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!