Tag Archives: The Children’s Writer

One Lovely Blog Award

I was given this award by Taming the Goblin over a month ago and was very touched as her blog is one I really enjoy reading so I’m honoured to have been chosen. One of the ‘rules’ of this award is to choose 15 blogs to pass it on to. As I’ve previously written with regards to a meme, I can’t see how this works in the long run because by the third generation you’re onto 3,375 blogs but I am still going to take the opportunity to write about 15 blogs I love!

One Lovely Blog Award Rules:
1. Link back to the one who gave you this award.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you.

Bloggers below, feel free to ignore the rules! 🙂

Patch of Puddles
I first started reading Merry’s blog shortly before her first son, Freddie was born two years ago. I started reading because I was interested in home education plus she runs a fantastic online toy store. I stayed because her writing is touching and beautiful as well as interesting and varied. Sadly Freddie didn’t get to stay with his family for long, but the impact of his life touched me so much. Some of Merry’s posts leave me in tears, but they’ve been tears of both sadness and joy.
Twitter: @MerrilyMe

Making It Up
I started reading Jax’s blog via Patch of Puddles. I was interested in home education and read a variety of blogs on the subject before deciding to send my girls to the local primary (for now) but this is one of the few I still read regularly because of the variety and interest of the posts. Jax also writes beautifully and I have come to respect her opinions highly and find she speaks much sense, both on blog and twitter.
Twitter: @liveotherwise

Brink of Bedlam
Varied and often very funny, Kay’s blog is a mixture of parenting, reviews, ramblings and more. For me, Kay is reassuring proof that being chaotic is ‘normal’, and she’s a lovely person to chat with to boot!
Twitter: @chaoskay

Musings of a Stressy Mummy
Nikki is another lovely person to chat with, and her blog covers parenting from 2 to 16 years old – so lots of very varied posts! There are reviews, books, pictures, memes and musings.
Twitter: @stressymummy

Playing by the Book
Zoe’s blog is a fantastic mix of children’s book reviews and crafts based on those books. The blog is a treasure trove of ideas and Zoe’s passion for books shines through. Not only is she hugely knowledgeable about books, she’s extraordinarily helpful, giving advice and ideas for all sorts of projects (she’s answered twitter queries I’ve had on more than one occasion). She also promotes book charities around the world and held the first International Edible Book Festival earlier this year.
Twitter: @playbythebook

Little Wooden Horse
Polly’s blog only started this year but is already a huge wealth of children’s book reviews. Passionate and knowledgeable about her subject, I look forward to every new post and am learning new things every day. Just wonderful.
Twitter: @Pollylwh

The Children’s Writer
This is really a recommendation for two blogs at once. I’ve headed it with The Children’s Writer because I really enjoy the posts from the viewpoint of a future picture book author and the trials of getting a book published. But I also enjoy @homedad‘s parenting blog, which generally makes me smile. It’s also the home of Fiction Fridays, which re-ignited my passion for picture books and made this blog far more interesting (I hope!) Not to mention the stay-at-home-dad viewpoint is worth a read for the other side of gender discrimination.
Twitter: @homedad75

Taking Words for a Stroll
Elli’s blog is purely poetry only, you won’t find any other meanderings here. What you will find are hilarious poems and rhymes, but don’t delay they don’t stay there for long. Elli is extremely talented and her poems are perfect for sharing with children (and adults). One of my recent favourites is an ‘anti-rhyme’ where some bears sit on… stools and eat… plums 🙂
Twitter: @Elephantthai

Sunny Side Up!
Clara’s blog is full of lovely craft ideas and behind-the-scenes looks at picture book creation. It’s positive, welcoming and home to The Happy Bunny Club!
Twitter: @ClaraVulliamy

David Melling
David’s blog is full of glimpses into his sketchbooks, behind-the-scenes picture book making and storyboards. It really showcases his amazing talent. There is also a website: http://davidmelling.co.uk/
Twitter: @davidmelling1

Sarah McIntyre
This is a blog I don’t read as often as I should because every time I read it I learn some interesting nuggets from the world of illustration and writing. As well as illustrating some of my girls’ favourite books, Sarah is an awesome talent who stands up for and supports the book community. She has a website full of crafty activities too: http://www.jabberworks.co.uk/
Twitter: @jabberworks

Trapped by Monsters
Trapped by Monsters is a collaborative blog originally based on the idea of “a group of authors who met up to write the ultimate guide to bumping off monsters, but instead were captured, locked in a cave, and forced to blog…” It’s been running over three years now and is full of books, art, events, ramble and monsters.
Twitter: various!

Living Montessori Now
If you’re thinking of educating using Montessori principles and only read one blog, this is the one to read. There are so many showcases, linkies, reviews… It’s a one stop shop for Montessori-based education ideas plus information on Montessori principles from a very knowledgable, friendly and lovely lady.
Twitter: @debchitwood

Montessori MOMents
Lori’s blog is about bringing up her two young boys (and now a daughter on the way, so baby excitement to come this year) home educating using Montessori principles. I used to read a lot of different Montessori blogs, the three I’ve included in the list are the ones that have stuck with me as I’ve chosen not to home ed but am still interested in Montessori home ed. Interesting and inspiring, and full of cute kids!
Twitter: @LoriMOMents

What Did We Do All Day?
Another Montessori home educator blog, but another one I’ve stuck with for the interesting content and the amount of work she puts in to cataloguing all existing Montessori blogs, collating homemade Montessori materials instructions and comparing a wide variety of Montessori albums and resources. Well worth bookmarking!
Twitter: @My_Boys_Teacher

And yes, there are many more deserving, and chosing these fifteen was both easy and very, very hard. I think they are all well worth following and if you’re not already following, go take a look.

Thanks again to Ray from Taming the Goblin, you should be up there too but I didn’t know if I was allowed to include the person who gave me the award!

Opening Lines

I used to want to be an author. I used to read avidly, literally hundreds of books a year. And I wrote, and wrote. But this was way back in my teens and early 20’s, now I’m 36 it’s been 15 years since I wrote regularly and over 10 years since I wrote anything at all. But inspired by the Children’s Writer blog and behind-the-scenes writing comments from (too many to mention) picture book authors and illustrators on Twitter, I thought I might revisit a story that’s been in my head all that time and write it for my girls…

My aspirations to be an author have faded over time, and I don’t have the patience to really write at this stage in my life but I thought I could manage a short story just for my girls. I hoped to be able to pull the threads of my ideas together, put the words in some sort of order and sort out the ending so it worked. Ideas are easy, writing is the hard part!

With that in mind, I started to think of the opening sentence(s). Perhaps just writing the story down first would be the best idea, but it’s been in my head for so long I thought I’d start at the beginning. Fiction Fridays have taught me that the first sentence can really sell a book to the reader. The story is a non-traditional fairy tale, so I looked for inspiration:

“Once upon a time there lived a King and a Queen who weren’t very good at it.” The Tough Princess (Waddell & Benson)

“Once there was a Dragon who was convinced he was TOTALLY TERRIFYING.” The Totally Terrifying Three (Oram & Melling)

“Once upon a Tuesday the king was in a hurry as usual.” The Kiss That Missed (Melling)

“Once upon a time, there was a deep, dark forest, where monstrous trees groaned, terrible beasties moaned and wiggly woos waited to tickle your toes.” Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure (Stephenson)

“The trouble with Dragons is… Dragons make Dragons and they make some more till there are wall-to-wall Dragons making Dragons galore.” The Trouble With Dragons (Gliori)

“Long, and long ago, when Oberon was king of the fairies, there reigned over the fair country of Phantasmorania a monarch who had six beautiful daughters.” The Ordinary Princess (Kaye)

The Ordinary Princess isn’t a picture book. It is however a perfect fairy tale. I think it’s the book I want to write. Except it was already written over 30 years ago! It definitely deserves its own post.

After looking at the inspiration, I thought about the opening lines for “my” story. Hmmm, maybe I’ll think about writing again in another ten years… 🙂