Monthly Archives: February 2017

Critique Groups


One of the best writer’s/illustrator’s tools ever imagined and created–Critique Groups and the advice with edits given and received.

As for me, I need the support of fellow writers and illustrators to make my stories worth a publisher’s consideration. I joined the Inspire Writers group and one of their critique groups when I began writing. They are my treasure.

There are online groups, but my suggestion is–get out there and search for a local group that meets at least twice a month. Through scbwi_ca_northcentral I attended the Critique Carousel for the first time. It meets once a month and travels around the region. The experience linked me with new people to attend events with and helps me navigate the new world of children’s books.

Critique groups give us a tribe. Nothing takes the place of faces, voices, and friendship.


Beating Deadlines



Ever heard of Murphy’s Law?  It is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

My Irish family used it for pile-ons, like everything needs care at once, or too many events at once, or even everyone ill at once.

Beating Deadlines often fall under Murphy’s Law and I’ve discovered a Clumping Agreement under it. The Clumping Agreement gives power to multiple deadlines within one day, one week, or one month.

Murphy’s Law draws clumps of issues like a magnet. “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” My internet crashes, the guideline instructions disappear, the website for my submission freezes, etc. Technical tools used for support such as my laptop downloads and drags or my printer runs out of ink or paper.

A favorite childhood lesson taught to me by my parents is–“Learn from your mistakes and nothing is wasted.” Not only is this gracious and puffs life into forgiveness, it teaches a valuable and useful attitude for application.

What have I learned regarding Beating Deadlines?

Don’t overcommit my time to too many projects. I see all of these exciting contests, calls for publications, workshops, conferences, the list goes on. My time constraints aren’t so pressured if I restrain my eagerness.

Be ready to submit my work at least three days ahead. This allows space for any calendar challenges, technical issues, and time to resubmit if need be. All of these things creates less stress and more enjoyment when plying my trades of writing and illustrating.