Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Thank you all so much for your votes so far.  I has been a lot of fun checking in to see where all of the stories are at in the MeeGenius Author Challenge.

As of this posting my two stories are doing very well.  Dear Tooth Fairy, has 81 votes and is ranked #61 out of 398 stories.  I Am Penelope-Mae Pickleberg! has 60 votes and is ranked #103 out of 398 stories.

It has been a life long dream of mine to publish a children's book.  I know that with both determination and patience it will come, it may not be in this contest, but it WILL come.  Please help me out by continuing to vote, and to spread the word to all of your friends, family members, co-workers, mail carriers, dry cleaners, dentists, hair stylists, teachers, plumbers, mechanics. . . basically anyone who you meet.

Thank you so much for all of your support!  Here are the links again!



Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Time to Vote in the MeeGenius Author Challenge

If you recall, I told all of you back in September that I entered 2 stories in the MeeGenius Author Challenge.  Starting today through December 18 you may vote for the stories that you like.  By simply clicking on the 'Like' button, you cast your vote.

I would love it if you might take a few minutes to read both of my submissions, and if you enjoy them--click that button (you are able to vote for more than one story).  I really appreciate any help that you can offer to me, and please spread the word to anyone and EVERYONE that you know.

Thank you so much!



Read At Least 20 Minutes a Day!

A friend of mine from high school shared this on Facebook, and it is too good not to pass on!

Read at Least 20 Minutes a Day!

Let's figure it out -- mathematically!

Student A reads 20 minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student B reads only 4 minutes a night or not at all!

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 minutes x 5 times a week = 100 min/week.
Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 min/week.

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year.
Student A reads 36000 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 720 minutes in a school year.

Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten school days a year.
Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading

By the end of 6th grade if Student A and Student B maintain these
same reading habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60
whole school days. Student B will have read the equivalent of only
12 school days.

One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened
considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving Reflection

Now that the turkey has begun to digest, and the dishwasher is running the next load, I have had some time to reflect upon what I am thankful for.  I am thankful for my family, my health, and the roof over my head.

I am also very thankful for the country that I live in.  Here, I was able to attend fantastic schools that allowed me to explore my interests and my creativity.

I am thankful that I live in a family today that understands my passion for writing and allows me the freedom to take a chance on a career that may or may not happen.

I am thankful for bookstores.  While they may be closing all around the country, bookstores have provided a place for children to go and discover new worlds.

I am thankful that I know how to read.  If not for knowing how to read, I wouldn't know how to write, and I wouldn't be able to share stories with others.

I am thankful for children--especially my own--you inspire, you create wonder, you share your unconditional love.

I wish you all a thankful year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm a poet. . . and I didn't even know it!

Yesterday as I was working on my newest idea for Picture Book Month something very strange happened to me.  My entire story came out of my finger tips and onto my keyboard in 2 line couplets.  I have never had a story come to me so easily.  It clicks, it works!  However it rhymes.

Here is my question for all of you. . . is it a story, is it a poem, or is it both?  What actually qualifies a work of writing as a story or a poem?  Is it word count? Is it style?  Is it the author's decision?  I don't know.  I could use some advice on this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What do the words really mean?

Today on Facebook Bruce Coville posted a beautiful video that I would like to share with all of you.  It reminds us to not just read the words on the page, but to truly read into their meaning.  Take all written words to heart.  You never know how you may effect someone else. . . enjoy!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Last Night at the Bookstore I discovered Cloudette

Last night I was at my local bookstore with my husband. We started with a cup of coffee and a great conversation.  Slowly we meandered our way over to the stacks.  We began together looking at intellectual books.  He could see my head frequently turning to look at the children's department.  He could tell that he was rapidly loosing my participation in the conversation at hand and finally said to me. . . "ok, go!"  He knew exactly where I wanted to be.

When I arrived at the children's department I didn't even know where to begin!  The Thanksgiving books at their very own display?  The section for local authors? New releases?  I chose new releases, and ran out of time before I was able to get anywhere else.

A beautiful book that I had never seen before caught my eye, Cloudette, by Tom Lichtneheld.  Initially, I was taken by it's beautiful, simple blue cover.  It felt soft to me.  Relaxing.  I had to open it and read it on the spot.

Cloudette is a small cloud who loves all of the attention that she receives for being cute.  However, after awhile, she comes to the realization that while she is cute, she is not doing anything big and important like the many of the other clouds.  After being blown away by a large home, Cloudette realizes how she can do something valuable, and gains a new confidence in herself.

Lichtenheld does a wonderful job through both his words and illustrations of sharing the story of Cloudette and her adventures.    This is a story that will leave you believing that you can do anything that you set your mind to, and that you can do it with a smile.

Enjoy, and check out Tom Lichtenheld's website at  http://www.tomlichtenheld.com/childrens_books/cloudette.html

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

E-book sales are growing. . . but is reading?

The article below, published in today's issue of Shelf Awareness, discusses how the sales of e-books are on the rise.  As you all know from previous posts, I have very mixed feelings about digital books, especially for kids.  

With the closures of Borders as well as other bookstores around the country, I find it interesting how e-book sales have taken off.  My my question, however, is this.  Are people reading as often as they did prior to the e-book boom, are they reading more, or are they reading less?

What are your thoughts?

BISG Consumer Survey: E-Book Passion Unabated

E-book sales will continue to grow as readers show increased loyalty to, and satisfaction with, the digital format, according to the second volume of the Book Industry Study Group's Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey.

"The e-book market is developing very fast, with consumer attitudes and behaviors changing over the course of months, rather than years," said Angela Bole, BISG's deputy executive director.

Among the findings of the new BISG survey:
  • Nearly 50% of print book consumers who have also acquired an e-book during the past 18 months would wait up to three months for the e-version of a book from a favorite author, rather than immediately read it in print. A year ago, only 38% said they would wait this long.
  • More than 46% of those who say they acquire e-books at least weekly (considered "Power Buyers" in this survey) report that they have increased their dollars spent for books in all formats, compared with 30.4% of all survey respondents.
  • Amazon continues to be the preferred source for e-books (70%) and e-book information (44%), followed by Barnes & Noble (26%) and Apple, but libraries are gaining ground.
  • Seventy-five percent of respondents said are satisfied with their e-reading device, including more than 38% of respondents who reported being "very satisfied." Less than 5% said they felt their e-reading device was not a good value for the money.
  • While the cost of e-reading devices remains a concern, the single most popular answer to the question of what hinders respondents from reading more e-books was "nothing," at 33% (up from 17.6% a year ago).

Volume Three of BISG's Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading has just launched and will cover e-book consumer behaviors from now through September 2012.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I love Picture Books--one of many reasons

Last night as I was reading Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth to my 6 year old twins before bed, I realized one of the most wonderful reasons why I like picture books.  Picture books connect generations of families.

My girls are in first grade, and their reading skill have suddenly progressed very quickly.  Before we started reading, one of my daughters told me that she could read the cover to me.  Not only did she read the title, but she also read to me the names of the author and illustrator, Lucy Bate and Diane de Groat, respectively.  Now I have read this book hundreds of times from sharing it with my mom when I was a little girl, to sharing with each of my four daughters.  However, this time was different.  As she read to me Diane de Groat's name, something rang a bell.

Diane de Groat is my friend on Facebook!  She is an illustrator that I have contact with.  I now run in the same social circles as someone who helped to create positive childhood experiences for me.  My mom read the book to me, I read it to my children, and I have a direct connection to the illustrator!

I can only hope that someday my written words are shared with generations of families.  Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth has made all of us smile.

Thank you Diane de Groat. . . you have made a difference

Please visit Diane's website  http://www.dianedegroat.com/

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another New Story!

I can't believe how much fun I am having with Picture Book Month!  This morning I fleshed out an entire manuscript, and you won't believe what inspired it. . .

I lost my husband's pants in the laundry!  That triggered a story in me!  It has evolved already so far from his pants and it is a lot of fun.  I can't wait to now sit down and really dig into the editing.  Editing is my favorite part of the entire writing process.

I will keep you updated each day on how my picture book ideas are going.

Please be sure to take a look at www.uTales.com.  If you are a fan of digital books, this is really a fantastic site.  I truly believe that it is going to change the way that children read books.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1--Picture Book Month

I have already written most of the first draft of my picture book story for Day 1 of Picture Book Month!  This is so exciting!  How am I going to take my mind off of this idea to work on a new idea for Day 2 tomorrow?