Howdy friends, I love my students and love continuing to help them after they are published. So I have two treats for you today. First up is a video review of Miri Leshem Pelly's Scribble and Author (it's only 5 mins) followed by a Guest Post from the equally wonderful Jackie Azua Kramer.

I hope you love this book as much as I do. If you can, please buy it from your local independent bookstore and ask your library to get it in too. If not, click here for an Amazon link The same goes for Jackie's books. Read on for the link and more as Jackie shares some sage advice for writers.

Before You Write FREE Your Mind
by Jackie Azua

Many writers believe in B.I.C., otherwise, known as ‘butt in chair’. A writer MUST physically write every day. For me, just imagining that stark, white, unyielding page daring me to write something new, interesting and compelling, makes my blood run cold. Oh, I’m feeling faint.
Allow me to get a bit hippy-dippy...I write metaphysically. When I start to write I never consider the page blank. I’ve been writing in my head long before I sit down at the keyboard. I call it writing in my ‘writerly mind’. Here’s a rough idea of what happens before the pen hits the paper, if you will.

1. I invite the muse in. How? I go and LIVE my life. Hang out with friends. Go to museums and movies. Cook and clean. Travel. Play in the natural world. Read. My senses are primed and open to that spark of an idea.
2. Now the bones of a story are rattling around in my mind. The story is ever present, as I shower, do laundry, go walking. I dare say, I even lose track of time entertained in my writerly mind. When I wake up in the morning, and before I fall asleep, the story is taking shape.
3. Like a movie playing on a loop, I envision the beginning and the end of the story. I’m not worried about the middle. What’s most important is I know how I want the reader to FEEL.
4. I begin to describe to someone (anyone who’ll listen, and often my hubby) what I’m doing. Conversation often crystallizes my own thinking far more effectively than solitary reflection.
Here’s what--when I put the first words down, there’s no need for perfection. I know they may change, however, I’m now able to say “hello” and welcome that same blank page. So, before you write, FREE YOUR MIND.Once again, do try and buy Jackie's books at your local independent bookstore but if this is too difficult, you can find them here at this link.And here's a quick peek at Jackie's latest book

In That’s for Babies, on the morning of little Prunella’s birthday, she announces she’s a big girl, and ready for adventure. But one dark and stormy night, she discovers that growing up is a series of small milestones...two steps forward and one step back.

Jackie says she loved writing this story because it shares that it’s okay for big girls to play and imagine, explore and be vulnerable