Friday, April 26, 2013

When All Else Fails, Throw a…

I ran across this little gem the other day –

“Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.”
~ Charles Bukowski

I think that’s about the best bit of advice I've ever seen on the subject.

In fact, it’s 100% proof positive of another pocket pearl I've picked up along the way –

“When there’s no way out, there’s still a way through.”
~ Dave Carroll

There is ALWAYS a way through.



Write on!

PROMPT: Have you ever had a writer’s block? What did it look like? What did you do with it? If that little cubed monster ever returns, use it to build something… like a character with a wicked block… a deadline… and a very hungry Chihuahua…

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Break Out the Tux

I know you've waited all year for this one…

Yes, it is FINALLY World Penguin Day!

Mind you, this celebration should NOT be confused with Penguin Awareness Day which took place back on January 20th.

Anyway, in honor of this festive occasion, I thought I’d give a special shout-out to those wild and crazy Emperor Penguins…

Somehow, the females have worked it out that their male partners do all the egg incubating while they hang out at the sea spa for a couple of months.

Those males, God bless them, take the job pretty seriously. In fact, they don’t even leave the nest to eat for, like, 62 days. So they even sacrifice their beer guts to the cause. And then it gets even better –

Once the little chick hatches, the male Emperor feeds it with milk that he produces…

in his esophagus!

Well, enjoy breakfast!

Oh, and one more thing while I've got the chance…

Illustrators – please cease and desist with those “penguins hanging out with Santa at the North Pole” pictures.

You know who you are.

You know it is wrong.

So. Stop. It.

We’d rather see a polar bear chomping down on one of Blitzen’s ham hocks than one more sorry, misplaced bird.

Okay, maybe that’s just me.

But still.

PROMPT: What the world needs now is penguin love sweet love! Play around penguin-style by pecking out a picture book draft. You won’t find a more adorable subject. And for those writers who spout nonsense of the “I can’t draw” variety – Really? They are bowling pins with wings – you have NO excuse.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Happy File

I was sorry to hear about the recent passing of one of our Newbery Medal winners, E. L. Konigsburg.

She won the award back in 1968 with The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and then again in 1997 for The View from Saturday.

A number of years ago, when I read the 35th anniversary edition of that first winner, I was struck by what she included in the Afterward. Of all things, it was the acceptance letter from her editor.

She offered no explanation for its inclusion, but I must say that it delighted me.

So, I have to admit that I immediately copied that page and put it into my own “mixed-up” Happy File.


Because every writer longs to receive a letter like this.

And so, I have reprinted the text here just for you...

Date: July 21, 1966

Dear Mrs. Konigsburg:

Since you came in with FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, I have found myself chuckling over it more than once. I have read it only once, but the memory of the incidents come up every once in a while.

I do really want this book. I will be sending you a contract very shortly. I have some suggestions that will make it even better, but don’t want to make them until I have had a chance to read it through again. You will be hearing from me shortly.

Sincerely yours,
Jean Karl
Editor of Children’s Books (Atheneum)

Doesn't that make you smile?

And someday it is my wish, that YOU will receive a wonderful letter just like it.

Life is little…

So, dream BIG!

PROMPT: If you don’t have a Happy File, make one today!