! Click here for more info! Hope to see you there.

5. Last but not least....I'm EXCITED that the Westfield Children's Critique group starts up again in September. Here's what's new. My writing partner/leader of our group, Katie Bartlett, has embarked on a new journey by entering the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. When I first heard the news, my immediate reaction was WHAT??? You can't let the group fall apart!!! (selfish I know!) But, truly I am happy for her and know that she will eventually return to us with a wealth of knowledge to share. Katie nominated me, more like forced me haha, to be the new leader of the group in her absence. Oh joy! With that said, our group is down to three members and we are seeking new members. So to my writer friends in cyber space, please spread the word! Interested members can contact me via email at

'Tis all for now! Enjoy what's left of summer folks!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

NJSCBWI Conference Days 2 & 3

The fun continued at the New Jersey SCBWI Conference! Day 2 began with a keynote speech from the funny, most talented author-illustrator I've ever met....wait for it.... PETER BROWN! Does he even need an introduction? Probably not, but allow me to do so any way. Peter Brown is an award-winning author. Some of his books include "The Curious Garden," "Creepy Carrots," and my favorite "Children Make Terrible Pets." Hearing the journey of his career starting from childhood to where he is now was completely inspiring. The nuggets of wisdom he offered was pure gold.

Day 2 continued with workshops: "Nonfiction for Beginners" with Carolyn Yoder, "Writing for Magazines" with Connie Colon, "Growing an Evergreen" with Ame Dyckman, and finally "Channel Your Inner Nonfiction Nerd" with....wait for it....ME! All of the workshops went extremely well and I learned a TON. I have to say for my first time presenting to adults, I didn't do so bad! Yay me!

Later on that night, I was invited to the Faculty Dinner. I have to admit that being invited to this event really made lil ole' me feel super special. Kind of like the nerdy girl in the lunch room who finally gets invited to sit at the "cool" table. I had a great time getting to know YA/MG agent Erin Harris of Folio Literary Management. She is super sweet, super funny, and super pretty. I couldn't help but whip out the pageant girl in me and try to convince her to do a pageant. Lo and behold, she's a teeny hair older than the age cut off for my pageant, Miss New Jersey American Coed. Darn!

Day 3 rounded out the end of the conference weekend. The morning speech given by Tara Lazar was UH-MAZING!!! The title of her speech was "The Myth of the Great  Divide: Overcoming Obstacles in the Path to Publication." I laughed! I cried! But most of all I was INSPIRED! Thank you Tara for letting us "pre-published" authors know that the great divide doesn't really exist. If you haven't picked up her picture book, THE MONSTORE, be sure to order it now! Let's support out fellow writer friends! Sidebar: "pre-published" has a nice ring to it, right? I'll take it...for now!

After the speech, I attended "Writing Across Cultures" with Suzy Ismail, "Amazing First Lines" with John Cusick, and "Picture Book Revision" with Simone Kaplan. In between workshops, I had a pitch session with Stephen Barbara of Foundry. On a side note, I should mention the anxiety-inducing, speed-pitching fest that is the infamous "Pitch Session" at the SCBWI Conference. Seriously, it's like the reaping of the Hunger Games meets the "on-stage question" at the Miss Universe pageant! You walk in a room and have four minutes to explain your book. (and hopefully pique the agent's interest) My piece of advice is to know your work before pitching it and most of all, drink water before going in the room. Dry mouth attacks like a thief in the night ten seconds before it's time to walk into the room. And there is nothing worse than talking to an agent when your lips aren't visible because they're glued to the top layer of your gums! Anyone remember "Fire Marshall Bill" from In Living Color? Ok, maybe I'm dating myself.

Not a good look for an Agent Pitch Session

The day ended with a closing keynote from Lauren Oliver, author of "Requiem", "Pandemonium", and "Delerium." Again, another superbly delivered speech. The best part was she read an excerpt from her next book. (Insert the recognizable childhood tease...nah nah boo boo!)

This year's conference was the best one I've ever attended. I can't wait to attend again next year!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

2013 SCBWI Conference Day 1

It's my fourth year attending the NJSCBWI. Here's a run down of how my first three years went. Me hiding in a corner afraid to socialize. My writing should speak for itself, right? Not quite. My #1 goal this year, above continuing to work on my craft, was to network. It's the name of the game!

Conferences like these are an open door to make connections with all levels of folks in the industry; unpublished writers, published writers, agents, editors, illustrators, librarians and the list goes on and on.

Day one of the conference has come and gone. I had a one-on-one with Janine Hauber of the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. She gave me a full TYPED page of notes on my picture book, THAT'S IT, I QUIT! Any writer knows that a full page from an agent is like a goldmine! So I was very thankful for that and all of her constructive feedback.

Later on in the evening was the Mix & Mingle--also known as an excuse for the writing community to get together share an appetizer, a drink and a laugh! And boy did I have a great time at that event! I sat with a group of wonderful ladies from a critique group from Connecticut. We were then joined by Tricia Lawrence from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. I have to admit that when she first showed up to our chat circle, I thought she was another writer. By this point, I had already let my guard down. When she said she was an agent, the (shy) writer in me tensed up. But that only lasted for a second. Tricia turned out to be the most welcoming, down to earth agents I've ever come across. By the end of the night, I almost didn't want to leave.

So here it is. Year four of my attendance at this conference and I think I'm finally finding my mojo...finally. I'm learning that this writing thing is so much more than what you put on the paper. It's about the connections that you establish while in the process.

So hats off to day one and onward to day two! More to come!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to prepare for the NJSCBWI Conference and NOT barf in the process!

After attending the June Conference for the past 4 years, I've picked up a few tips on combating this problem. Here is a simple list to help you keep your cool at the NJSCBWI's June Conference. 

* Pack ahead of time. Don't wait until the last minute or you'll likely end up with mismatched socks, one missing earring, and no toothbrush. (and since this is a SOCIAL event, you definitely want to make sure you're squared away in that department!)

* Bring copies of whatever pieces you submitted for critiques. There is nothing worse than going to your one-on-one only to realize you don't even have a copy of the original version you sent. This happened to me two years ago. After I submitted my work, I made some changes and went to the conference with the new version of my writing. Can you say embarrassing?

* Practice your pitch!  I absolutely shudder at the thought of "pitching" my book, but this is the name of the game. The thought of pitching make my intestines crawl through my esophagus and stop midway through my trachea and tongue. My advice is to practice beforehand with anyone who will listen. Dogs, by the way, are great listeners. Hey, it's a start right?

* Bring business cards! You will be networking all weekend. You can easily order a set (at a great low price) on

* Study the faculty beforehand. Get to know their interests and what they are seeking. This will help you narrow down who will be best for you to pitch your work to. Research is the highest form of flattery with agents and editors! Take the time now so you're not wasting theirs (or yours) later!

* Last but not least, go in with only the expectation to have fun and learn something! There will be TONS of writers and illustrators there. We all want to be published. And we will all get there. Every year that I attend, I meet great people and learn so much. I know that I am one baby step closer to reaching my goal!

I can't wait to meet everyone at the conference on June 7th. Til then, happy writing!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Aha Moment

This is how my love affair with writing began. In 2008, I wrote a middle grade novel. It was the year after I'd just gotten married. My husband and I traveled to 5 different countries within a year to get the "sillies" out before deciding to settle down and become parents. We visited Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Paris, Panama, and Puerto Rico. (a lot of "P" countries, I know!) What an adventure! Each country I visited gave me exactly what I needed to propel my story. From lush rainforests, to waves crashing against jagged rocky cliffs, to the mouth-watering smell of croissants baking at the cafe' on the corner. All of these excursions gave me hands-on life lessons about setting and for that I am grateful.

But every story needs characters. I could have traveled to every country in the world that year back in 2008, but none of those countries had the depth and heart of the types of characters that I truly sought. Those characters could only be found in one classroom!

I've been teaching 5th grade since 2003 and boy has it been a journey! There have been times when I've laughed, cried, and just plain wanted to quit! I figured, "Hey I wrote a book! I'm going to get a book deal! I can quit my job now and become the next NY Times Bestseller!"

Five years have passed since then. And like many aspiring writers, I've shelved my first novel and have moved on to new projects. And I'm STILL a teacher. Why? Because my "aha" moment helped me realize that as much as my students need me, I need them as well. I need to hear their stories of the kid who farted in the back of the room and blamed it on the class guinea pig. I have to witness them awkwardly dancing to the Cupid Shuffle next to their "crush" at the Valentine's Day Dance. These are the stories that guide me through my writing journey. And while I will continue to travel around the world (on a teacher's budget, of course), the classroom is the heart of where my writing journey will always begin.

And on that note, I wish a Happy Teacher's Appreciation Week to all my teacher friends!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Channel Your Inner Non-Fiction Nerd!

Did you know that by now 46 states have adopted the Common Core Standards? What does that mean for writers? Teachers across America will be scrambling to stock their classroom libraries with info-rich, non-fiction books that align with the Common Core & ready students for the standardized test. Join me on Saturday, June 8 during the NJSCBWI Conference for my workshop: Channel Your Inner Nonfiction Nerd...Writing to Meet the Common Core. As a teacher and writer, I'll have a lot of insight to offer from both sides. So get ready to learn, get ready to write, and get ready to have some fun!

I will also offer critiques of Common Core-themed picture books during the Conference. For more info on the common core, visit:

To register for the NJ SCBWI Conference, visit:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Freedom Soup

My latest picture book, Freedom Soup, is out on submission. (fingers crossed!) Here's a tid bit of what the story is about:

Every New Year’s Day, Belle has eaten Freedom Soup with her family. But this New Year’s is different from any other.  This year, she gets to help her grandmother make the soup. How hard can it be? Just toss in a few vegetables and meat in some water, right? Not quite. Belle soon learns that making the soup involves a dash of history, a sprinkle of struggle, and a whole lotta’ pride. And that makes the soup taste better than it ever had before!

I was first introduced to Freedom Soup by my grandmother-in-law, affectionately known as  Gran. As she taught me the recipe, she passed down the oral history of this soup, which I now carry on in my own kitchen every New Year’s Day.

Below I've provided a very basic recipe:

Simple Recipe for Kid-Friendly Freedom Soup:

Kid alert: Be sure to make this recipe with an adult. Let the adults do all of the chopping.

·         1 pound of meat (beef or chicken)
·         1 pack frozen squash (Ti gran would whack me with a stick if she saw this, but trust me it works!)
·         2 boxes of low sodium chicken broth
·         2 carrots, chopped
·         2 celery stalks, chopped
·         2 potatoes, chopped
·         1 ½ cups of your favorite pasta
·         Spices: salt, pepper, garlic (as needed for taste)

This is a super-easy way of making a kid-approved version of Freedom Soup. My three year old son even likes it, and he doesn't eat much of anything. (except for the occasional crayon!) 

Start by pouring two tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot. Spice the meat and brown it in the pot for five minutes on each side. Then add the chicken broth and squash and bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Next, add the vegetables and potatoes. Boil for 15 minutes. Last, add in the pasta and let it boil an additional 12-15 minutes. In less than an hour, you will have a piping hot, mouth-watering bowl of Freedom Soup. Bon appetit!

Disclaimer: I, myself, am not of Haitian descent, but my husband is. He says MY soup tastes like the real thing! But shhhhh....Ti gran doesn't need to know that!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Registration for the NJ June Conference is OPEN!

I wait for this conference every year! For the past few weeks, I've been stalking the net waiting and waiting for the registration to be posted online and the day has FINALLY arrived! Hooray!!!!!!!!! To register for the June Conference, visit:

Here are the deets:

Friday, June 07, 2013 - Sunday, June 09, 2013

Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express Princeton SE
900 Scudders Mill Rd
Plainsboro New Jersey 08536

If you've been writing a winning manuscript (or a few), this is your chance to get it seen and reviewed by some of the TOP professionals in the industry. Check out a sample of who will be attending:
Jenne Abramowitz, Senior Editor, Scholastic
Heather Alexander, Editor, DIal BFYR/Penguin
Stephen Barbara, Agent, Foundry Literary + Media
Elizabeth Bird, Librarian, NYPL/SLJ
Erin Clarke, Senior Editor, Random House
John Cusick, Agent, Greenhouse Literary
Melissa Faulner, Editorial Assistant, Abrams
Liza Fleissig, Agent, Liza Royce Agency

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The list is epic and ever-growing! The conference will hold numerous workshops that will help you tighten various parts of your writing--theme, setting, voice, etc... And yours truly will be presenting a workshop entitled: Channel your Inner Non-Fiction Nerd, Writing for the Common Core. As an elementary educator who's "in the know" with the Common Core, I can't wait to share with writers what teachers are begging for in their classrooms libraries. 
I'm looking forward to meeting new people and reconnecting with some old writing friends!
Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Rejection I Can Live With!

This world of children's publishing truly has its ups and downs! But, one thing is for sure: it is REFRESHING to receive a rejection that is NOT written as a form letter. That feeling of "Wow, he really read my work!" is blissful. With that said, I've been plugging away submitting my latest manuscript entitled "Freedom Soup." Here is what the agent had to say:

Thanks for sharing your picture book. You are right that there aren't
any French-Creole picture books.

I do like the color (and the flavor) of your story. But I feel as though
this is more of a short story than a picture book. There isn't enough
action to make this a picture book, which needs illustrations to really
work. And an illustrator needs simple action to portray in pictures.
Too much dialogue can be problematic.

That said, I do think you have a nice tone and some interesting use
of language.

Hope this helps. And thanks again for contacting our agency.

Honestly, I can live with that. Just when I was ready to exhaust this story and move on to the next, I followed one of this agent's key pieces of advice: slash the multitude of dialogue to provide more action. So off I went, trimming and cutting and styling until I can up with a sort of "dialogue-less" (is that a word?) story. So, I thank agents and editors (like this unnamed one above) who take the time to give valuable feedback to improve our craft.

Back to work I go!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review: The Farming of Bones

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love to travel—especially to the Dominican Republic. I visit on average twice a year and if God willing, my husband and I will live out the rest of our days there once we retire. So when a colleague recommended that I read the Dominican/Haitian-themed novel, The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat, I couldn’t resist. A lyrical story set in 1937 in the most beautiful place on Earth? Sign me up!

From the start, Amabelle, the main character hypnotizes you. Her story is heart-wrenching; at age 8 she sees her parents drowning to their untimely death in the Massacre River. Rescued by a wealthy Dominican family, she is raised alongside their daughter, Valencia, and later becomes her maid. Years later, Amabelle solidifies her role as an integral part of the family when she singlehandedly delivers Valencia’s twins.  Rafael is named after Generalissimo Trujillo, the president of Dominican Republic. Much to his family’s approval, his skin is as white as the Conquistadores traced back to 18 century Spain. Roaslinda, however, is bronze-toned much to their dismay. Her “dirt behind the ears” skin is an all too unwelcome reality of how racial mixing can taint the bloodline.

As whispers of racial slaughter float in the Caribbean wind, Amabelle ignores the rumors. In an effort to “whiten” the population, the president orders that Haitians are to be massacred by Dominican soldiers and civilians. They are given a menu of three choices of death: stabbed by the needle point of the soldiers’ rifles, climb the mountains and fall to their death into the ocean, or to be butchered with machetes by Dominican civilians. “Don’t even waste a bullet on them,” it is rumored that the President stated. It can’t be real, Amabelle brushes it off. Besides, her life’s path is already set. When her lover, Sebastien, finishes cutting sugar cane in the field at the end of the season, they will marry and move to Haiti.

But when the rumors surface as reality, Amabelle is forced to flee the place she’s called home since she was a child and return to Haiti. In the midst of her escape, Amabelle loses Sebastien. Here, the plot becomes a perfectly woven battle of self-survival mixed with the search for her true love—wanted dead or alive. Along the way, Danticat infuses terror in her every written word as we see the persecution and slaughter of a culture simply because of the darkness of their skin.

Danticat takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. We follow Amabelle through her joys. We mourn all that she has lost. We suffer with her as we feel the indescribable pain of thousands dying around her. But most of all, we applaud Amabelle’s courage in the end to stare in the face of danger, unflinching and boldly overcoming its infectious grips.

I must admit that when I finished reading the book, I was overcome with anger. How could this happen in a country that I call my second home? The same country that embraces me the minute I sink my feet into the crystal sand?

 I am immediately reminded of Rosa Park’s words, “We must correct the mistakes of our past.” The Dominican Republic that I know today is not the Dominican Republic of 1937. Like many countries around the world, it holds an era in history in which I am sure they seek to correct, learn from, and move forward to propel them in the right direction.

I am thankful that the Dominican Republic is the beautiful sea of creams, browns, and blacks that it is today. This is the Dominican Republic that I know—a place with a dark past, yet with a future that outshines everything else.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Powerful Quote

A goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish....

By far that is the most powerful quote I've ever read!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ACK! Need Etiquette Advice!

Probably a silly question, but I have to ask. If an agent states in the newest edition of the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market that she is specifically looking for a book written on a particular topic (and even says "Query me!"), but her website says she is closed to new submissions, do you just NOT submit and wait until she's open again? Or do you query her and say "Hey, you said this in XYZ book and asked to be queried on this exact topic, so here it is!" ACK! I need to know what is the proper etiquette! Help???

Onto other news, I submitted "Freedom Soup" today to Scott Triemel NY. Last year, I had won an auction through SCBWI and had the opportunity of having a phone conference with agent John Cusick. That was exciting and deathly frightening all at the same time. At the time, I had submitted a middle grade book. This time around, I submitted my newest picture book. 

I've also submitted for the writing position at Everything Girls Love Magazine. There are thousands of writers applying for that. But hey, a girl can dream, right? Dr. King had a dream and look what happened!

Fingers crossed for all of these opportunities that lie ahead!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taking the plunge....

I know myself well...a little too well. I know that if I spend my hard earned dollar on something, I'm darn sure gonna get my money's worth! With that said, I took the plunge and joined Julie Hedlund's 12 by 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge. Twelve picture twelve months. Can I do it? My pockets are screaming "YOU BETTER!" ( really wasn't expensive. My mama just raised me to be very frugal is all. Blame her!)

Money aside, I think this is just what I needed--a swift kick in the hoo hah! At the Gold level, I am open to many benefits. Every month, an agent or editor allows submissions, which is great because this moves the participants from the bottom of the slush pile straight to the top. SWEET! That's only half the battle. What's submitted must tickle their fancy. And therein lies the challenge. Womp...womp...womp!

Luckily, I entered Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). This was a challenge where you had to create one picture book idea a day to equal 30. Ummm....yeah that was tough. But I did come up with about 20 or so ideas, which is more than enough for me to plug away for the 12 by 12 challenge.

And so here my journey begins. My goal this month is to tighten up my newest PB, "Freedom Soup" before I continue submitting it to the world. And then on to the next! I can't wait to see what the year brings!

For more info on 12 by 12, visit: 
For more info on PiBoIdMo, visit:

Happy writing!

(got this pic from Julie's website. Love it!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

EGL Magazine

Here's my latest venture in writing. I'm applying for a position as a Lifestyle writer for Everything Girls Love Magazine. The application process is pretty lengthy with lots of interesting questions. Plus, I had to write a sample article. I chose to do a literature review of this book I just read entitled "The Farming of Bones ." Last but not least, they want a resume. I wonder if professional bookworm counts as a job I can put on my resume...oh joy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ooooh somebody's in trouble!

Somebody brushed the dog's teeth with daddy's toothbrush....AGAIN!!!! To tell or not to tell...THAT is the question!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

PiBoIdMo 2012!

So, first to address the elephant in the room. No I haven't written on this blog in a long time, but that doesn't mean I haven't written! In fact, thanks to PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), I have a treasure chest full of picture ideas for 2013! The idea behind PiBoIdMo was to create an idea a day during the month of November. Thirty days. Thirty Ideas. Short of giving birth, this was my toughest writing challenge yet.

There were some days where I had nada! And then came the days where I'd come up with 5 ideas! Oh joy!

I want to thank Tara Lazar for creating this challenge for writers. It was scary yet beautiful at the same time. Now that it's over, it's only natural to make the transition to the next writing challenge: 12 by 12! This is being run by Julie Hedlund and for more information, you can go to The idea is to create one picture book a month. Sounds easy, right? (as I slowly eat away at what nails I have left)

Onward and upward in 2013! I'm not giving up on this writing thing yet. The writing community has to be the most supportive, close-knit group of cheerleaders I've ever encountered. Keep writing people!