Monday, June 24, 2013

WRITING WITH FLAIR, An Informative Blog for Children's Writers


So you’ve decided to write a fabulous story, something new that no one else has ever thought of writing.  It should be a breeze, right? Wrong. You can’t just jump into writing haphazardly (well you could but that way will take more time in the long run because you’ll need to keep backing up to fix structure and inconsistencies), you need a plan, a map, some sort of idea of where to start and where you're heading.
The best way to begin your journey is by reading. Read books, read blogs, read to learn, but also read because you like to. The main focus here is getting those ideas on paper, which leads me to a famous quote that one of my favorite authors Jane Yolen most eloquently says to do, “butt-in-chair” (BIC.)

Whether you are a beginning writer or a seasoned pro, you must always be on the lookout for new ideas and new ways to make your ideas sing. You can discover those ideas anywhere, in long walks, watching television or sipping hot coffee, this one always works for me. Ha. I’m doing it now! I spend the first hours of my day catching up on emails, reading newsletters I’ve subscribed to and checking my face book groups for writing and agent news. You never know when something you read might present you a great idea for a new story, character or setting. When I get caught up in household chores and running errands (which makes it hard to think about my writing), but when I put (BIC), I put those thoughts behind me and focus on what I love, my music and my writing. Sometimes you need to say (stop), and tune-in to your inner most thoughts to hear the music.

As a published children’s author and poet, I’m constantly on the lookout for new authoring tips from other published writers, editors and agents in my field. A few places you can look are on the blogs of other writers. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a few of my favorite blogs for gathering such information. And you’ll find a world of ideas when you start researching regularly.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?

As always, we wish you the best with your writing and hope this post will be of help to someone. We would love to hear from you or answer your writing questions in the comment section below. J



As Promised, My Personal Fabulous Go To List:


C.S. Frye (Cali)  (TurtleCreekTales)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Plotting Your Life Away? Heard of the Plotclock?

I received an email from the magnificent, Bruce Hale with an amazing article that I think many of you will be interested in reading. You know how writers are always looking for better/easier ways of plotting out their winding novels? In this article, Joyce Sweeney talks about a plot method called the Plotclock, and I think it's a winner! See more below.  Check out Bruce's website here:

Thanks, Bruce!

Joyce Sweeney is a writing teacher and mentor to aspiring authors, she runs writer's workshops, critiques manuscripts, and conducts classes and seminars throughout Florida.

This great article about the Plotclock is just one of the ten lessons included in Joyce Sweeney's Fiction Writing Essentials which starts in July and is taking registrations now at:

And . . . View Sweeney's Special Services here:

Then . . . View Sweeney's Plotclock technique and much more on The Mixed-Up Files at :

I hope this will be of help to some of you. We would love to hear from you and answer any of your writing questions in the comment section below.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

7 Must Have Ingredients To a Perfect Picture Book

Below are seven essential ingredients that should appear in every picture book. Of course there are other spices to add to the stew, I'll include those in my next post:)

1. Likeable Character with flaws, strengths and weakness.
2. Huge Problem that only they can solve
3.Three Tries to solve problem--which keeps getting worse
4.Three fails to solve problem: the problem escalates
5. Character Arc: Character must change by end
6. Main Character must solve the problem alone
7. The Ah, ha moment/ending: Twist, Surprise, Full Circle

Monday, June 3, 2013


Here's an article (from a class I'm taking) that writers interested in blogging or building a platform may be interested in.

5 Indispensible Marketing Tips for Authentic People
by Christine Kane

"But I'm not a widget!" she whined. "It's harder for me!"

Denise was giving me her number one reason she despises marketing. I laughed and told her that it was also the number one reason EVERY solo-business owner claims to despise marketing!

Why is that? Because it feels different when YOU are the product.

You're not selling widgets. You're selling YOU, your soul, your passion, your ideas, your services. And marketing YOU feels like ego. It feels phony. It feels sales-y.

I won't lie to you. There will be discomfort when you uplevel your marketing efforts and when you become more present in the marketplace.

But know this:

The people who release their marketing fears are the same ones who have more clients than they can handle and more cashflow than they ever imagined. They learn that marketing is actually how they serve!

In fact, it's a relief when you realize that the problems in your business are not the Universe telling you that you're lame. They're just "marketing problems." Learn the valuable skill of marketing and watch your wealth build.

And take heart! It doesn't have to be slimy. In fact, authenticity rules!

Here are 5 tips for creating success while keeping it real...

1 - Know Your Peeps.

You must get VERY CLEAR about who your "peeps" are!

That's because when you know your ideal client - then you get to speak ONLY to her in your marketing. This not only saves you time and money (after all, marketing to "everyone" is expensive) but gives you true freedom to be yourself and to cater to that one ideal person.

2 - Build Trust. Be Yourself.

People buy from people they "know, like, and trust."

So, how do you build that?

  • Establish a regular contact schedule. Make SURE your newsletter goes out at the exact same time each month or week. This shows that you honor your peeps, and that you are reliable.
  • Be yourself. Allow your peeps to see your human side. Even the most distinguished among us burns the veggies and forgets to pay the water bill sometimes. Let your peeps see themselves in you.
  • Let go. Some people will unsubscribe and get snarky. No problem. They're just telling you that they're not your peeps. This is the beauty of marketing well.
3 - Be an Expert.

Getting over your fear of being an expert is crucial.

Know what else?

Get over the worn-out belief that you need to go back to school and get more letters after your name before you do this.

You can be an expert in body work, organic veggies, vegan cuisine, gemstones, native plants, still-life photography, alcohol addiction, collage, journal writing... and the list goes on.

The difference between you and someone who goes back to school before she'll let herself write is that your enthusiasm, passion and experience are your expertise! If someone requires that you have letters after your name - then they aren't your peeps!

4 - Give it away.

So, if you have a newsletter, blog, and tutorial videos, won't people just figure that they don't have to pay you for your services, your coaching, or your work? After all, you're giving away all your secrets!

Or so it seems.

The truth is that giving it away is what makes people want to work with you even more because they trust you so much.

5 - "The Fortune is in the Follow Up"

A musician friend called me disappointed the day after he had hosted a huge event in his town. "Hardly anyone came last night," he said.

I asked him if he told his list about the show.

It turns out he wrote to his list two weeks before the show. No follow up. No reminders.

Listen up, people!

The biggest mistake we make is to play small when it comes to follow up. Your peeps are busy. They need reminders. Many people respond to that last-minute sense of urgency.

There are strategies to doing this well, for sure. But not following up is a surefire way to get NO response!


Does this stuff take time? Yes.

But remember, it's the pushy people who want to rush the process that make us all despise marketing. Be patient and allow that strong connection to grow, and you'll have never ending cashflow in your business.

Want help? Join me December 5, 6, 7 - for my Uplevel LIVE Retreat. For three days, I will teach you a step-by-step do-able (and authentic!) plan, walk you through the required mindsets that you need to uplevel your wealth, and best of all, create a customized GAMEPLAN that you will be able to implement immediately! Click here to grab your space now!


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at
See Christine's blog at