Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall Frenzy Writing Contest 2020

 I entered this last year and it was a great writing experience. This year’s rules:

1. Choose a fall image from Lydia Lukidis’s blog

2. Write a 200 word (or less) poem, story, mood piece, whatever strikes your fancy from the chosen image as long as it’s child friendly.

3. Entries MUST be submitted from October 1-3 by midnight.

4. Enter by posting on your blog and then leaving the link for your submission on Lydia’s blog post.

5. One entry per person.

6. Winners announced on 10/31/20

7. Prizes feature critiques from editors, agents, and published authors.

Monday, September 14, 2020


 My last post, in July, was to celebrate and review one of my Wheatie sisters for her picture book, SHE LEADS. 

Today, I am celebrating and reviewing another. 

Tina Shepardson's new picture book just released this week. WALKOUT demonstrates for young children that they have the right to let their voices be heard for a topic that concerns their safety.

Shepardson’s WALKOUT is a simple explanation  

to the very young that standing up for what you 

believe in is important. And Sirrell’s illustrations 

artfully being Shepardson’s story to life. Maddie 

organizes her class for the schoolwide walkout

against school violence. And Stella, her best 

friend is afraid to participate. Through gentle 

persistence and delicate persuasion, Maddie 

repeatedly tries to get Stella to participate. Stella 

understands the importance of the schoolwide 

movement but takes the principal’s words to 

heart (only older grades may participate). So,

when her whole class (including her teacher) 

line up to join in the walkout, Stella sees and 

understands that there is a balance between 

interpreting the words of adults and doing the

right thing to support the safety of all students, 

whether they be young or old.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Review of SHE LEADS by June Smalls

So, I won a copy of this book in Zombie Week. June Smalls is my Wheatie sister and I am pleased to post my review here. I thoroughly recommend this book for classroom, bedtime, family readings, and for all adult lovers of elephants.

One of the first things that attracted my eye as I opened June Small’s SHE LEADS was the double text (one for preschoolers – simple) and one for older children – (more fact-filled sidebars on individual pages). How cool is that? The second was Yumi Shimokawara's naturalistic illustrations. (Beautiful!) A powerful book of feminine leadership in the animal kingdom. The Elephant Queen nurtures strength in her family and looks after her herd. The stunning story starts with the birth of an elephant princess and ends in the same manner. SHE LEADS demonstrates “girl power,” and will inspire human girls to “take the lead” in discussions, achievements, and life. 

Monday, June 22, 2020




JUNE 25 - 26, 2020


THE WRITING MAGIC WRITING RETREAT sponsored by CALLIE-METLER SMITH IS ABOUT Strengthening writing skills, clarity7 on writing goals, and inspiration for your writing passion.

Please join me on June 25, 2020 at 2:00 EST. for my presentation of "BEYOND THE FAIRYTALE."   



I've assembled some of my favorite and informative people (Melissa Stoller, Lynne Marie, Gayle C. Krause, Alayne Christian, Vivian Kirkfield, Stephanie Hansen, Doris Imahiyerobo, and Mira Reisberg) in the Kid Lit community to do just that!

8 experts over 2 days will teach you about bringing diversity to your books, how to find ideas in your own world, and how to write marketable ideas, among many other things.


Everything you need to know about the Writing Magic Virtual Retreat!


The Writing Magic Virtual Retreat will run from June 25th-26th with a variety of presentations to choose from each day.


I don't know about you, but I prefer to leave my house as little as possible. With that being said, you can tune into the retreat from anywhere with Internet access.


Presentations will be 45 minutes in length. The presentations and all other elements of the retreat will be available through August 31st to encourage you to stop waiting for the right time and take action along with hundreds of other writers.


You’ll also have access to a private Facebook group for the retreat where we’ll be partying it up before the retreat starts and working together to write great books once it kicks off.



It is Time to Join Us

Buy Your Ticket to Enjoy two packed full days of Fun, Kid Literature, and Writing Magic!

Friday, June 5, 2020



You’ve all heard of braided breads and French braided hair, but did you know stories need to be braided, too?

Braided stories should have three storylines, as each section of tresses in a plait. Writers who plod along on one story throughout the entire manuscript run the risk of writing a boring story. Readers need some unexpected happenings and this can be done a little at a time by incorporating three minor storylines into one larger manuscript.

You fold in layer by layer as the story progresses telling three smaller stories to keep the reader from losing interest. The reader likes to figure out plotlines before they actually get to the words that reveal them.  What makes that practice interesting is the twist that overlaps storylines to surprise the reader.
How to braid your stories:

·  Divide your story into threes
·  Write each one separately 
·  Incorporate in story.

Some writers do this instinctively. Braiding makes your stories come alive. It connects the reader to your characters. Let’s look at some examples of braiding.

#1 Harry Potter

Braid A – orphan boy neglected by his aunt and uncle. (family relationships)
Braid B – attends a secret wizard school (school relationships)
Braid C - discovers he is the nemesis if a most evil wizard (good vs. evil)

#2 Twilight

Braid A – teen-age girl is the mediator between divorced parents and moves in with her father on the other side of the country (family relationships)
Braid B – attends a new school, where she becomes mesmerized by a strange boy (school relationships)
Braid C – makes friends with the son of her father’s friend, complicating her relationship in Braid B

#3 Daddy, Can You See The Moon?

Braid A –  boy and his soldier dad concoct a way for them to share a special moment each night while his father is deployed.  (love between father and son)

Braid B – boy discovers his mother crying and finds out his dad was wounded in battle and helps him with his therapy. (family dynamics)

Braid C – boy grows up to be a soldier too. (role reversal)

So get your story threads separated, start at the top and overlap until you come to the end. Secure with a climax and satisfying end.

Comment below with braids of your favorite stories, be they picture book or novels and at the end of next week one lucky commenter will be selected to receive a copy of Daddy, Can You See The Moon?

Monday, October 7, 2019


The time has come to enter holiday writing contests. KIDLIT Fall Frenzy, Halloweensie, and in December, Rock Star Santa's Bookbag.

So today I am entering The Kidlit Fall Frenzy Writing Contest. 

A ton of thanks to Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis for planning this event! They've gathered a ton of wonderful prizes. You might enter yourself.

Here is my entry based on this photo prompt.

Mostly Ghostly

My friends threw double-dares, 
so I climbed the creaky stairs, 
of the haunted mansion high up on the hill. 

I slipped through the front door 
and was more scared than before, 
but determined, I kept tip-toeing until... 
I touched cobwebs and I freaked, 
plus the stench of this place reeked, 
and farther down the hall a dim light flickered. 

It cast shadows on the wall—
a hand that waved a beckoned call 
and a warbling voice above me snickered. 

“You cannot go much closer. 
I must halt you, Mr. Ghost, sir,
for you're shuffling through the hall of doom. 

And if you decide to stay here, 
I cannot ease your true fear 
for this house may become your earthly tomb.” 

Just then I heard the laughter 
coming from the highest rafter,
and that’s when I knew that I’d been had. 

My friends were up there gloating, 
and beside them, clearly floating,  
was my brother, my mother, and my dad. 

“Surprise!” shouted the ghosts 
as they raised marshmallow toasts 
in the dark room, now blazing gold and green. 

They showered me with presents 
and suddenly it made sense.
I forgot my birthday falls on Halloween.

word count 195

Milford Library Presents... Children's Veterans Day with Author Gayle C. Krause

Fall Frenzy Writing Contest 2020

 I entered this last year and it was a great writing experience. This year’s rules: 1. Choose a fall image from Lydia Lukidis’s blog