New Year and another New Look

So, we all know I am working on a picture book, right?  Well, if you didn’t, there you go.  To do my best, and to continue learning, I signed up for an illustrator course.

The course was a broad stroke.  Being a beginner at everything, fellow experienced students and instructors were patient, and most of all encouraging.  Growth from trying new things and experimenting with techniques and mediums were very much a part of the curriculum.  I was wowed, daily.

The environment and the top shelf instruction was not just an ‘art course’, it opened up a new world for me.  Making it especially delightful is the generousness of being able to access the course for a while after it ended.  As each new layer becomes familiar, I can go back and pick up information to absorb.

My perspective as a writer has grown, as an indie/self publisher, and a new love of drawing was discovered.  Pow!  This was just way more than I had hoped for when signing up.  The information sounded, I will admit it, too good to be true.  It isn’t.

Someone with more experience and more artistic background may find a different course than I did, because truly this is one course of instruction that you will take away that which you are willing to be open to.  There is something for everyone, and that something is different depending on your perspective and what you seek to learn from it.

I made new friends that inspire me, and who were so generous, not just in their own work, but in their wisdom, and sharing how to do this or that.  They taught me to be daring and try new things.

The most important thing I learned is that an eraser is my friend!  If I don’t like a line, erase and redraw it. There are more possibilities to the usefulness of the course for me, increasing my thought process on a visual level.

In addition there were other areas of the industry that was covered besides just art, such as the business side, and publishing need to know information.  Touched on were areas of blogging and promoting one’s work and skills.  There as well, I learned something.  So, in the coming weeks applying the information to me and my priorities, this blog/website will be changing.

Let me know what you think as the changes appear!

My appreciation and thanks to

Children’s Book Academy 

 Special Thanks to instructors

Mira Reisberg

Kristine Brogno,


Mandy Yates

An After Thought

The next course Children’s Book Academy will be covering writing children’s chapter books. It will be starting January 12th, 2015 and the link for more information is here – Chapter Book Alchemist.

And since you have been so very good and read my entire post, I will share a link to Mira and Hillary’s free novel writing webinar that will be on January 2nd, 2015. Children Novel Writing Webinar, click there and sign up for a link to the webinar.


Working on a Dream

Do you have a dream?

Something you have always wanted to do?

Since I just published my first story every this year, and that was my big dream, it might be a stretch, but think it entitles me to ask you a this next question.

What are you doing about making it happen for you?

It doesn’t all have to happen at once, you don’t have make big huge sweeping changes.  Start small. Start with a dream sheet.  A list of ways you could make your dream come true.

Then let it sit, while you think of ways to break those ways down into small things that you can do.  Little tiny baby creeping, you know how they push themselves around on their stomach before they start crawling, and then they pull themselves up and finally walk.

Sure some babies go from scoot to pulling to running.  We all develop our mobility skills at different paces and in different ways.  You can make your dream come true the same way, your way.  But you have to start.

2015 is just around the corner.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could end 2015 knowing you are closer than you were this year to your dream come true?


So, at the book signing, I was interviewed. What comes of it, well, we all have to wait patiently and see. (I am not patient about anything so this is especially difficult for me.)

I was asked questions, not just by the newspaper reporter, but by passersby my table.

One question, I know I didn’t answer properly was, “When did you decided to write?”

The correct answer should have been –

It isn’t that I decided to be a writer, it was that I decided to accept BEING a writer.  Deciding to accept who I am came in parts.  I went beebopping down to the local community college on more than one occasion, and in more than one location to get an English Literature Degree, or ‘WRITING’ degree of some sort.  

Every time I went I ended up with something other than that.  Something more mainstream acceptable wage earning educational study.  Accounting (proving useful), Cosmetology (ok, so I know how to look my best, I just don’t always feel it necessary to be ‘done up’) and Nursing (I can call 911 professionally).  My thought process has always been, if I don’t make it in these positions, I can always be a writer.  

None made me happy, and all I dreaded in some way or the other.  

When my granddaughter was about nine years old, two years ago, I made the decision to accept being a writer.  I even promised her a story for her birthday.  Still having issues with being a writer, the fastest way to get over all my stumbling blocks was to promise my granddaughter a book.  A book expected less than a year away.  

I was late, it was finally finished and published over a year and half later. From the beginning, she was apart of the process.  She helped with illustration selection and several draft edits.  

Another question asked was from a visitor to my table, they asked about my blog -“Is it only about writing?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that one.  I am a writer, how could this not be about writing, because that is apart of me.  It’s like asking, do I have to breath? 

Is writing the only thing I blog about, well, it depends.  Lately, yes.  That is what I have been concentrating on.  Though,  it is about following a dream, doing something that makes me happy, and hopefully encourages you to do something to follow your dream and make yourself happy.  

The original blog which is now THE KOLB WEB, it was a task to blog every day for the 500 days leading up to turning 50.  I wanted to see if I could sustain writing long enough to truly commit to it.  It worked, I wrote, and here I am today.  Now that blog is evolving into being about the business of writing and the results of writing.  

This blog is more about me, as a children’s writer.  For instance in the coming weeks I am going to share about taking an illustration course that has just blown my mind.  Not only opening my eyes to the art and craft of children’s book illustrations, but opening me to being an artist in so many ways, including drawing and all forms of creative expression.  

So, if you have a question.  Ask.




Got 30 Ideas? Take the 2014 PiBoIdMo Winner’s Pledge!

Here is the ending post for Picture Book Idea Month by Tara Lazar.  

(Guess what?  I did it! WHOOP WHOOP! I came up with thirty ideas, not counting the one I am working on right now.  It has been a wild month!)



Got 30 Ideas? Take the 2014 PiBoIdMo Winner’s Pledge!.