Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Introducing Create One a Day

© Sylvia Liu

As an illustrator, I know that the best way to improve my craft is to practice every day. So last week, inspired by my friend Teresa Robeson, who has posted One Good Thing every day for over a year, I started a daily creative blog.

It is called Create One a Day. My goal is to post artwork, but on busy days, I'll post other creative things I do like meals, photos, or other things. This will be both an accountability mechanism and a journal.

Would you like to join me? Either post your daily creation on an existing blog or social media site, or start a new one dedicated to this challenge. Let me know where it is, and I'll add you to the blogroll on my Create One a Day page. And if you feel inclined, you can use this badge to link back to my site:

Create One a Day Badge photo CreateOneaDaybadgeweb_zps7a82f7ce.png

And to keep you motivated, here are some articles to ponder as you think about those New Year's resolutions:

  • Commitment Devices (my guest post on Julie Hedlund's blog about ways to make yourself accountable to achieve your goals)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Susanna Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest: Polar Woes

© Sylvia Liu

Here's my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest. The rules: write a 350 word or fewer holiday story for kids that involves wild weather. Check out the link for the other awesome entries. Voting on the finalists will take place at Susanna's website between Dec. 16 and 18.

POLAR WOES (338 words)

by Sylvia Liu

The icy water sloshed under the door of Santa’s workshop. Adelaide lifted her felt boot, soaked with melted snow.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

We Need Diverse Books: Graphic Novel Edition

I've been reading some amazing graphic novels recently, and just by chance, they tell previously untold stories from diverse perspectives & historical eras. I didn't set out to read diverse graphic novels - they were books I had heard of because I liked the author, or they were recommended, or I happened to win it through a giveaway. So here are my recent reads, which I heartily recommend:

Middle Grade

Lowriders in Space, by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raul the Third (Chronicle Books, 2014, reviewed ARC)

Lowriders in Space is a fun and fast read about three car-obsessed critters, Lupe the Impala (a mechanic), El Chavo Flapjack Octopus (a car washer), and Elirio Malaria (a mosquito detailer) who work for an oppressive garage but dream of opening their own.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Emma Walton Hamilton's Just Write for Middle Grade Course

Are you looking for a holiday present for an author in your family? Give him or her the keys to writing a middle grade novel: Emma Walton Hamilton's Just Write for Middle Grade online course. Be sure to enter into her giveaway (below) for a free subscription to this class.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Postcard and Business Card Printers

As an illustrator and artist, I have used online printers to make promotional postcards, bookmarks, and business cards. Here's a brief review of the printers I've used recently, with their current prices for a pack of 50 cards:


I have loved everything I've gotten from 4by6.com. They produce top quality cards, but can be pricey. Their prices include full color double sided printing. I've gotten the following from them:

Regular business cards (50 cards = $14 matte, $16 recycled, $58 satin; these are satin that I got on a special promotion):

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Alphabet Soup November (NaNoWriMo, PiBoIdMo, SkADaMo)

If it's November, it's time to get my butt kicked by an alphabet soup of writing and illustrating challenges. Because there's not much else to do this month, right? No need to prepare for Thanksgiving, holidays, or family birthdays.

I am probably overdoing it, but here are the challenges and classes I'm doing, and my grades on effort/productivity.

1. NaNoWriMo: The international frenzy in November when writers pound out the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I did this last year for an MG novel, didn't reach 50,000, but finished the story. I'm revising it, happy to have a complete manuscript to work with.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloweensie Writing Contest: A Spooky Fight

A pumpkin we carved yesterday

Here's my entry for Susanna Hill's Fourth Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest. The rules: write a Halloween story for children under 100 words, using the words broomstick, pumpkin, and creak.