Saturday, November 30, 2013

Get Your Grammar Groove

 The Picture Book Academy is running a “groovy” contest in celebration of a new course they're offering called Get Your Grammar Groove with Miranda Paul!  They decided to create this fun contest to give everyone the opportunity to win great prizes while learning about good grammar. The bonus is, as quoted from their web site, "Everyone who enters is a winner, as we will have extra-special discounted Grammar Groove courses available if you give it a try!"

 You can join the contest here.
So everyday I'm discovering grammar errors on social media, in the newspapers, in store ads, and on signage. This morning during my run I was listening to music and it occurred to me that so many song lyrics include poor grammar. I've chosen two songs from my running playlist to highlight for today's poor grammar entries.
The song "Run to You" includes these lyrics:
"But that’d change if she ever found out about you and I.”
Correct grammar would change the lyrics to:
"But that’d change if she ever found out about you and me.”

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
"(I Can't Get Any) Satisfaction"

I know there are dozens and dozens more. Feel free to add some of your favorite lyrics or song titles to the list. And while we're on the subject of songs here's a little rhyme I wrote to help you remember:

Don't write it wrong
The titles of songs
Are always referred to in quotes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Football

Library Edition ISBN: 978-0-7660-4120-2
Paperback Edition ISBN: 978-1464401780
E-book also available!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blog Hop

Welcome to Blog Hop! What’s a Blog Hop? It's where children's book authors answer identical questions and then invite others authors to join in.

Nancy Viau tagged me, so you get to read her bio first. Be sure to visit her web site to learn more about her wonderful books. Then you can check out my answers to the Blog Hop questions below. And finally, find out who the three authors are that I tagged. Enjoy the hop!

NANCY VIAU is the author of two nature-inspired picture books: Look What I Can Do!, which School Library Journal calls "wonderfully expressive" and "a gently affirming tale perfect for parent-and-child sharing," and Storm Song, a fun read-aloud filled with rhythmic text that captures the excitement of thunder, lightning, and rain. Viau is also the author of the middle-grade novel Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head. She lives with her family in New Jersey, but loves to travel anywhere her frequent flyer miles take her. You can follow Nancy at

Now here are my answers to the Blog Hop questions:

What are you working on now?
It's PiBoIdMo (Picture Books Idea Month) which means I'll be brainstorming at least one new picture book idea a day for the month of November. I'm also working on resolving a problem I'm having with a particularly pesky princess that's really giving me a hard time.
How does it differ from other works in the genre?
I can't tell you how it differs from other works in this genre because I don't want to give my idea away but let's just say the proof is in the princess.
Why do you do what you do?
 Because I'm obsessed with writing for children and if I don't write I'm just not myself. It's also a great way to give all of those voices in my head something constructive to do.
What is the hardest part about writing?
The hardest part about writing is figuring out how to turn an idea into a great story for children. Many people assume it's easy but it's really not. I'm very particular about what I write and how it can make a positive impact on my readers. Children's authors have important jobs to do.

Now, I get to tag a few more authors. Please read their bios below and take a minute to HOP over to their blogs!
Lyn Sirota is a writer and has published almost nineteen books and many articles and poems for children of all ages. She is an active member of her local and national Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and an active council member of the Rutgers University Council of Children's Literature. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and resides in New Jersey with her husband, children and three furry rescues. You can find Lyn online at: Hop on over to her blog:
Vikk Simmons has a traveler's soul and an explorer's spirit and the two feed her main habits: reading and writing. A confirmed dog lover, she shares her life with 7 dogs (and 2 cats). In addition to several blogs, her published works includes 3  Texas travel books, 2 teen novels, and online writing for MSN City Guides, Expedia, Blogcritics, and Squidoo. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College and is a certified journal instructor. Vikk's writing has led to local radio and television appearances, and writer conferences and workshops. She's also taught writing for a local college. Fully socialized, you can find her online at Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest. For writing, visit Down the Writer's Path. For all things dog, visit A Life with Dogs.

Naomi Gruer writes picture and chapter books.  She has published a column for Hometown Quarterly under the tagline "Mission Mompossible" and many free-lance articles.  Bmore Energy, her lifestyle blog, is a place where she can share all of her interests.  She also assists at a pre-school and teaches After School Enrichment classes at an elementary school.  When she's not writing, you might find Naomi taking pictures (outdoors), baking (something chocolate), throwing (ceramic pots) or running (with her dog).  Oh, and she has triplets plus one more! You can enjoy reading her blog, Bmore Energy here.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Place Cards Using Riddles and librarians have been commenting that they enjoy learning new ways to use my joke books in their classrooms. I've even showed them  how they can be used with the Common Core State Standards and ways to group them with other fiction and nonfiction books. Now I'm also including this fun craft for Thanksgiving. I've taken a riddle from my Corny Thanksgiving Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone book and created a Thanksgiving place card using my computer, card stock, colored paper, and glue. Wouldn't these be fun and look festive around the Thanksgiving table? Guests can take turns reading their riddle and having everyone try to guess the answer which is revealed inside the place card.

Glue or write a Thanksgiving riddle on the outside of the place card.
The answer to the riddle is glued or written on the inside of the place card.

Friday, November 1, 2013

5th Annual Picture Book Idea Month

So November is an important month of picture book writers. Why? Because we have the opportunity to participate in PiBoIdMo which is short for Picture Book Idea Month. That's right, picture book ideas have their own month! During the month of November participants vow to come up with at least one new picture book idea each day for an entire month. No excuses. No complaining. And yes, Thanksgiving Day is included.

I've decided I'm going to be ambitious this year since at the current time I'm a full-time writer which I was never able to say before. Therefore, I should have more time to write, right? So, in addition to coming up with at least one idea a day, at the end of each week I'm going to look over my new ideas and choose at least one and work on making it more than just an idea. Not all ideas are good and not all ideas are worthy of a great picture book so this is going to help me weed out some of the not-so-great ideas and focus on the ones with more potential.

Although PiBoIdMo officially kicks off today, it's not too late to register for PiBoIdMo 2013. You have until November 8th. There are inspiring guest blog posts every day and great prizes for those who successfully complete the challenge.