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Summertime Sources

Cheryl's Musings: Summertime Sources

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Summertime Sources

For many a children's writer, summer brings a host of distractions that make it tricky to find writing time. However, summer also brings a host of opportunities for research and inspiration. Too busy to write? Carry along your favorite notebook and seize these summertime idea sources:

  1. Summer camp: Have kids heading to day camp? Arrive a few minutes early with pen in hand. In the end-of-day chaos, you'll get to observe a host of character quirks, snips of dialog, attitudes, and actions.

  2. Summer camp, again: If you have a child going to a residency program, be prepared for an onslaught of interesting kid dynamics on pick-up day. Many campers will give a closing presentation filled with inside jokes and incidents from the week before. Better yet, take a look at the counselors' closing presentation. It's like the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of elementary school social interactions.

  3. Vacation travel: Many a vacation provides fodder for the children's writer. Harvest your destination for nf article ideas, character observations, and setting details.

  4. Vacations--no travel: Are you trying to find ways to entertain your kids at home after they've tired of their usual array of games/friends/activities? Consider this: any idea that entertains your kids will probably appeal to other parents fried by too much together time. Markets abound for do-it-yourself games, activities, puzzles, and projects.

  5. Driving time: My favorite part about road trips? Books on tape. If I seem fixated with Cassandra Clare's City of Bones this summer, it's because I bought the audio book and have listened to parts of it four times so far. It's a great way to pass the time--and dig into a text to figure out what makes it work.

Have fun!

:) Cheryl

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