Illustrator's Workshop: 'Work in Progress!' A children's chapter book for 6 to 9 year olds called, The Great Snowball Escapade! by JD Holiday

The Great Snowball Escapade is a chapter book for children 6 to 9 years of age. I have completed the drawings and am in the process of inking them with waterproof Indian ink artist pen. There are 3 of the 25 drawings in that process I've chosen to show.

This is the first page.

Page 5

Page 6

In the story,Wilhemena Brooks,’ cousin, Bud Dumphy come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it?
Bud doesn’t like girls! In fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, taken over games, and when Bud is in trouble he making his “you’re going to got it” face at her.
After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting.
When her pencil sharpener is found, Right where she left it, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. But where will that get Wil?
In the near future I will be painting the cover art for the book.

Check out Janoose the Goose on Amazon!

The BOOK REPORT: The Little Pot by Dawn Stephens

   The Little Pot

Written and illustrated
by Dawn Stephens

Most humans wonder what their purpose in life is. Many do not look to God for their answer and might never find an answer on their own.

In Dawn Stephen’s, The Little Pot,’ Little Pot waits patiently for its creator to let it know its purpose. This enthralling children’s story shows its young readers that their purpose is in the loving and caring hands of God and they need not fear what lay ahead for God’s plan holds the best outcome. This is a story for all ages.
My four year old grandson, Luke eagerly listened to the whole story. He loved that with each job Little Pot got made Little Pot more and more important. Luke said, “It was good that the Little Pot waited.”

Review by JD Holiday

Copyrighting Artwork: In A Nut Shell!

You might remember about a year ago Facebook changed their policy and it became unclear who held the copyright for pictures posted on Facebook. The policy had upset people and Facebook had to put this policy up for a vote which was defeated.
As an artist who posts my artwork on Facebook, I was concerned and followed the vote to its end.
This was not my first time with having to think about placing my art on the internet.
Google finds images they like for and I was very surprised to find
a few years back all of my pictures from my website posted at
I was alarmed by this too at first. I quickly came to feel it was all right and even could be good advertising because Google posts a note that all images were subject to copyright. But this lead me to place a copyright notice of my own at the bottom of all my pictures.
That was a few years ago and again, still not happy with having my pictures out there,
shall we say, without mommy to care for them, for the last two weeks I have spent time
typing a copyright notice inside each picture. In one it’s in a tree, a lighter shade of green in another it’s in the lake a darker shade of blue and placed so I know where they are.
There are other ways to add a copyright notice to your artwork. There is upload a lesser resolution of you pictures, watermarking your paintings, or submit your artwork for an actual copyright (cost money) are just a few ways to do this.
Copyright is a very important issue and one we must continue to think about.
That’s Copyright in a Nut Shell!
by JD Holiday


Artwork by JD


                                                JD Holiday copyright 2009.
                                                   All Rights Reserved.

Having Your Own Private Chat room: In A NutShell

Did you know you can have a chat room of your own on your site or blog for free? Most of us have had an IM (instant message) talk with a friend real time and if you have been to a chat room talking with many people at once then you might like a chat room of your own.

Though chat room talks are in real time like in IM that is where the similarity ends. With a chat room you can hold group chats with co-workers, group members, interviews with authors, webinars, discuss your genre or techniques, have authors chat with their readers. With some chat room applications you can hold large discussions with up to one hundred people, which might be a little crazy, but you get the idea.

Some of the chat rooms, also called chat rolls and chat boxes, are free and along with a blog posting board were you can add content for an event, such as a writing chat where a number of authors write a story together, you can have an hour or two or more of fun.

How can you do this you ask?
If you have a website that has more than one page you can add a private chat room to one of the pages and do not list that page on the navigation bar.
For the blog you would make another, separate blog to use as the chat room that you set for privacy!
For instance, on Blogger (Blogspot) under SETTINGS go to BASIC and then to ADD YOUR BLOG TO OUR LISTING and choice NO. Then at LET SEARCH ENGINES FIND YOUR BLOG select NO again and finally click SAVE SETTINGS!
If Blogger isn’t your blog provider you will need to take a look at your blog providers privacy settings to see if it could be done there.

Some of the free chat room sites that I looked at are; xat, chat roll, chat-form, spin chat and parachat. To find out what else is out there you can Google and Bing search to see what other chat rooms services there are available.

Of course, like most site on the internet where you have to join the community, chat room or chat roll sites are no different. You sign up for an account at one of these sites and you place the HTML code they provide on your blog or site. If you don’t know how to place HTML codes you will need to learn how or have someone do it for you. Then the only way someone can get to your chat room is if they have the url (Uniform Resource Locator) which you provide.
Also with some of the chat communities your guest will have to sign up at their site to participate in you chat room as well. You can even have more security by setting the blog settings so that your guest or members must sign in to your blog too.

To see what chat rooms are all about, one place you can visit is the writers and artists site Minds-Eye.
That’s Using A Private Chatroom: In A Nut Shell.
Happy Chatting!
2009 JD Holiday


I am honored to have been given the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD from my friend,
Author Helena Harper. Helena, a winner of the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD herself, is a children’s author and poet. Her works include "It's a Teacher's Life...!" and "Family and More - Enemies or Friends?"
Helena is one of the first writers to become my friend on My Space. From the start, her positive personality, cheerful and thoughtful ways made friendship easy and fun! I can always count on Helena for inspiration.
In the spirit this award was given to me I am honored to pass it along to an author I greatly admire. These are the rules for the award. They are simple:
1) Accept the award, and don’t forget to post a link back to the awarding person.
2) Pass the award on.
3) Notify the award winner.
After 25 years of trying to get a publisher for my books I decided I was my own publisher. Though I had an agent at one time and editors interested in my works none of my stories made it into print. This award gives me the opportunity to acknowledge my admiration and thanks to the woman I am passing this award to:
Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author and book reviewer. Some of the titles of her books are, Sunstruck, Crash!, The Magic Violin, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing and Dark Lullaby.
When I looked for advice on getting my children’s books printed, Mayra was there. She also invited me to join her on several key author sites when I begin networking. Mayra reviewed my first book and her glowing review got the book noticed. Over the years that I have know her I have learned that Mayra’s words are golden and she is always true to her words!

The BOOK REPORT: Lucas and his Long Loopy Laces & Die Laughing-


Lucas and his Long Loopy Laces
Written by Krystal Russell
Illustrated by Cody Frusher
Lucas doesn’t tie his shoes and that’s a good thing, too, or we would not have his fun filled adventure caused by his long, loopy and knotted laces that catch everything in them. They catch grass, mud, and even TOADS just to name a few! Lucas has no end of trouble from his untied laces following along behind him as he travels everywhere from earth, sea and sky and back again.
This is a wonderful story told in rhyme and you can’t miss Lucas’ long colorful laces as they drag along behind him. My three and a half year old grandson laughed with every new object Lucas’ laces collected. Children of all ages will love this story!

Die Laughing- A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery by Carola Dunn 5-26-2009

Not unlike Agatha Christie, Carola Dunn writes a cozy mystery series to please an avid mystery reader. Her main character in this series, Daisy Dalrymple has a unique advantage as the detective’s wife and even with the social restrictions of England in the 1920’s, the dismay of her mother-in-law plus that of her own mother, Daisy manages to solve crimes, a pursuit close to her heart.
Daisy’s own dentist, Dr. Raymond Talmadge is known for his magnetic draw of the ladies, but hidden well is his bad practice of inhaling laughing gas which may have led to his accidental death.
Though it looks like suicide or accidental death at first to Daisy’s husband, Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, Daisy has keenly observed it was nothing short of murder. Both the victim’s wife and his mistress seek out Daisy in order to persuade her and her husband they are innocent of the crime.
I consider myself an Agatha Christie fan and I can truly say Die Laughing
is a gratifying and fun read. Enjoy!

THEME: In A NutShell

The theme of a story is what the story is about. It is the underlying message usually defined in one or two sentences and is never told to the readers. Sometimes you know your story’s theme before beginning to write it. Sometimes you don’t know the theme until you have the outline done, characters in place and the setting down to the smallest detail. More than not it is implied coming through in the use of characterization, plot, setting, view point and events in the overall writing of the story.
A novel can have many themes because of the length, the amount of characters and subplots that run through it. In Charles Dickens‘ , A Christmas Carol, Scrooge’s kind and even tempered nephew, Fred’s good-humor can not be dampened, not even by Scrooge. Fred’s theme could be, happy are those who are sure of themselves. While Bob Cratchit’s, the faithful clerk’s theme might be; do what is right, be respectful and expect good to come from it. Scrooge on the other hand has a very different outlook. His theme might be one of the following, Greed and money can make you blind to the lives of others around you, or, if you are not careful and change your miserable life before it is too late you might end up haunting the earth like Jacob Marley!
Where novels can have many themes, short stories and some children’s books usually have only one theme. Themes for children can come from your own childhood experiences. All of childhood’s momentary problems seem monumental at the time. A story about a girl who sleeps with a night light on for fear of dark, menacing shadows is invited to stay overnight at her friend’s house. The girl now has to worry that her friend will think she is still a baby if her fear of the dark is known. All turns out well when she finds that her self-assured friend also has a fear of the dark and they sleep with a comforting light on. This theme could be that everyone has something they fear, or sometimes your fears are groundless.
Theme usually expresses the author’s opinion, questions human nature and holds the story together while keeping the author on track to the final destination, the story’s end. It adds relevance and helps the author separate from the plot what is needed and what is not.
Readers can find a story’s theme by looking at the title and in patterns that run through the story. It will show in what the main character or characters find out about themselves. The characters must find meaning for who they are, what they do and what they want to be. The struggle the characters face in the opening of the story should be tied up by the ending of the story, and your theme clear to your readers.

Places to find themes

Themes are found in the human experiences: feelings, love, hatred, fear, confusion, desires, etc.

Themes can be found in questions needing answers such as:
Why do some people died young?
Why is there evil in the world?
Why do we love others?

They can be found in bible verse like proverbs and psalms.

They can be found in old familiar sayings and truisms like;
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Don’t cry over spilt milk.
It’s always darkest before the dawn.

And let’s not forget, on rare occasions in Chinese fortune cookies!


J.D. Holiday
Copyright 2009

FROM THE PAINT BOX: Spring Flowers by J.D.

"THERE are some people who live in a dream world, and
there are some who face reality; and then there are
those who turn one into the other." ~D. H. Everett~



HANNAH'S MAN by Rita Hestand

Hannah's Man is a wonderful romance story.
Rusty is beholden to Hannah’s father and has no choice but to help Hannah save her ranch. Hannah needs no one, so she believes, until her family ranch is about to be foreclosed on. Rusty and Hannah are fun to watch as they come together with odds against them being in love in this warm romantic story by author Rita Hestand. You see the insight Rusty developes for Hannah as he falls in love, and you see Hannah, struggle with her convictions and the feelings that grow between them. I could not help feeling I know these two people.

Rita Hestand writes characters that are really in tune to one another. As you read along Rusty and Hannah fall in love step by step. I was sick for a few days and had time to read, so being sick was a mixed blessing shall I say! I hated having to stop reading Hannah’s Man to do other things. You will enjoy this warm love story!

Review by J.D. Holiday


Copyright 2008 by J.D. Holiday. All rights reserved.

I recently finished painting watercolor pictures for one of my children's picture books with the intent of designing the book myself. It was the goal that made me willing to conquer the challenge of learning the page layout software Indesign Creative Suite 3 or CS 3 by Adobe.
I was comfortable using Adobe's Photo Shop having made examples of pages for a previous picture book project. In fact, I designed most of the pages, which led to the realization that I could design my books if I had the right tool.
Listening to other authors and self publishers, they seem to fall into two groups. Those that hired someone to do the designing and those who do it themselves.
Indesign CS 3 cost about $750 US and came with a video workshop and once I registered the product I took the free offer for a one month trial to to access Adobe's library. I also bought Ado be Indesign CS 3 ClassRoom in a Book, with lesson files on CD that take you through the layout exercises. The internet was where I got most answers to my questions by researching on Google and elsewhere. Also, there are websites by Indesign professionals and internet groups that have a wealth of information. To get answers to hard to find questions I went to the These are all key to understanding the Indesign CS 3 software.
Once I got the hang of it, and knew where things were, including what tools to use and how to use them, I could not believe how cool this software program was. For instance, to make a page in the book, I made a frame on a first layer, using File> Place, I added a picture, chose the text layer, made another frame and added the text. You can resize an object or picture right on the page, apply drop shadows, and ghost background images, and add gradients which is a gradual blending between colors. And there is another way to get pictures placed in a document and that is to open Adobe Bridge which is a separate tool that comes with Indesign. In Bridge you can look for files anywhere on your hard drive by opening Bridge right inside the Indesign workspace and view contents you need to bring into your document and then, just drag and drop the picture.
If you have basic knowledge of art software such as Photo Shop or Corel Painter, like to learn, and don't mind doing research you might be able to design your children's picture books yourself.
While you consider this as your option you should start by reading a few books on book design, especially picture book design. I found that looking at other children's books got my imagination going.
Before you start the design process you will need to decide where the book will be printed so you can get information from the printer on what their needs are.
You will need to know the template sizes for the interior and book cover. There are margins, bleeds and gutter sizes to know and what settings should be on or off just to name a few.
If this all sounds like it's too much then don't do it. Go another route to get your book designed and in print. There are plenty of good publishing services that have designing as part of their packages or you can hire a professional book designer.

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JD's Artwork!
Jd (Jan) Holiday's itemsGo to Jd (Jan) Holiday's photostream