I’m glad we’re not without a furnace today. It’s a balmy 36 degrees, and we are currently enjoying a high wind warning. It will be colder tomorrow, with blizzard conditions. And we’re not talking Dairy Queen! It’s probably not a good day tomorrow to take Mom out, I could lose her in the blizzardly winds. I’d have some explaining to do for sure!

I watched an excellent session of my Picture Book Challenge, courtesy of Storyteller Academy. It is very good. Yesterday’s session was Composition Techniques for Illustrators. I learned so much. For a children’s book, you need a focal point, eye path, and storytelling. The first illustration must capture attention, and the main character better be in it. Your story is established then. All eyes of other characters should be cast on the main character and what he/she is engaged in.

The placement of the characters is important, and the lesson about following the characters through the illustration showed the character could show up at many intervals throughout a room. A cat, for instance, could pounce, land, and destroy many things on it’s way through a living room when left home alone. At various stops along the way, the cat destroys a plant, shreds a rug, tangles wires, and many other naughty things. The drawings are delightful.

If you’re an author and/or illustrator of children’s books, there is still time to register, I think. It’s free, and each of five classes is one hour, including questions and answers. Storyteller Academy is offering more in depth classes later this month, hence the sampling now. I take advantage of these free offers. Various companies often reinforce each other’s teaching points. When they do, it’s a good thing.

Today’s episode is Crafting Voice. Your character must have the right voice. It should be another good one. I’ll have to wait for the video again since an appointment starts at 1 p.m., I won’t be able to watch it. We must choose the best words for our characters and theme. Sound patterns are important. Some will enhance our story. It’s important to identify them.

I was surprised to hear sentence length is important, and you must change them up to match characters. I’m sure you’ve heard children’s books are supposed to be lilting, rhythmic, and a pleasing rate. Hard sounds and short words increase speed, soft sounds and long words slow your reading down.

I’m guessing the pace should pick up just before the ending. I’ll find out when I watch class later on. My friends at Pro Writing Aid also had a free training session last week, I missed that one, too. It’s about editing your book once – the right way. I love what I’m hearing here. There probably will not be time for that, either. No problem, I have time to watch it later, too. I’m a member of Pro Writing Aid since I purchased their software last year to help edit my novels.

I’m working on my 500th blog post. It will happen in just a few days, Saturday to be exact. On Saturday, I’ll have some really great news to announce for my writing, especially my children’s book. Don’t forget to check in if you’re not a daily reader. I’m pretty excited about it. Stay tuned for more fun!

Life is really an adventure. We had a new furnace, air, and water heater installed yesterday. The water is HOT!; the furnace makes no noise whatsoever. The old one sounded like putting on the brakes of an old rusty truck, and a series of loud grinding noise. I’m so glad that noise stopped. Turns out, the blower motor was warped and rusted. I knew it didn’t sound right. Thanks, Dad! You taught us to listen to cars, machinery, water, and any kind of motors. I’ve used the skill many times.

Have a beautiful day. I’m off for more medical stuff. Be kind. Be helpful. Be thoughtful. Be happy. It’s such a good day to be alive. See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

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