Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writer's retreat

I'm on the 5-hour train ride home from a children's book writer's retreat at an historic lodge on Lake George.

It was cold, there was no cell phone reception, and no TV, so I'm lucky to be alive.

But I met some nice editors and fellow writers, got a manuscript critiqued, and got lots of creative inspiration, so it was a win overall.

Would've been better in summer, that's all. (Some people like to look at leaves and drink coffee. I like to jump in the water and drink Coke Zero.)

Here's some free advice, courtesy of a real book editor: the title and first line are by far the most important elements of any picture book.

That's my freebie to you--I just saved you a few hundred bucks. You're welcome.

Okay, one more: "Every day we make new children--let us also make new children's books."


  1. I love the pictures in this post. The advice wasn't so shabby either! :D

  2. Well, thanks for the writing tips! I'll remember that as I strive to write my third book in a series (which it turns out really needs to be the first book in the series. Does that make any sense?)
    As I've said numerous time before now, Mr. Tarpley, I really enjoy reading about you and your boys--especially the funny blonde one (whose name is escaping me right now.)I LOVE his geometry reasoning. He and I are birds of a feather in that regard! I am always laughing--or chuckling--out loud when I'm reading your blog. Thank you so much for making my world a little better place every now and then!