Thursday, December 31, 2015
Happy New Year
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Little Bug Review
Barbara Bockman's review of Little Bug is up on her blog if you would like to pop over and read her very kind words or learn more about Barbara and her books. Visit her blog at https://barbarabockman.wordpress.com.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Book Review: BonBon
Friday, December 4, 2015
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe...
Picture book ideas overflow.
Which one will it be...
Stay tuned here, and you will see!
Thank you, Tara Lazar, for the wonderful motivation. I am excited to explore the possibilities generated throughout the month of November with your PiBoIdMo challenge!
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
SCBWI Book Launch Party
Come join the fun on my Book Launch Page at http://www.scbwi.org/display-book-launch-party/?id=363527
Check out my contest details and help name Little Bug. The winner receives a free autographed copy in time for the holidays.
Start or continue your holiday shopping with a terrific selection of children's books. Hope to see you there!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving! As we go about our celebrations, let us all pause and give special thanks for all those who have and continue to serve and fight for our freedom.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Avoid the Trap of Perfectionism
All of you who follow and read my blog (and thank you very much to those who do!) know very well my struggle with needing to have a "perfect" (e.g, clean and organized with few things on my TTD list except writing and writing related activities) environment in which to write. Often, I blow my entire allotted time prepping my surroundings to write only to then have no more time to accomplish what I've hoped to accomplish.
I'm working very diligently to overcome this mental need for organization...my husband would argue my surroundings are far from organized with all my piles and lists..though he obviously has no idea of the organized nature of my chaos:)
I was thumbing through a Self magazine while on the treadmill the other day and ran across this blurb about avoiding the perfectionism trap. It referenced Elizabeth Gilbert's "Secret to Creativity" in Big Magic. As I read, it was like Wham!
And I quote, "Perfectionism stops people from completing their work--but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work. Perfectionists decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don't even bother trying to be creative in the first place."
Hell yeah! This epitomizes me and so many things in my life but especially writing. Giving oneself the freedom to create with no thought to the end product (until such time as one begins to edit, that is) is something I preach though am not very good at doing. Which is why this month's Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) challenge has been wonderfully enlightening and productive for me. Thank you, Tara Lazar! The idea is to generate 30 PB ideas in the month of November. No one has to see them; they don't even have to be wonderful ideas. They just have to be ideas, not books in whole. I am on my honor to create them, and it has taken the pressure off and opened the floodgates. Some ideas are definitely not so great, but some I am very excited about further developing.
Now, my mission going forward is to take this feeling of being able to create ideas and run with the ones worth running with and not fear the crippling perfectionism that can often stop me dead in my tracks.
I urge all you PB writers to consider Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo next year! More info here...
For now, happy writing and creating. Let it flow freely without the binding chains of the need to be "perfect."
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Guardian Angel Kids eZine
My Grandma’s Kitchen Rules by Bill Kirk; Illustrations by Marina Movshina
Yes, You Can be a Poet by Shari Klase
Styles of Poetry by Christine Collier
Awesome Acrostics by Carol J. Douglas
Fun With Rhymes by Bill Kirk
The Point is Tradition by A.J. Huffman
When Rhyming Gets Slumpy by Bill Kirk
What Will I Be? by Christy Mihaly
My Robot and Me by Debbie Vilardi
Sick Day Lesson by Jennifer Weiss
Autumn Kaleidoscope by Pamela Love
Poetry Project by Donna J. Shepherd
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Guardian Angel New Releases
100 Pecans for Tabitha
Author: Tracey M. Cox; Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
Tabitha is on the search for 100 pecans. Help her count by 5s to reach her goal and have her favorite treats. Recipes and Pecan info included.
America Bless God— a Children’s Musical
Authors: Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips
Light up your 4th of July with this simple easy-to-perform patriotic children’s musical.
Colby Mouse’s Christmas Gift
Wings of Faith
Author: Barbara Bockman; Illustrator: KC Snider
When Colby Mouse sees the happiness of the people family celebrating Christmas, he yearns to join in the festivities. He gives and receives a gift.
Papillon and the Magic Lamp
Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Osa Kauffman; Illustrator: Aumi Kauffman Perry
A talking butterfly and a boy embark on an adventure in the desert. They encounter a talking camel, a wily salesman, and a magical lamp.
Monday, November 2, 2015
September 2015 Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases
Guardian Angel September 2015 NEW RELEASES
Author: Barbara Bockman Illustrations: Eugene Ruble
In Paris, France BonBon gets her wish to go home from the toy store with a child.
Clare’s Christmas Wish
Author; Tracey M Cox; Illustrator: Eugene Ruble Two girls learn the true meaning of Christmas… GIVING.
Gatsby’s Grand Adventures Book 3 Thomas Gainsborough’s “Girl with Pigs”
Author: Barbara Cairns; Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
When Gatsby the art gallery cat explores Thomas Gainsborough’s painting “GIRL WITH PIGS”, strange things happen.
Purple Frog Pajamas
Written and illustrated by San Hoy (Sandra H Sanders
Six year old Joshua has a bed wetting problem. His re-deployed mother gives him a parting gift, a set of pajamas covered with purple frogs.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Picture Book Idea Month
I am so excited to participate in the 7th annual Picture Book Idea Month this November. Thank you, Tara Lazar, for this incredible opportunity.
Per Ms. Lazar's website...
The challenge is to create 30 picture book concepts in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript (but you can if the mood strikes). You don’t need potential best-seller ideas.
You might think of a clever title. Or a name for a character. Or just a silly thing like “purple polka-dot pony.” The object is to heighten your picture-book-idea-generating senses. Ideas may build upon other ideas and your list of potential stories will grow stronger as the days pass.
Daily blog posts by picture book authors, illustrators, editors and other kidlit professionals will help inspire you. By the end of the month, you’ll have a fat file of ideas to spark new stories.
You can find more info at www.taralazar.com.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Reserve Your Copy Now
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Struggling to Create
I have been frustrated lately with life's ongoing balance. All good things, but yet things, that "get in the way" of my TTD list and cause me to move things from one day to the next when I don't accomplish what I set out to on a given day.
I struggle because work is busy, life is busy, as it is for all of us; I'm not out of the ordinary. I have a senior in high school which brings with it many new things...things that need to be accomplished, applications to be completed, college visits to schedule and complete, etc. Most importantly, the realization that my first born is about to fly the coop, and I am NO WHERE NEAR READY!!
So, I have been working hard to appreciate the time I have now with my daughter as we negotiate this new world of making future plans--all the while trying to ignore what it all means long term--as well as managing the day to day life a family with three busy kids brings.
Sometimes I want to crawl under the covers, ignore the world until my house is quiet and empty and then have the day to myself to tackle what needs to be done and maybe, just maybe, have some time to write as well; but, ultimately, I haven't yet done that much as I'd like to do so.
I was just in the store the other day shopping for the necessary items on my kids' lists and saw this sign. It really hit home...I spend a lot of time dreaming of what I want and hope to accomplish but while I may inspire to do so, I've not actually done much recently. I spend a lot of time imagining what I want to create but haven't actually sat, butt in chair, and spent time creating something new. I do, or really want to, believe I can and will write, but, in order to really achieve that goal, there is always something in my way I feel the need to accomplish first.
I'm on a mission to just flat out spend time to INSPIRE, CREATE and ACHIEVE and not just DREAM, IMAGINE and BELIEVE.
I'm so very open to advice should you be willing and interested in sharing. This is an ongoing dilemma for many of us, I know. I am also working hard to stop expecting time to just fall in my lap. I need to make the time, fight for the time and use it wisely. Goal for November!
Good luck to all of you NaNoWriMo people. I wish you well and hope to do so next November. This year, I will just focus on writing a little bit each day.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Little Bug Review
Without further ado...
LITTLE BUG REVIEW
Available at Amazon Guardian Angel Publishing
You can learn more about Beverly at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I saw this last week one day and saved it and now can't recall where I found it, so I apologize for not being able to give credit to whomever had it posted at that time. But, how cool is this? The root of all goes back to reading. We must first read, read, read in order to then write, influence and, thereby, change the world. LOVE IT!
It is so true that reading A LOT in the genre in which one writes is imperative, but reading in general, both for writing purposes and for fun, is necessary. I love to read, always have and always will. It truly amazes me that some don't share that same feeling, though I know many do not. One of my kid's complained the other day about having to read for school which then started a discussion (e.g., lecture) about the awesome privilege of books, the ability to have them and read them. The ability to lose oneself in a new world, one in which anything is possible, to be able to lounge around and do nothing more than open a book and just simply read...at which point, he started to roll his eyes and look at me like I had two heads:). He thought I was totally bonkers when I said I'd love nothing more than a free week of hours on end to read, read and read some more!
And then I saw this quote and bam! I started to think of it from a different perspective. Reading is empowering? Writing to influence and change the world? Well, yes it is empowering to read. And, yes, I do hope to influence change with my writing. At this point, hopefully, a little girl or boy begs his or her mom or dad to read my book just one more time before bed (or at any other time during the day, for that matter). Maybe someday, it will be an influence of another kind, for a different age range; however, the ultimate goal is the same...to affect change of some nature, in some way, big or small, in the hearts and minds of those reading my books. I want others to WANT to read my books in the same way I love to read books myself. I do feel empowered when I write, and, hopefully, this empowerment translates into a positive change for those choosing to read my work.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Without further ado...
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Book Review: A Delightful Magical Story
Published: June 29, 2015
Learn more or contact Penelope Anne Cole at:
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Guardian Angel Kids eZine
The new September 2015 issue of Guardian Angel Kids eZine is up and ready for your viewing pleasure.
Visit here to read the latest release of this terrific magazine for kids: http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/
Congratulations to Lynda S. Burch and all the writers and illustrators involved!
Monday, August 31, 2015
Information will also be updated and available on my blog and website soon so please visit at:
http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com and www.karinlarson.com.
I will also have hard copy stock soon for any wanting signed copies.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
For years, mine has been, "I can go the distance." I'm not sure why. It just popped into my head one morning while working out. I must have been tired and wanting to give up.
I was thinking of it this morning as I took my son to school and passed my sister-in-law out running (she is training for a marathon) and wondered what she uses as a mantra to get her through those long runs.
I then started thinking about how my mantra applies to my writing life as I hadn't previously thought of it in those terms. It does, however, work well for this side of my life as well.
Struggling to form a new idea...press on. Struggling to find the right words to flesh out a new concept...keep writing. Having trouble editing and polishing the final manuscript before submitting...keep working. Getting a rejection, or multiple rejections...go the distance, re-submit and keep doing so.
So many of the life lessons we use in our daily life also apply to our writing life. Persistence and hard work are keys to success, in life and in writing.
How about you? Do you have a mantra that serves you well?
Monday, August 17, 2015
Here is the link for Denise's video: http://www.findapublisherforyourchildrensbook.com/submission-possible-video-1/
You can also learn more about Denise at:
I encourage you all to go visit and follow Denise for ongoing info and support!
Friday, August 14, 2015
I have found myself spinning in circles (literally and figuratively, it seems) numerous times over the course of these last couple weeks as summer winds down, sports seasons change and work looms ever closer. There has been a final push this last week as I prepared my therapy room for the upcoming school year before an open house and tried to get myself organized somewhat--though by organization I mean preparing sticky notes and lists of what yet needs to be accomplished. What has been lacking significantly is writing time which tends to make me cranky...and reading time which also makes me very cranky.
I started thinking about the times I've committed to writing first before anything else in the day and trying to utilize every block of time, large or small, throughout the day. Those times were most productive for me, and I definitely need to get back to that state of mind.
I found this quote this morning on Pinterest (yes, wasting time while waiting for my daughter to finish an MRI) which seems the perfect spring board for a return to productivity...
"You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page." Jodi Picoult
Well, duh!!! That does, however, require physically writing. So, as I embark on a new school/work year, I am recommitting myself to a better writing life as well.
If you care to share how your writing life transitions from summer months to school time (regardless of working in a school setting), I would love to hear all about it.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases
You can read and learn more below...
99 Monkeys on a Bus
Author-Christine Marie Alemshah
Illustrations Copyright © 2015 Jack Foster
Nobody believed Bobby’s outrageous story about seeing monkeys on a bus, but he persevered and found a way to show everyone they really existed.
A Puddle for Poo
Early Reader Chapter book
Author Mary Vigliante Szydlowski; Illustrator KC Snider
Something has to be done about the Baker's dog, Poo! Her digging, chewing, and bad behavior is driving the neighbors crazy.
Pepé Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire
Animals & Pets
Author Kelly Hashway; Illustrator Jack Foster
Pepe is no ordinary French poodle. When Meg enters him a dog show, his differences make him the star of the show.
written and illustrated by Melissa Ross
On a night time hike with his dad, a young boy overcomes his fear of the dark with the help of an unlikely superhero called Supermoon.
Two House Lilly
Chapbook for Tweens
written and illustrated by Candace Hardy
Lilly Ferris’ life is a calendar of Red Weeks and Blue Weeks as she moves between life with her dad and his new family and her mom and Grandma Ada. It takes a family crisis to convince her that two families isn’t a bad thing.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Best Friends Forever
Read more here: http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
A Beautifully Touching Story
You can find more info here:
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A Must Read
The Veterans' Clubhouse, written by Kristen Zajac and illustrated by Jennifer Thomas Houdeshell (Guardian Angel Publishing, June 2015), is a heart-warming, faith-based story of caring and giving of oneself to others in need, in this case homeless veterans. This story, about a homeless Vietnam veteran named Charlie who is down on his luck, is told from the perspective of two children who work tirelessly to create The Veterans' Clubhouse for those veterans struggling to find work and a place to live. This story uses art, music and colorful sounds to create a fun story to which kids, and adults, can easily relate. The Veteran's Clubhouse shows other kids how possible it is to make a positive difference for others in this world and affirms that persistence and hard work pay off in the end. This story is particularly important in this day and age in which we now live with so many veterans struggling for work and shelter. I dare say the characters in Ms. Zajac's story will motivate many children to want to help others needing assistance. Ms. Houdeshell's illustrations are truly incredible and bring the characters and story to life in such vivid color and detail. Well done! I love this book and highly recommend it.
Disclosure: I received this book from the author but this review consists of my honest opinion, not influenced in any way by the author or publisher.
You can find more info at:
Children's Author & Writer for Everyday Family
Friday, July 24, 2015
Generating Book Sales
Today, I was perusing a new book, The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children 2015 (www.scbwi.org), and found a chapter entitled, "Keeping Your Book Alive." That is just what I have been trying to figure out how to do.
This chapter discusses considerations pre-acceptance (hard and softcover, publishers, contract negotiations, etc.), post-acceptance/pre-publication (checking for accuracy, cover copy, inclusion in catalogs, etc.), marketing (reviews and awards) and book life post-publication (availability, rights, print life, etc.).
There were certainly many great ideas, and I will be following through with those I have not already; however, it really made me start to wonder what all of you find most effective in re-kindling the sales fire when it subsides a bit.
If you are willing to share your ideas and tips for generating sales, I would love to hear them as I am sure would many others. Perhaps we can all learn new techniques and ideas from each other.
If you are interested in this book, you can find more information at www.scbwi.org. I haven't had it long and have only browsed through a few chapters thus far, but it seems well worth the investment.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
I think now more than ever our great nation is in need of prayers...for safety, for freedom, for strength, for life...and the list goes on and on. As you celebrate this great nation today, keep all those continuing to fight for our freedom close in thought and prayer. It is an unbelievably scary time in our world, and we owe great debt to all those who have and continue to serve our great nation.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I saw this quote today, and it really hit home. I've been working a bit on something new that has been nudging the edges of my psyche for a while. But, it scares the pants off me. One, it is not like anything I've ever written. Two, it is pretty personal. Three, it might totally suck! I've been trying to fight through that fear and press on so when I saw this quote, it was like an aha moment telling me to just keep writing. I'm sure it will be a "shitty rough draft" in Anne Lamott's words, but such is life. Perseverance pays, so they say, and I agree. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again...
I'm curious...do you find fear is a driving force in your writing? If so, is it the fear of starting something new? The unknown? The outcome of what happens when the writing and editing is complete?
It is all of the above for me I think. At least, it is when I over think. I find I do much better when an idea germinates briefly and springs into my mind, flowing out on paper. This is probably easiest with the children's picture books I've written, at least for that first rough draft. But that does give me something with which to work. It seems to be the longer books that paralyze me once I reach a certain point and am not sure how best to proceed. Last night, I dreamt of a wall type picture board with various colored sticky notes all over it (those that know me well know I LOVE sticky notes), so I think this is my subconscious helping me figure out how to start getting to the other side of fear on this particular WIP. Once created, I will post a picture of my sticky note poster board of ideas:)
I'd love to hear how you fight through and past the fear that can grip you or ignore it and press on if able.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
New Contest Information
The rewards are publication, cash prizes, winners’ certificates, and valuable training in disciplined writing.
If you enjoy writing mysteries for children and contests,
Yet we hear repeatedly from editors that the majority of manuscripts they receive do not match their guidelines and specifications.
That’s a huge waste of time and energy for both writers and editors.
Writing contests also have exact specifications, and that’s why we encourage all writers to enter contests as often as they can. Contests are excellent professional training experiences.
The winning entries in this Early Reader Mystery Writing Contest will be announced in a September eNews newsletter, which we will email free to all entrants.
In addition, we will publish the winning entries on our website.
To enter our Early Reader Mystery writing contest, submit an original, unpublished early reader mystery story, of 700 words or less. Early readers are defined as ages 5 to 7, children beginning to read entire stories on their own, stretching their recognition of words and concepts, but likely to need some assistance from an adult. Entries should not be for reading by an adult to a child.
Submissions will be judged on story line, characterization, and freshness, but also on structure, grammar, and ultimate publishability. Mysteries should be well-constructed, and have a strong point-of-view character. The mystery must be one that an early reader can grasp and potentially solve: It must be age-appropriate.
When you have your manuscript ready, you will submit your entry and reading fee at the same time. Please click here to continue to the entry page on our website.
You will first be directed to the section requiring the pre-payment of a $15 reading fee. The submission of the manuscript entry will follow the payment of the entry fee.
Receipt of your entry will be acknowledged by email.