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March 2017

March 1, 2017

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March 2016

Whimsy, Words, & 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 perfect picture book for March, The Night Before St. Patrick's Day, Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap; 1 edition (January 22, 2009) Publication Date: January 22, 2009 written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer.



Amazon.com has this to say about The Night Before St. Patrick's Day :


"It's the night before St. Patrick's Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun. When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they're shocked to find that they've actually caught a leprechaun! But will they be able to find his pot of gold? Natasha Wing's Irish tale is once again told in verse to the same meter of the Christmas classic."


Kids are familiar with The Night Before Christmas and will love the same lilting rhyme in a different story. The whimsical pictures will add to the fun of the book as the child tries to find the leprechaun on the pages.




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


Writers 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 words are THE NIGHT BEFORE. This month’s exercise is to use those words to make your own "The Night Before" story. It doesn't necessarily have to be a holiday. I bet you could come up with something clever and original if you think about it for a while. I would love to hear your ideas.


I encourage you to do all the exercises, and in six blogs you will have six new pieces of writing. In twelve blogs, you will have twelve new pieces of writing. I say go for it! And I'd love to see what you've written for these exercises. If you would like a critique, I'll critique up to 500 words free. Email me at: ciwrites@live.com.




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 blog's bit of wisdom is this. If you love kids and love writing for them, or would like to write for them, you have to think like a kid, but not the kid you were, you need to write for the kid that lives in today's society. Go places where you find kids and observe them and take notes. Watch how they act and interact with each other and how they talk. Then go home and write the best story possible.


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






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March 1, 2017