Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Be a Show Off!

Have you ever heard of SHOW, DON'T TELL?

When you write, you must SHOW the reader what you mean, not merely mention it.

Here's a quick way to improve your SHOW OFF skills.

Make a chart.
In the left column, put the words below. On the right, come up with more descriptive words (or even phrases) that can be used instead. I've started the first one for you, but add at least five more to it.
Make it a contest! Go up against a classmate and see who can be the best SHOW OFF. In other words, who can come up with the most replacements for the word on the left.

NICE         sweet, loving, better than average, forgiving, perfect, friendly, outgoing





Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Invent Your Own Holiday

Last Sunday, some folks celebrated a holiday. What was it?
I'll give you a few minutes to think about it... 
*Sings: "When Irish Eyes are Smiling..."* 

Did you guess St. Patrick's Day?

You don't have to be Irish to enjoy the day! It's fun to celebrate ALL holidays!
Ever wonder how St. Patty's Day came about?
Click HERE for a quick explanation.

So, what's this have to do with writing?
Today, I want YOU to invent your own holiday. Just like the description on the link above, write a small paragraph telling how the holiday came about and what is celebrated. BE CREATIVE.

If I had to invent a holiday, I'd make one called:  National Writing Day!
: )
Write On!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Next Big Thing BLOG HOP

What's a Blog Hop? Well, it's a way for you to discover authors in all phases of their careers and find out some very cool information about them. I was tagged by writer/curriculum guide specialist Marcie Colleen, so that means I have to answer the following questions and tag back to Marcie so you can read her answers. (Read Marcie's fun thoughts about what she's working on HERE. Scroll to March 6th entry.) At the end of my post, you'll see who I've tagged, and I really hope you check out her Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book? LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I had been watching the animals from my office window (see the frog and turtle from my yard?), and thought, Wow, they work so hard at every task and never give up until they're done. I remembered my own little ones and how determined they were to learn to walk, talk, read, write, jump rope, skip, and so on. That’s when the light bulb went off and I began to write!

3: What genre does your book come under? Picture Book

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? The book is filled with animals from the forest, field, and stream. They are pictured realistically in the book, so it’s hard to imagine a human playing the part of a deer, raccoon, owl, bear, spider, or snake. But … I think it would be hysterical to substitute the Sesame Street Muppets for the animals. Instead of a rhyming picture book, it would be a jammin’ musical filled with outdoor song and dance numbers.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? LOOK WHAT I CAN DO! celebrates how baby animals overcome challenges, whether it’s a young spider spinning a web or a small bird flying from the nest for the first time, and compares them to the littlest readers who also accomplish so much each day. (I wish I had written that very descriptive, all inclusive line, but I didn't! It's from the book jacket.)

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? This book is published by Abrams Books for Young Readers. 

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It was sooo long ago, I actually don’t remember!

Home for a Bunny  -     
        By: Margaret Wise Brown
        Illustrated By: Garth Williams
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? The book has sort of an “old time” appeal to it, so maybe it would be okay if I compared it to one of those beautifully illustrated books from the fifties? HOME FOR A BUNNY by Margaret Wise Brown comes to mind. The text is simple and playful, and the illustrations make you feel like you’re able to hop inside the scene.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? Nature is a big part of my life, so whatever I encounter on my walks and bike rides inspires me. It could be a teeny spider or an enormous moose; the quiet softness of falling snowflakes or the loud boom of a thunderstorm. Oh, and speaking of storms, in April, I’ll be celebrating the release of a second nature-inspired picture book, STORM SONG!
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The book is for the very young, so I hope that preschoolers and kids in kindergarten through third grade come away with the idea that can do anything they set their minds to. It may take some work, but with patience, determination, and the guidance from a loving adult they will succeed.

UP NEXT on The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is Kelly Fineman. On March 20th, Hop, HOP, HOP over to Kelly's blog to see what she's been up to in the last few months! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Check Your Spell Check!

Are you sure you have the mean, RIGHT word?

Common spell check mistakes:

then instead of than
here instead of hear
its instead of it's
your instead of you're
wonder instead of wander
their instead of they're
farther instead of further
sight instead of site

What errors did spell check "fix" for you?

Note for teachers: To read an article about a funny poem on the subject of Spell Check, go to:

The Spell Checker Poem, by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar

The Facts Behind "Candidate for a Pullet Surprise" By , Guide