Uncategorized, Writing for Children

MRS. NOAH is Selah Awards Finalist!

Top O’ the Mornin’ to You Friends!

It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of March and almost St. Patrick’s Day! I hope all of you are well, happy and looking forward to the beauty of spring that’s just around the corner. As a gardener, spring is one of my favorite seasons. It’s so much fun to visit my garden each day and see how my plants are getting on. The first thing to stretch its leaves towards the sun are the Lenten Roses. These brave plants don’t mind the leftover (or new) snow or the cold nights. They are determined to bloom by Easter, no matter what comes or what goes. These plants inspire me; their courage to be their loveliest in the face of challenges more delicate flowers can’t tolerate is a perfect object lesson for the writing life. Success in writing can often be summed up in just showing up and doing the work each day, in spite of rejection after rejection. My Lenten roses know what it takes to get the job done. Sometimes it seems the more difficult the spring, the more beautiful they are. The same thing is true about watching a story come to life and make its way into the world. The more difficult the struggle, the more satisfying the result.

I’ve shared with you the story behind the story of MRS. NOAH, and that’s why when wonderful things happen to this book the reward is all the sweeter. I found out a couple of weeks ago that MRS. NOAH is a Selah Award finalist in the picture book category! I was overjoyed to hear her name (and mine) read out during the finalists’ announcements. We’ll find out sometime in June if she wins an additional award, but to be a finalist is such an honor. I am beyond grateful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I’ve opened back up to picture book critiques! If you or a writer friend is looking for a thorough and thoughtful evaluation of a manuscript for a reasonable price, please check out the PGWRites Critiques tab above for more information.

Thanks again for being on this journey with me! Here’s an Irish Blessing to take with you today:

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

May the rain fall soft upon your fields and until me meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Blessings,

Patti


Sensibility- Recognition of the work it takes can often be a long time coming. But what a gift when it does!

Sense- Take time to research contests as part of your writing week. Contests are a great way to boost your confidence and get the word out about your work.


 

 

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

Detroit Writing Room Writer Wednesday!

This week I am honored to be the featured writer on the Detroit Writing Room‘s blog! I had the privilege of participating in their recent awards program where my children’s book, IDA PLUCK’S CLUCK won first place in the Children’s Book category. You can read the post here:

https://www.detroitwritingroom.com/writer-wednesday/patti-richards

 

As always, thanks for being a part of my journey!

 

Blessings,

Patti

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

I’m Open for Picture Book Critiques!

After a several-month hiatus for all things MRS. NOAH, I’m reopening for picture book critiques! And for the very first time, I’m excited to offer 30-minute Zoom consultations as part of my Complete Picture Book Plus critiques! Click on the “Critiques” tab for information, payment, and submission instructions for all available packages.

So, if you have a manuscript that’s ready for the next big step, I’m ready for you! Thanks for considering a PGWRites Critique. I look forward to hearing from you!


Sensibility- There is a point when a story that’s dear to your heart needs to spread its wings and test the wind.

Sense- After you’ve written, revised, submitted to your critique group, and revised some more, it’s time to take that next step and enlist a new set of eyes for a different perspective.


 

 

Uncategorized

January Musings and Good Things to Come!

Hello Friends,

I hope the New Year has been kind to you so far and that you’re finding lots of joy in the everyday! It may sound strange, but January is one of my favorite months of the year. Here in the Mitten, January is always filled with snow, and there’s nothing better than sitting by an open fire, watching fluffy snowflakes fill my backyard as I write. I think it’s the peace after two months of holiday celebrations that speaks to my heart the most. It’s as if I’ve finished a long race and am finally able to exhale. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the holidays! But the stillness and simplicity of January days hold a charm unlike any other month of the year.

Sun on snow is one of my favorite January things:)

And because of all its simplicity, January is often one of my most productive months of the year. Having large chunks of uninterrupted writing time means getting to let my mind wander and my muse have her way. It’s amazing what can happen when we have time to create. I hope you’ve found that kind of time this month.

 

January is also a great month for looking ahead, and I can’t wait to share my next book with you, O POSSUM’S PREDICAMENT! This book was a joy to write and it’s been an even bigger joy to see it coming to life. I’m hoping to be able to announce the release date very soon.

In the meantime, MRS. NOAH is still sailing strong, and I thank you again for your continued support! I would love to share MRS. NOAH and THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE with your students. So if you’re a teacher looking for virtual presentations for March is Reading Month or April Poetry Month, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Here’s to cozy, creative days and lots of good things to come!


Sensibility- Quiet, uninterrupted time is what we need to feed our creative souls!

Sense- Quiet, uninterrupted writing time doesn’t just happen. Look at your calendar and schedule time to be creative.


 

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

Happy Holidays!

It’s been almost two months since MRS. NOAH set sail, and as we turn our hearts and minds towards family time, gift-giving, and saying “Goodbye” to 2021, my thoughts turn again to thankfulness.

Here are just a few of the things I’m thankful for this year:

 

  • I became a grandmother for the very first time a little over two weeks ago, and he’s just the most precious thing! Baby Benny came quite early, so he’s spent the last two weeks in the NICU sleeping, eating, and growing! I can’t wait to meet him and hold him and tell him just how much Grammar loves him!
  • My youngest graduated from college back in May, and she’s working at a nonprofit job she loves helping teen moms through support, community, and love. I’m so proud of her!
  • My older daughter received a full scholarship to Wayne State University Graduate  School of musical composition. She’s teaching full time too, and we just couldn’t be prouder.
  • My son and daughter-in-love are just the most amazing new parents! Their courage and faith as they’ve spent a month in the hospital while waiting for Benny to be born as well as the last 2 weeks with him in the NICU has been such an incredible thing to witness.
  • My family, in spite of some health challenges over the past few months, are strong and happy!
  • My first book launch has gone well and I’ve learned so much about marketing…something I was pretty nervous about…and I’m just so grateful!

 

I encourage each of you to find some quiet moments this holiday season to think about all you have and be grateful. A thankful heart is a happy heart! And in our house, the Joy of the Lord is always our strength.

O Come Let Us Adore Him!

 

Blessings,

Patti Richards

 

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

MRS. NOAH and I say “THANK YOU” and Happy Thanksgiving!

What a month it’s been for our MRS. NOAH! Her story set sail on October 28th, and since then she’s been the #1 new release in children’s Noah’s Ark books on Amazon for nearly the entire month. She’s also been in the top 100 in a couple of other categories on Amazon and is continuing a strong showing in overall book sales on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You have been such a part of her success, and I just wanted to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!”

I know I’ve said it before, but if I could stand in front of you right now, faithful friend, I would give you a big hug and say, “Thank You,” for coming alongside me. Your support and words of encouragement are gifts I will treasure always. If you’ve ordered and received a copy of MRS. NOAH, I am so honored. If you love the book and have a  minute over the next few days, stop by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Good Reads and leave a review. Reviews help books show up in search engines, and we want MRS. NOAH to stay strong! And remember, MRS. NOAH is a perfect book for gift-giving this holiday season and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop and wherever books are sold.

 

As you gather ’round your Thanksgiving tables with family and friends this year, know that this friend is giving thanks for YOU!

Blessings,

Patti Richards


Sensibility- The writer’s journey is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, but as it says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Sense- No matter how the writer’s journey looks for you, the point is that you ARE a writer. Be thankful for the gift and use it every day!


 

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

MRS. NOAH COVER REVEAL!

I can’t believe it’s almost time for the release of MRS. NOAH (Little Lamb Books)! In just a little over one month, this book that began nine years ago with just a seed of an idea is about to be born! I can’t tell you how fun it’s been to watch it all take shape, and I so appreciate you begin with me on the journey. So, without further fanfare, here’s your first taste of MRS. NOAH:

I’m just in love with this cover created by Alice Pieroni, and I know you’re going to love each page of this beautiful book that is so dear to my heart. MRS. NOAH will be available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Little Lamb Books on October 5 and releases on October 19. So, mark your calendars!

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

Patti Richards


Sensibility- Watching a book come to life is one of the greatest joys of any writer.

Sense- Being present in each part of the book creation process, from idea to drafts to done, is important. Take time, wherever you are on your journey to be still and recognize that this step, right now, is necessary and good.


 

Uncategorized, Writing for Children

Novel Revision: First Steps

A few weeks ago I announced I was beginning a long-overdue middle-grade novel revision. Every journey begins with a first step, so I’m checking in today to talk about my first steps and why they are important to my overall process.

First, I read the beginning chapters of Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison. In her novel revision guide, Darcy recommends reading two other books before starting the exercises in her workbook. These two books are:

  • SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, by Renni Browne and Dave King, Harper Collins, 2004.
  • THE FIRST FIVE PAGES, by Noah Lukeman, Fireside Books, 2000.

I’ve started the first book and am re-learning and being reminded of many things. It’s always good to refresh your editing skills, especially if you are timid with the delete button and tend to hang on to words that need to be let go. Thankfully, I’ve become pretty ruthless when it comes to self-editing over the years. That means I’m rarely married to any sentence, paragraph or section; my chopping block is no respecter of words. So rather than digest the entire book before diving in, I decided to read the rest of it as I go and use it primarily as a reference tool. I have not yet started reading the second book.

The main reason for putting off reading the second book was because one of my long-time critique partners and friends asked if anyone in our critique group would be interested in swapping middle-grade manuscripts. We are a picture book group, but a few of us also dabble in middle grade, so I decided it was perfect timing for me and said, “Yes!”

I was so nervous. It’s been years since anyone that I’m close to has read my novel. Years! I had an agent interested last year, which is part of the motivation for this revision. So showing it to someone I trust as both a writer and a friend, was a huge step for me. We swapped, and within a few days she sent me her critique, and her comments have boosted my confidence in a huge way as well as helped me see the areas that need the most work. Whew! I could finally exhale, knowing I wasn’t wasting my time and that the story still had merit and was worth working on. I didn’t realize it at the time I sent it to her, but this was probably the best way I could have started this revision.

The second thing I did was take time to actually read my book again. I didn’t read all of it, because that’s what I’m doing as I go through and make changes, but I read enough. I needed reminding that what I started 10 years ago during that dark time wasn’t just therapy or a way to deal with emotions. I needed to see it with the fresh eyes of today’s me rather than the me of that time in my life. And you know what I discovered? I really like it. I’m excited to spend time with the characters and help them grow stronger and change where change is needed.

Without pausing for these few weeks of reading and reflection, I would have come to this project as just another task in my writing life. I would have opened my workbook with a sigh rather than a spark, and that would not have worked over the long haul. Revision takes time, and if you’re not motivated by a love of the work, it will quickly turn into drudgery and you’ll never finish.

So here’s to finding the path into the process that works for you. I’m glad I was able to see my way clear to doing these things before I ever added or deleted one word from my WIP. I hope today’s thoughts encourage you to find the just-right way to begin your next big project!


Sensibility- Take time to fall in love with your WIP again. You must be willing to spend time with the characters you’ve created, no matter where they are on their journey.

Sense- Not every path to revision looks the same for every writer. If you find yourself stuck in someone else’s process, stop, think, breathe and reflect on what you need to do to move forward.


“If we are not willing to fail we will never accomplish anything. All creative acts involve the risk of failure.” -Madeleine L’Engle

 

 

Uncategorized

The Journey Begins. . .

Happy October, and welcome to all my new subscribers!

A beautiful scene from our recent trip to Beaver Island, Michigan!

I hope everyone is well and staying safe during these challenging times. Finding ways to encourage you in writing and in life is what this blog is all about, and I hope you come away from each post with joy and hope.

I’m beginning a personal and professional journey this week by turning my attention to a long-overdue middle-grade novel revision. I wrote this particular novel almost 10 years ago from an idea I had while sitting in my son’s hospital room after he’d had a lengthy and dangerous surgery to remove a large tumor from his abdomen. He was home from his first year of college for Thanksgiving break, and what was a routine physical turned into something none of us were expecting. If you’ve ever had something like that happen to you, you know the feeling of all the oxygen being sucked from the room and the sheer effort it takes to remain standing while you learn your next steps. It’s a journey I hope I never have to take again with one of my children. But God works in mysterious ways for sure. In the middle of all of that unknown, I got the clearest story idea I had ever had to that point. So, what does a writer do when something like that happens and you just don’t have the time or the strength to even think about starting a new project? You get the idea down in your notebook and start the new project anyway😊.

Right now, we’re all living our days in a situation none of us ever expected. There’s a heaviness that surrounds us we can’t explain as we work to keep life moving forward and feeling as normal as possible. But it isn’t normal, and we have no idea when things might be again. That’s how we felt 10 years ago, and it may be why I feel compelled to blow the cobwebs off a book I haven’t touched in a few years and do the work it takes to breathe life into it and make it shine. Maybe God is using that moment in time, that story idea, to remind me of his presence and not be afraid; to help me walk through these days of social distancing and quarantine with grace and peace.

So, I’m inviting you along for the journey. I’m using Darcy Pattison’s, NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS, as my primary guide. I love Darcy’s work and look forward to diving into the exercises she’s provided in the workbook as well as the other resources. I’m also doing a manuscript exchange with one of my long-time critique partners and friends so I can have fresh eyes on my work and provide fresh eyes and perspective to her work as we go. I’m using this blog as a way to keep myself accountable by sharing what I’ve learned on a bi-weekly basis, and as a space to flesh out ideas and have conversations with all of you about this process.

Now the only thing left to do is take the first step…here goes!


Sensibility- Even in the darkest times, we can hear God whisper peace to our hearts if we are listening.

Sense- If you’re feeling extra stressed or worried as the days grow shorter find a new project to energize your mind and improve your focus. Use this time to be as creative as you can possibly be.


 

Writing for Children

Happy News in Challenging Times!

Good afternoon to all my Sensibility and Sense followers! It’s been several weeks since I’ve posted an update; I’ve been hesitating because of these uncertain days and times we find ourselves in. But because I firmly believe that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind,” I know that any happy news when everything pulls us in other ways can be a balm to the soul. So today I wanted to share with you. . .

I have a book deal!

After years of waiting, working, hoping and praying, Little Lamb Books has connected with 2 of my picture books and offered me a contract. If things go as planned, you’ll be holding MRS. NOAH and MILLIE’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE in your hands in the fall of 2021 and 2022, respectively.  You can read about how it all happened here:

Welcome Our New Children’s Author – Patti Richards!

I want to thank each and every one of you that has commented here throughout the years, followed me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else I hang out, offered encouragement and a shoulder and listening ear when I was discouraged. You have no idea how much each thing means to a writer with a dream and a passion for creating uplifting content for young readers.

And so now, as we all continue to hunker down, stay at home, wash our hands, reach out to those in need and generally take care of each other, please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God’s peace and hope fill your homes and your hearts as we all wait this out together.

With Love and Appreciation,

Patti