Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today Is Halloween, Or Hallow's Eve, in the U.S.
Take A Moment To Muse About This: Have You Ever, As A Writer, Been "Haunted" By, Or Obsessed With, An Idea; Or A Thought That Won't Go Away?

Does It Seem to You To Be Something Like Poe's Raven Who Keeps Knock, Knock, Knocking, On The Door To A Room Called A "Chamber" Where A Poem's Narrator Lives?

Do You "Evermore" Feel As If You're Urgently Being Urged To Take, Or Inevitably Being Drawn Into Taking, A "Journey" -- A "Journey" That's Actually A Writing Experience That Becomes Something, Is Based On, Flowers From, That "Haunting" Idea or Thought?
If Such A Situation Has Happened To You, Share It; or, Imagine This Situation Happening To You And Go On That Journey: WRITE SOMETHING Whether Story or Essay or Poem, Based On That "Haunting" Idea Or Thought. Maybe Connect It To This Day.
Go On. Take "The Journey." Follow A "Yellow Brick Road,"  Discovering Your Own Signposts That Guide You Onward Toward "An Emerald Something."   

Monday, April 1, 2013


As spring struggles to gain a foothold with the start of this month, note ...

There is the concept that particular places and certain experiences can create something momentous  (on a grand or subtle scale) for people who happen upon them, rather then look for them.

Imagine a particular place a young person may visit, or an experience a young person may have, maybe each serendipitously - by chance.

Think of a scenario that involves one or more young people in an adventure as suggested above.

For some help, consider the wonder of a butterfly as a child may experience it.

Go to and find out about what someone believes these special spaces or places to actually be.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Unique Way to Spend or Write About Thanksgiving

Around Thanksgiving Day this year, someone told me a story about how a childhood Thanksgiving was spent. Besides the turkey dinner, some young friends spent the night "camping" in tents under the stars in the woods connected to one friend's home's property. They all sat by a fire, toasted marshmallows, told stories, and thought about what they wanted to be when they grew up or what they thought of life being like after they grew up. Imagine yourself (or a present day youngster) being in this situation. Write a short story on what you and your childhood friends (or your young characters) might tell stories about with reference to what you (or they) would like to be when you (or they)  grew up, or of what you (or they) think life might be like after you (or they) grow up. If you need more help with this idea, read the short story "Enchanted Bluff" by Willa Cather, written in the early 20th century on this topic. Read Willa's story online at

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Books in A Time Capsule - Messages In A Bottle From Our Time

In New York City in the Theodore Roosevelt Park behind the American Museum of Natural History in th year 2001, a time capsule was buried. A plaque suggests that the capsule be opened in the year 3000. Among the many items in the capsule are books. If you took part in contributing something to a time capsule today, especially contributing children's books, which titles would you choose? In the actual time capsule, there is a Dr. Seuss book. I suggest at least two Seuss books for a time capsule. My choices: "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and "The Lorax." Which Seuss book would you choose? Also in the capsule there's a science fiction book: Arthur Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Some of my choices for science fiction books to include in a time capsule would be: Madeleine's L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time," Vonda N. McIntyre's "Barbary" (of a cat and its young owner on a space station), and Robert Heinlein's "Podkadne of Mars." There would mostly likely be a Harry Potter book. If not all, which one would you choose? Which other children's books would you choose to be in this time capsule to reflect what is available for children to read during our lifetimes, the latter part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century? Where would you suggest the time capsule be buried and what would it have to do with children's literature? Ready for this challenge, or not? Do give it a try. You'll probably be surprised at your choices; given that future generations will be looking to you for a glimpse into our time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Theme challenge

Read the article at
Now think of some classic children's books and their opening lines, then make some educated guesses about these stories' themes. Some classic children's books you could start with could be: "A Wrinkle in Time," "The Secret Garden," Little Women," "The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, "Tom's Midnight Garden," "Treasure Island," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn," the Harry Potter books, and so many more. Now go and find some others, and discover their themes in their beginnings. Have fun.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book trailers are a new way to market your book, and a new online market. Go to and do title searches for classic children's books. View how trailers are done for them. Choose another classic children's book and make a trailer of it, or make a trailer of your own book. For help, see (click book videos in upper right pull down menu, type a title in search box, see a page with links to book trailers),,%20 (with instructions), See also
Have fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who's Hidng in This or That Book, or Around This or That Author?

Some people believe that a person's favorite authors and books help to hint at, or clarify, who that person may be. Now, you who are writers for children or YAs, consider who are your favorite writers and what are your favorite book titles, and what your preferences may say about you. Next, think of a person you know. Ask that person about her or his favorite author or book title,and imagine what those choices say about that person. Alternately, suggest to yourself an author or title that you might connect with this person, then tell why you chose that author and title to help describe that person.