UP!–IMAGINATION is Powering a BIG “Quiet Ship” Book/Prize GIVEAWAY! :D

I’m going to make an assumption here and figure it’s not a stretch that most of you “Writer Side UP!” blog readers know I’m quite a fan of books. You know, those printed gateways to countless worlds, imaginary and otherwise? And while we’re at it — I’m a not-so-little fan of imagination, for that matter. Seriously, one should never underestimate the power of imagination. After all — it is a limitless entity 😎 And one of its best features is it’s always handy, on call 24/7, there whenever you need it. Continue reading

UP! — It’s Summer, but Year-Round BOOKS are…

Hello, everyone! I hope your summer’s off to a good start and you’re staying cool 😎

Typically, as you know, my blog posts have more substance, but truth be told—I’ve been working on something for months, intermittently, and it’ll be a while before that’s ready (’cause it’s BIG!). I’m also waiting on a couple of special Q&As I hope to receive by Dot Day, so those are a way off, too.

Just yesterday I happened across a tweet, loved the image and wanted to share it with my fellow book lovers, so I’m throwing this quick little post in the mix and saying “Hi!” at the same time 🙂 Continue reading

UP!–NJSCBWI 2018 Conference Personal Schedule Template for Download!

Wow, is it THAT time of year again?! The years fly way too fast, but this is the type of event we can’t get to soon enough. There’s no way NOT to look forward to seeing friends, meeting new people and living a couple of “all things KidLit” days 😀 Our 2018 June New Jersey SCBWI Conference is jam-packed with goodies! (Note: registration is closed.)

This year’s schedule has quite a few changes to it in comparison to years past, so you veterans may notice the alterations to the templates. It’s the same basic layout and serves the same purpose, so I hope this continues to help your conference weekend run smoothly. I know I can’t do without mine! 😀 . For you newbies, here’s some helpful background info so you can understand why I do this and what qualifies me to do so. This is the second year we’re holding the conference at this venue, so the organizers continue to make improvements to help the weekend work well, and their work is so appreciated 🙂 . Continue reading


Every so many weeks I head to Barnes & Noble and allow myself some time to catch up on recent picture book releases. I can easily load two or three dozen books into my basket per visit (thank goodness they now have ones on wheels!), then Continue reading

UP!–“Come With Me” to Glen Rock

Over a month ago (yes, that’s how busy life can be) I was fortunate to catch a tweet about a book signing at a bookstore in northern New Jersey, my “neck of the woods.” The tweeter? The lovely Holly M. McGhee, gifted author of a variety of children’s books. The book? Come With Me, Holly’s newest picture book release (a smash hit, by the way!). The place? The Curious Reader, an independent children’s bookstore in Glen Rock, NJ, one I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to visit.

I was looking forward to the event, for sure. It was a “win-win-win,” right? You bet it was! But it turned out to be even more of an afternoon than I’d expected. Not only was the book signing a “gold/silver/bronze” event, but I even ended up with an unexpected, celebratory “closing ceremony,” all of which I want to share with you 😀

Continue reading