to find Patti Singleton these days.


Writer’s Journal; Children’s Book Illustrator? Maybe!

Just stumbled onto an illustrator who writes YA stories. Maybe we can help each other get through the  tangle of choices and decisions to get published? She’s been on the peripheral of my circle of family/friends for years, but we’ve never hung out. As soon as I know more about this serendipitous discovery, I will post it.

Meanwhile, back at the all-night research/writeathon, I’ve gotten a few things accomplished. I finally perused the children’s books similar to my WIP (work-in-progress), which I checked out of the library. This inspired me to make page breaks in my story manuscript to see what it looks like. I tried to just go with the flow and make the page breaks as natural as possible. This gave me 33 pages of text with room for illustrations on each. Yikes, that’s 33 illustrations. Maybe some pages will just have colored backgrounds? So, that’s 33 pages, plus copyright, title, dedication, and contact pages. 37 pages in all. Hmmm, this is all more than I knew yesterday.

I’m also popping in and out of websites that show layout and design information so I can learn terms and standard practices in publishing illustrated children’s books. Wikipedia gives lists of links for all the things I’m exploring. I’m still not even sure if self-publishing an illustrated children’s book is the way to go.

I know I want hard back books and ebooks. But, let’s face it, the money tree hasn’t bloomed in years. Maybe crowd sourcing is the way to go? is very interesting, and people have had book projects succeed there. Hmmm.

There are several underlying challenges I’m dealing with. The birds started chirping at 4:30 this morn and that made me keep looking out the window, thinking I could go walk the beach soon. See, that’s a challenge.

The biggest (real) challenge is with computers. GGGRRRR. One laptop has issues with serious lack of speed; something is wrong, but I’ll have to pay to find out what. The other laptop has a problem with a flying curser; not great while typing. I’m juggling between the two, and can I describe how fun that is? Not fun at all. The beach idea is looking better by the second.

My minor challenge is that I cut my thumb gardening yesterday and the damn thing keeps trying to help, but I scream when it touches anything (like the space bar). Wimp.

Have any questions? Any answers? Please leave me a note by clicking on “leave a comment” at the top of the post, left of the title. If you’re too busy for that, please click the like button at the bottom of this post.

And thanks for reading!


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Monsters Happen

Dee startled awake from the dream, sat up in bed and looked around the room. The dream came back–hazy, yet clearer by the second. Dee had been warning the girl in her dream that he was a monster; that she shouldn’t talk to him, should stay far away from him.

Like most of her dreams, she had no idea who the girl was or who the monster was. She still felt the very real anxiety and fear tingle all her senses. Can you smell or taste fear? Dee was sure she could; it was metallic, like blood. The feeling on her skin was tingling, but almost electric. As for sight; her eyelids drooped, begging to be allowed to close, to escape what they might see. Her ears were simply hyper vigilant; waiting for the wrong sound.

There is was.  She heard the voices out on the shared deck. One was a monster’s voice.

Not sure how she could have translated her dream world to real life, Dee raced out of the patio doors and came screeching to a halt when she saw them. The monster stood looming over the young girl, yet she didn’t look afraid. The girl’s calm seemed to work magic on Dee’s fear as she slowly walked to the far end of the deck where the pair stood. Just before Dee reached them the monster looked up, shot Dee a wave, turned and strolled away.

Dee reached out and touched the girl’s shoulder, “Are you okay?”

“Sure, I’m fine. Why?”

Looking over the girl’s head toward the monster, Dee’s mouth fell open, she sputtered, “He, uh, how..?”

The girl turned and looked behind her in the direction that the monster had walked, “Oh, I don’t know how he does that, but he’s just my uncle, so I know he’s not going to hurt me.”

Dee could not believe her eyes. The dark, scary monster had turned into an average-looking man in his mid 30’s.

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Children’s Book Synopsis

 This is a children’s tale that begins with a poem, centers on a riddle, and weaves songs throughout the narrative.  It is an adventurous tale of 9-year-old Queen Velveena Ester S. Brookings, who wants desperately to be a beautiful princess.  Veena’s yearnings are set aside to save a boy who is locked in a deserted castle by a magician’s evil spell.

Our solar system’s constellations are main characters, especially “Queen” Cassiopeia.  An evil king, Veena’s parents, the boy, and other humans are mere shadow characters, if present at all.  We don’t even meet the boy that our girl/queen/hero sets out to save, until the very last page.

This is Veena’s story all the way. She knows her weaknesses, yet manages to overcome them to do the right thing. She also knows her strengths, but will only shine a light on them in order to solve the riddle and save the boy.

© Patti Hall and, 2013.