Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Sunday
Jun252017

A comic for you Oxford comma fans/haters out there

Saturday
Jun242017

Comic: Canine Assistant

Friday
Jun232017

Kidlit Restaurant Library

Thursday
Jun222017

Best birthday gift for a writer

Wednesday
Jun212017

A comic for the modern-day princess

Wednesday
Jun212017

Advice to writers/illustrators: Take the long way. Shortcuts rarely pay off. 

Monday
Jun192017

Writers & illustrators: DO YOUR BACKUPS. Here's my backup system and how it saved me when an Adobe Creative Cloud update bug ate my work.

 

While Adobe Creative Cloud is convenient in so many ways, an update bug removed a LOT of my files last year, including entire file folders of PSD book illustration files. Even a year later, it makes me queasy to remember staring at the screen as I watched in horror as files were disappearing RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES and having no idea what was going on.

Cloud backup service Backblaze discovered the bug. Happily, my tech-savvy husband had set up a backup system for me using Time Machine, Backblaze and a physical offsite backup, and he helped me rebuild my hard drive. 

Yes, it can be a hassle to set up a proper backup system but trust me: IT'S WORTH DOING. Imagine how you'd feel if your computer quit working or was stolen right now, and your content wasn't backed up. Even apart from your work, what about some of the personal photos of moments and people you will never be able to replace?

People tend not to really think about a backup until they need one. I can't imagine what I would have done if I didn't have a working backup when Adobe Creative Cloud ate all those files.

Another tip: Do regular checks to make sure your backup system is working properly!

I do still use Adobe Creative Cloud, but I wait a while before installing any update. That way I let other people find the bugs for Adobe to fix before they release an updated update. :-)

Friday
Jun162017

Writers & illustrators: don't be so glued to your mobile devices that you forget to look around. You never know when inspiration may strike.

Wednesday
Jun142017

I go through this a LOT while working on my middle grade novel (picture books, too!)

 

 

Monday
Jun122017

Great advice for young readers from Jody Jensen Shaffer, author of PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW about writing

Jody Jensen Shaffer writes books and poetry for children. Her award-winning poems have appeared in magazines like Ladybug, Babybug, Highlights, High Five, Clubhouse Jr., and more. Jody writes from her home in Liberty, Missouri, which she shares with her husband, two children, and their rescue dog, Sophie.

You can find more info about Jody at her website, on Twitter and her blog.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun112017

To others who go thru self-doubt during the creative process: be kind to yourself & stay in your bubble while creating. Revise/angst LATER.

Friday
Jun092017

Common mistake by new picture book writers: assuming that short = easy or quick.

I once asked my editor at Simon & Schuster Children's, Justin Chanda, what he finds is the biggest mistake that aspiring picture book writers tend to make. His answer:

"The one that I see most often, and it covers a multitude of sins, is they do not take the time to really hone their project. Writers have so many ideas they want to work on one, move on to the next, flood an editor with a bunch of projects… Thing is, picture books take time. There is craft, there is fine tuning, there is CUTTING OF TEXT. All of this takes time. A book needs to be read aloud. It needs to be tweaked and made sure that every word is there for a reason — a good reason. Rushing to get through, or assuming that short = easy or quick is a recipe for disaster.

"That and thinking rhyming solves everything are the biggest mistakes."

Friday
Jun092017

Jane Yolen wrote a poem about one of my Broken Crayon drawings!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Dulema for interviewing me about creative process on her blog recently. She included lots of photos and art samples, including my Broken Crayon dragon. After seeing the later, Jane Yolen (yes THE Jane Yolen!!!!) emailed me a poem she had written after seeing the image.

Jane has kindly given me permission to post her poem here:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun072017

In the end, it comes down to having a good story. No amount of promotion or networking can substitute.

Saturday
Jun032017

Writers: don't worry about the details in the first draft. GET IT FINISHED FIRST, revise later.

Friday
Jun022017

Testing Padlet's embedding function with some Broken Crayons

Made with Padlet

 

As some of you (those who follow me on Instagram or Twitter) may have noticed, I've been having a ton of fun with broken crayons lately. 

Because you never know what will come out of a broken crayon.

I've been experimenting with Padlet lately as another potential way of interacting with young readers next year. So far, I'm delighted by how easy it is to use! Once I've played around with it some more, I'll write up a blog post about what I've learned.

Thanks to the educators out there who pointed me to Padlet!

Friday
Jun022017

Comic: Writers On Vacation

Thursday
Jun012017

Comic: Plot Crisis

Wednesday
May312017

Why you should always proofread your email one last time.

Wednesday
May312017

A restaurant for fellow font nerds