Picture Book Cliffhangers

Picture Book Cliffhangers. Have you ever thought about cliffhangers in picture books? I hadn’t until I read the post on Chris Eboch’s blog on the craft of writing. She writes: “Again, a question acts as a cliffhanger. We turn the page to find out the answer…” Pretty interesting stuff.

If you’re into writing middle-grade and YA fantasy novels, here’s an opportunity to submit. Carolrhoda Publishers is putting out a call to all unagented authors to send in your middle-grade or young adult fantasy manuscripts. Visit their website for further details. The deadline: August 4 through September 1, 2017, so hurry.

Shadow Mountain Publishing is also accepting submissions. According to their website: “We publish general fiction and nonfiction for all ages, all genres. We have a strong interest in middle grade fantasy and clean romance. We also publish a limited number of manuscripts in specialized genres including children’s picture books, family and parenting, and self-help.”

You know how it happens? Page by Page. Scene by Scene. That’s How It Happens. – Judy Blume



Writers: Stay Healthy


Writers: Stay Healthy. I write children’s books, but I also freelance for a national magazine. I found these great tips on staying healthy, which applies not only to writers but to those who work from home as well. “How to be a Healthy, Happy Freelancer/Writer,” is the title of the post on the blog, wordybirdstudio.com. It starts with (1) Setting Up Your Day, (2) The List, (3) Emails/Phone Calls, (4) Social Media, (5) Deadlines, (6) Staying Motivated, plus a few more. I found this post most helpful.

And speaking of bookshelves, here’s a post on Bustle.com of 12 unique bookshelves you might enjoy viewing.

If you’re aspiring to be a writer and you’re looking for books on the subject, this blogpost on the BookRiot blog has a list of excellent books on this topic. I have a few of these myself on my bookshelf.

A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever. – Martin Farquhar Tupper

Writing Tips for Mysteries

Writing Tips for Mysteries: If you are into writing mysteries and thrillers, here’s a blog post from Goodreads: Writing Tips from Mystery and Thriller Writers that you might find worthwhile. Writing tips are offered by Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, and Mary Higgins Clark, author of Where Are the Children?

Here’s a list of upcoming children’s books posted on the Publishers Weekly blog: Publishers Weekly Spring 2018 Children’s Sneak Previews.

Subito Press is a non-profit publisher of literary works based out of the Creative Writing Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder and they are currently accepting submissions. Visit their website for guidelines.

Here’s a cool post on the Book Riot blog: When Reading Isn’t Enough: Book-Adjacent Hobbies! Also included is a list of teen books you might want to check out.

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. – Herman Melville

Hooks in Writing

Hooks in writing. As writers, that’s one of the first things we learn—creating great hooks to get a reader’s attention. So on that note, here is a fantastic list of first lines from the Publishers Weekly blog, Shelftalker. The post, “Fabulous First Lines of 2017 (Round 1) is put together by Elizabeth Bluemle. I went through the entire list to read firsthand some of the great first lines in books.

How serious are you about your writing? Are you disciplined and set time aside for just that? Or do you, like many of us, find excuses to put if off until … later? On her blog, author Ingrid Sundberg brings that problem to a head. In her post, “You Can Make Writing Your First Priority,” she addresses this topic and then gives the writer tips on how to correct it. Makes a lot of sense to me when we keep telling ourselves like she notes in her post that: We tell ourselves that our writing must wait. We tell ourselves that we need more time and more money. We tell ourselves we’ll focus on our writing when we have fewer obligations, and less stress, and things calm down. We brainwash ourselves into believing it isn’t time. And so our writing waits. 

Submissions:  Cricket and Ladybug magazines   North-South Publishers

Have a fun summer and get in some writing!



There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island … and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life. – Walt Disney

Young Writers’ Camp Workshop

Young Writers’ Camp. A few days ago, I conducted a Young Writers’ Camp Workshop at the University of Texas’ (UTSA) downtown campus here in San Antonio, TX. During break, we enjoyed the city view from one of UTSA’s balconies. It was a pleasure working with the young writers. They were especially enthusiastic during the writing contest. They also asked great questions of the author.

Author Bios

Author Bios. Have you ever had to submit a bio for a school visit or a conference presentation? We all have. It is hard to talk about ourselves, isn’t it? The Writer Unboxed post, “Should you have more than one bio?”, addresses this topic. Part of the post reads:

Over the course of a writing career, you’ll discover you need more than one bio. In fact, you might find that you need quite a few. Each of them will be written for particular purposes, whether that be pitching for genre-specific projects, for festivals and conferences, or for book proposals and blurbs.

U. S. Kids magazine accepts submissions for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and crafts for children. Visit their website for submission guidelines.  

Another magazine taking submissions (non-fiction only) is Fun For Kidz. View their guidelines for upcoming themes.

And if you have wanted to ask questions to an agent, you might want to visit the blog, Ask An Agent, on the Literaticat blog.

I am getting ready to conduct a summer Youth Camp Writing Workshop for fourth and fifth graders this week. It will be held at the beautiful University of Texas in San Antonio campus downtown. Looking forward to the event.

If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important. – Roald Dahl

Writing Tips: Copyrights and Trademarks

Writing Tips: Copyrights and Trademarks.  Have you ever wondered what you can and cannot use in your writing regarding copyrights and trademarks? The Institute for Writers blog post, “Can I Say This?” addresses this topic.

The post starts off with: “Writers often look at trademarked products or song lyrics or bits of poetry and ask, “Can I put this in my book?” The answer to that question can be complicated and rests in two fairly different areas of intellectual property law: copyright and trademark. These two areas serve two very different purposes and this is important when we consider whether something can be used. The article also addresses what publishers prefer on copyrights and trademarks. Go to the above link for more details.


The Fun for Kidz magazine is accepting submissions. Take a peek at their upcoming themes.

Humpty Dumpy and Jack and Jill magazines are also accepting submissions. Visit their website for guidelines.

KidLit Humorous Fiction Contest

And … this past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in the local 2017 StoryFest event where authors, illustrators, puppeteers, and even a book fairy were in attendance. The topic was “Splash Into Reading.” The crowd loved it and so did I.


“Writing is a gift to yourself and it is also a gift of giving a story to someone.” – Amy Tan

2017 StoryFest Event

2017 StoryFest Event. I will be one of the authors participating at the 2017 StoryFest event being held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Stinson Middle School, 13200 Skyhawk Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78249.   The event is sponsored by the Northside Independent School District and the Friends of Northside Libraries. There will be author readings, a book fair, puppets for the children, bookmark making, a book walk, and much more. If you live in the area, come on by.

Writing Short Stories

Writing Short Stories – I write picture books, poetry, and have started writing middle grade. I’ve also recently become interested in writing short stories. Here are a few tips to help those wanting to write short stories like me.

The Institute for Writers blog post, “7 Questions to ask yourself about your short story,” is a good start.

A more thorough description of the short story is available on the ElectricLiterature blog post, “How to Escape the Slush Pile: A self-editing checklist for Short Story Writers.”

And here’s the annual fiction writing contest sponsored by Pockets. I already submitted my story a few days ago. Wish me luck.

I also just submitted an essay to an anthology contest after reading several magazine articles on writing essays. Keep writing and submit! Do not give up!

And Happy Mother’s Day! I just received this beautiful bouquet of flowers from my children.

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. – E.L. Doctorow

First Book Interview

Here’s the link to my blog interview with First Book on the topic of El Día de los Libros/El Día de los Niños or Children’s Day/Book Day, which author Pat Mora founded in 1996. I was honored to have been interviewed and have participated in El Día celebrations in the past. First Book is a great organization that provides books to students/libraries.

Below were activities for my book about kites: Lupita’s Papalote.