Saturday, June 14, 2014

What Fun!

This is so much fun. After critiquing a rhyming story of mine for RhyPoIdMo, Maria Cuesta did this watercolor of the main character which she was generous enough to share with me, all the way from Spain! Thanks Maria!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

View From the Circ Desk, Part 2

Here's what's hot in the children's library for May/June:

Biographies- local classrooms are doing reports on "people who inspire you".
Gardening- the garden club has a children's garden and they have been sending children to the library to look for gardening books.
Summer topics
Summer reading lists- the librarian compiles a recommended summer reading list that goes home with all the school children

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Kids Summer Reading List

Horn Book came out their kidlit summer reading list! It was posted on metro Time to hit the hammock with a good book.

2014 Kids Summer Reading List

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I have been learning more about making revisions and I have been collecting some useful on-line resources. They include:

Filter Words, on Writing Life by Susan Dennard Filter words not only increase the word count unnecessarily, they make the story seem more passive instead of active.

I Told You by Janice Hardy with some helpful pointers on how to "Show, not Tell", the picture book writers mantra!

Check out Margot Finke's self-editing fact sheet which is full over other words that can be cut.

Remember the three R's for writing picture books, Revise, Revise and umm, Revise.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Year of the Salamander

I spent a morning learning about our state's salamanders. We looked under rocks and flipped over logs. We found egg cases floating in a vernal pool and saw a pregnant salamander that was only weeks from becoming a mother. We learned some fun facts about these amphibians. Salamanders are the most populace vertebrate in the forests of CT and are a good indicator of the health of the environment. Some salamander moms, including the common red-backed salamander are protective and will guard their eggs.

The sounds of springtime, one of my favorite things!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A View from the Circ Desk, Part 2

An NPR blog article by Annalisa Quinn cites a report that found that a trip to the library makes people feel happier! Too true, give it a try!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rhymes A-Plenty, Rhymes Galore

RhyPiBoMo is winding down. It's bee a wonderful month of writing and reading poetry for children. One great interview that was shared was Patricia Toht's interview of Kenn Nesbitt, the current Children's Poet Laureate,Part 1 and Part 2 on Groggspot. It was a delightful read. So many of the daily posts for RhyPiBoMo included words of inspiration from other writers who are passionate about their craft. The daily assignments kept us improving our skills.

In reading a huge assortment of rhyming picture books, I have discovered a couple of new favorites.

Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler/Illustrated by Mark Siegel, is so much fun and masterfully done. There is so much to be learned from her rhyming style.

Chicks Run Wild by Sudipta Bardham-Quallen/ Illustrated by Ward Jenkins, is just delightful!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Restful Saturday

This week for my Saturday post, I thought I would include some of the great rhyming books I have been  reading as part of my assignment for RhyPiBoMo. I've read some real clunkers, but I have also discovered some gems that have already become favorites.

One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler
Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters by Jane Yolen
Piggies in a Polka by Kathi Appelt
Samantha on a Roll by Linda Ashman
Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein

They are all masterfully done and a joy to read aloud!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Work" Time Spent On-line

I have been spending more time on-line this month. I am participating in RhyPiBoMo, and with each daily post there are wonderful links to be explored. I am also trying to get into the habit of keeping this blog current, so here I am again. Some of the sites I've explored that were useful included:

Cynthia Leitich Smith's How to Write Books for Children and Young Adults- This is full of great information and inspiration

Rhymer- A Free Rhyming Dictionary- I've used RhymeZone before. This is a great alternative.

Angie Karcher's RhyPiBoMo Blog- There is so much information here about writing in rhyme, I've had to take it in in small doses.

Margot Finke's Secrets of Writing for Children- Scroll halfway down and find self-critique tips including a list of words that can be cut. I fall into the same old trap with a few of these words and it's helpful to refer back to the list from time to time.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A View from the Circ Desk

Working in a children's library is great fun. I love hearing the kid's opinions about the books they are reading and I also like to see what makes them choose a book off the shelf. So far, I discovered that some things never change. Trucks, princesses and cute animal characters are perennial favorites. I also am reminded that each month, different seasonal topics are highlighted by the librarians. These books are displayed so the covers can be seen, as opposed to all the other books whose skinny binding/title are the only things kids have to base their choices on. Topics worthy of pursuing right now include: Spring, gardening, poetry  (April is poetry month), St. Patrick's Day. Just think of all the things that might make a school bulletin board.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Trip to the Mechanic

True to my word, and my new resolve, I am posting on Tuesdays with some new information I have learned about writing children's picture books. I have been participating in RhyPiBoMo and have been reading so much in and about rhyme,  I thought I would do something completely different here. I have been trying to learn more about the pacing of PB's. Here are some sources I found helpful.

Miranda Paul's blog post- A Peek at Pacing: 12 Picture Books I Love is a fun look at the pacing techniques used in 12 PBs. It's a great read. She also wrote about storyboarding if having something visual/tangible helps with the pacing process.

Diane Muldrow addressed the topic from an editor's viewpoint in Aug. 2011 on the SCBWI official conference blog.

Tara Lazar has a helpful post about picture book dummies and picture book construction.

I must admit that I have tried making dummies, marked page breaks in my manuscripts and read whatever I can find on pacing. I still don't know if I'm on the right track!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

RhyPiBoMo Homework

Our rhyming assignment for the day, as part of RhyPiBoMo, was to write a poem about April Fool's day. Here is what I came up with:

Someone's knocking on my door
I'm sure I've seen this fool before
He speaks of millions? An untied shoe?
A chalked eraser? What else is new?
This fool is extra cruel this year
He just announced that Spring is here

Hopefully the sunny, warmish weather we're enjoying today is not just a teaser!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's Not a Crime to Write in Rhyme

I love to write rhyme. Unfortunately, rumor has it that children's book publishers are reluctant to look at it.  When rhyme is not done well, it can be downright painful to read. However, new picture books in rhyme are being published constantly so I will remain optimistic and stick with what I love.

As I gear up for Rhyming Month in April, I am trying to read everything I can find on the topic. Here are a couple of sources I found helpful:

I heard Leslie Bulion at an NESCBWI conference. She was great! This is her guest post on Diy MFA

This post by Juliet Clare Bell on the Picture Book Den is informative and looks at how NOT to write in rhyme.

The Rhyme Weaver blog has great nitty gritty information about meter, stress and rhyme.

I found this fact filled post by Margot Finke How to Write a Picture Book with Fabulous Rhyme and Meter . I refer to it often.  It was on Harold Underdown's site.


I had such a great experience with Picture Book Idea Month, I thought I would try one that focuses on writing in rhyme. This one is organized by Angie Karcher and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How Wolves Change Rivers

Yellowstone is one of my favorite places! I found this interesting, and the scenery was stunning.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dreaming of warmth

I am sitting in frigid New England, dreaming of the hot dry air of Arizona. I am also thinking of my word for the year...CHALLENGE and reading some inspirational literary quotations that might spur me on...

“What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.” 
― Walt Whitman

Friday, January 3, 2014


I have dipped my toe into the world of Facebook. Check out my author's page at Daryl-Lynne Gottier, I will try to keep it up-dated with fun information for writers, teachers and nature lovers alike.


I was thrilled with the challenge of Picture Book Idea Month. Thank you Tara Lazar and all the wonderful guest bloggers that made it happen. I completed it and have 30 new ideas to start refining. I also won a prize, a picture book ms critique!

My word for the year- CHALLENGE

I recently heard Jon Gordon speaking about New Year's resolutions on the Today Show (yes, I was procrastinating when I should have been writing!) He suggested that while resolutions are often broken, people find success in choosing a word to guide them through the new year. We decided to try this in our family. My word was inspired by this tree we saw in is Challenge. I would like to challenge myself to grow, to expand, to try things outside my comfort zone and to get more writing published. I may need to bend, twist and change direction but like this tree, I will not break. I will be stronger for it.

I Can't Wait!!