In 2015, I sat in a darkened auditorium in a hotel in Los Angeles, wanting to throw up. I had word poisoning. What was the source? The messenger's message. In that dark room, Shannon Hale, a keynote speaker at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference, was turning the spotlight on gender bias. … Continue reading Who Are You? Gender Bias – #KidLitWomen
There's an ongoing discussion in the kid lit world about why boys don't want to read "girl books," meaning books that star female protagonists or feature fairies or princesses on the cover or in the title. Is this "preference" intrinsic, or are they steered away from such interests, starting at a very young age? Shannon … Continue reading Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond
When my son was three, he was fascinated by all things siren-related. One night in the Mission District of San Francisco, an ambulance was parked outside the restaurant where we were eating. No emergency, just hungry paramedics waiting for their "TO GO" order. When we left the restaurant, my son ran to the ambulance and … Continue reading Life, Love, and LTYM Show – San Francisco
Yesterday, at 10:59am PST, I despaired. Piles of research lay scattered about my desk, in my backpack, across the kitchen table. Papers I'd been shuttling around since last fall. I was trying to finish a revision of a nonfiction picture book I've been writing since last September, but I felt scattered. And I couldn't figure … Continue reading Black Diamond Wisdom – Writers Take Note
My 11-yr-old son has discovered Russ Cox, a wonderful illustrator. You can see his work at Smiling Otis Studio. [Yes, Mike Allegra (HeyLookAWriterFellow), Otis was one of Russ's cats. They're everywhere! And BTW, a mouse snuck into our pantry and tore into the brown sugar, dried beans, and pancake mix. I'm thinking we've got a diabetic … Continue reading Illustrator Influence
Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie 100-word story writing competition (using the words pumpkin, broomstick, and creak) inspired me to produce the following piece of classic literature this week. It also inspired my son to create an illustration for the story. I hope you enjoy it. And if you don't, well, I'll sick the flying monkeys on you. … Continue reading Halloween Cinderella?
In honor of tomorrow's game, I'm reblogging a post from May 2012, a tribute to my German heritage. When my son came out of his bedroom this morning wearing black sweatpants tucked into the tops of his yellow soccer socks and a red shirt to celebrate family heritage day at school, I knew I … Continue reading Spätzle (Spaetzle) 911 — aka U.S. vs Germany, World Cup
As part of my son's school curriculum, the entire 4/5th grade classes (about 40 kids) went to farm school this past week in rural northern California, a place where you're more likely to encounter a cow, sheep, or bobcat on the road than a vehicle. Hawks and turkey vultures circled overhead while hummingbirds buzzed about … Continue reading Night Hiking & Writing – Facing Your Fears
My 10-yr-old son, the cat lover vs. Mike Allegra (HeyLookAWriterFellow), the rodent lover Mike posted the "naughty kitten" doodle he drew (reluctantly) for my son, and in return, Mike received a tribute to furry creatures with front teeth that never stop growing. My iPhone photo of a copy of the original turned the … Continue reading Celebrate Dueling Doodlers!
According to my 10-year-old son, the American Revolution can be distilled to four panels (click photo to enlarge): He loved drawing this cartoon and spent a couple of joyful hours completely absorbed in his work. Note that the Loyalist character's voice comes from off the page, showing how the Loyalists either operated under cover, "lost … Continue reading What do David Shannon and My Son Have in Common?