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March 2017

March 1, 2017

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February 2015

Whimsy, Words, and Wisdom




Definition: Endearing quaintness. The quality of being playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way.

As a children’s writer, whimsy is a good thing to incorporate into your writing. You want your stories to be endearing, playful and humorous. This month I  feature the picture book The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffries. 


Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun.

What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?


My 5-year-old granddaughter always laughs when Flesh speaks. Flesh doesn't like being naked when the paper is torn off .



Definition: Meaningful combinations of sounds that are a unit of language or its representation in a text.

As a writer, you love words. We use words to communicate and express ideas. We use words to make sentences. We use sentences to make paragraphs. And we use paragraphs to make stories. It’s important to use the best words possible.


This month's word is - ta da!  - WORD. This month's exercise is to use the word "word" in  a short story, poem, or whatever suits your fancy. Feel free to share it on next month's blog.



Definition: Accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.

I have been writing for children for over 30 years. I have published eight books and taught several writing classes through the Loft Literary Center, community education and at conferences.


This month's bit of wisdom is this: Allow yourself to write ugly at first. As you rewrite and revise, the uglies will turn into beauties and you'll end up with writing you never knew you had inside you. But you'll never find that out unless your wisely sit yourself down and write.


Watch for my next blog in early March where I will share more about whimsy, words and wisdom. Til then, choose your words wisely.