Monthly Archives: May 2014

Working with Kids at Children’s Events


I spent the last couple Saturdays showing young children how to make accordion books at the Mini Maker Faire in San Luis Obispo and at the Paso Robles’s ArtFest. It was a delight to be working with these young kids and talking with their parents. Give them a piece of paper and a crayon and kids jump right into the creative process. Many of the children stayed for fifteen or more minutes working on their books, even the younger ones. They were focused and intent on their creations.Image

I loved to see how their minds work, their choice of colors, their choice of topics and how they approach the creative process. Some took our butterfly and heart stamp outs and put them all over their books, others wrote a story and drew illustrations, and two young girls decided to copy a page from one of my books with their own art work. Each child approached their project in their own unique way with many creative results.

I also find that watching children’s at work helps me develop my stories, illustrations and marketing ideas. What are their interests? How does each age group relate to my books? How do they and their parents respond to my book display and the covers? Which books do they pick up first? Do they read the book through or thumb through the illustrations? If I give them a brief summary of the story, are they more likely to buy the book? What questions do they ask? Will they pick up my brochure and business cards? Are they willing to sign an email list?

They were both long days, but well worth the experience. I sold some of my books, talked to a couple of parents and teachers about school visits, passed out flyers for my upcoming classes at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles and gave out flyers listing where my books can be purchased.

Most of all, it was enjoyable relating to my young audience and their parents.


New, Children’s Books Now Available


Amazon now has my new book available entitled I’m a City Bear. Told in diary format from the bear’s perspective, this story relays the adventures of a hungry bear that comes down to the city from the mountains looking for food. He finds a paradise with garbage cans, swimming pools and flower beds despite his run-ins with angry dogs and picket fences. He discovers he’s a celebrity and thinks he needs to get sunglasses, sign autographs and set up a Facebook page. But his luck runs out when Forest Rangers tranquilize him and return him to the forest. It takes him a week to return to the city. This story is loosely based on actual events in Southern California.

I wrote the story and formatted it for publication; the delightful drawings were done by artist, Gini Griffin. She also drew the characters for one of my previous books, Camouflage, published by Oak Tree Press. 


Round Table starts tomorrow!


I found Jason Matthews to be extremely helpful as we tried to diagnose my problems with Facebook Tuesday night. Thanks, Jason. Beryl

SLO NightWriters

Round Table Discussions begin May 13th 5:15 – 6:15

 May marks the beginning of NightWriter’s Round Table Discussions. A time designed for critique, learning and discussion; Each month a new topic, each month a chance to connect to fellow writers.

May’s Topics:

Critique Table: Terry Sanville and Susan Tuttle will be available to listen and give feedback. For those wishing to be critiqued, please bring 2 copies of your work – one for you and one for those critiquing.  Observers are also welcome. If you would like to observe the critiquing process, join the group, watch, and learn.

Setting up your Facebook page: Jason Matthews will be leading a workshop in setting up a facebook page. Bring your computer (and extension cords) and we’ll walk through the process together.

Round Table Discussion Tuesday, May 13th 5:15 – 6:15 (prior to our monthly meeting). Food and…

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Notebooks and Ideas

Notebooks and Ideas

Anything that keeps the creative juices flowing works. Beryl



I’m a sucker for a pretty notebook. I love them. And because I’m a writer, I carry around an ideas notebook at all times, right? So that when inspiration strikes I can write things down and never forget them.

Well, that’s what’s supposed to happen.

It doesn’t seem to work like that, though.

Because although I love notebooks, most of them live on my desk, hardly touched. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had an idea, thought to myself ‘I really should write that down’ but not had a notebook about my person and by the time I’ve come to write down my ideas I’ve forgotten what they were. Or I write things on scrappy pieces of paper which I lose. Aaaah, it’s the most infuriating thing in the world!

Because writers get ideas all over the place. Walking down the road. On the bus. Doing the washing up…

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Perfect Picture Book Friday! Every Turtle Counts by Sara Hoagland Hunter


I haven’t read this book, but it looks like a delightful story. We must remember that Everyone Counts. Beryl

This Kid Reviews Books

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fantastic story! 
turtlecountsEvery Turtle Counts
by Sara Hoagland Hunter
Illustrated by Susan Spellman
36 pages – ages 5+
Published by Peter E. Randall on April 1, 2014

Theme/Topic- Turtles/ Autism

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-

From the inside jacket:

“When seven-year-old Mimi discovers a frozen sea turtle on the beach, she doesn’t know she has stumbled upon one of the rarest animals on earth. All she knows is she must save it. Based on the true plight of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, born on just one beach in Mexico and stranded each year in the hook of Cape Cod, Every Turtle Counts is the story of an autistic child who, with the help…

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