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Concentrating with COVID-19

I believe that every person is overwhelmed in one way or another, worrying and protecting against COVID-19. It is hard to go through the day without grieving for another person, city, county or nation. The drastic changes that many have gone through and are going through have changed their lives in ways we can’t imagine. The deck has reshuffled and…

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Cherry Orchid Irrigating Ditches Mid Century

Six Minutes to Uncover a Memory

At the August 2019 Los Angeles SCBWI Conference for children's writers and illustrators, award-winning author Meg Medina shared a terrific writing tip she uses to draw on her history. She takes 6 minutes every morning to write about a specific childhood memory. So I set my timer and wrote. What a great way to uncover and reveal the time, feelings,…

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SCBWI LA Conference Tips!

This has to be one of the biggest gatherings of children's writers, authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, interested friends and more. Given it's size, here are a few tips from my frequent attendance: Bring your water and coffee mug - save on trash. Pick your sessions carefully based on topic for your work needs, or who is a likely that…

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Regional Writer Conferences Verses National Conferences

When examining the needs to improve your craft, the investment in conferences, intensives, retreats, and local workshops become important tools in career development. What stage are you in your work? Beginner (know nothing about the industry) Pre-published (been writing and need to deepen your knowledge of craft in characters, plot, dialogue, querying, submitting, etc.) Advanced Pre-published (had professional critiques, attended…

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My Latest Writing Resources

I started my professional career in market research, consumer research, and statistics. As I moved through executive marketing positions, I've been ever-reliant on my library, new resources and new strategies. So for children's writing, I'm passing along the outstanding Dreyer's English, An Utterly Correct Guide of Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer (I listened on audio and then had to…

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Faces Magazine April 2019 World of Islands

The Maldives and Their Fight Against Rising Seas, FACES magazine, April 2019

Island nations such as the Maldives live with the stark reality that their countries will be under water from climate change. This is not fifty years out. It's now. These island nations have limited choices—relocate or elevate. The Maldives are taking immediate action, and calling on other nations to help. Read more in my FACES magazine article, The Maldives and…

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The Huli People of Papua New Guinea: From Isolation to Theft of Their Natural Resources

The Huli people have tribal customs from thousands of years. When the Europeans "discovered" them in the 1940's, life changed. And not all for the good, nor that benefited the Huli. "Modernization" has brought broken contracts, theft of land and resources, guns, and violence to protect what is theirs. FACES Magazine, March 2019 issue, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, The…

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Children’s Magazine Writing – Such a love!

I've written for health care and other industry trade magazines for years. When I decided to write children's literature, it took a while for me to discover children's magazines as something to try. But I love it! I've done over 27 articles so far. It gives me license to research and dig deeply into subjects that take me all over…

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Change at SCBWI and More Time to Write

After 12 years of running the San Francisco North and East Bay Region, first as Assistant Regional Advisor and then as Co-Regional Advisor, I stepped down on 9/1/18.  Our region is a tremendous success, with over 30 programs a year, and twenty enthusiastic dedicated regional team members. I look back and I've done over 200 programs, Intensives and Conferences, hosted…

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Mentoring is a gift

I just finished the 2018 Nevada Mentor program for children writers. My mentor was author Terri Farley. She was amazing. Two complete reviews of my middle grade novel, The Big Bad Book Club, with sensitive, serious direction and revision guidance. This is an incredible program. I recommend every children's writer apply to a mentor program. The outstanding feedback and advice…

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