Finding Something Friday : Searching for Warmth

Okay, I know it’s freezing all over the country, but when the temperature drops to 30 in my Georgia backyard… baby, it’s cold outside! So, I thought I’d find something to warm the cockles of my heart. Feel free to warm your cockles, too (whatever a cockle is).

I’m still looking for all those favorite websites I had stored, and subsequently lost, in the computer fiasco of ’09. Today I remembered “Anthologies Online.” Check it out here for articles and anthology call-outs. I found a call-out for A Cup Of Comfort for Fathers.

A few days ago, I found the Cup of Comfort blog, which dang near made my day. Not the blog, so much, but a post about the latest C of C to be released: Cup of Comfort for New Moms. My story was listed in the index. Big deal, you might think. After all, I’d filled out a contract and sent my edited version back. But a contract and edited version does not automatically mean your story’s going to end up in the book. Trust me.

Anyway, check out the Cup of Comfort website (The blog’s there, too). You’ll find all the info for the Father’s book. Deadline is April 1, 2009. That’s plenty of time to write a heart-warming little essay about dad, right?

And if you want to warm up your children’s writing, you might want to check out the hot new happenings from Children’s Book Insider. If you have a CBI subscription, you can get into their new CBI Clubhouse. But you can get their hot e-zine delivered to your inbox FREE! if you go to the Write4kids website. I’m still catching up on end-of-the-year and first-of-the-year newsletters and e-zines (like CBI). I got way behind, you know, on account of the computer fiasco of ’09.

Do you get the feeling that you’re going to be hearing about the computer fiasco of ’09 for quite some time to come? Well, there you go…just one more thing you found out today on Finding Something Friday. Now, off you go. Start warming those cockles (whatever they are).

Finding Something Friday…Oh, Look! It’s Cheryl Klein on Writing Children’s Books

You know what I really love about the Decatur Book Festival? I LOVE that a literary editor like Cheryl Klein comes all the way to Georgia to present a workshop. And that I get to hear her wonderful words of wisdom at a heavily discounted rate. Okay, it was free. How awesome is that?

Cheryl (yeah, we’re on a first name basis now) is an editor with Arthur A. Levine (an imprint of Scholastic Books). You might recognize her name in connection with the Harry Potter books. But, she’s edited quite a few other notable books. And she shared some stories about editing these top-sellers, as well as what she looks for in a great manuscript.

So, if you want to impress Cheryl, you need to have a story with great characters. Creating real characters can make or break that manuscript. She wants a plot and a theme, and she wants that plot to support the theme. And if you want more details (because honestly, I’m just giving the bare bones here. I mean, Cheryl talked for two hours…) you can visit her website here and read her talks where she expounds on all the above.

Tons of great information from a funny, smart editor, courtesy of the Decatur Book Festival. Seriously, how awesome is that?

Tooting My Horn Tuesday about Children’s Picture Books (Again!)

As promised, I received THREE books in the mail, courtesy of ICL and Eve Heidi Bine-Stock! Also as promised, here’s what they look like:

And I’m sure they’re wonderful, though I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. So how do I know they’re wonderful? I know because Eve’s analyzed structure from such great children’s books as Where the Wild Things Are and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And Eve’s using such classics as Frog and Toad are Friends and Harold and The Purple Crayon to investigate the building blocks of word, sentence, scene and story. And though it’s not pictured, Eve’s taking a look at figures of speech in such favorites as Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Caps for Sale.

Now, honestly, how can you possibly not learn wonderful things about How to Write a Children’s Picture Book from those perfectly wonderful books? (And the wonderful Eve Heidi Bine-Stock, too!)