Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Ocean

Last week I went to the raging ocean.
The sand blew at my legs and my skirt flew up and I felt like I was in a novel.
Do you ever describe yourself in your head. As if someone were writing a novel about you right now?
Third person.
I think about it all the time. Grand sweeping descriptions we sometimes write, sometimes read, about a person. “She was overcome by children and middle age,” or “her once SOMETHING body, was now sagging and tired, her energy swept up with the legos and the ants that crawled across the kitchen floor.”
I always feel bad for myself that this is how I’m being described. Is this what people see? Is this their sentence when they interact with me, or observe me wrestling my kids? How dare they! They don’t know me. They don’t know what’s really happening, the hope and the joy and sadness and the fears. They are putting me in a sentence. A generalization.
I get all kinds of upset.
And then I realize no one has written this down about me except myself in my fake novel in my head.
And then I really feel sorry for myself.

Also, I read The Ocean at the End of Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’ve been wanting to read this for a long long time. It took me a day. Less than a day. And I keep thinking about it.

Listen to this podcast and see if you want to read it too.


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Three Thing Thursday

From Kyra
The week is flying by.Yesterday I looked at some possible rentals in salt lake. Cross your fingers. I’ve been reading some fantastic books this summer. {reviews coming soon! } I sent my novel off to the amazing Stephen Fraser. Send me and the novel some good book vibes. I think it’s gonna be an amazing rest of the summer!!
from Cheryl Can Eck
I am fascinated by natural disasters. Whenever there is a natural disaster of any kind, anywhere in the world, you can bet I’ll be tuning in for hours and hours of coverage.
Of course, I never rejoice in fatalities or casualties….I always hope and pray that each and every person got out safely. But I love seeing the raw power of nature, and how it brings out the true character of all those caught in her path. Bodybuilders become cowards. Introverts become heroes. First responders become saints.
What could a natural disaster add to your story? Especially to the murky middle.  Whose character most needs to be revealed? Would your protagonist run and hide at the sight of a tornado? Would they freeze like a deer in headlights at the first tremble of an earthquake? Would they race into a wildfire to try and find a loved one, or give them up for dead? The answer may surprise you.
From Brenda Bensch
How hot was the weather where you were today?  It was 102 at my place, and I was completely enervated by all that heat — didn’t even make it out of the house and away from my constantly-running air conditioning.
Weather always affects us one way or another.  How have you used weather in your writing?  The weather has been all the news this last year or so.  WHETHER we believe in “climate change” or not, there have been some truly unusual weather events over the last many, many months.
If weather is brought into your story — and it should be — how will it affect your plot?  Your characters?  Their actions?  Their emotions?  Their responses to other characters?  The way they deal with whatever other crises may be going on in their lives?
If the weather is extremely unusual, or even just “extreme,” how might that change your story?


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People We Plan to Interview

Chris Crowe

Cynthia Leitich SMith

Ilima Todd

Jennifer White

Julie Berry

John Cusick

Brooks Sherman

Cheri Pray Earl

Ann Dee Ellis

Jandy Nelson

Julie Olson

Courtney Alameda

Greg Leitich Smith

Anyone you want to hear from? Let us know.



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Hello Writers and Illustrators in Utah and Southern Idaho!

by Elissa Cruz–ARA SCBWI Utah/Southern Idaho

Writing or illustrating can be a lonely endeavor, so join us this summer for some much-needed social time.  We’ll be coming together at the Rice Terrace Pavilion at Liberty Park (600 E. 900 S. in Salt Lake City, Utah) on Friday, July 18th from 6pm-9pm to eat and mingle.

You don’t have to be a member of SCBWI to join us for this free event, so bring all your writing or illustrating friends with you. The more the merrier!

Potluck assignments are as follows:

YA writers: pasta salads, potato salads, deviled eggs
MG writers: fruit, fruit salads, desserts
Picture Book writers: fried chicken, finger sandwiches, other finger foods
Illustrators: green salads, chips and dips

You may want to bring your own lawn chair as well.


Are you still struggling to figure out where to start with your online presence? Bring your smartphones and other wifi-enabled devices and we’ll help you get connected. We’ll have teachers on hand to walk you through the steps to signing up and using your social networks of choice, as well as offer suggestions on ways to contribute to the online conversation.


Can’t make it to the social? This year you can join us virtually! We will be using the hashtags #GoSocial and #SCBWIUtahSouthIdaho for this event, so you can follow the event on twitter, instagram, and other social networks.

We hope to see you at the social (in person or online)!

P.S. For a map and directions to the pavilion, please visit our website at

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