Latest Challenge: KidlitSummerSchool

I don’t care what happens next; I care how what happens next affects the MC. Rebecca Petruck

We are almost through week two of KidlitSummerSchool (focus on character development), and I have made some discoveries.
When I did Sudipta Bardhan Quallen’s exercise of looking into the magic mirror, I realized that I was not making my characters very much more interesting. Most of my characters are too similar to myself and the people I know. Hmmm. That’s good to know.
When I did the second challenge of the 30 minute dare, which was “run away”, I realized that my character was taking a long time thinking about what she wanted to pack. She’s a free spirit, why would she do that? She was probably taking my own baggage along with her. Hmmmm.

When a story comes to me, it always comes to me as a plot. There are no characters niggling in my head, waiting for me to write a story. As well, I know that my characters could be stronger. I don’t spend enough time on them, that’s for sure.
KidLitSummerSchool has given me some great exercises to start working on developing some stronger characters.
How do your stories come to you? Do they come to you as a character or a plot?
It might not be too late to register for KidlitSummerSchool, if you are interested.

CANSCAIP PYI conference

I signed up for my first conference! I will be attending CANSCAIP’s “Packaging Your Imagination” conference in October.
Last year I signed up for the virtual one, but it didn’t work out for me. They have, however, promised that this year will be better virtually.
But I decided that I should attend my first conference live.
I am particularly interested in the industry panel on how the American market is affecting the Canadian one. I have fallen in with training with the Americans. But I want to get published in Canada. So I wonder if the guidelines they give me are ones that will get me published here. For example, do you have to have 500 words or under to get a picture book published? Do you really need an agent?
There is also a “Pitch Perfect” day the next day, but I will not be attending that, at least not this year.
Have you ever been to a conference? Did you find it worthwhile?

Book Review: “Rosie Revere, Engineer”

My last blog post, I wrote about the great summer reading program at libraries across Canada.
The theme is Eureka, so discovery is very much a part of the library’s activities and suggested books. There are many great books on their list including “Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty, which is the book that I will review today.

In this rhyming picture book, the shy young Rosie only blossoms at night when she engineers her gadgets and gizmos. She was not always shy, but when her favourite uncle laughed so hard at her cheese hat that he wheezed, she decided to hide away her dreams.
That is until great-great-aunt Rose shows up. It seems that great-great-aunt Rose still has one unfulfilled dream left. She wants to fly. Young Rosie works up her courage and builds Rose a cheese copter. And once again Rosie feels ridiculed as her great-great aunt laughs until she wheezes. But this time the results are different, as the great-great aunt says some very inspirational words to Rosie, causing her to change course in her life.
Great-great aunt Rose is based upon the character of Rosie Riveter. For more information on the “real” Rosie Riveter, click here.
What books about discovery do you and your children like?

Summer Reading Program

If you live in Canada, the TD summer reading program is a great way to keep your child reading this summer. This year’s theme is Eureka.


My daughter loves this program. She has signed up for the fourth year in a row.

What’s the appeal? Her favourite part is playing the games that are offered after you check in with what books you have read. But she also likes entering into the draws for some terrific weekly prizes (how many draw tickets you get depends upon how many books (or pages of books) you have read.) There’s also the excitement of entering the draw for the chance to win one of three grand prizes.

And it’s all free!

While you are there, you can check out the other free programs your library has to offer. For example, my daughter went to her first drop in drama camp on Monday.
Click here if you want to find out if your library is participating.

How do you keep your child reading over the summer?