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Doing the Perfect Query

Well that tells you right off the bat that there are problems. There are no perfect queries. Yes there are. The queries that sell the manuscripts.  So that's it! The query is your short ad or sales pitch, without sounding like you're a sales person. The query road is short, long, winding, and can trap you or free you. There…

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Yippee, now SCBWI Co-Regional Adviser for SF North & East Bay

We have a great region and I have had a blast working with Margaret Speaker Yuan as her assistant regional adviser for over 4 years. She is a super hard worker, like I am, and we have got a region of terrific volunteers. When a SCBWI region reaches a certain size (like pretty big in membership) the region may split…

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They’ve Been Waiting For Me

My naturalist class has been pretty amazing. I found out its okay and cool to stop & do journal notes. Usually I am running or hiking with specific objectives. Always goal oriented.  Plus the inaturalist.org website engages citizen naturalists and pro's in identifying animals, plants and more. What a great new social media -- engaging in the discovery of nature…

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SCBWI Los Angeles Conference Kicks Your Rear

The Conference held in Los Angeles is nearly  a week long series of meetings, speeches, networking, workshops, parties, eating and possibly chatting with 1,200 great people. You have to enter this conference with a plan, like I posted earlier. Otherwise you can get caught in conference nervosa: the various stages of exhilaration, depression, exhaustion, frustration and giddiness that can kidnap…

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Injured Runner

Runner Injury Equates to Writer Critique Slam

I run and write. I realized that getting a runner injury is like getting a critique slam down on your manuscript. Both are big setbacks. And both require mental strength and the need to call in the support team to lift up your body and brain. I've been fortunate to run marathons and half marathons for the past 7 years…

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The Rich Marsh Habitat.

Slush, mush marsh

Marshes Were Smelly Dumps The marsh was the place that people dumped their garbage and construction debri. Just an ugly wasteland along the coast or inland. On a low tide, like the picture on the right, you would have seen garbage, tires and more, exposed. On a high tide, you could look out over a marsh and see all different…

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Getting writer’s education and subject matter street cred

Whenever writers are asked to submit a query or proposal, they are asked for their biography and specific relevant experience. With articles published in the business world and now writing for children's literature, there isn't a direct connection for children's publishers. And usually topic depth and direct experience are very important. Well, after volunteering as a frog docent, cleaning the…

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Writing about Nature

Let's face it. That title does not spark you to jump in. If you are a children's non-fiction writer of educational work, and are used for reference books for subject reports, that's one thing. I find writing about the natural world tricky. Especially when it's a work of fiction and addresses issues and conflicts in the natural world. For instance,…

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Conference excitement, but get the pay off

There are so many good reasons for writers to attend conferences. But go with a plan, though. The national August SCBWI conference in Los Angeles is amazing. Even with an economy that stumbles along, this conference continues to grow. The speakers, peer camaraderie and critiques of your work all can give you a big kick in the rear. But your…

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AppleSeeds Magazine

My first magazine article appeared in APPLESEEDS May/June 2012 edition. “One Piece at a Time”, an interview with Gary McIntire, Master Model Designer for LEGOLAND, California. Gary won a LEGO contest - and then was offered a job at LEGOLAND! Now that's the way to build a career.  

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