Thursday, December 15, 2011

And the Winner is...

Congratulations Caszia.


Rock Star Santa and his rowdy reindeer band will be performing a concert in your home on Christmas Eve, courtesy of Jingle Bell Jams. 


Please email me your physical address so I can send you Santa's sparkly silk scarf and a signed copy of ROCK STAR SANTA. 
  
Thanks for participating! MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


 Christmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - Rudolph
Christmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - RudolphChristmas Smilies - Rudolph

Monday, December 5, 2011

Only 10 Days Left to win a signed copy of ROCK STAR SANTA


ROCK STAR SANTA'S Reindeer  are waiting for your rhyming interpretation of their characters. Only 10 days left in SANTA'S ROCKIN' REINDEER RHYMIN' CONTEST.

Win a signed copy of ROCK STAR SANTA and Santa's red scarf.

Santa and his rowdy band will soon be performing in your living room.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

SANTA’S ROCKIN’ REINDEER RHYMING CONTEST



SANTA’S ROCKIN’ REINDEER RHYMING CONTEST

Santa’s been performing his Christmas concert for years. He’s a rock star! But he’d only be singing Jingle Bells without his rockin’ reindeer band. This is your chance to tell us about those crazy reindeer.

  1. Tell us what pop icons are so humorously illustrated by the fabulous Will Terry. (You’ll need a copy of ROCK STAR SANTA to do this part).

You can order it from Scholastic See Saw Book Clubs (November 2011) as part of a Holiday Super Savers Package (page 2). The ordering number is 63. (Six books for $12.00)

  1. Choose your favorite rockin’ reindeer and write a 10-12 line poem about him/her.
  2. Become a follower of The Storyteller's Scroll



Winner will receive:

  1. A copy of ROCK STAR SANTA, signed by both Will Terry and Gayle C. Krause.
  2. And, an authentic ROCK STAR SANTA sparkly red silk scarf.

Entries should be in by December 15th so I can send you the book and scarf before this year’s Christmas Eve Concert.

Contest sponsored by: JINGLE BELL JAMS


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

FINAL CURTAIN CALL FOR ROCK STAR SANTA


ROCK STAR SANTA'S FAREWELL TOUR

Dates: November 1 – December 31, 2011



COMIN’ TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!

With a Ho! Ho! Ho! I’m here to say,
“Get your ROCK STAR SANTA today.
It’s going fast. They may not last
‘til Christmas day. It’s such a blast!

My rockin’ reindeer band is cool.
Invite them to your home or school.
Reach me at the address above
and you’ll hold my book in your mitten or glove.

We’re at the end of a great book run.
It’ll soon be gone and so will the fun
you get each time you turn a page
Watch me sing on the Christmas stage!"

YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!

This advertisement paid for by Jingle Bell Jams

Contact Gayle C. Krause for information
on how to purchase ROCK STAR SANTA

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WINNERS OF THE THIRD ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR RHYMING CONTEST!

Good news scrollers! HALLOWEEN is fast approaching, but “The Magnificent Monster” contest winners are already here.

The scoring has been completed. See criteria below for each category.

POEMS-
Criteria included:

1.  Subject Matter must have been related to DARK FANTASY.DARK FANTASY.
2.  Meter -- the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that creates a reading rhythm.
3.  Originality – the quality of newness. A new, creative perspective on an old theme.
4.  Following contest rules
            a. commenting on other contestants entries
            b. being a follower of The Storyteller’s Scroll (check followers to see if you are there. Currently, there are 44 followers and I’ve double-checked each entry against the follower’s list.

SHORT STORY-

Criteria included:

1.     Subject Matter must have been related to DARK FANTASY.

2.     Dialogue: natural, or stilted?

3.     Character development: Were characters and/or their actions believable? Cliched? Were they memorable? Consider the protagonist, antagonist and supporting characters.

4.     Plot: Clear beginning, middle and end? Beginning hook? Plausible ending? Predictable? Unexpected?

5. Theme: Was there a message in the story?

6. Point of View: Was the story told in active or passive voice? Consistent with verb tense?

7. Setting: What did you remember about it? Was it unique? Memorable? Did the writer evoke all theof the senses?

8.Grammar/Spelling


We had excellent participation in this year’s Spooktacular Rhyming Contest. I am pleased to have sponsored a fun contest that allows authors to share their work.

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

DUM-da-da-da!

Poem – “Monster Mom” by Kathy "An Eyeball in My Garden." - signed
Short Story – “The Heeblahs” by Angelulu4 "Shiver"

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Winners may contact me at my email address, which can be found on my website page. The link is in the upper right hand corner of this blog.

Please send me your physical address before October 27th, so you will receive the books before Halloween.

Thanks you, everyone, for participating!

Stay Tuned for the next Rhyming Contest at The Storyteller's Scroll in December, when the winner shall receive a signed ROCK STAR SANTA picture book.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Only Three Days Left for the Magnificent Monster Contest!!

Last call for entries for "The Magnificent Monster Contest" at the Storytellers Scroll.

Winners will be announced on October 26th.

Best poem wins - a signed copy of An Eyeball in My Garden.
Best prose wins - a copy of Shiver.


Good luck everyone. Get those Mysterious Magnificent Monsters Moaning!

Good Luck everyone.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Eyeball Has Left the Crypt!

Yes, folks the mighty Eyeball has left the crypt and is once again wandering through the garden.
Check out his latest bloggings at:

www.eyeballinmygarden.com  

He has linked to our Magnificent Monster Contest and he's looking to send some dark monsters our way.

Hope you join him and us in our dark fantasy contest.

Bwaaa-haa-haa!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

ONLY 5 MORE DAYS BEFORE THE MAGNIFICENT MONSTERS APPEAR

Hope you are all busy scaring up some great "Monster" Poems and Stories. Entries will start appearing in (5) days.

Werewolves and Werecats
Vampires
Trolls
Evil Fairies
Spider Queens
Witches

Can you write about a monster no one has heard of? Try it! Your prizes await!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Third Annual Spooktacular Halloween Contest at the Storyteller's Scroll

It’s hard to believe I’ll be hosting the Third Annual Spooktacular Halloween Contest at the Storyteller’s Blog this year. Where does the time go?

For the last two years The Spooktacular Contest was limited to rhyme, as I am an avid rhymer. My published picture book is rhyming and I’m currently working on a poetry collection.

Last year, I added a glossary of Halloween Creatures titled “Monster Mania.” You can find them on my blog and use them in preparing your entry this year.

But my other love is novel writing. So this year I would like to add a new aspect to the Spooktacular Halloween Contest.

The contest this year is titled THE MAGNIFICENT MONSTER!”

To enter:

  1. Write a dark fantasy poem of no more than 250 words, or a dark fantasy short story of no more than 500 words about “a magnificent monster” of your choice.

  1. Become a follower of “The Storyteller’s Blog.”

  1. Post your entry in the comments section of The Storyteller’s Blog and comment on at least two other entries.

There will be two winners.

The winner of the poetry section will win an autographed copy of There’s An Eyeball in My Garden, a Halloween poetry collection by the renowned poets of The Poetry Garage.

and

The winner of the short story will win a copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

Contest runs from September 15th to October 12th. Winners will be announced on October 26th and will receive their books by Halloween.

Here is an example:


BEWARE!

Dark as night.
Black as pitch.
Meaner than a nasty witch.

Teeth like knives.
Claws like nails.
Pointed ears and hairy tails.

Shirt in rags.
Pants in tatters.
Feed the hunger. All that matters.

Smell of prey.
Life of ruin.
Beware the werewolf. It’s full moon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tips to Create Suspense/Tension


I’ve just spent the whole summer writing and revising my newest novel. Through my efforts to create a great story I’ve used the following advice, which I garnered from editor’s critiques, agent’s blogs and my own writing partners. These ten easy steps helped me. I hope they will help you too.


Tips to create suspense/tension to keep your readers turning those pages!

1. Show, don't tell! The fewer blocks of description or passive writing, the better.
2. Avoid "info dumps." That brings your story to a screeching halt.
3. Use realistic dialogue and action scenes.
4. Make your danger believable.
5. Include the unexpected.
6. Shorten words and sentences.
7. Vary the mood from suspenseful to relaxed in order to keep the tension higher.
8. Scenes which take place in a short amount of time (one night, an hour) are more suspenseful than scenes which take place over several days or weeks.
9. Get MC’s problems out of their head and into dialog.
10. End each chapter with a “hook.”


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Go With the Flow


First drafts percolate in my head for weeks, 
beckoning to be released. 
When I finally sit at the computer, 
they gush out like a broken water main, 
flooding the pages. 
Voice automatically surfaces through the words.

--Gayle C. Krause


Monday, August 1, 2011

PATCHWORK WORDS: STRONGER STORY


Pretty Pirate!

We’ve all heard about how we should polish our manuscripts until they shine. Are they made of silver? And it has been said that editors are seeking the precious gem, so we should revise our manuscripts until they sparkle.

I’d like to propose an analogy of my own, “patchwork words.”
Since I’m also a quilter, as well as an author, this makes sense to me. Maybe it will be an easy way for you to revise to make your story stronger.

Your story is finished. You’ve read it and reread it a million times. Friends and critique partners have read it and given comment. You fixed the sagging middle, tied the loose ends, and cut out the unnecessary words. Now, it’s ready to submit to agents or editors.

Right?         Wrong!

I’m suggesting one last exercise before you hit the send button or seal that manila envelope. This is where the “patchwork words” come in.



VERBS:

  1. Take the first and last page of each chapter.
  2. Highlight the verbs you have used.
  3. List them separately on a different page.
  4. Use a thesaurus to find a stronger verb. (This may not always happen if you already have a strong verb)
  5. Replace the weak verb and continue down the list.

ie:  original phrase – pushed forcefully against the wall.
      new phrase – slammed against the wall

      original phrase – cut deep into his shoulder
      new phrase – pierced his shoulder
     


DESCRIPTORS

1.     Repeat step one above.
2.     Highlight adjectives and adverbs with a different color from above exercise.
3.     Where you have two adjectives, cut one.
4.     Where you had adverbs, your new stronger verb should eliminate the need for the tricky adverb.

ie:  original phrase - cold, blue eyes stared
      new phrase – icy eyes stared

      original phrase – the long, twisted, cobblestone road
      new phrase – the winding road



SIMILES/METAPHORS

1.     Repeat step one above.
2.     Check for your analogies. Are they cliché? If so, change them to something more original. (The first thing you think of is usually the first thing ever other writer thinks of, so stretch your imagination to come up with something more original.)
3.     Don’t overuse analogies. (No more than one on each page, it that)
Pint-Sized Pirate!



Now go back and reread your manuscript. The new words you slipped in there should make a difference. You can tell when you get to the “patched” area because it should sound stronger.

Patchwork your way to perfection! J

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Dozen Simple Tips for Writing Strong Novels


Writing Novels

1.   Make a plot outline.
2.   Kick off your novel with a bang to hook your readers right away. (First page)
3.   Stay focused to move your story forward.
4.   Keep flashbacks to a minimum.
5.   Quickly accelerate story to a level of action
6.   Don’t underestimate your reader. No need to explain everything. Let your story tell itself. Show, Don’t tell. 
7.   Let your characters speak through believable dialogue.
8.  Include sounds, smells, visual details, and things only your main character can see.
9.   Create characters the reader cares about. The reader needs to identify with your main character. 
10. The main character needs to develop over the course of the book.  Don’t forget your villains need to be interesting, too!
11.   Keep the intensity rising. Then sustain a high pitch, before leveling off.  Gradually come down at the climax. 
12.   Endings should be emotionally satisfying.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Eastern PA SCBWI Festival of Books

CORRECTION! CHANGE OF VENUE!!!


The Book Festival will take place on the same day, at the same time, but will be held at:


Doylestown Bookshop
16 S Main St.
Doylestown, PA 18901



See you there!




The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of Children’s 
Book Writers &  Illustrators
       presents

      A Festival of Children’s Books

       on Thursday, July 28, 2011
      2:30 – 5:30 PM

In the Pearl S. Buck room at the Doylestown Branch of the Bucks County Library

Please come and meet our region’s most wonderful author’s and illustrators.

I'll be there. So will ROCK STAR SANTA. Looking forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winner of the Fractured Mother Goose Poetry Contest is Announced


Mother Goose has been giving her spectacles a real work out reading and rereading these “old rhymes in new skins.” She even let Goosey read some. Goosey was not a fan of The Wise Lamb and I could understand why.

I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in the “New Mother Goose Rhyming Competition.”

From a scrambled “Humpty” to a lying “Bo-Peep” to Rhymeland’s own “Sweeney,” the entries were very clever.

The winner may contact me through my website for their rhyming picture book critique. Just click on the link in the upper right hand corner of my blog. That will take you to my website where you will find my email address.

Thanks again, everyone everyone. These contests are always a bunch of fun and they help stimulate your creativity.

And the winner is………..

A KING’S MAN TELLS WHAT HAPPENED TO HUMPTY DUMPTY

By Stephanie Shaw

Congratulations, Stephanie. J

Saturday, June 11, 2011

NJSCBWI - A New Take on Silver and Gold

Making New Writer Friends and Reconnecting with Old Ones


Last week I had the best time at the NJSCBWI Conference despite a few family setbacks. (An emergency room visit in the middle of the night) But that's another story.

I was thrilled to meet and chat with some of my POET'S GARAGE members. I had met Stella and Diana before, but this was my first time meeting Laura.

I also ran into my old friend, Patti, who by the way had been my very first roommate at the POCONO SCBWI conference years ago. Since then I have published a picture book and she has obtained an MFA from Vermont.

I spent some time with Nancy, Allison, Kristin, Christina, Mary, Elena, Edward, Ammi, Eileen, and Alvina.

New friends made, included my awesome YA peer critique group, Suzy, Susie, Marcy, Christine and Nicole.

Aside from writer friends I also made new friends with editors and agents. So now I'm busy revising away in hopes that next year I'll be one of the agented authors attending.

Go to a writer's conference. It builds your self-esteem, gets you excited about your work and stimulates your creativity, not to mention your appetite, friendships and life in general. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NEW POETRY CONTEST AT THE STORYTELLER’S SCROLL

Don't forget, you rhymers out there. Mother Goose is expecting some "new" takes on her "old" rhymes.

Contest starts today!
Good Luck!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Non-Traditional Mother Goose Poetry Contest at the Storyteller's Scroll


NEW POETRY CONTEST AT THE STORYTELLER’S SCROLL

In winter, The Storyteller’s Scroll ran the second annual
Fractured Fairy Tale Rhyming Contest”

It was a great success. But in both the last contest and the previous one, some participants used beloved Mother Goose characters instead of fairy tale characters. So in honor of their favorite Nursery Rhymes we’re running a rhyming contest, this time using “MOTHER GOOSE CHARACTERS”

Starting June 1, 2011, participants will be able to submit their fractured nursery rhymes for a chance to win a rhyming picture book critique from First Peek Critique Service, valued at $75.00. Winner will be announced on June 14, 2011.

Here is an example:

Rules:

  1. Poems must be suitable for children to read.
  2. No more than 16 lines.
  3. ***Poems must be from the POV of a Mother Goose character, but not the traditional POV.
  4. Submit in the comment section below.

ie: Little Miss Muffet from the Spider’s POV

Spider’s Response
 by Gayle C. Krause                                      

Miss Muffet hates me and I don’t know why,
so I’d like to take this time to reply
to her accusation that I scared her away.
I was only spinning my web on that day.

You say she’s innocent. That’s sure a joke.
She’s a drama queen who whines to the nursery rhyme folk.
As for missing her lunch, she eats curds and whey
from sunrise to sunset, everyday.

I don’t know what you all think I did.
She was so busy eating she thought that I hid
under an eave and then dropped down beside her.
Give me break. I’m a web-spinning spider.

Me? Apologize? For what may I ask?
I was minding my business with my spidery task.
If she paid more attention before she sat down
she wouldn’t have tarnished my name around town.


Have fun! Let your imagination fly. See what you can come up with. Make Mother Goose proud! J

Friday, May 6, 2011

Color Critiques for Conferences


Hi folks!

Spring is Conference time. In April I participated in a peer critique group at a PA SCBWI conference and in June I will be meeting the authors of the novels I am currently critiquing. All together, I have critiqued 165 pages. That’s the size of a whole novel.

So what did I observe when critiquing these awesome samples of writing?

  1. Creating tension is essential to keep those pages turning. How do we do that?
Here are some examples:
    1. Show, don't tell!
    2. The fewer blocks of description or passive writing, the better.
    3. Avoid "info dumps."
    4. Use realistic dialogue. Make sure your characters speak like today’s teens.
    5. Impart information through action scenes.

  2. Make your "danger" believable.
             a.  Don’t throw in a scene that sounds scary or exciting just because every writing book suggests you do. The danger your character exoeriences must relate to his/her story.


   3. Throw a monkey wrench in the middle of the drama. Include something unexpected to make the reader want to keep going.

    4. Pay attention to pacing.
            a. too fast? Slow it down with some basic description, not flowery over the top double adjective description.
                   1. use longer sentences
            b. too slow? Add dialogue.
                   1. incorporate short, staccato sentences to make scenes more suspenseful.
                    2. Make scenes take place in a shorter rather than longer time frame.

5. Use hooks at the end of each chapter to keep reader turning the pages.


Activity: Since agents and editors want to be sucked into your story immediately go back to your first scene in your first chapter and:

1.    Highlight tension in RED.
2.    Highlight character’s feelings in PINK.
3.    Highlight actions in BLUE.
4.    Highlight dialogue in PURPLE.
5.    Highlight character’s inner thoughts in GREEN.


                  Well, I’m off to splatter my critique partners’ pages with color. Together we can create a masterpiece. Try using this color critique method with your next critique group.








Sunday, April 17, 2011

Interview with Picture Book Author - Lynne Marie


Today, I’d like to introduce my blog readers to Lynne Marie. She’s a new Scholastic author, and we share the same editor. Her debut picture book is featured in this interview.
Enjoy!

1.Can you tell us your latest news?

    I am very pleased to announce that my first
    children’s picture book, “Hedgehog Goes to 
    Kindergarten,” is being featured in May issue of 
    Scholastic Firefly book club. You can find it on 
    the front page of the flyer. It can be ordered 
    through the book club from classroom teachers, 
    or anyone my contact me at 
     WriteLynneMarie@aim.com

2.   If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I have been fortunate to have many writers mentor me during the many, many years I devoted to learning my craft, including Erica Silverman, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Gail Carson Levine, Pam Munoz Ryan, Patricia Lee Gauch, Joy Cowley and several other greats, but I honestly would have to credit my long-standing critique group, Linda Ravin Lodding and Lori Mortensen, for their tireless and continued mentorship over the years.

3.   What is/was your first published title?

Although I have had many near-misses and several other manuscripts under consideration, “Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten” is my first published title, to date.

4.   What inspired you to write your first book?


This book, originally titled “School Bus Buddies,” was inspired by a few things. The problem was based upon something I observed when my son attended school. I think going off on a bus is such a big step and I wanted to write a story to give a child (especially a child who is different) hope “at the end of the road,” even when the ride is bumpy.  I felt I needed a main character who had a flaw that was part of the problem and I right away thought of my first pet hedgehog, Apollo Nike ( nicknamed “Spike”) who always turned into a pin-cushion when he got scared.

5.   How did your find your editor/publisher?

She had been one of the Mentors at a Rutgers University One on One Plus Conference that I had made it into several years ago, although she was not my Mentor. She seemed very nice and I thought that my book would be perfect for the book club market, so I sent it.

6.   What are your current projects?


I do have two sequels to “Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten,” in
which Spike actually does get to school: “Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School,” and “Hedgehog and Croc’s Picture Day Countdown.” I think they are lots of fun – and so does my editor, so hopefully my first book will sell well enough that Scholastic will offer contracts on those too.

      7. Describe a typical day in your writing life. Are you a morning 
      writer? An afternoon writer? A late night writer?

     I am an after 9:00 A.M. writer. Mornings are focused upon having fun
     breakfasts with my six-year old daughter and dressing her up in
     fancy clothes for school. I’m glad we have this time because next 
     year we will be living in Florida and she will wear a school uniform 
     and go to school even earlier!

7.   Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I would love them to visit my websites at:



I have been remiss in updating them just lately because we are in the process of selling our home and purchasing a home in Florida and I have been flying back and forth, but I will be giving them attention soon, and I would love to feature children’s artwork and letters, which can be sent to: WriteSpike@gmail.com

8.   Are there any writing books you recommend? Workshops? Conferences?
I love Ann Whitford Paul’s book, “Writing Picture Books,” for starters.  I’m also a huge fan  of the Highlights Foundation Writer’s Workshop at Chautauqua (www.highlightsfoundation.org) and any and all SCBWI (www.scbwi.org) conferences on the local, state, national or international level – I’ve been to several local, many states, many national conferences and even one in Spain!
9.   And for fun, something that not a lot of people know about you:
I’m sharing this one because it has to do with kid’s movies and that is always a FUN topic (I can’t wait to see RIO!).  Cathy Moriarty who was Carrington in the movie Casper (as well as several other big name movies) and was also in Casper Meets Wendy was in my wedding party when I was married in 2003.

Just makes me want to go watch Casper!
Something else for those who like pets: I’ve had fish, a gerbil, hamsters, mice, cats, five pygmy hedgehogs, rabbits, a feral cat, and a Belgian Schipperke.

Thanks for sharing your success with us Lynne. We’ll keep our eye out for your next book!

Thanks for having me here, Gayle! It’s been fun! 

Good News! Great News! Wonderful News! And a Giveaway!

They say good things come in threes. Well, they do in fairytales! And this past week has been a dream come true, just like fairytales. Fir...