Janet

Character or Plot: Which Comes First?

I’m a fan of the Marvel Universe. I find the dialogue snappy, I love the embedded humor, I enjoy the ridiculous costumes and sets, and even the not terribly well-hidden messages. But these mindless movies beg one serious writerly question: is the plot or the characters? Do we create plot-driven or character-driven stories and why?… Read more »

KidLit Bundle Ends Tonight!

Kidlit Writers – ICYMI! I contributed to this Infostack bundle because I think it’s an incredible deal. For $67, you have access to a wide assortment of inspiring materials, gathered from talented authors, to help you write your best book. Now, to sweeten the pot I’m adding to the deal: if you have bought this… Read more »

Now Something For Writers

Teachers please note that my big giveaway of 3 classroom sets of my picture book Volcano Dreams is still running, until midnight April 8. Comment below or in the previous post to enter!!   For Writers: A Bundle of Tools   This week, for you writers I’m also participating in an Infostack.io bundle.   Order… Read more »

Volcano Dreams Book Giveaway

This week I’m featuring a giveaway to help our teachers, who are right now facing such difficulties across the board. This is the one thing I can do to say, “thanks for all you do”. I have three (yes, three!) full classroom sets of paperbacks of my picture book Volcano Dreams to give away. That’s… Read more »

Writers! Back Away Slowly…

I was listening to a writing discussion with Jennie Nash and Allison Williams the other night and Allison made a comment that the writers who succeed are the ones who can put the work down and come back to it with a fresh eye. I know from personal experience how important that fresh eye can… Read more »

Writing Lessons From an Illustrator

I listened to an excellent lecture today, and with acknowledgement to Eric Castleman, who gave the lecture, I’d love to share with you – reinterpreted for writers – his wise advice. He didn’t know that he was an artist from the jump. He liked art and dove in – he is entirely self-taught. You can… Read more »

How To Write Through Trauma

I think we can all agree that the times we are living in – really, for the past 6 years now – are traumatic. From polarization in politics, to the pandemic, to the increasing deleterious effects of climate change, and now to the very real threat of global war, we have the misfortune to be… Read more »

A (Story) Heart for Your Valentine

If you are looking for a gift for the writer in your life – spouse, partner, dear friend, child, parent, or for yourself – I have a “gift” for you! My targeted coaching package, Discover Your Story Heart, is already a sweet deal but I’m making it sweeter – for one week. Discover Your Story… Read more »

3 Exercises to Uncover Your Personal Life Theme

What the heck is a “personal life theme”? And why, you may ask, would I want to uncover mine? (Do note that this exercise is a bit of personal therapy.) Aside from the general importance of self-knowledge, for a writer, understanding our life theme can guide us in choosing which books to write and how… Read more »