What You Can Do, If You Really Want To (And That Includes WINNING!)

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Obviously, Libby (The Tiny Terror) can’t be bothered with doing much of anything on this lovely spring day. But I have been taxing my brain with Nina Amir’s (who’s currently on a WOW!  tour) book, The Author Training Manual.

Goodness, it’s a thorough–and thoroughly thought-provoking–book on writing! With training exercises! (And you can win it!) But I’ll tell you all about the book when she stops here in June. For now, I’ll just pass you along to The Muffin, where I discuss a specific thought-provoking tidbit, inspired from my recent reading.

To wit: your willingness to do what it takes to make your writing a success. But you must also know what your idea of writing success is.

I know. It’s pretty heavy thinking material for such a lovely spring day. Maybe you should read something light and funny before tackling this mind-bender. Something like Susan Nees Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe Picture Day. 

If you’re Tina M. Cho, you get to read this winning book, courtesy of me. For the rest of you, well…you’re on your own to find Susan’s books. But believe me, they’re totally worth it.

And please, don’t be a Lazy Libby. Find what you’re willing to do, writing-wise. Because that’s totally worth it, too.

It’s a Little Blog Thing, I Know (But Do YOU Know?)

ImageSeems like I’m always looking for more writing time! So today, I’m passing along a blog tip that will keep your blog readers happily connected AND put you one step ahead in this always time-crunched business.


You may not always have one in a post, but when you do, your readers appreciate being able to click on that link and check out the topic you’re sharing. Just a click, and bang. You’re reading away about a new and even more fascinating topic. And hold on! There are links in the new topic and so you click again and bang! More information and more links to follow! Until finally, you come up for air and think, “Hmmm…now where did I start?”

Because every time that you clicked on a link, you roamed further and further from home. So you shrug, thinking sometime later, when you have time, you’ll go back and catch up on the original blog post. But how many times do we go back? How many times do we lose a reader because of a little link? And all because we didn’t fix the link so that it would open in a new window?

Yep, it’s that easy. After you add a link to a post, add one teensy step: Look below that link box and you will see a box with the instructions that read, “Open this link in a new window.” Check that box.

And here’s the difference (because I have a quick and timely reminder for you): You still have time to enter a punny comment and win Susan Nees’ very funny illustrated chapter book if you go here. (But if you go here, you may forget to come back.)

It’s a little blog thing, I know. (But now you know, too!)




Giveaway Time with Cathy-on-a-Stick, Missy, and Author/Illustrator Susan Nees (Or This Office Ain’t Big Enough for the Three of Us)

ImageOn Saturday, I took Cathy-on-a-Stick with me to an SCBWI schmooze where author/illustrator Susan Nees put on quite a lovely show. Er…presentation. I am happy to report that Cathy-on-a-Stick behaved herself, but Melissa Abigail Rose (whom everyone calls “Missy”)? That scamp of a protagonist in Susan’s illustrated chapter books was quite the character.

Okay, okay. Hold the groans, people. I mean, I could’ve come up with plenty of  (worse) puns. After Susan shared her publishing journey and tips, and after listening to critiques of fellow writers’ first pages, my brain was about to burst with ideas and writing know-how and creativity. So really, I could’ve produced puns of epic punniness. But I’m saving my creative spillover for a manuscript revision. I need to apply some of that brilliant writing wisdom to my latest picture book draft.

I wish I could share here all the gems I gathered. But it was one of those events where you really had to be there, listening, to learn.

I can, however, share this gem: if you have the opportunity in your community to hear an accomplished writer speak, for FREE, go! Listen! Learn! Make connections, meet new writer friends! Broaden your writing horizons! For FREE!

I think I enjoy free writing programs just a little bit more than the ones I pay to attend. I suppose that’s the frugal side of me coming out. I mean, something for nothing? You canNOT beat a great freebie, right?

And in that spirit, I’m going to give away the Susan Nees’ chapter book in the pic with Cathy-on-a-Stick. (Leave a comment, and if you leave a punny comment, I’ll give you an extra entry!) You’re going to love reading Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe Picture Day-and you just might learn a little something something about writing, too.

(So, yeah.  Cathy-on-a-Stick’s a little jealous of Missy. Two characters in the house is one too many…)