My Blogs

 Writing, Reading, and . . . NO Arithmetic!

A blog is such a great way to share your thoughts, feelings, and information. It can even occasionally serve as a therapeutic tool for letting off steam. As an example, when yet another of my publishers closed their doors I felt like throwing my hands up. For some, it’s extremely easy to get published. I guess that’s why I flinch when I see things like, “You can be anything you want to be.” No, you can attempt to be anything you want to be. Even if I really wanted to be a chemist, I will never be one, since the concept is like science fiction to me. My brain doesn’t work that way. I guess my point is that you can be the very best singer, but you’re going to have to have some breaks, a little luck, and of course we already stated talent. No music coach is going to make that happen. The desire on your part is certainly important but it isn’t always enough to make your dreams come true.

That being said, a blog is a good place to share you. The ups, the downs, the humor, the heartache. I hope you check out just that place for me by clicking on My Blog:

My Blog

I will occasionally be posting entries on this page too, so make sure to check both sites!


Can The First Line In A Picture Book Hook The Reader?

In many cases, a picture book can hook the reader’s interest in the first sentence. Others might take a sentence or two to build interest.

In an effort to see what types of picture books are being published I’ve been reviewing them on this site.

I thought it could be helpful to list some of the first lines of picture books that I’m getting ready to review. They might inspire your writing and let you see what’s being published.

Bonjour! I see you are staring at me!”

Escargot by Dashka Slater

Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017

 “The big news is this: Little Miss will be a big sis.”

Little Miss, Big Sis  by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

HarperCollins 2015

“The day had been long and full of adventures.”

Buddy and Earl go exploring by Maureen Fergus

Groundwood Books House of Anansi Press, 2016

“On the day the science project hatched, our whole class was amazed.”

The Teacher’s Pet by Anica Mrose Rissi

Disney-Hyperion, 2017

“Thelma felt a little sad.”

Thelma The Unicorn  by Aaron Blabey

Scholastic Press, 2017

“I bought a pillow here and I think it is broken.”

My Pillow Keeps Moving!  by Laura Gehl

Viking, Penguin, 2018

“The piano stood quietly in the living room for years.”

Playing From The Heart  by Peter H. Reynolds

Candlewick Press, 2016

I will be the first to admit that, unlike other types of books, the first line in a picture book has the illustrations to help and even the next sentence, since typically they are short. Here are a couple of examples where both illustrations and second lines help considerably.

“One day, I had an idea.

Where did it come from?” 

What Do You Do With An IDEA?  by Kobi Yamada

Compendium, Inc., 2013

“Collectors collect things . . . AND Jerome?

What did HE collect?”

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Orchard Books, 2018

I hope these examples of opening lines challenge you to continue reading and writing. And as you read, take note of the first sentence. Is it important to the story?

You might enjoy this post by Darcy Pattison, Voice For Picture Books.


Happy New Year!

What better time to start a new resolution? Over two and a half years go I felt something not so good going on in my lower back. Hoping to take the easy fix, and truth be told to avoid the dreaded MRI, I made my way to lots of massage and physical therapy appointments. But, alas, ended up having major back surgery, followed by blood clots, followed by the same back surgery due to complications. Who would have guessed? I had a crazy long recovery that meant I had to abandon my blog and writing for a couple of years.


I’m now back to my desk and what I love. But I’m finding one more problem. This excited person is sitting at the computer too long. And all the news I’ve seen indicates that sitting too long anywhere is harmful to health. Oops!

My Resolution

Now to my resolution. I’ve downloaded a new app called Break Reminder. When I turn this app on it reminds me every 25 minutes to take a break. The break consists of five minutes. But if I get back earlier I just need to hit I’m back and it will start my 25 minutes again. If I prefer different times set, that is extremely easy to change. When my 25 minutes sitting is up and I have a five-minute break I usually go up and down stairs or other activity that requires more than standing, but even standing is helpful.

Make the Move!

When I was choosing an app I tried to look at reviews and pick something very simple since that was all I needed. But the best thing is for you to pick an app that works for your needs. Just get up and move in 2018.

Join Me!


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