Friday, October 30, 2009

SFC Magazine Announces Stanley Bookman's Surprise Interview

Stories for Children Magazine is Thrilled to Announce Stanley Bookman’s Surprise Visit to the J.C. Lamb Morning Show

Stories for Children Magazine’s mascot, Stanley Bookman recently made a surprise visit to the J.C. Lamb Morning Show and delighted the studio audience with his rendition of the SFC theme song written by SFC’s poetry and fiction editor, Gayle Jacobson-Huset.

Producer, LeFerna Arnold Walch was delighted to have Stanley Bookman stop by especially since he stopped by on “Knowledge” theme day which fit in perfect with J.C.’s love for book collecting! Stanley told us all about the magazine’s book The Best of Stories for Children Magazine and introduced us to his new music video and sing-a-long song. We really enjoyed our interview with Stanley and we think you will, too.

Be sure to listen in at: and learn all about this exciting day at the J.C. Lamb Morning Show.

You may download his free coloring page, the ten simple rules and the lyrics to his new song with this podcast, or go to Stanley’s new artist page at The Character Studio Dot Com.

Please feel free to leave your comments!

Be sure to check out the entire current issue of SFC Magazine for all the outstanding articles, stories, and featured guest interview with Debbie Dadey.

Learn more about Stories for Children Magazine at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2010 The Muse Online Writers Conference

If you missed the 2009 Muse Online Writers Conference

be sure to check back in November for registration to the 2010 conference.

Don't miss out on this one of a kind conference.

To be held October 11-17, 2010

Block out the week so you have the chance to

snuggle into your most comfortable clothes and slippers.

That way you are your most comfortable while navigating

the cyberspace hallways of the Muse Online Writers Conference.

Jammed packed with week long

workshops, lectures, pitch sessions, networking.

You name it the Muse Online Writers Conference has it.

Check out the testimonials coming in for 2009 at:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall 2009 Issue of Pages and Pens Newsletter - Now Available

A FREE publication offered to parents, children, and teachers. Several writers work hard to bring you interesting material to read and use within your homes and classrooms with your children.

Our Fall 2009 Issue of Pages and Pens- your tools to imagination! is now available. Please download your FREE copy below:

Pages & Pens Fall 2009 Issue

The Summer 2009 issue is still available. Email with "Pages & Pens Summer 2009" in the subject line if you would like a copy.
Find out what all the excitement is about and download your issue today. If there are topics you would like covered please feel free to contact Cheryl Malandrinos at

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reflections on Breast Cancer Research by Sue Chehrenegar

I am pleased to welcome guest author, Susan Chehrenegar today to provide a glimpse behind the scenes of research in the right against breast cancer. Her unique perspective will enlighten you and may just give you inspiration to support this worthwhile cause.

Reflections on Breast Cancer Research
by Sue Chehrenegar

During the week of October 5, 2009, word came from Stockholm, Sweden that three scientists would share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine. That trio of researchers had made a noteworthy contribution to the growing body or scientific knowledge, as it relates to the human chromosome.

This blog post hopes to draw attention to the fact that recognition of three chromosome experts came at the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The writer of this blog post had her first close hand look at breast cancer research while conducting an investigation of chemically induced chromosome damage.

In late 1974, as this writer peered into a microscope and looked for signs of chromosome damage, the woman who sat across from her was helping to add to the still small pool of information about human breast cancers. Since then, the analytical efforts of that laboratory co-worker have provided medical science with information on the frequency with which chromosome damage can be found in the cells of breast cancer patients.

By 1977, this writer had moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There she worked in a research department where one group of investigators was working with a special type of cell structure. That structure, called a “spheroid” sought to copy the collection of cells in the human breast. The researchers who worked with those spheroids wanted to learn how different chemicals and nutrients could have an effect on various cells within a typical human breast.

Just after this writer married and became a mother, she began working in an amniocentesis lab. While functioning in the role of cytotechnician, this writer did not manage to have any contact with scientists who were conducting breast cancer research. She did though enjoy frequent contact with such scientists in the final decade of the 20th Century.
During a large part of that decade, this writer was responsible for growing certain types of breast cancer cells. Some of those cell lines had originated with cells from whole breast tissue. Other cells lines had been started with a limited amount of tissue, tissue from a breast duct. At one point, this writer worked closely with a scientist in the biochemistry department at a biotechnology company.

That scientist was trying to develop a new and better way to diagnose breast cancer. She was hoping to discover a protein—something like the PSA used to test for prostate cancer. This writer worked on development of a way to grow breast cancer cells in serum free medium. It was hoped that this tool could aid the identification of a particular protein.

The effort sited in the above paragrapn underlined the difficulties that face any scientist who chooses to pursue some type of breast cancer research. When the chosen breast cancer cells were grown in serum free media, the researchers found that the serum substitute contained a sizable amount of an unwanted protein. This writer sought out and provided the biochemistry department with a method for removing that protein from the media, once it had furnished growing cells with their needed nutrients.

After reading the above recollections, readers of this blog should better understand just how much patience must be displayed by the scientist who truly wants to hasten the advancement of breast cancer research. Hopefully, the world will one day hear that a Nobel Prize has been awarded to a scientist who has made a significant contribution to the fight against breast cancer.

Chehrenegar spent 30 years doing biomedical research. Now retired and a freelance writer she writes for her local paper, the Internet, and children's magazines. Her latest to be released in a soon-to-be published anthology, a book titled THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE.

Visit author, Susan Chehrenegar at:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writer's Digest - 101 Best Websites for Writers

I am going to shamelessly request your assistance:

If you appreciate Write What Inspires You Newsletter please consider nominating it for the “Writer’s Digest Best Newsletters for Writers.” Send an email to: with your comments and nomination and be sure to note “Writer’s Digest Best Newsletters” in the subject line.


If you find the blog associated with Write What Inspires You helpful please consider nominating it for the “101 Best Websites for Writers.” Send an email to with your comments and nomination and be sure to note “101 Websites” in the subject line.

Deadline: January 1, 2010.

Thank you in advance if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

78th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition


I'm beyond THRILLED to share with you my two entries into the 78th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition have been awarded Honorable Mention in the category Children's/Young Adult Fiction. I'm waiting to hear back as to the exact position of each.

The manuscripts:

  • The Hockey Agony
  • Images of the Past (excerpt) 
Nice to see the sun again here in NY!

What's going on in your writing career? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Legend of Vinny Whiskers by Gregory Kemp - Book Review

Title: The Legend of Vinny Whiskers

Written by: Gregory Kemp

Ages: 9-12

Publisher: WEbook, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-935003-03-8

Published: May 2009

Softcover: 252 pages

Price: 11.04

Have you ever wondered about the lives of animals? Do they experience their own delights, discouragements, and everyday obstacles like human beings? The Legend of Vinny Whiskers will amaze you from the onset. Take this adventurous tale into Boomerang Lookout’s mysterious disappearance to Vinny Whiskers betrayal of the prairie-dogs in the Tubes.

Not all is at it appears. Much to the dismay of the Grand Ludwig, Mr. Thin Fur’s voice of wisdom attempts to guide the newly named Boomerang Lookout, the runt of the litter. Afraid of change the Grand Ludwig holds tight to the past customs and beliefs. However, Boomerang Lookout’s curiosity sets the wheels in motion down the road to discovery. Will the Tubes be returned back to normal with the new found truths? The clock is ticking for all concerned and victory lies on Boomerang Lookout’s small shoulders. Will he triumph or fail as so many expect?

Gregory Kemp’s deliciously written tale will have you spellbound from page one. You will most certainly forget you are reading about the battle between prairie-dogs and rats. Did I say rats? Yes I did. But don’t let that discourage you. This tale will have you cheering for the underdog.

To learn more about author, Gregory Kemp visit:

Friday, October 16, 2009

One Noble Journey by Dixie Phillips


Wings of Faith

Author: Dixie Phillips

Artist: Kim Sponaugle

Two cultures collide in the tiny village of Westbury. The orphan from the lowlands and the Count's daughter from the highlands along with a baby raccoon will entertain the hearts of all and is guaranteed to shape small souls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emily the Chickadee - Emily Waits for Her Family by Carol Zelaya - Book Review

Title: Emily the Chickadee ~ Emily Waits for Her Family

Written by: Carol Zelaya

Illustrated by: Kristin Metcalf

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Richlee Publishing

ISBN: 13-978-0-9796265-0-0

Published: April 2008

Hardcover: 32 pages

Price: 11.66

Come along for a glorious adventure with nature in the Emily the Chickadee series. Author, Carol Zelaya writes in perfect rhyme to bring Emily’s story to life. The inspiring friendship and bond forged between human and chickadee will leave you yearning for your own connection with nature. Paired with Kristen Metcalf’s colorful illustrations you will enjoy reading about Emily over and over again.

Each book is accompanied with a chickadee log to encourage the reader to go on their own nature adventure. Take the time today and explore all that nature has to offer. I’m sure you will be happy you did.

Zelaya writes from the heart and shares a delightful true story like none other. Visit her today at:

Illustrator, Kristin Metcalf’s artistic ability will have you memorized from the onset. Visit her today at:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guest Author - Carol Zelaya

Cheryl Malandrinos of Pump Up Your Book Promotion recently introduced me to Carol Zelaya and I've had the honor of interviewing Carol. Zelaya lives and writes in the Portland, OR area. She has written Emily’s story in hope of educating children about nature’s precious gifts that are all around us when we take the time to notice.

Zelaya is touring the Pacific Northwest in 2008 and is donating signed copies of her book to several low-income neighborhood schools and libraries to share her love of reading and nature.

Welcome Carol:

DMc: What or whom inspired you to start writing for children?

CZ: A tiny little chickadee bird taught me so much about nesting and how she cared for her baby birds that I was excited to share this experience with children by writing my books.

DMc: What is the most valuable piece of writing advice you have ever received?

CZ: Not to assume that if you write it people will buy it. You have to be contributing something very special to the competitive world of children’s books.

DMc: What has been your most memorable experience in your writing career?

CZ: I love it when I go to visit grammar schools to read my books to an auditorium full of children or simply a single classroom. The children ask the best questions and want to share their own bird experiences afterward. One time, as I was leaving the school and was already walking through the outside play area, one of the children stopped me and introduced me as a real author to her friend. I was very touched by this.

DMc: Are you a disciplined writer?

CZ: Yes, once I get going on something, I have trouble stopping. I like to see the first draft done as soon as possible and then work from there.

DMc: What kind of obstacles or challenges have you experienced as a children’s writer?

CZ: The world of publishing and marketing my books, to hopefully get them on book store shelves, was Greek to me. This is something I knew absolutely nothing about. All I can say is that hiring experienced people in the book field is money well spent. Another challenge has been getting into bookstores to even do a story time reading. I was frequently rejected on my own, but the media company I hired was more successful.

DMc: Do you dedicate your writing sessions to one manuscript at a time or do you work on several projects at a time?

CZ: One manuscript at a time. I’m strictly a one at a time girl and like to finish what I start. I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end, even though I know I will be doing at least one hundred more readings.

DMc: Please share with us your inspiration behind your series Emily the Chickadee.

CZ: This is a true story that actually happened to me about seven years ago when a little chickadee bird repeatedly made her nest in the most unusual places like my flower box, flower pots and even the wreath on my front door. I realized in speaking to others that this was not normal chickadee behavior. I knew there was something special about her and that she must have felt safe with me. I named the bird Emily and wanted to share her story with others, especially children. I knew that if I learned so much from watching her, hopefully children would as well. Nature is a wonderful teacher!

DMc: If you were not a writer, what would you be?

CZ: I haven’t the slightest idea because I always felt that I was chosen by Emily to tell her story. It wasn’t something that I just decided to do, that is, to write these children’s books, but now that I have, there is nothing more that I would like to continue doing.

DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Carol, can you please share one with us?

CZ: My mother’s name was Lee, short for Leona. Her brother, my uncle Rich, passed away shortly after my mom. I started my own publishing company, Richlee Publishing, in their honor. Neither of them lived long enough to read my children’s books, but I hope that I have made them proud. My husband and biggest supporter actually passed away suddenly last November as well. Had it not been for my scheduled work commitments surrounding my books, I don’t know how I would have made it through this past year. I felt blessed to have begun this journey and was committed to seeing it through to the end…finish what you start.

DMc: Where can our readers visit you?

CZ: Please invite your readers to visit my website:

It is full of educational information for children and they can also see a nest of real chickadee eggs hatching into real baby birds. There is also a contest for children to enter to win a toy chickadee in a monthly drawing.

My books are available at and also can be ordered into any bookstore.

Carol it was a pleasure interviewing you. I look forward to sharing your books with my 5 year old niece.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Randy Kazandy Where Are Your Glasses by Rhonda Fischer


Guardian Angel Health & Hygiene

Author: Rhonda Fischer

Illustrator: Kim Sponaugle

Randy Kazandy is a little boy who needs to adjust to wearing glasses and teaches kids how to love themselves no matter what challenge they may have. This book written in rhyming verse is fun to read, and will make you laugh. Randy's motto: "I love to be me!"

(Rhonda Fischer has self-published this book. GAP has only the e-rights.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Preston, The Not-So-Perfect-Pig by Janie Robinson


Guardian Angel Animals & Pets

Author: Janie Robinson

Artist: K.C. Snider

Preston P. Piggington, an ordinary eight-year-old piglet, is quite different from his refined family. He is a dirty and messy! After discovering his family's frustration with him, he changes his ways and becomes a perfectly cultured pig. But Preston soon learns he is loved just the way he is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grandma's Kitchen Rules by Bill Kirk


Academic Wings

Author: Bill Kirk

Artist: Marina Movshina

The endearing relationship between a little girl and her Grandmother, whose tolerance and patience are nearly boundless except when it comes to ants. The double entendre in the title captures the grandma’s sense of fun and the recognition that there are rules, especially in Grandma’s kitchen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Horse of Course by Shari Lyle-Soffe


Guardian Angel Animals & Pets

Author: Shari Lyle-Soffe

Artist: Eugene Ruble

What child doesn’t wish for a horse of his own? Aaron certainly does! When his wish comes true Aaron is thrilled, but a horse in the house presents a few unexpected problems, and now Aaron has a tough decision to make. Will Aaron’s choice make everyone happy? What about Horace?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guest Author - Nancy Sanders

Cyberspace has certainly shown once again that you can meet people you otherwise would have not met. Recently, Nancy has been organizing her Virtual Book Tour and to my pure surprise and delight she reached out to me to host her during her cyberspace travels. And since connecting a few weeks ago, we are bumping into each other all over the Internet. I just finished attending her fabulous teleclass at the Children’s Writing Coaching Club entitled, The Importance of Voice in Fiction and Non-fiction Part 1. It was a fantastic listen and participate event. She’ll be back again in October to present Part 2. Email me for details at Without further ado I’m pleased to present Nancy’s interview.

DMc: What or whom inspires you to write?

NS: I belong to three great critique groups. One is a group of 8 professional writers, Wordsmiths at The other is a Christian group of writers that is open to everyone at every level called CHAIRS at The other is an online picture book critique group called Pens and Brushes at Every time I meet with each of my groups, I get so inspired to keep on as a writer. I get encouraged to move forward in spite of the rejections. I get challenged to improve my skills and try to be the best writer I can. And of course, I am most inspired each day by the greatest book of all time, the Bible.

DMc: How did you get started?

NS: I first started writing as a stay-at-home mom 24 years ago. I wanted to write picture books because I fell in love with all the wonderful picture books we’d borrow each week from our library.

DMc: What compelled you to write "Yes! You Can Learn How To Write Children's Books, Get Them Published, And Build A Successful Writing Career"?

NS: This book had an amazing beginning. I started a blog about two years ago. Mostly it focused on strategies and techniques that I wanted to share with my friends and fellow writers to help them build a successful writing career like I’ve been blessed to have. One day out of the blue, a publisher contacted me. She said she’d been reading my blog and wanted to offer me a book contract to write a book with the exact same material I’d been posting on my blog. I was thrilled with the opportunity!

DMc: Do you have an agent? If yes, how long did it take for you to find one?

NS: No, I currently don’t have an agent, although I have had 2 at different times in the past. Each time, I found an agent fairly quickly. To find an agent, I looked at various websites and market guides and contacted ones that seemed to be a good fit for my purposes at that time. I appreciated each of their input in my career. As my career has shifted over the years, so has my need for an agent. Right now I’m looking for an agent again because I want to target the picture book market, and to do this effectively, an agent is essential.

DMc: Do you have a particular genre you prefer to write for?

NS: I enjoy writing for a variety of genres. These include magazine stories, puzzle books, craft books, beginning readers, novelty books, nonfiction books, books for the Christian market, books for the educational market, and books for the ethnic market. Right now, after years of studying this challenging genre, I’m enjoying writing for the picture book market.

DMc: What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

NS: Just write. That’s it. It’s easy to talk about writing and dream about writing, but unless we just sit down and write, our dreams will never come true.

DMc: Thus far, what has been your most memorable writing experience?

NS: After 24 years of writing and 75 books under my belt, I have had so many amazing and wonderful once-in-a-lifetime “moments” that my cup is bursting over with joy at being a writer. There was my first sale after 5 years of total rejections when I won a newspaper contest with a story about my dad. There was the day an editor called to say Costco had ordered the entire warehouse of my book, A Kid’s Guide to African American History. (She asked me first if I was sitting down.) There was the time a publisher circulated to everyone in the publishing house a quote from a reader on Amazon saying my one book D is for Drinking Gourd should win both the Caldecott and the Newbery. There was the time a friend told me she was photocopying my book, Depression: What’s a Christian To Do? and mailing it in letters to men and women in prison because she wasn’t allowed to mail them books. And then, most recently, there was the post on my blog a couple of weeks ago when someone I never heard of before said she got my new book, Yes! You Can, started trying the strategies, and landed her very first book contract within the week. Those are just some of the memorable highlights of my career. I have been truly blessed.

DMc: Please share with us your current Work-in-Progress.

NS: Right now I’m working on a book of readers theatre plays about math. It’s for 4th through 8th graders and it’s fun to refresh my math skills while writing silly plays that will hopefully help learners at all levels learn to love math and build confidence with their reading skills all at the same time. It’s for Libraries Unlimited. The deadline is December 30, 2009.

DMc: What would you be if you were not a writer?

NS: I am a homemaker, but this summer we became empty nesters so there are no more kids at home! I’ve worn many different hats over the years including Bible study leader, Women’s Ministry leader, quilter, and craftsperson. If I could not be a writer, at this point of my life I would want to be a speaker at writer’s conferences, an agent to help shape other writers’ careers, or an acquisitions editor at a children’s publishing house.

DMc: Where can our readers visit you?

NS: My website is From October 5 (today!) until October 16, I’m hosting a Virtual Book Tour on my blog at to celebrate the release of my newest book, Yes! You Can. Please stop by and visit!

Nancy, it was a pleasure interviewing you today. Best wishes for your continued success.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure

Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure has launced Oct 1.

Visit today to enter promo contest between Oct. 1 thru 15.

Friday, October 2, 2009

No Bones About It by Bill Kirk


The Sum of Our Parts Series

Academic Wings

Author: Bill Kirk

Artist: Eugene Ruble

Learning the bones in the human body can be a challenge for anyone. Using this clever learning tool in rhyme may be just what you’ve been looking for, no bones about it. You’ll be amazed at how fast you will be able to learn them from head to toe. Study the bones, find fun factoids, take the quiz, discover the mystery bones.