What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: the writing life, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 521
1. The New Mexico – Arizona Book Award

blue birds nm az
Last Friday, Blue Birds got this fancy sticker.
may bb

The post The New Mexico – Arizona Book Award appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on The New Mexico – Arizona Book Award as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. The Adversity of Creation


Rejection educates. Failure teaches. Both hurt. Only distraction comforts. And of these, only distraction can lead to destruction. Rejection and failure can nourish us, but wasted time is a tiny death. What determines whether we will succeed as creators is not how intelligent we are, how talented we are, or how hard we work, but how we respond to the adversity of creation.

How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

The post The Adversity of Creation appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on The Adversity of Creation as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. Classroom Connections: THE LAURA LINE by Crystal Allen

age range: 8-12
genre: contemporary fiction with historical flashbacks
Crystal Allen’s website

Please tell us about your book. 

THE LAURA LINE is about Laura Dyson, a thirteen year old, overweight girl who has dreams of being a model…or a major league baseball pitcher.  Because of her weight issues, students make fun of her to the point that Laura begins to believe that she is all of the ugly things her classmates say she is.  It’s not until Laura ventures into an old shack on her grandmother’s farm and finds a ledger filled with documents from the female ancestors in her history, (all of them named Laura)  that she begins to stand up for herself.  Now, Laura Dyson not only knows who she is, but has evidence of all the wonderful things she can become.

What inspired you to write this story?

My mother raised my oldest brother and sister in an extremely small, one-room, family-built house on my grandmother’s farm.  I missed my opportunities to tour this family landmark, but I knew it held valuable history, along with proof of the strength and determination of my mother.  I wanted to honor her, and the house, in some way.

Could you share with readers how you conducted your research or share a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching?

Talking with family members and memories of growing up on my grandmother’s farm in Indiana were the biggest tools I used when writing THE LAURA LINE.  However, while visiting Boston one summer, a replica of the Amistad was docked in the Naval shipyard, and people were encouraged to tour for free!  Since the Amistad was going to make a “cameo” appearance in THE LAURA LINE, I thought this was an excellent opportunity for some research, and the price was perfect!  With camera in hand and money for snacks, I took off to the shipyard, expecting a fun day in the sun.

But that’s not what happened.

Touring that schooner caused such an emotional stir in me, I was completely caught off guard by its affect from the moment I stepped onboard.  I had no personal ties to anyone aboard the Amistad, yet I wept right there at the shipyard as if I did.  To see pencil-drawn portraits of the captives, some as young as seven-years-old, took all of the fun out of my day. I knew the story of the Amistad, but standing downstairs, in the belly of that schooner, put the whole story in my face.  This was no longer a research project.  It was now personal.

Even though the THE LAURA LINE is based on fictional characters, I felt as if I met the first Laura that day. She was real, and she needed me to feel her pain, her fear, her frustration, her hunger, her tears, her anger. I rushed back to the place I was staying and began to empty out everything I had felt that day, whether it was in complete sentences or not.  I will never forget that experience.

What are some special challenges associated with writing historical fiction?

Making sure each Laura was given a talent that existed in her era, and the materials, left by each Laura, were believable.

What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?

THE LAURA LINE teaches its readers:

Love yourself.  Love your “Line.”  Live your dreams.

The post Classroom Connections: THE LAURA LINE by Crystal Allen appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Classroom Connections: THE LAURA LINE by Crystal Allen as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
4. Postcard Marketing in the Age of the Internet


Part of my month-long writing-free vacation was spent with these lovelies.* Like I did with May B., I collected addresses in dribs and drabs over the last year, waiting until I had a stretch of time to devote to stamping, labeling, and writing.

On 699 postcards. For real.


While it isn’t the 1,662 I sent out for May B., it was still a pretty big commitment, one that I found surprisingly satisfying.


You’ve probably heard the rate of return on direct mailings falls somewhere between 1/2 and 2 percent. Pretty dismal and probably not worth the effort, right? For me, the process has become a ritual where I can exert the tiniest bit of control over the unwieldy and unpredictable experience of releasing a book into the world.


Because the books I write are largely sold to the school and library market, that’s where I focus. I had graphic designer Sierra Fong create two postcards for my mailings this time around, one meant to introduce Over in the Wetlands to the schools and libraries of the Gulf Coast, and another to share both Wetlands and Blue Birds with New Mexico schools and libraries.


Here’s what’s happened since the postcards went out: I have had a handful of teachers email me after receiving the card. My sales for both of these books have increased slightly in the last few weeks.** I’ve gotten more website hits from the areas I’ve targeted. And I’ve been invited to speak at Mosquero Elementary School, a K-6 school of 22 students in Mosquero, NM (population 93). Seeing young readers in corners of my state I’ve never visited is pretty much the best thing out there.

While I’ll never know the actual results of the mailing, every postcard was a chance to directly tell a teacher or librarian about something I believe in, and in this age of quick and impersonal blasts of information, it felt significant, important even. However small the return, my efforts to match books with readers has left a mark, perhaps in ways I’ll never know.

Which is exactly how this publication thing works, anyway.


*Points to the person who catches the typo. My son spotted it immediately!

**Penguin Random House has a website called Author Portal where sales can be tracked, using numbers from Nieslen BookScan. Many, many bookstores don’t report sales, and few, if any, schools or libraries do. Until statements come in months from now, it’s really impossible to know true numbers, but the BookScan stats are a start.

The post Postcard Marketing in the Age of the Internet appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Postcard Marketing in the Age of the Internet as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. On Writing


Name the book that made the biggest impression on you. I bet you read it before you hit puberty. In the time I’ve got left, I intend to write artistic books – for kids – because they’re still open to new ideas.
–Gary Paulsen

The post On Writing appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on On Writing as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. Write. Make. Create.


My mind is alight with a new idea that isn’t even a true thing yet, more a sensation looking to find its form wrapped up in a handful of questions.

This book is going to be a joy to write. This book is going to be fun. Not that my others haven’t had both, but regular readers here know I find the creative process daunting, especially when it comes to a book’s beginnings.

One way I’m choosing to free up the overwhelming creating-something-from-nothing phase is to do a little mental word play. Much like I trick myself into steady work by focusing on the story’s present moment (rather than reminding myself I’m writing a whole darn book), I’m going to claim two words from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic:

I’m not going to write right now. I’m going to make. I’m going to create.


The post Write. Make. Create. appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Write. Make. Create. as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. Writing and Reading Links


Five Writing Tips: Ann Packer :: Publisher’s Weekly

What the Novel Needs :: Avi

Ten Ways Writer-Moms Can Gain More Writing Time :: Jody Hedlund

On Poetry and Shyness and the Way I Wish I Were by Kat Yeh :: Nerdy Book Club

Use these 10 writing productivity hacks: Finish your novel this year :: Now Novel

The Art of Persistence by Martha Brockenbrough :: That Wee Bit Heap

The post Writing and Reading Links appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Writing and Reading Links as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

There’s this book I wrote a while back, something I started in 2001 and officially set aside three years ago. It’s called CAN’T BREAK US and is loosely based on my mother’s girlhood club. The manuscript is something I love to pieces, but after years and years of work just wasn’t coming together. It was my second attempt at a novel, the one that served its purpose in teaching me to write (of course, I still have a lot to learn). I figured we’d reached our end together (the manuscript and I. Book are friends, you know).

Little Nippers

In the summer of 2013, author/editor/teacher Mike Winchell asked if I might be interested in contributing two pieces of writing — one non-fiction, one fiction — for an anthology proposal. The idea was to show students how authors can take ideas from real life and turn them into a story. My mind went immediately to CAN’T BREAK US, which initially grew from the stories my mother told me in my childhood. Using my author’s note as a starting place, I created my non-fiction piece. Then I pulled out a pivotal chapter, re-wrote it as verse, and sent it in.

The anthology sold to Penguin in a two-book deal:

“BEEN THERE, DONE THAT [is] a thematic anthology series with a kid-friendly Common Core tie in, in which a who’s who of award-winning and bestselling MG/YA authors will share a nonfiction narrative, and then write a related short story in order to show the “from-life-to-page” process of taking real-life experiences and transforming them into works of fiction.”

Been There, Done That cover (1)

I’m honored a portion of this manuscript will live again in an entirely different form. I’m thrilled to be included alongside so many talented people. And I love that my mother’s club, The Little Nippers, will finally, finally be introduced to the world at large.

Because what young person hasn’t dreamed of a little pocket of the world where the kids are in charge?

Here’s a video about the background of my story “Lemon Squeeze.” You can click through to the Been There, Done That website and find similar items from the other authors in the “teaching materials” section.

Today across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the Been There, Done That authors will use the hashtag #BeenThere to share one-line glimpses into the real-life event that inspired their work. We’d love if others might respond with their own #BeenThere moments!

The post BEEN THERE, DONE THAT Release Day! appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on BEEN THERE, DONE THAT Release Day! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. This Day: Wisdom from Simply Tuesday


“…part of living well in ordinary time is letting this day be good. Letting this day be a gift. Letting this day be filled with plenty. And if it all goes wrong and my work turns to dust? This is my kind reminder that outcomes are beyond the scope of my job description.”

The post This Day: Wisdom from Simply Tuesday appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on This Day: Wisdom from Simply Tuesday as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
10. Considering National Novel Writing Month?


Research books from my 2013 “Fake-o NaNo” novel.

Here are a few posts to get you thinking:

Your NaNoWriMo Tuneup :: Nathan Bransford

Janice Hardy presents: The Big Push to 50 (Thousand Words, That Is) :: Romance University

On Timed Writes, Word Counts, and NaNoWriMo :: Project Mayhem

Evaluating NaNoWriMo: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly :: Jody Hedlund

NaNoWriMo Resources :: Write Smarter (Not Harder)

The Serious Novelist’s Guide to NaNoWriMo :: Huffington Post

How to Win NaNo Using Totally Doable Daily and Weekly Writing Goals :: K. M. Weiland

What Darcy Says About Starting Novels :: Caroline Starr Rose

Five Things I Learned from NaNoWriMo :: Caroline Starr Rose

The post Considering National Novel Writing Month? appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Considering National Novel Writing Month? as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. New Use for Old Manuscripts, Take 2


Fire starter!

This felt extra fitting as May herself does something similar with a part of her school book.

The post New Use for Old Manuscripts, Take 2 appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on New Use for Old Manuscripts, Take 2 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. The Then and The Now: Reflections Over Chicago


Monday night I sat on a plane, alone with my thoughts, as Chicago ran beneath me. Here I was flying across the country to speak about one of my books.


The gal full of yearning who seventeen years before had started a novel on a summer afternoon, who had no idea it would take twelve years and hundreds of rejections and ten manuscripts to finally break in, the gal who, if she knew, wouldn’t have had the courage to keep trying.

What would my twenty-four year-old self think of this moment?

This certainly wasn’t my first school visit or the only one that’s required a plane, but somehow that didn’t matter. From the quiet of my window seat, the sheer distance of my journey felt overwhelmingly grand.

A memory from L.M. Montgomery‘s journals came to me. In 1927, after publishing over a hundred short stories and thirteen novels, she received a letter from Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, who thanked her for “the pleasure her books had given [him].” And Maud responded in a way that makes me tear up every time I read it:

I took the letter with me to Lover’s Lane and read it — read it not to myself but to the little girl who walked here years ago and dreamed — and wrote her dreams into books that have pleased a statesmen of the Empire. And the little girl was pleased.

Flying over Chicago on Monday night, I held a silent celebration with my former self. And that young woman who dreamed so many years ago was pleased.

The post The Then and The Now: Reflections Over Chicago appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on The Then and The Now: Reflections Over Chicago as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. Classroom Connections: OPERATION PUCKER UP by Rachele Alpine

age range: 9-13
genre: contemporary fiction
Operation Pucker Up Discussion Guide
Rachele Alpine’s website

Please tell us about your book.

Operation Pucker Up is about a girl named Grace Shaw who is thrilled when she’s cast as Snow White in her middle school play. That is, until she realizes she’ll have to kiss Prince Charming. And not only is Prince Charming—a.k.a James Lowe—the most popular boy in school, but Grace has never, ever been kissed.  To help, Grace’s two best friends create Operation Pucker Up—a plan for Grace to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn’t make a total fool of herself in front of a live audience. If that weren’t enough to think about, Grace’s father, who left six months ago, suddenly walks back into her life. Grace, her mom and sister have bonded as the “Terrific Three” – and while two of the “Three” welcome Dad back with open arms, Grace isn’t sure she can forgive and forget. As Operation Pucker Up begins to spin out of control, and opening night is approaching, the question is whether Grace will manage to get her happily ever after—both on-stage and off.

What inspired you to write this story?

I did theater and dance classes at a place called The Beck Center for the Arts when I was young all the way into high school.  I called it my home away from home, because sometimes I was there more than I was at my real house!  I was in a lot of shows while I was there, including Cinderella, where I had to dance with a boy.  I remember being so nervous about it because I had never held hands with a boy before. I couldn’t imagine ever having to kiss someone on stage!  I began to brainstorm about that idea and what would happen if that kiss was your first kiss.  Operation Pucker Up was born from that!

Could you share with readers some behind-the-scenes glimpses into your book?

When I was writing this book, I wanted it to be a sort of homage to The Beck Center for the Arts.  Almost ever character is named after someone I acted with (either their first or last name). There are many local places mentioned in the story and one of the main character is even named Beck!  I wanted readers from Cleveland who knew the theater to pick up the book and feel connected to the story through the setting.  The coolest part was that they hosted my launch party in their studio theater!  We filled all 98 seats and had almost fifty more people standing and sitting in the aisles.  Some of my old friends came and acted out a scene from the book and a few of my old directors/teachers were there.  It was so amazing to celebrate my book in the location that inspired it.

What are some special challenges associated with writing middle grade?

I wanted to write a book that was both light hearted and serious, because I think that’s what life for a middle-schooler is like. They are trying to find where they fit within the world, their friends, and family, some of which is in their control and some of which they have no say in. I wanted to find a good balance between the two and make it sound authentic. Grace is trying to handle having her first kiss on stage and the return of her father after her parents’ separation.  Both of these events would be a big deal to a middle-schooler, so I wanted to make sure I treated both as such.

What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?

The book includes a lot of topics for discussion such as being yourself vs. trying to be someone you aren’t, forgiveness, bullying, feeling like you don’t belong, the power of friendship, telling the truth instead of keeping your feelings inside, and what family means.  

The post Classroom Connections: OPERATION PUCKER UP by Rachele Alpine appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Classroom Connections: OPERATION PUCKER UP by Rachele Alpine as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. So Wow. The Simple Show Podcast


I’ve been a fan of Tsh Oxenreider since 2009 (which is pretty much forever on the Internet). Back then, I was just about ready to jump into this thing called blogging, but I wasn’t sure how to begin. My dear friend Jamie Martin sent me a “how to” link that led me to Tsh’s blog, The Art of Simple. I’ve been faithfully reading ever since.

About four years ago, Tsh started a podcast called The Simple Show, which has kept me company through numerous runs and cleaning days and afternoons walking the dog. And perhaps last summer, as I listened while taking the dog on one more lap around the block, I cooked up some things I’d say to Tsh if I were ever on her show. Which was utterly ridiculous. Tsh and I had interacted some in her blog’s comment section and a few times on Twitter, but that was pretty much it.

So imagine my surprise when September brought an email with a podcast request. “No worries,” Tsh said, “if you’re not interested.”

I was most definitely very over-the-top interested. I hope you’ll listen in!

The post So Wow. The Simple Show Podcast appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on So Wow. The Simple Show Podcast as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. Thinking a Book and the Job of the Reader

cottonwood sunset

It doesn’t take a long time to write a book, but it does take a long time to think a book, and even a longer time to think a series. Reading a book is an act. You simply sit down and read the book.

Writing a book is not an act; it’s a process with thousands of decisions the writer has to make…and on and on and on…until the book is finally published, then it is up to the reader to carry the story on by sharing it with their friends and family, holding the story’s hand, walking it into the future, while the author works on the next book.

— Roland Smith

The post Thinking a Book and the Job of the Reader appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Thinking a Book and the Job of the Reader as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Two Articles to Sustain Your Writing Life

corrales totem

For years I’ve been linking to posts I hope encourage and inspire you. But I came across two posts in one week that zinged me like nothing else. They were everything I needed to hear at this phase of my writing life. I hope they are also an encouragement to you.

The Deepest Gift :: Marion Dane Bauer

Early in my career I came to understand something important: the number of books published, the number of awards garnered matters very little. What matters is the day-by-day process of sitting down to write, of honing my skill, of mining my truth.

Dear Polly, Should I Just Give Up on My Writing? :: NYMag.com (a heads up: this post contains “language”)

And when your hungry ego grabs the wheel and drives you off a cliff, forgive yourself. But then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and repeat these words: I AM AN OLD NOBODY AND I LOVE WHAT I DO.



The post Two Articles to Sustain Your Writing Life appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Two Articles to Sustain Your Writing Life as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
17. An Update on Writing Smart and Not Scared


You might remember earlier this year I committed to  learning how to write smart and not scared.  At the time I was working on a picture book manuscript as I awaited first-round edits on my next novel.

That picture book is now on submission. The first-round edits are back with my editor. I’d love to say everything has been as easy as pie, but that’s not the way the writing life works — or any part of life, really. Here are the things I continue to learn as I think about writing in light of this mindset:


Discomfort will always be part of my process. I find the writing life wonderful and challenging and joyous and hard, but I often let the more difficult parts that come with writing play a starring role. I’m trying to remember those hard parts don’t get the final word. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, fear can ride in the car, but it has to stay in the back seat.


My deepest satisfaction comes from the work itself. I know this. But somehow along the way, sales and reviews and all the ridiculous externals out of my control can hijack what’s really important. A huge thank you to Marion Dane Bauer for her recent blog post I’ve read a couple dozen times about satisfaction and gratitude and letting go of the rest.


“No” is often a gift. All of September and October, I’ve been running on Wednesday evenings with my seventh grader’s soccer team. One particular Wednesday held the perfect combination of the out-of-my-hands highs and lows that make up the writing life. A novel was nominated for an award. A manuscript, after ten months with a particular editor and extensive re-writes, was rejected.

I left for the run pretty heartbroken and in need of distraction. As I settled into the soothing familiarity of a steady run, the clouds opened in a desert storm above us, and I was able to move beyond the disappointment, I was able to celebrate the beauty of my surroundings, the gift of movement, the privilege to share in this piece of my son’s life. And when our hour in the Sandia foothills drew to a close, I was ready to reflect on that rejection more objectively. The editor who said no to my work really gave me a gift. Her request for a re-write helped me find a stronger book in the process.


Choosing a challenge is ultimately satisfying. Writing the book I don’t know how to master can keep me up at nights, but that’s the direction my heart is often drawn. These words will keep me moving and believing.


Breaks feed my creativity. In the last four months I’ve re-written a novel for the second time, finishing with a mad twenty-five hour weekend dash to the end. Something that kept me focused during that last month of hard work was the promise I’d take a whole month off of writing afterward. Fear would not be allowed to drive me to spin my wheels in meaningless productivity. Outside of blogging, my focus would be reading.

I’m in week three of my writing vacation, and let me tell you, it’s everything I needed and more.

When I first mentioned this concept of writing smart and not scared, a number of you contacted me to say you were all in. I’d love to hear how you’re doing in the comments below.

The post An Update on Writing Smart and Not Scared appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on An Update on Writing Smart and Not Scared as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. Three Quotes to Keep You Writing When You Feel You Don’t Know How


Two weeks ago at my writing retreat when I was nearing the end of my manuscript and wasn’t sure how it would all come together, my friend Uma Krishnaswami shared these quotes with me. They are paraphrases in the spirit of the original, things she reminds herself of in the uncertainty of the work. They’ve encouraged me, and I hope they’ll do the same for you.


Whatever moves you, write that story.
— Norma Fox Mazer

Write the book you don’t know how to write.
— M. T. Anderson

Trust that you will become the writer that the next revision needs you to be.
— Sharon Darrow

I’m beginning to understand that I’ll find my best writing only when I’m courageous enough to move toward the impossible and unknowable.

The post Three Quotes to Keep You Writing When You Feel You Don’t Know How appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Three Quotes to Keep You Writing When You Feel You Don’t Know How as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. New Use for Old Manuscripts

My boys and I just re-discovered this particular book. Thought it would be fun to share with all of you again!

Cut in half.

Rustle up some silly kids.
Spread out on the kitchen table.
Set up a chart.

Number your pages.

Create a Choose Your Own Adventure Story.

(Ours is called THE BLACK DOOM and includes a haunted castle with a parking lot, an eyeless lifeguard [who later gets olives as eyes], lots of gorillas, a pool full of raspberry Jello, and an annual haunted castle pizza party).



The post New Use for Old Manuscripts appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on New Use for Old Manuscripts as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
20. Protecting Creativity


I spent fourteen years as an author in training, and while I learned many things in that time, I’m finding there are a slew of different lessons on the other side of publication. One key facet of my writing life is figuring out how to protect my creativity — how to let it grow and expand with a new project, how to feed it, how to keep it from being damaged during the fragile moments a story is finding its way.

Please join me at Kirby Larson’s blog to read the rest. I’d love to hear how you go about protecting and nurturing your creativity.

The post Protecting Creativity appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Protecting Creativity as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
21. Links to Stretch Your Summer Reading and Writing


Summer’s almost over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Here are some great links to keep you reading and writing far into the fall.

Summer Notebooking :: Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Summer Road Trip! Five More Books Set in Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Kansas :: Barnes and Noble (lovely to find Miss May here!)

Fifty Great Books for Kids to Read This Summer :: The Washington Post

31 Great Summer Books :: Real Simple

The post Links to Stretch Your Summer Reading and Writing appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Links to Stretch Your Summer Reading and Writing as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
22. Step by Step, Word by Word


Twenty-three years ago this summer I backpacked down the Grand Canyon’s Kaibab Trail with seven kids from my youth group and came up Bright Angel a week later. Each day we packed our gear at three in the morning so we could begin our hike before the heat kicked in full blast. By the last morning of the trip, I was utterly spent. The steep climb out of the canyon left me feeling like maybe I wouldn’t make it. Maybe I’d be stuck on that trail forever.

I stopped moving about a half mile from the canyon’s rim, unsure how to muster up the strength to keep going. It didn’t matter I could see the end. Getting there felt near impossible.


That’s when I experienced a simple act of kindness that has lived with me ever since. My youth sponsor, Jim, told me I wouldn’t finish alone. We’d make it to the top together, one hundred steps at a time. Step by step we counted, resting after every set. While before the half mile had felt unsurmountable, broken down in tiny bits with someone else to walk beside me, it was doable. It was accomplishment and gratitude and so much celebration.

As I near the end of a complete manuscript overhaul in the midst of first-round edits (the second time I’ve re-written this book, by the way), I’ve thought a lot about that moment. I’m a few weeks out from my deadline, and honestly, I’m not sure of the words needed to make it to the end. Right now my focus must be each tiny writing moment, where the story moves forward, step by step.

Friends, I need an extra dose of courage and a second wind, if you have any to offer. Things will be quiet around here until I’ve turned my work in.



The post Step by Step, Word by Word appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Step by Step, Word by Word as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. Overwhelmed with Gratitude


I’m not sure thank you adequately expresses my appreciation for those of you who read here, but those are the only words I have. I hope you sense the weightiness and heart behind them:

Many thanks to those of you who read this post and wrote Amazon reviews for May B., Blue Birds, and Over in the Wetlands. It took time and reflection as well as true interest and love on your part, and I am so grateful.

Thank you for the bolstering words many of you left (including the lovely gift from my neighbor pictured above) when I let you know I needed some encouragement to finish my first-round edits. I’ve returned to your comments many times these past weeks. They kept me working to the very end.

When I started blogging six years ago this month, I had no sense of the rich and enduring connections I’d make as a result. For those of you who have been here from the beginning or have joined in sometime afterward,

thank you,

thank you,

thank you.

The post Overwhelmed with Gratitude appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Overwhelmed with Gratitude as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. Returning to Creative Spaces


For three years now I’ve had the privilege of returning to an old adobe house in Corrales for a writing retreat. The home is lovely and spacious with creaking wooden floors in some rooms and uneven brick in others and the gorgeous curving lines adobe lends to everything. It’s so very New Mexican, just being there inspires me.

There’s something grounding about going back to the same creative space year after year. This chaise is where I finished first-round edits on Blue Birds two years ago. It’s the same spot where this year I put in a twenty-five hour mad dash to the end of a new set of first-round edits, punctuated with breaks for meals and sleeping, a bit of conversation and this movie.

monday deadline

I was able to immerse myself in my work in a way that doesn’t happen often at home, surrounded by like-minded women who understand the joy, the discomfort, and the privilege of the writing life. And once, after our time together had passed, I was able to enter the real world again refreshed and with a renewed sense of why what I do matters and the purpose behind it all.

I hope you, too, find spaces that speak beauty and inspiration into your own creative endeavors.


The post Returning to Creative Spaces appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on Returning to Creative Spaces as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. On Writing


This was a liberation. It opened me up to the absolute truth of writing for me, that craft and art matter above all else. That in their service, I love the actual hair-pulling, nail-biting process of creating prose. This has been the gift over and over. It brings me back from the continuing rejection, makes me want to cry in gratitude for the dark time of the too-small table and feeble chair.
On Writing, Rejection, and Persistence by Ruth Galm

The post On Writing appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

0 Comments on On Writing as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts