Happy Valentine’s/ Library Lover’s/ International Book Giving Day

Hello fellow Children’s Writers and Friends,

Well here we are, first post since the holidays and it’s a day early! But it seemed the perfect day for this post,

so whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, or Library Lovers Day, or even International Book Giving Day, you might be interested to know why I love the KidLit industry. Here’s my top 5!

1. I know I’ve said this before but, the KidLit community is such a friendly, supportive group of people who are all striving for success, but at the same time, revel in every little success I have.

2. It is a group where incredibly creative people willingly share their knowledge and experience in interviews, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, websites and on You Tube and social media.

3. A plethora of opportunities to meet with publishers, editors and other writers and illustrators exist, and at a range of prices with something to suit every budget.

4. The sheer joy of writing for children of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be here amongst these wonderful people in the first place.

5. Amazing organisations like CBCA SCBWI CKT and the children’s bookshops and libraries, which often host them making them more affordable and accessible. These are truly special places, with a generous sprinkling of fairy dust where knowledgeable and passionate people share all of the above abundantly.

And a bonus or two? OK

1.The books themselves are delightful, poignant, joyful, playful, clever and often (especially in the case of Picture Books) truly beautiful.

2. Book Launches by these wonderfully creative, friendly supportive people at the aforementioned fairy dust- sprinkled children’s bookshops and libraries are a lot of fun.

As I wrote this, ideas were shooting around my brain and becoming a tangled mess, so I found myself asking some other writers for their favourites and before I knew it, I had another idea and so I plan to research some more, sort and then record all of these ideas in an article. This as it turns out is one final bonus about writing (probably not just for children) for me to share; that once the ideas start coming, these sparkly magical gems bounce off each other and multiply, shining all the more brightly, like fireflies in dark, old railway tunnels.

I hope you’ve had a very happy day, no matter which commemoration of love you’re celebrating,

Farewell for now fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,


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Christmas Shopping Help -Journeygirl’s Top Five.

Hello fellow Children’s Writers and friends (or in this case Children’s Writers’ family and friends)

Yes it’s that time again when people wrack their brains to figure out just what to get their beloved writing spouse, partner, mother, father or friend. Aside from writing journals and  books to read (and gosh they can be fussy about those) what could they possibly want? Don’t despair, stop tearing out your hair, because Journeygirl’s annual Christmas shopping ideas guide is here! This year I’m listing my top 5 Christmas present ideas for the writer in your life.

Greenleaf Press’ Sunshine Writer’s Retreat

#1 An Experience- whether writing related e.g. a retreat, conference, festival or course as suggested last year, or something

non-writing related

completely non-writing related. The latter are great for two reasons; they provide a much needed break and two equally necessary inspiration.


#2 Tools- these can be paper related like the aforementioned journals, tote or other bags, stationery (always appreciated) or electronic both hardware and software.


#3 A Place to Write- Even, or perhaps especially if your writer works at home, finding a place where they can completely focus on their writing without out any distractions is difficult, if not near impossible. A ‘She Shed or Man Cave is the perfect place to lock themselves away for an hour or three. Not in budget? Fair enough, how about regular space/time in a writing room? The beauty of these is that going there is   exactly like going to work, which is bound to be good for productivity and  creativity.

#4 Storage- A place for everything and everything in its place is every writers dream, well the first part at least (for many mess and creativity are linked, but even this sort like to start off organised) pencil cases, pencil cases

also available at https://www.redbubble.com/people/GirlandDuck/portfolio?asc=u

trolleys, boxes, filing cabinets, bookshelves, desks, the list of possibilities is endless. You probably want to take your writing buddy with you for this one… and let them run amok in say, Ikea or Office Works or Temple and Webster or a quirky little country, or antique or online shop.

#5 Peace and Quiet… or not- This and the one above were the suggestions of my own writing buddy, my daughter Sarah; who uses noise cancelling headphones when she’s really focussed on creating and then puts on her favourite music when she’s editing. Again a writing retreat, or some noise cancelling headphones, or some great CDs or even cooler vinyl records are bound to put a smile on your beloved writer’s face.

So breathe a short sigh of relief now that Journeygirl’s got you sorted, then get out there, or on there if you’re going the online option, and make sure you’re number one on the writer in your life’s Top Five!

If you haven’t found quite the right thing here, never fear, be sure to have a look at these shops from last year’s post  Journeygirl’s Christmas Store Suggestions plus giveaway! or these gifts from 2016 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

Farewell and a very Merry Christmas fellow travellers,

Savour the quest and the Season,


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