Seven Stories. Seven Days. (Day 5)

I’m a teacher and I write for children.  For the first time ever, I’m trying to write seven picture book drafts in seven days.

Day 5

Today, I didn’t bother with the 5 am alarm as I don’t need to go to work.  I had an outline for a story about Winter Solstice Celebrations and I was able to get a draft done by 9:40 am! Yay!

Will this draft become a book one day?  Too early to tell.  For now it feels like it has potential but I might look at it next week and decide it is in need of a complete overhaul. One of my next steps will be to read mentor texts by picture book authors who have written on the same subject.  Do you know any books about the winter solstice celebration?  Let me know in the comments.

Five drafts done!  Two more to go.  Maybe I CAN write seven stories in seven days…

Curious about my debut picture book? It’s titled Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker


Planning a Children’s Book

I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my process in creating a picture book.  I wish I had this idea when I was making my first picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker!  Honestly, this was not my own idea but I have adopted it and it really works.

You may be aware that picture books have a 32 page format.  So I just use 32 sticky notes to represent the pages and then when I get to the point where I’m ready to work out the page turns… voila!  All I do is make notes about where the images will go and plan out the book.

The page turns need to be in just the right places to add interest and create suspense.   Here’s a peek at my current project in partnership with Paula Nasmith as illustrator…IMG_6266

As you may have noticed, this is not the entire story planned out but a portion of the story (only 24 pages shown).  I just love the ease of the sticky notes; I can easily replace or move them around to get the story and page turns just right and it is so quick and easy to make up.

Two Giveaways August 1st!

I’m super excited to be doing two giveaways in August!  Yay!  I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. My apologies to international readers… these giveaways will be open to Canada and US residents only.

Now for the good news!

Giveaway #1 which will be happening on my little known, perhaps hidden author blog includes:

-a $10 Amazon Gift Card

-a signed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker my new picture book released in April 2017

-two beautiful art cards by Victoria illustrator, Paula Nasmith (cards are blank inside for your personalized message)


Giveaway #2 which will be here on simply.cindy includes a little summer reading pleasure for adults:

-a paperback copy of my sister in law’s novel, Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic (Meghan Ciana Doidge)

-recipe cards to make all the delicious cupcakes featured in Meghan’s novels

-an audio book copy of Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge)

So if you follow me at simply.cindy and my author blog you won’t miss the chance to win!  And just between you and me, finding my blogs can be like finding a needle in a haystack so your chances to win are surprisingly good!  Best of luck and hope to see your entries coming in this Tuesday!

Not the Only Writer in the Family

Hello Readers!

I am loving this summer sunshine and the extra time for reading.  Did you know my sister in law is a writer too?  Yes!  She has written a long and growing list of novels.  Check out her website here


Right now Meghan is giving away a signed copy of my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker so there’s a chance to win if you hop on over to Made by Meghan and enter by Wednesday.  While you’re there you should check out her books, but I warn you, you may get hooked!  And I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Meghan’s books very soon as part of my next giveaway package so stay tuned 🙂

Have a great day!


Get Ready! Giveaway Coming Soon!

Remember I mentioned giveaways coming soon?  Yay! Summer is here so it is time!!

You can enter to win a copy of my new picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  It was just released this spring so be one of the first to read this great new picture book!

Also giving away some beautiful blank art cards by Paula Nasmith (not exactly as shown)   I am very grateful for Paula, who did all the artwork for Katie Shaeffer and is becoming quite accomplished as a local artist, with her art being showcased in the Fernwood Art Stroll and this year for the first time ever, the Moss Street Paint-In on July the 15th.  We have plans for more picture books together so stay tuned 🙂

Check back this coming week for details on how to enter!