October – The Month that Has Inspired Many, Many Books

“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.”s ― Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes Very possibly, Ray Bradbury has written more about the month of October than any other writer. Even when he is not specifically writing about October, visions of that month seem to be lurking somewhere within his consciousness. “The…

Describe the Land around Your Childhood Home

Your journal assignment for today is to describe the terrain or the countryside of the area around your childhood home. When I say describe, I mean just that. Provide sentences that capture how the countryside looked. Don’t just say: “I grew up 40 miles south of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith has a population of…

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard – Tips from a Pro

“WHEN YOU WRITE, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You…

The Little Red Hen – A Picture Book Classic from1918

Character Study Show Don’t Tell The Little Red Hen Retold and Illustrated by FLORENCE WHITE WILLIAMS The Saalfield Publishing Company Chicago – Akron, Ohio – New York PRINTED IN U. S. A. COPYRIGHT, 1918 BY THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING COMPANY   Little Red Hen lived in a barnyard. She spent almost all of her time walking…

Wolves in the Wall – A Picture Book by Neil Gaiman – Illustrated by Dave McKean

“Lucy walked around the house.” “Inside the house everything was quiet. Her mother was putting homemade jam into jars.” “Lucy heard noises. The noises were coming from inside the walls. They were hustling noises and bustling noises. They were crinkling noises and crackling noises. They were sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises.” “Lucy knew what kinds of…

Dark versus Light – Night versus Day – Themes in Literature

“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.” ― Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla Night as a symbol is a huge driving force in literature, music, philosophy, and art: “Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation Darkness stirs and wakes imagination Silently the senses abandon the defenses Slowly, gently, night unfurls…

#13DayPBChallenge Day 13 – How to Format A Picture Book Manuscript

The following is what SCBWI says about formatting a manuscript so that it is ready to submit: How to Format Your Manuscript “All manuscripts must be typed on 8½ ” x 11” white paper in black ink. » Use 12-point Arial or Times New Roman. » Double-space all manuscripts. » Pages should be numbered consecutively….

#14DayPBChallenge Day 12 – How to Write a Query Letter

I’ll be very honest in saying that because my debut picture book manuscript was picked up in a Twitter Pitch Event, I have not had much experience with writing query letters, but that is about to change. I scoured the internet looking for tips for writing query letters, and my primary take-away from that research…