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Be a Life Long Learner for Change

The horrific events around the world from Covid-19 and the painful injustice and brutality against Blacks in the U.S. have seared everyone's heart, soul, conscience, and life. We need healthy healing, and fair and just policies to change a system that enables these heinous violent acts to continue. If that wasn't enough, in California we face overwhelming fires, deep unemployment,…

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From The Desk Of Zoe Washington By Janae Marks

Being an Audio Book and Podcast Geek

I listen to audio books and podcasts constantly (even more during shelter in place). I'm always walking around with headphones, and it super irritates my husband. He'll say something to me and I'll say, "What?" He'll say, "Never mind!" Audio books help me stay up on current literature in the genres I write, or to learn a new topic or…

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Mill Valley Library

Desperately Missing My Library

Photo courtesy of Mill Valley Library My library, the Mill Valley Library, is one of the most beautiful. It's my friend, my helper, idea source, inspiration, entertainment and so much more. With shelter in place, there's like a hole in my heart without the library. Plus I'm holding over 15 books to return, and it feels like one of the…

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Selfie Along The Sausalito Prominade

Virtual Armed Forces Half Marathon

On May 23rd, Keating Vogel, Anita Castro Sparks and I ran the virtual Armed Forces Half Marathon in our area. This half marathon is usually held at the Concord Naval Weapons Station, and is one of the most poignant races as we honor our service members. In uniform they will welcome us at the finish with medals and thank us-which…

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April 19th Virtrual Bend Half Marathon In Mill Valley

Virtual Bend Half Marathon

Masked up and running. I had been so looking forward to the Bend Half Marathon 2020. But when COVID-19 hit, all races were cancelled. My running friends offered to train with me, and run the race with me. On April 19th, we ran 13.1 miles, from Mill Valley to Sausalito.

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Concentrating with COVID-19

I believe that every person is overwhelmed in one way or another, worrying and protecting against COVID-19. It is hard to go through the day without grieving for another person, city, county or nation. The drastic changes that many have gone through and are going through have changed their lives in ways we can’t imagine. The deck has reshuffled and…

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Cherry Orchid Irrigating Ditches Mid Century

Six Minutes to Uncover a Memory

At the August 2019 Los Angeles SCBWI Conference for children's writers and illustrators, award-winning author Meg Medina shared a terrific writing tip she uses to draw on her history. She takes 6 minutes every morning to write about a specific childhood memory. So I set my timer and wrote. What a great way to uncover and reveal the time, feelings,…

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SCBWI LA Conference Tips!

This has to be one of the biggest gatherings of children's writers, authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, interested friends and more. Given it's size, here are a few tips from my frequent attendance: Bring your water and coffee mug - save on trash. Pick your sessions carefully based on topic for your work needs, or who is a likely that…

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Regional Writer Conferences Verses National Conferences

When examining the needs to improve your craft, the investment in conferences, intensives, retreats, and local workshops become important tools in career development. What stage are you in your work? Beginner (know nothing about the industry) Pre-published (been writing and need to deepen your knowledge of craft in characters, plot, dialogue, querying, submitting, etc.) Advanced Pre-published (had professional critiques, attended…

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My Latest Writing Resources

I started my professional career in market research, consumer research, and statistics. As I moved through executive marketing positions, I've been ever-reliant on my library, new resources and new strategies. So for children's writing, I'm passing along the outstanding Dreyer's English, An Utterly Correct Guide of Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer (I listened on audio and then had to…

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