5 Writing Tips for Newbies

When I work with young children, I often experience two ends of the spectrum. There’s the one group who writes diligently, taking off on a topic. They even ask if they can ‘write more’ than what’s suggested. Good for them. But then there are those who stare blankly at the paper, waiting for inspiration to…

But I’m a Real Girl!

When Pat Achilles agreed to illustrate The Upside-Down Gardener, I was thrilled and honored. Her whimsical style was right on for the project. And while I’ve written many a post about my inspiration and how my ideas came together, I thought it might be interesting to see inside the mind of an illustrator. So after…

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas to You By: Chrysa Smith A little merry you say? Actually, the gray skies get me a little down, so alas, an appropriate greeting for you. So bright lights and colored packages are the order of the day. So today I’m doing a little ‘greening’ of the house and…

A Garden Grows in Brooklyn

by Chrysa Smith Everyone knows someone from Brooklyn. No matter where you go, you’re never many steps removed.There’s just something about the interactive, walkable, ethnic segments that are endearing. I should know. I was born there. So it’s not a surprise that I would eventually set a book there. The Upside-Down Gardener follows a young…

A Career Gone Awry

I admit it. I’m a reformed tree fluffer. Now you might ask yourself what exactly is that. Am I someone who can’t pass a garden without propping up the leaves on a withering tree? Watering the drooping elms? Actually, it’s none of these. Turns out a tree fluffer is a legitimate job. Around September you’ll…

Why Words Matter

Words matter.   If you’ve never thought about it before, think about this:   I have a dream. Four score and seven years ago. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. These famous lines from speeches will live on forever. Just do it, the real…

Advice and More Advice

I’m always thinking. For better or worse, I’m often in my head. And I come up with all sorts of explanations and thoughts on what makes for good writing–for me and others. So I once compiled a list that I believe, makes for better writing. I thought I’d share it here. So here goes. Use…

Catching an Idea

You never know when inspiration is going to grab you and smack you right in the face.   I was standing in a gift shop looking at silk flowers. I turned and walked toward the children’s section and it hit me. It was another ‘Once upon a something book.’ I don’t know just how many…