Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Writerly Wednesday - Interview of Author Stormi Lewis




Author Stormi Lewis shares tips, tricks and hints on how to get published in this short half-hour interview. Join us for a trip down the path to publication. Stormi has two books out and a third one on the way. I'm sure you'll enjoy her warm personality and value her writing wisdom. 

Plus, post a comment below for a chance to win an autographed copy of her latest book:



And don't forget to click on the link below to view the interview, and visit my YouTube channel to see more author interviews. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

DIY Father/Son Woodworking Project - Murphy bed



It looks deceptively like a cabinet, at least that's what I think. In truth, it's a bed hidden inside a vertical frame. This is a Murphy Bed. 

My husband and son wanted to build one. And, for whatever reason, I didn't realize what a big project it would be. Now, that's saying something because we've taken on a few ambitious remodeling jobs in our days. Anyway, I thought it would be a couple of hours and 

voila we'd have a new bedroom thanks for the wall hanging bed. But it wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be.


If you're curious, watch the video below or visit my YouTube channel. But here are a few of the photos from the project, including the handles on the door, which my son created from some  of the leftover wood they used to make the bed. 


Here is the bed frame being made




And here is the entire movie of the process. I hope you find this interesting because I sure did. 


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Writerly Wednesday - 5 Literary Agents Looking for Clients


If you're looking to submit your work to literary agents, you should always check out their website to see new updates, tips and hints about how they'd like you to submit your work to them. But, if you're looking for ideas of where to submit your work, here are five who are looking for new clients that you can research a little more on your own. And good luck to you. 

1)      JamesMcGowan from BookendsLiterary says, “I'm very eager to find: ADULT mystery, crime, domestic suspense and horror/speculative fiction.” Query James at: link

2)     Adria Goetz at Martin Literary says,

“I represent, in general: Picture books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult Fiction (as of 2020!), Graphic Novels, Quirky gift books, Devotionals for the Christian market, Books for both the general market, and the Christian market. “  Query Adria at this Link  

    3)    Amy Bishop at Dystel Goderich says she’s looking for more “Upmarket bookclub fiction” Query her at this link

 4)  Heather Carr at the Friedrich Agency is looking for narrative nonfiction and literary fiction, especially “voice-driven nonfiction” that teaches  her something new.  Query Heather at this link

5   5) Kat Kerr at the Donald Mass Literary Agency is looking for Romantic Comedies  with diverse characters.  Query Kat at this link


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Writerly Wednesday - 5 Helpful Sites for Writers to Use on their Journey down the Path to Publication


 I thought I would provide my writer friends with a list of helpful websites that I have used in the past and found them to be valuable resources. I used these links to help me organize queries, find agents to submit  writing to, and some even helped me connect with other writers in the writing community.

My helpful links are: 

1)    Search for Literary Agents | QueryTracker

2)    Publishers Marketplace: Browse Member Pages

3)    AgentQuery :: Find the Agent Who Will Find You a Publisher

4)    The Official Manuscript Wish List & #MSWL ® Website

5)   WRITER BEWARE® - SFWA

I wish you all well on your journey down the path to publication.  

Please let  me know if you find these links helpful, as I would really like to find valuable resources for others to use to help them meet their goals and writing needs. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Easter Bunny Cake 2021 versus Easter Bunny Cake 2020



 I made this Easter Bunny cake to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. I made the bunny out of fondant and painted the face with food coloring.

Fondant being Rolled Out

This is what the fondant looked like as I started rolling it out.

Then I started building the face.

Making the Fondant Bunny

 You can watch the video here: to see how I did  it.


But last year I made another Easter Bunny cake


I made this bunny the same way...sort of. He is covered in fondant too but his face was created not painted on with edible food coloring.

You can see the process through these photos I took as I made him last year. 





So, which cake do you like better- the 2020 version or the 2021 version?



Saturday, March 27, 2021

Easter Bunny Cookie Lollipops and Truffle Lollipops




If you're looking for a fun food craft, here it is. Making homemade bunny lollipops. If you're interested in how I did it, check out the short video below.

And Hoppy Easter!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Flosstube Episode with Hoppy Easter Shirt made with Waste Canvas

Hoppy Easter Bunny Shirt

I wanted to make something to wear for the Easter holiday. So I decided to cross-stitch a t-shirt. And, I talked my sister into making one too. 

It's a super simple pattern I sketched out on graph paper and then went to work stitching it up. I used waste canvas to get my counted cross-stitch pattern on the shirt. First, I whip-stitched the canvas onto the t-shirt... and, well, if you want to see how I did it, simply click on the link below or visit my YouTube channel at KimKasch

And let me know if you think this bunny looks like a Peep. Plus, if you watch my short video, let me know  if you think I chose the right color for the bunny - from the choices I had. 


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

5 of the Best Literary Agents that Represent Children’s Books


 1)  Stephen Barbara

Agency: Inkwell Management – Top book genre: Children’s Books: Young Adult Fiction

Stephen is always drawn to compelling stories that marry quality writing to bold, imaginative concepts.

Email: submissions [at] inkwellmanagement [dot] com

2)  Daniel Lazar

Agency: Writers House – Top book genre: Children’s Books: Middle Grade Fiction

Daniel is on the lookout for distinct fiction and great, lively non-fiction. He represents adult and children's books and focuses mainly on middle grade and YA. He loves stories that introduce him to new worlds -- or recreate ones he may already know. He especially loves historical fiction. For non-fiction, he enjoys history, memoirs, narrative non-fiction, all stripes and studies of pop-culture, and gifty books that make him smile. He’s a huge fan of graphic novels and memoirs, and is excited to hear from cartoonists of all backgrounds; illustrated or photography books are a specialty. He’s intrigued by any book with unique views on parenting and family life.

Email: dlazar [at]  WritersHouse [dot] com

3)  Holly McGhee

Agency: Pippin Properties – Top book genre: Children’s Books: Picture book

Holly McGhee only accepts exclusive queries and requires four weeks to consider.

Holly is dedicated to shepherding books that make a difference into the world.

Please check her website but email: ExclusivetoHolly [at]  pippinproperties [dot]  com

4) Kristin Nelson

Agency:  Nelson Literary Agency – Top book genre: Children’s Books: Young Adult Fiction

Kristin is currently closed to submissions but check her website often to see if things change.

Her #MSWL includes:

Young adult novels that pack a serious or a delightful emotional punch delivered in a contemporary setting, #ownvoices, or in a past, future, or imagined world.

Middle grade novels full of heart, magical worlds, girl power, boy adventure, #ownvoices, brains over brawn.

5) Laura Rennert

Agency:  Andrea Brown Literary Agency – Top book genre: Children’s Books: Young Adult Fiction

Laura gravitates toward gorgeously written, weirdly idiosyncratic, and refreshingly unexpected. The common threads in the projects Laura represents are conflicted, dynamic characters; a fresh, strong voice; an unusual point of view; and vivid world-building. She loves reimagined literary traditions that are captivatingly new. She loves books that play with commercial tropes, with surprising emotional depth.

Email: ljrennert [at]  mac [dot] com 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Flosstube Episode and Easter Egg Crafts




I finally finished my first ever cross-stitch pattern and hung it up on the door for Easter. It isn't perfect, but what in life really is ;D

I'm happy to have finished something that was new and creative for me to try out. 

I like the the little saying of "Don't Worry Bee Hoppy" because the world seems to be filled with a lot of worry and perhaps with good reason, but I wanted to do something that was  challenging and fun and whenever I create, it makes me  happy and manages to take my mind to other  places. So, if you're like me, and you like to craft, you might enjoy my little YouTube on cross-stitching and making Easter Egg crafts to decorate the yard and home. 



Friday, March 19, 2021

DIY Easter Garland

I love decorating for the holidays - all of  them and these are a couple of the Easter garlands I've made this year to spruce up my house for the holiday.

These are super simple crafts you can make with some material you might have sitting around the house. Plastic Easter Eggs can be strung together to make a fun and decorative garland for your front door. I even made this fun little bow for my door bunny. And, if you're interested in seeing how I made this garland, click on the link down below or visit my YouTube channel. And, if you do make your own garland, please share it with me. I'd love to see it. 

Click on the movie below to watch how I made the  garland.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


 


Award-winning author Elizabeth Rusch sits down with me to talk about her new book, Zee Grows A Tree

She also discusses what she needs to do as a writer, to write, revise and finally see a book come to press. If you'd like to see her book trailer for Zee Grows a  Tree, check it out here: Zee Grows a Tree Book Trailer on Vimeo and for everyone who leaves a comment in the "comments" section below, you'll be entered into a book giveaway of Elizabeth Rusch's  new book. I'll announce the winner next Wednesday on my Writerly Wednesday blog and the winner can message me to have their book delivered directly to their house.

So, check out the YouTube Interview here: https://youtu.be/BNlSLNx_NpQ

And, don't forget to comment below.


Monday, March 15, 2021

5-minute Food Craft to do with kids for St Paddy's Day Movie Night




If you want to make a super simple holiday treat you can do with your kids and share with your friends and family, here's a 5-minute food-craft you can do at home with ingredients you might already have sitting inside your kitchen cabinet.

Just check out the video below, or visit my YouTube channel for more holiday ideas. 


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Flosstube - St. Paddy's Day shirt and WIPS



My sister and I are taking up an old habit...of cross-stitching. And, we thought it would be fun to connect with our creative community out there. If you're interested in making a few future friends and joining us on our crafting journey, take a peek at our video below. Or hop over to my YouTube and Check out my entire Flosstube page. 

But no matter what you decide to do, I want to wish you a Bit 'O Luck this next week as St. Paddy's Day approaches!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Hashtag Heaven for Writers and Illustrators - on this Writerly Wednesday


If you're writing and looking for an agent to represent you in the wonderful world of publishing, then there are a few hashtags you really should know about and use...to find your perfect match. Writing and finding your "perfect" agent is a lot like dating. You need to search in the right places, know what you're looking for, and what would make a good fit for you...and your prospective agent. 

One of the critical hashtags for writers, illustrators and writer/illustrators is: #MSWL

This stands for Manuscript Wish List. Agents and even editors use this hashtag on Twitter to let you know what sort of stories they are searching their slush piles for. 

It's sort of  like going to a dating site and reading a bio about your prospective new Honey. You'll want to know if the person likes long walks on the beach or if they prefer to sit on the couch and watch a rousing game of football...or perhaps tennis. 

#MSWL tells you all this information - (specifically related to stories, characters, voice, submission methods, etc.) and what the agent/editor prefers plus much more. It can't be understated how helpful this one simple hashtag can be, because when you want to make a love connection (for your story or illustrations) this is the quick shortcut to finding out all the scoop on the person you're going to be sharing your "baby" with. 

But this isn't the only hashtag that will help you find a connection out in the world of publishing. And, I'm sure you're not only looking for an agent. You might want to find like minded people who love reading, writing and simply supporting one another in this lonesome journey down the path toward publication. 

So, if you're looking to make a connection with your writing community, you might want to try the hashtag #writingcommunity on Twitter. You will find more people than you could find at a beach on a hot summer day, and these people will most likely have a  lot more in common with you than those swimsuit clad beachcombers.

There are many more helpful hashtags a writer and/or illustrator can use to find a Love (or even Like) connection. But these two will get you going on the Write Track ;D So, what's stopping you? Start hashtagging away. And, if you have a few more helpful hashtags you use, why don't you share them down in the comments section? We can all work together to help build this writing and illustrating community of ours. 

So, until next Wednesday, "Write On!" 


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

5-Minute Floss Tube Project-Tin Tutorial


If you're looking for a place to store your craft projects that's prettier than a paper bag, here's a Super Simple 5-Minute Project-Tin Tutorial. 

Sewing Project bags may be beautiful, but they take more than a few minutes to make, while this craft project will provide a 5-minute craft and you'll be able to store these project-tins easily on a shelf. Plus, they'll look pretty too all while keeping your cross-stitch fabric from getting wrinkled.

What could be better? And, even if you don't cross-stitch, I'm sure you can find a purpose for these pretty canisters. 

Simply click on the link below or go to my YouTube channel and peruse through my floss tube episodes.


 There are  many tips, tricks and hints to getting published and you can find differing points of view any place you look but here is a golden nugget I received early on in my writing career and it's very similar to Nike's motto of  "Just Do It". The tip is not to worry about finding an agent, getting published or even how you're going to market the book and brand yourself. The best tip I ever got was:

"Write the BOOK!"

Nothing else matters until you have a "product" to publish. You shouldn't worry over word count, fret over format or stress over sequence. Just  write the book. It will definitely need to be read-over, revised and re-revised before its ready. So, don't get hung up on the  small stuff. Until you have pages to read, you don't have anything to work with. 

I've written or maybe I should say I've had 5 books published-one is even on audible. But, I've written many more than 5 books. The truth is not everything we write will ever see the light of a printing press, publishing house or book store. 


But don't worry about that. Just Write the Book! No matter what, you'll be polishing and perfecting your craft, building a better brand, and working to create a truly beautiful book. 

And here's one more tip, which applies to life as well as to writing:

Attitude is Everything

Remember telling a story is all about a journey, and we should all take the time to enjoy our own trip down the path to publication. Writers are creative people and most creative people are bound to suffer some rejection - but it's what we do with the experience that molds us into the storytellers and people we become. 

I'm not saying you have to enjoy rejection - that would be impossible - at least for me but we can all learn something from our experiences in life. 

Remember falling down is an accident - staying down is a choice. 

When you receive a rejection, don't let it keep you down. Consider  any helpful feedback, process it and then move on. But most important off all, Just

Write the Book!



Wednesday, February 24, 2021

5-Minute Craft Tutorial to make St Paddy's Day Garland



If you're like me and you like to decorate for the holidays but don't want to spend a lot of money on store-bought decorations, you might enjoy my 5-minute tutorial, which shows  you how to make a fun Shamrock garland with scraps of fabric you might have around the house (and if not, you could use old (nearly worn out) towels or t-shirts). If you're curious how I did this super simple garland, click on the video below to see it.



Writerly Wednesday - Upcoming Writing Contests


 
Writing contests can encourage you to perfect your craft while giving you the opportunity to earn a little recognition, make some money and hopefully meet some new friends. So get those pages polished, and start cracking those knuckles because it's time to deep dive into the murky waters of writing contests. What do you have to lose? And after reading about these contests, you'll see you might have a lot to win. 

Here is a list of upcoming contests for writers: 



The James Laughlin Poetry contest: James Laughlin Award | Academy of American Poets


Good luck everyone. Now send those pages, articles and stories out because you might win and even if you don't, you could make some  good friends along the way. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Flosstube Episode #2 Sisters celebrating St. Paddy's Day with Cross-stitch





Anyone else have a sister they spend time with - especially during the pandemic? Well, I grew up in a family, where Mom and Dad had nine kids and all we ever did was spend time together. So, now that we're older and (hopefully) wiser, we're trying to have fun instead of spending our time cleaning, cooking and  basically helping the family get by. And one of the ways we've been spending our time connecting creatively is by cross-stitching. We have also just started playing tennis together and enjoying the outdoors by running.



If you're interested in any of these things, please click on the short video below and let us know what you think. Plus, if you cross-stitch or run or play tennis, we'd love to connect with you too.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Writerly Wednesday - Tips, Tricks and Helpful Hints to Help You Find Your Path to Publication

 


If you're looking for helpful hints to find a few ways to connect with a literary agent, here are a few tips: On April 17, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators from the Inland NW Region is hosting an Agent Day. 

They will have three agents on faculty (see below): 

1)  KellyDyksterhouse (Raven Quill)

 Kelly is looking for middle grade and young adult manuscripts. 

She wants action-adventure with heart and universal themes such as identity, friendship, family, and an #ownvoices novel in verse or coming of age story. She enjoys magical realism, and books with a sense of wonder and magic. 

She wants contemporary YA, #ownvoices that explore the struggle between personal identity, family identity and culture, a YA fantasy that feels new, has great action and a romantic thread.

 Query her at QueryMe.Online/KellyDyksterhouse

 2)  Paige Terlip (Andrea Brown Literary Agency) is looking for all categories of children’s books from picture books to young adult, as well as select adult fiction and nonfiction. She is also looking for illustrators and author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators.

She wants high concept novels with captivating hooks, snarky characters with hearts of gold, creative magic systems, complicated relationships, and found families. She likes well-plotted twists, being a little bit scared, and stories that explore the fluidity of gender and bring the queer experience to light.

On the adult side she's open to thrillers/psychological suspense, fantasy/sci-fi, upmarket fiction, cozy mysteries, as well as narrative nonfiction and self-help. She loves stories that make her feel a range of emotions, and a narrative that sticks with her long after she closes the book.

 Query her when she opens to submissions at Query Manager: QueryManager.com/PaigeTerlip 

3) LisaAmstutz – Storm Literary (Lisa is closed to submissions right now) But when she reopens, she is looking for nonfiction of all ages. She loves books with heart; science, agricultural and environmental topics; new insights on history, culture or the arts; strong characters and settings; humor; lyrical texts and multicultural themes. 

But you can query her colleague Michelle Hauck with middle grade,  young adult and some adult genres. She isn't accepting nonfiction, picture books of chapter books at this time. 

Query Michelle here 


 


 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Valentine's Cake Pops and Cake

Valentine's Day Cake Pops to Decorate a Cake

I've been sitting at home for months now and haven't been able to spend time with my friends and from what I can see, I think we could all use a little. . . or  maybe a lot of . . .love so I thought I'd share one of my secret recipes...it's one that I really love, for cake pops. Plus, in this video I use cookies and cake pops to give my Valentine's (Galentine's) (Palentine’s) Day Cake a little extra pizazz! 

If you are interested in how I made these cake pops or the cookie pops, just click on the video link below to see how to do it. And, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. 

And, Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you have a super sweet day!

Valentine's Cookies and Homemade Basket

Happy Galentine's Day

Is anyone else baking for Valentine's Day? I love to bake, make and create and I have a neighbor who has been having a rough week, so I thought, "Why not celebrate Galentine's Day too?" 

I pulled out my flour, eggs, butter, baking powder, vanilla, sugar, white chocolate and a little lemon juice and went to work making cookies. But, then I needed to take the cookies over to her house and Portland, Oregon is in the middle of an ice/snow storm so I didn't want to attempt to go to the store to buy a gift bag or some wrapping paper. Instead, I pulled out a sheet of cardstock that was sitting around the house and created my own gift basket. 

DIY Paper Basket

If you'd like to see how I did it, simply click on the link below or go to my YouTube page (Kim Kasch) and search my videos for the latest one. 

Some  Yummy Valentine's Day Cookies

Friday, February 12, 2021

5 Literary Agents Looking for Manuscripts

 



Agents Representing MG and YA Fiction:

  

 

1.      Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory is currently looking for character-driven MG and YA fiction, with or without a touch of magic, written by BIPOC authors.

 

Query link: https://querymanager.com/query/2005Query Submission (querymanager.com)

 

 

2.      Crystal Orazu of Context Literary is looking for middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction that explores interpersonal relationships amongst traditional/chosen family members and friends using either realistic or fantastical elements (especially from a first or second-gen immigrant perspective). Fun sleight of hand/heist/spy narratives like the Gallagher Girls series and darker stories along the lines of Coraline are also very welcome.

 

Query: short bio, and 5-10 pages inserted into the body of the email to querycrystal @ contextlit.com

 

3.      Margaret Danko of Paper OverBoard is looking for attention-grabbing voices especially #ownvoices narratives, literary fiction with teeth, historical fiction with a dash of magical realism, fresh literary and commercial suspense, spooky contemporary and fantasy YA, quirky and heartwarming family stories, and romcoms full of charm and whimsy. She is also interested in nonfiction in the areas of lifestyle, popular science, health/wellness, true crime, politics and current affairs.

 

Query: Margaret.submissions@ paperoverboard.com

Please list that you are submitting to Margaret in your email

 

4.      Emily Forney of Bookends Literary is looking for Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult manuscripts.

 

See her page here: About Us - BookEnds Literary Agency

 

Query with your query letter, synopsis, and optional page samples to her  QueryManager  https://querymanager.com/emilyforney

 

You can also see her calls for submissions and wish list on Twitter @emilykaitlinnn

 

5.      Analieze Cervantes of Harvey Klinger Literary Agency is looking for sci-fi with a Dystopian feel (e.g. Divergent); contemporary romance); mystery (think Riverdale); paranormal but no zombies!; crime fiction; LGBTQ (love story); and thriller/suspense (cliffhangers, want to be on the edge of my seat).

 

Query: by sending your query letter, synopsis and the first five pages of your manuscript to her query manager at https://querymanager.com/query/AnaliezeCervantes

 

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Valentine's Day Week Dinners

 

Does anyone else like to prepare special meals for the holidays? Well, I like to prepare fun, fancy meals the entire week. These pork chops were what I prepared tonight. 

See how simple it is to make an ordinary dinner seem special, simply by getting the "right" cut of meat?

I also like to use a little food coloring in my mashed potatoes, and add a fun and festive alcoholic beverage to our nighttime meal to make it all the merrier. 

I added a few spices to these pork chops to heat them up. I used a sprinkling of Turmeric because why not add a little color with some  potent antioxidants at the same time? 

If you've never heard of Turmeric, it's the spice that gives curry its yellow color and has been used  in India for thousands of years as a medicinal herb and spice. 

And as I age, one of the things I really appreciate about Turmeric is its proclaimed ability to improve joint and bone health while reducing inflammation. Plus, it has been tested as a cancer-fighting spice. And most important of all,  it has been shown to be an effective antidepressant (and couldn't we all use that about now?)

 

Writerly Wednesday - Agent Info

 


If you've spent the last year in lockdown writing that perfect story and you're ready to start submitting your work to literary agents, you might want to take a  look at this boutique literary agency. She's been  around since 2004, so she has the experience you're looking for: Kathryn Green's agency

On her website, you'll see she says, "... I have purposely kept my list small. I am happy to consider all types of fiction but particularly like historical fiction, cozy mysteries, young adult and middle grade. For non-fiction I am interested in memoir, parenting, humor with a pop culture bent, and history. Quirky non- fiction is also a particular favorite."

She represents: Upmarket fiction, cozy mysteries, young adult and middle grade fiction, non-fiction (the quirkier, the better), and true crime. But she doesn't accept Science fiction/fantasy, children’s picture books, screenplays or poetry.