Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Visit From St. Nicholas

A Visit from St. Nicholas

By Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Monday, December 16, 2013


Such a busy time of year. Take time to savor important things.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holidays Coming

In between projects. So hard to start something new with all the hustle of the holidays coming. Drawing some while I focus.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Plot Graph Excitement

Hmm, nothing makes me more excited than to find a great tool to use with my writing. I'm working on the third chapter book in my series and after using all different types of ways to keep my plot and subplot clear, I found a blog by Nancy I. Sanders with an excellent plot outline graph. AND YOU CAN PRINT IT OUT AND GET STRAIGHT TO WORK. Lots of other tidbits of good stuff here also.

Don't I just feel on top of the world.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The New SCBWI Blog Is Open For Business

The wait is over all SCBWI members. The SCBWI Blog looks great, with clearer more direct links to everything a writer and illustrator for children's books would want. Take a tour and enjoy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chapter Book Illustration

Time for postcards. I'm planning a mail out to several art directors with black and white line art for middle and early chapter books.
I do so love the depth of texture and form you get without using color. It is always an adventure whether you are using strong crisp lines or soft blurry forms.
If you are an Art Director and haven't received yours, just let me know or stop by www.kitgrady.com.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Does Writer's Block Scare You?

Yikes, Me too. So I'll just draw a while until all clears-

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Some 2013 Conferences left to Attend

Found these end of the year conference dates on Vonna Carter.com
Check out where to meet up with your potential agent. My super agent, Danielle Smith, has a couple good gigs. Me, I'm sitting these out and finishing a new picture book.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Synopsis Writing Can be Fun? Yes Really.

Found an older but perfect formula for that dreaded synopsis. With Kathryn Jankowski's easy to remember five steps of -
Who, Wants, But, So, How. -------------------------Okay so Kathryn makes it a lot clearer here at
Writing mine as I work on my manuscript aids both and gives me yet another way to see clearer and  find problems.
Plus practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Editing Time, AGAIN!

Isn't it always editing time. Yes, I'm waiting for my chapter book manuscript back any time now from my wonderful agent, Danielle Smith from Foreward Literary with her notes and insights. I'm so curious, scared and excited to begin.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sketching and Book Lists, Such Little Time

I'm doing a little sketch book filling and taking a small editing break to clear the head; sitting back and watching the the butterflies of summer.

But how can I resist finishing some of these great books- Yes these 2013 Notable Books- from the Association for Library Service for Children.

Aww, such little time.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Yes, this is the question-- and title from the article by Martina Boone from Adventures in YA Publishing.
Excellent questions to ask yourself, as you complete that first draft of your YA or as in my case,  my younger chapter book.
Also find her 2012 Character Brainstorming worksheet to really get to know your character. Print it out and take a look to see if your character is Worthy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Revision Process Continues

So yes, The Revision Process continues- Writers Digest and Chuck Sambuchino presented an article in May of 2011 which is still perfect today as I continue my personal revision.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Revision Can Be Scarey

Yep, It sure can.........................

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Plot and Scene Trackers from the Plot Master

So as I'm reworking and revising my new chapter book, I found two excellent templates,
One for Scenes and One for Plots.
Martha Alderson, you great Plot Whisperer!  - You are something else. Checking your story against these are tools are so important and useful.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Is this wonderful and worth finding yourself mesmerized and glued to the screen during these interviews? YES YES YES
Such great information on this site.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Point of View Satori

Yes, finished my first book in my chapter book series. Strangely enough I did the second book first.   Now I have reworked book one with a minor (Did I really say minor) Point of View change.
But do I love how it turned out! It really improved the story so much.
Thanks Danielle Smith, my literary agent from Foreward Literary. You were right.  
Yes you were.

Now on to book one?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Questions To Ponder As You Write

I'm working on revising my chapter book. I need to cut, simplify and redo, and all the while strengthen. What an interesting but scarey task ahead.
I lucked up finding a blog by Carol Riggs, Tips for Writing.
What great questions she listed for me to think about.  Good things to ponder- from character, theme, setting, hooks, closing loose ends and pacing. Thank you Carol. I've bookmarked this page and maybe I'll print it to tape on my wall so I always have it near.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mixing Creativity

Be well rounded, yes. That is the advice from so many illustrators and writers.

I'll take the advice.
Mix up your creativity box. Write some, draw some, take in the fresh air with a brisk walk letting those ideas simmer. Simmering time is good. Simmering time is a must.
What simmering thoughts do you have today?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finally, New Website Up

My new website has finally been posted. Lots of new changes and updates. I wanted it clear and clean and I believe it is going to work for me.  I have also added a page for black and white sketch and spot drawings which is a direction I plan to pursue. I want to thank Britt Kaufmann for her excellent web design work. I'm pleased.
Stop by at Kit Grady.com and let me know any comments or thoughts.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Point of View of Who

As I plan a change in my story's POV or Point Of View, I came upon an excellent article on Through the Tollboth by Stephanie Greene. Even the comments were filled with interesting insights.
Which POV do you find most effective?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Relax, think it over...

So I have some decisions to make. Need to take some time and think it over. Find a good book and do a few sketches.....

Friday, April 5, 2013

Revision with Direction

Back to revisions...
So now to another revision project. This one, not for a picture book but for a chapter book or possibly a low middle grade novel. Wow, this is a different animal I have by the tail with such a contrast from a picture book revision.
For example, in a picture book, all details that an illustrator can show would be left out which slices it down to a minimal text.
There is this huge pile of papers sitting on my desk and in my pc with lots and lots of pages and thousands of words. And now the instructions are: show don't tell, check for plot holes, make sure the character stays in character, keep pace strong, make sure dialogue sounds like real dialogue and so much more.
So I have my manuscript draft, my colored highlighters, index cards, sticky notes and a large chart I can fill with characters, themes, plots and subplots, time frames and other things.
Am I ready to dive in? I hope so.
If you are diving in too, I found this amazing blog by Anne Lyle, Revising Your Novel in Ten Easy Steps. (Oh how I wish It  would be easy) Also Cheryl Klein has a wonderful book out, Second Sight, which is full of amazing revision instructions and tips.
Let me take a big breath, and large cup of coffee first...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Animal Sound Mix-up gets the 2013 KART KIDS BOOK LIST AWARD

Author Connie Arnold has just let me know that, ANIMAL SOUND MIX-UP has won the 2013 Kart Kids Book List. Her wonderful story about how each animal is so suited to their own unique sounds, was a joy to illustrate. She filled it full of wonderful creatures and so much fun and silliness too.
I'm very proud of her and our book.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Updating Website

Yes, way over due. My website at   www. kitgrady.com needs some fresh new work. So I'm almost ready. 
 I will add a new black and white illustration page. I found out just how much I love this black and white thing. I enjoy getting the feel and depth of color, yet sticking to a black and white canvas. 
So I'll add several new illustrations, update my bio, and mix in a few spot items. Should be up soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Revision Done, Now Submissions!

Yes, my picture book has been revised with the skillful guidance of Danielle Smith, my new wonderful agent with Foreward Literary. She will put the final touches together and start sending our baby out to the many children's Book Houses. Oh my goodness- 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wow, Now this is news-
Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Laurie Mclean and Gordon Warnock have created a new Literary Agency,
FOREWARD LITERARY. I'm so very excited to be represented by these super agents. I'm now working with their talented assistant agent, Danielle Smith, preparing not one but two projects for submission. Danielle, a writer herself, is the blogger and reviewer for There's A Book. You can tell I'm in qualified hands.

Let the magic begin..........

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reworking a new project

Ah, so I began a middle grade novel and loved the opening. Yes, I loved it. But skidded into a big halt at page ten. No not just page ten. Suddenly my story wasn't what I thought it would be. Not at all. Bummer. Loved my character but the plot didn't work.  I repeat  NOT AT ALL-
I tried this angle. Nope. I tried it another way. Na-
 Time to take a break,  So I now have a list of books at my desk. Reading to clear my mind. Maybe to jog my idea bin. Yep, take a break and catch up on some books I've missed. Reading for enjoyment and reading to see how others treat characters, plot and dialogue. Opps, I'm having too much fun. Research can be so grand.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So that's what they say. 

My writing world making a few crazy turns these days. So I just need to hold tight. I will concentrate on the task at hand,- turning to my revision of a new project and bury myself in the work. Keeping my focus and working hard.

Hey, and you know, crazy turns can be magical...



Yes they can......

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Survey On What Children Read from Pen and Ink Blog

I found this delightful interview with Victoria Krol from the Pen and Ink Blog. What a  smart charmer.

And an interesting survey on what others are reading. If you haven't finished these lists yet, it is not too late-- whatever your age. Me? I'm almost done.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

And The Winners Are- Newbery Medal Announced

The 2013 Newbery has just been announced. Congratulations to Katherine Applegate.

I have one of the Honor books, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage sitting on my desk right now, that I happened to nab from the Library this past weekend. So now I'm adding several more great reads to my "To Do" Lists.
I better get going.............

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Could Not Resist a Million More Reads-

So I am checking out about a million books from the Library today. In my arms and book bag I have picture books, middle grade, chapter books and several YA. So the Librarian looks up at me and says,  
       "Well looks like the kids are going to be very, very busy."                                                                         
I just smile-
       " Yes, I will."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Playing Around

So, how does one relax before starting the new year full of projects and goals. You caught me, playing with a few swirls and colors as a warm up exercise.  But now I've  also finished several middle grade books I never got to finish and that was after I reread Cheryl Klein's fantastic book on writing, Second Sight, which I adore. So why all this prep? I'm starting some serious revisions and need to get my mind right. Darn, where is my Random house Word Menu book? Yikes

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Representation by Pomada Larsen Literary Agency- 2013

Wonderful News for the New Year
Announcing Representation!

I'm doing a happy dance. 
Spinning and twirling, all because I just signed with Pomada Larsen Literary Agency. So thrilled to join this talented, great agency.
I'll be represented Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.
Can't think of a better way to begin 2013.
Pam has two of my projects; a picture book and chapter book. So I take a big breath, roll up my sleeves and begin the journey.