Editing at footy training… and doctors waiting rooms…

Cold night in Melbourne…

It was a freezing night in Melbourne, and I had the task of taking 12 year old Mr N to his footy training. I went armed with only a print out of the manuscript I wrote in March and a pencil, ready for my task.

I had been editing this manuscript in bits and pieces over the last month or so. As it was printed out, I could take it with me everywhere. While not the ideal environment for editing, this manuscript has been shaped in the waiting rooms at doctors, physios and various specialists. I also sat in the car last night with the heater running with my print out and trusty pencil. [Read more…]

Word Counts for manuscripts

Counting words?

Quite some time ago, I was musing about word counts for children’s books. Different publishers have different guidelines and I was wondering if my manuscript was long enough.

The first draft, which I completed in the 2013 Chapter Book Challenge, was just shy of 9,000 words and is aimed at the 8-12 age range. The different publishers I was looking at ranged from 15,000 words to 50,000 words! To be honest, I was getting quite depressed about the whole thing.

Then I started working with an editor… [Read more…]

Chapter Book Challenge – Week 2 #ChaBooCha

Week 2 – ChaBooCha

It’s the end of week 2 of the Chapter Book Challenge – this means we’re at the half way point and things are still going well for my book.

On the challenge blog, there have been some more amazing blog posts and prizes. I still haven’t won a prize, but my wish list of craft books is growing with every post! One of the posts was by Julie Anne Grasso about Creating Convincing Villains. This was one of the sessions at the workshop we had on March 1.

[Read more…]

Something I never thought I’d never be researching…

Never thought I’d be researching this…

There’s only two weeks until the 2014 Chapter Book Challenge starts, and I’m ready. This is a great feeling as the last two years, I didn’t get an idea until after the challenge officially started.

In preparation, I’ve been researching as part of this story is something I have little knowledge about – Aussie Rules Football! More specifically about umpiring.

I have contacted the AFL with questions. I must say that they have been amazingly helpful with answering my questions. I have also been to the library to borrow other chapter books that involve Aussie Rules Football. These have been pinched by my 12 year old who is footy mad… but I will get them back so I can read them. [Read more…]

Why I write Chapter Books for kids

Chapter books for kids

I love books for kids – picture books and novels. That is probably one of the reasons I like writing them. It was quite a shock when I had my kids, and I couldn’t find books for them to read. This is in a house full of books.

Let me explain.

My younger son, Mr Z, decided he could read half way through term 1 of Prep. He wasn’t even five and a half and he was already reading fluently. He would read the back of a cereal packet – and did! He found his school readers boring and doing his reading every night was a battle. I can see his point – there are only so many times you can read Cat Sat on the Mat, or similar. [Read more…]

The Case of the Missing Manuscript

The case of the missing manuscript

Yesterday, I had some quiet time in the afternoon – perfect for doing some editing and writing some blog posts. I had only one problem – I couldn’t find my manuscript!

I had printed it out so that I could edit it, sharp pencil in hand to make any changes that needed to be made. Mr Z then went and got his hands on it, because he wanted to read it! He read it quite quickly, picking up errors on the way, then kept it in his room! I searched all around the place for it, not realising he still had it. Mr N has been wanting to read it as well, but has been sidetracked with the cricket. [Read more…]

Writers Reveal – Characters in Children’s Literature

Dark & Complex Characters

It’s that time of the month again – Writer’s Reveal. My topic is from Zanni at My Little Sunshine House and is:

Dark and complex themes and characters in children’s literature.

When I received this topic, I was quite excited and planned to hit the library and do some research. Well, the best laid plans and all that… I had a bout of the flu, then one son went and got greenstick fractures in two of his fingers and the other one has come down with glandular fever! So, no research has happened… in fact, the date of the Writer’s Reveal snuck up me, so this isn’t as in-depth as I was hoping it would be… but here goes. [Read more…]

Children’s Book Week

Mr Z as a scarecrow in Prep

This week is book week and we’ve been getting costumes ready for the book week parade on Thursday. This is a fun time when parents do a mad scramble to help kids look like their favourite book characters.

The last few years, Mr N has gone as Specky Magee. When he first wanted to go as Specky, his Geelong football jumper wasn’t  good enough as it was the wrong colours. My mum went to the op shop in Torquay to find a jumper in colours that were as close to the ones in the books as possible. When book week came around, it was really easy as he chose to wear the same costume. This year, however, he decided to do something different. [Read more…]

Reading level for kids books

Finding the reading level

Last week, I went to the Monash Writer’s Group with the awesome George Ivanoff sharing some of his tips for life as a writer. One of the useful tips was about the reading level of your writing.

Reading level is something I’m familiar with as a parent. I have a 9 year old with a reading level well beyond his years, in fact, his reading level is higher than that of his brother who is 2 years older than him! They have been tested with the Lexile framework at school. [Read more…]

A productive day today

A productive day today

Today is ANZAC Day here in Australia. It is the day we remember those who fought and died in wars. It is also a public holiday.

I had been hoping to go to a dawn service this year, but it didn’t happen. Instead we watched the Dawn Service from Gallipoli and a place in France (I can never remember how to spell it). [Read more…]

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