DIY Picture Book Query Letters

When it comes to picture book submissions, editors and agents nearly always ask for the entire text. For novels and nonfiction, they generally ask for a synopsis, the first three chapters, and/or a proposal and outline. It’s a no-brainer that one should write a query for novels or nonfiction to get the prospective publisher interested…

Sock-sock-shoe-shoe? or sock-shoe-sock-shoe?

I had this discussion recently with a Millennial, who felt that the first option was the only answer that made any sense whatsoever, and, he didn’t want to hear any discussion about the alternative. The discussion recalled a hilarious scene in one of the best sitcoms ever made, All in the Family, which aired in…

Nevertheless, she persisted.

Those are the infamous words spoken by the Majority Leader of the Senate recently as his reason to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren for things he didn’t wish to hear. His invocation of a seldom-used rule backfired and gave a whole lot of us a new battle cry. It goes along with my long-standing mantra: endeavor…

Judging a Cover by its Book?

A few years ago, a friend, who was about to self-publish a nonfiction book, asked for my opinion of the title and cover design since I was a published author. I commented that it was lovely, but I knew nothing about the book by its cover. The title seemed odd to me, the font almost…

Just another day in rural Oregon

From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome. I needed postcard stamps, and our local post office had sold out. The mail clerk commented that it was unusual to run out of them. Maybe a lot of people are mailing postcards? Maybe on March 15? Anyway, with tears in my eyes, I drove off into the sunset…

Leap into Literacy! A Printable Poster

Someone asked about buying a printable copy of this painting I did in 1991, called “Leap into Literacy.” It was a winning entry in a poster contest and also my promo piece back when we mailed things like this to editors and art directors. This is what it looks like. Since WordPress reduces file size,…

A Rotting Paradise

We’re a few days from the 2016 winter solstice, and like many around the country, we’ve had some pretty frigid temperatures lately. So we complain about frozen roads, worry about losing power, and moan about water pipes freezing. In the beautiful Northwet, we also whine about endless days and weeks of dreary clouds and rain….

The Rejection Wins

My paternal grandmother, Zola Koontz, aka Mrs. Wilbur Koontz, was one of many mid-20th century housewives who took a stab at jingle writing contests. It is a mystery why she sent this one again under her Mrs. Husband’s name rather than her own. But in any case, she won! $25.00 in 1947 had the same…

BUG! Publishing News

It began last October with a semi-desire to learn how to do scratchboard while tinkering with a story idea. As usual, my brain firmly resisted this new task that sounded messy, time consuming and difficult to learn. So, after buying all the materials and watching a few tutorials, I tried creating the scratchboard effect using…

Texting While Driving: a Writer’s Tip

We all know that sticking our nose in a device to read and answer messages while we drive is akin to driving while impaired, or worse. But safe texting while driving is something I’ve done for years. A lot of writers talk of their routine of “Butt in Chair” (BIC) from something o’clock to whatever…