The KidLit Network: First Contributor Post!

John Rea-Hedrick: KidLit NetworkIn November of this year a new website was launched, called the KidLit Network.  This site focuses on children’s literature and features news and articles for readers and writers alike, including book reviews, crafts, interviews, a book club, and more!

KidLit Network was co-founded by two of the original founders of YA Highway, a popular book blog focusing on young adult literature.  I got connected with YA Highway in their early days and was recently asked to become a contributing member of the new KidLit Network.

I jumped at the chance!

Since then, I’ve also been happily helping out with some of the “behind the scenes” aspects of WordPress blog management like setting up the RSS feed, solving technical problems, and doing various other administrative functions.  *waves geek flag*

Yesterday, I shared my first contributor post: Invite Your Characters Over For Dinner under the ‘Writing” channel.  (Yay!)  I’d like to invite you to stop by and to share your thoughts!  And while you’re there, do a little channel surfing on the rest of the site.

We’re new, but we’re growing!  We’d love to have you along for the ride!

My Favorite Blog Posts

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday This week’s YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday asks bloggers to share their favorite posts from their own blogs. For some this might be like trying to choose their favorite children. But not me. I’ve written some truly embarrassing blog posts and would be more than happy for BPS (Blogging Protective Services) to come and take them away. Nevertheless, I have written a few I don’t mind having my name attached to. So here are a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them too.

Most Popular:

Most Commented:

Most FUN!:

Most Thoughtful:

YA Specific:

Road Trip Wednesdays:

Poetic (aka actual poems):

And of course since this is for YA Highway I have to mention my very own YA Highway post from back in the wee early days of the “Highway” when the uber-thoughtful Kirsten Hubbard invited me to share a guest post because I’d played so nicely with the other bloggers. 🙂

My WIP in Limerick Form

shamrockThis week’s YA Highway Wednesday Road Trip is celebrating the limerick in honor or St. Patrick’s Day.  Followers were asked to write limericks for their favorite book and/or WIP (work-in-progress).  Several months ago the folks a YA Highway issued a similar invitation to write haiku.  I had fun writing for that one so I thought I’d join in this week too.

As with my haiku, I’ve written one limerick for my current WIP and another limerick for the entire series for which it’s a part.

My current WIP:

Raven Academy (Book 1)

Connor thinks it’s a school just the same
as all others with different names,
but it’s part of a plan
in which he’ll have a hand
in revealing what pow’r has it claimed.

The Citadel of Kidrodell (the series)

Kidrodell is a land out of time
and the home for a new kind of crime
when the good at first sought
by its exiles is fraught
will the threads of Earth’s history unwind?

Finally, I’ve taken the easy way out of deciding what other books to “limericize” by simply choosing one I most recently finished and which I thoroughly enjoyed.

BONESHAKER (by Cherie Priest)

Briar Wilkes and her son are estranged
by Leviticus’ deed, unexplained.
Now Seattle’s walled tight,
full of zombies and Blight,
and Steampunk will forever be changed!

Organize Writing Resources Using Google Reader

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday This week’s YA Highway Wednesday Road Trip is about Favorite Helpful Sites for writers.  I’ve decided to play along this week and share a tip I picked up from my day job where part of my time is spent supporting and configuring information search tools.  Three simple words . . .


I know many writers already use Google Reader as the portal for their many blog subscriptions.  It’s a great way for the information you want to come to you (Yay RSS!) so you don’t have to go looking for it.  (Of course this works for anyone, not just writers.)

But did you know you can use Google Reader as your own personalized search engine? Continue reading

The Best Book No One’s Ever Heard Of

Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur This week’s YA Highway – Road Trip Wednesday is about The Best Book No One’s Ever Heard Of.  I’m a bit late, but after commenting on the site I decided to post this to my blog too.

I could probably recommend plenty, but the one I went with is Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur.  I chose this one because I thought it had gone out of print, but I found it’s listed right now on Amazon.  It’s also has apparently gone through several covers since I read it on its initial publication.  Anyway, it’s not so likely no one’s ever heard of it.  Nevertheless, here are my thoughts.


I read Wisdom Hunter more than 15 years ago, but I still remember how much it impacted me.  It was recommended to me by a good friend and so I decided to read it sight unseen. I don’t like movie trailers (and other spoilers) so I value the recommendation of someone I trust over product marketers trying to convince me of what I’ll like. I loved it.

This is a story about journey.

It opens with a pregnant young woman, disowned by her father, a conservative, legalistic pastor and a real a$$hole – Jason Faircloth. She tragically dies in childbirth in a traffic jam, but her baby girl survives and is raised the baby’s father (I can’t recall if the two were married), who subsequently takes the baby and moves away. Jason is completely unaware this has happened.

The main character is Continue reading

My Earliest Writing Memories

I freely admit that I am terrible at remembering many of the details of my own childhood.  There are reasons for this which continue to manifest themselves in the fiction and poetry I write.  Nevertheless, I DO recall my earliest writing memories.

It was back in the early 1980’s when I middle school and the Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street slasher-style movies series were just gaining in popularity.  Continue reading

Story Ideas: Trusting your instincts

(reposted from my private blog: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 – In response to The Aliens are Out to Get You!! from the YA highway on November 13th, 2009.)

After seeing a large bird circling over my old house last night, I went looking on-line for some pictures to confirm what kind it was.  As I suspected, it was a buzzard. While I was on-line I began searching images of other birds and on a whim searched on ‘rook’ for the book I’ve been writing.  Continue reading

YA Highway – Choosing a Genre

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday Wednesdays mean ‘Roadtrip’ at YA Highway.  While the constraints of corporate life have prevented me very much lunchtime writing this week, I thought I’d squeeze in this quick post before heading into the weekend.

Click here to read this week’s YA Highway’s Roadtrip Wednesday post.

Let me begin by saying ‘My thoughts exactly!’ in response to a comment from Michelle Schusterman (YA Highway member) that it might be better to ask “how does your genre choose you?”

I’ve always felt that *trying* to write into a particular genre was a little like trying to write into a particular market.  Continue reading

YA Highway – WIP into Haiku

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday The writing folks at YA Highway have issued an invitation on their blog to turn your writing work-in-progress into a Haiku.  This was too much fun to resist (and who would want to?).  So here is mine!  Well, actually two of mine.  Since I am working on a series I’ve written one about the first book and one about the series as a whole.

Let me know what you think!

Book 1: Raven Academy

Boy finds he’s a part
of a world outside of time
and trouble’s brewing.

Citadel of Kidrodell

A world outside time,
Improving from our mistakes,
’Laws of Hist’ry’ win?