Writing for Illustrations

(c) 2019

It’s different when you write the text for a chapter book that doesn’t include pictures and writing for an illustrated book. The illustrations help the reader visualize what you’re writing about.

I didn’t have to describe the clothing in ‘The Voyage’ because the artist did such a phenomenal job with her research to show the clothing and the colors that were true to the period.

For ‘The Fairies of Carlow’ series, I took literary license to use clothing that was suggested by the Victorian period and was able to modify it as necessary for the stories.

The ‘Guinness the Therapy Dogs’ stories will be modern-day and the dress of the people he interacts with will be easily drawn. I probably won’t mention the clothing unless it directly affects the plot of the book.

And dogs don’t wear pants! Hey, that’s a good idea for a story!

The illustrations in ‘The Voyage’ also show the world occupied by John Wing as he traveled through Europe as a preacher. It helps the reader see where he stood in The Hague, Oxfordshire, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (for his family).

Take a look at the beautiful illustrations of ‘The Voyage’. The illustrations for the first two books of the ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ series are being drawn by the artist right now!

I can’t wait to show you. Keep a lookout for the logo that will appear on the front cover of every ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ book. It’s spectacular and I will unveil it here on this website soon!

Keep writing! Keep reading! Sonja

Publishing Your Story

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I’ve been asked by a lot of writers about how to get their story published. I always say to take the next step and get it out there.

No story is perfect and if you wait until yours is, it will never get published. Don’t wait for years to go by, edit that story and put it out into the world. Take the plunge. Take the risk. Take whichever overused saying will get you going.

If you want to write for yourself, that’s great. Do it.

If you want to write stories that others will read and enjoy, the only way to realize that dream is to publish it.

Stories take drafts, but it shouldn’t take you years and years of scrutiny over each word. Make it the best and then publish your story. Will it take you years to make it the best? Nah.

Find some friends who will read it for you, point out slow places, where they’re bored, and misspellings–fix those and then publish it.

You will never realize your dream unless you take that step.

Be brave. Go for it. Sonja

Mood Writing

The above quote really described my writing process. In a previous post, I wrote about being a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’. I’m a ‘plotter’ and need to know the direction of my story.

That doesn’t mean I am strict or regimented in my writing. I like to see where my characters want to take me–and often they surprise me–but I can gently lead them in the direction of my plot. Otherwise, my stories tend to wander around too much.

When I write my fairy stories, you can be sure that I have pictures of Ireland on my computer and a nice cup of tea steaming at the side of my laptop.

When I write about Guinness the Therapy Dog, I like to watch him as he plays with his sister, Lucy. A lot of the time, he’s laying on the floor at my feet or resting his chin on my leg as he begs for a nice petting session.

I get inspiration from everything that’s around me. Hopefully, that flavors my writing and helps with the general mood and descriptions for you, the reader.

Try to write today! Sonja

A Favorite Thing

One of the things I miss when the weather is hot is a nice cup of tea. I have a favorite seller here in the U.S. (harney.com) and favorite blends. I typically use loose tea because I think it makes a better cup, plus, I love the ritual of spooning leaves into the pot and pouring water over them. The leaves unfurl and the aroma is fantastic.

I usually need to drink decaffeinated or herbal teas because my body loves to hold on to caffeine and keep me awake at night. And that interferes with my writing process! It’s in the dark when I’m relaxed and about to fall asleep, that problems with my plot are solved. I also “see” interesting scenes and those little details that can help a scene come to life. But sitting in front of my computer with a steaming cup of tea really makes the writing process work for me.

What works for you?

Have a cup with me! Sonja


When I write my stories, I tend to plot them out in three acts. Just like a screenplay or a stage theatrical. One of my go-to books is Screenplay, the Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field.

It sang to me and really morphed with my writing style. It also helped me with my plotting. Sometimes I tend to go off on tangents. I tried writing without a ‘storyboard’, my own version of the standard type you typically see from screenwriters. It was terrible and I wasted a lot of time on stuff that needed to be deleted.

I know many writers who are “pantsers”, who can write without knowing where they are going, but that’s not me. And that’s okay. Everyone has their own way. That’s the fun of writing: it continues to evolve. What works in one story won’t work in another. Just as the story can surprise you, so can your methods.

Enjoy the journey!

Have a great week, Sonja

It’s Sunday Funday!!!

What do you have planned? It’s still hot here in the Southwest so I’m going to be staying inside–maybe a movie, maybe a book, maybe the gym. But I know I’ll certainly be spending part of the day writing! I have a lot of fun creating my stories and I can’t wait to start the next episode of the adventures of Guinness the Therapy Dog!

Right now, he’s shedding up a storm in preparation for the cooler weather. I expect it to sweep over us by the end of next month. Next month, you say! Yup, because here in the desert the hot temps stay way too long. Like a bad smell or that person who won’t leave you alone. You know what I mean– Let’s not go there.

Because it’s Sunday Funday!!!!! Go have some fun! Enjoy youself!

Have a great Funday! Sonja