Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Welcome to Debbie's Blatherings, a personal blog where I've been posting since 1997. You can find my archives here: 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 -2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010+ (current archives)

If you're a kidlit/YA writer or illustrator, see Inkygirl. To find out more about me, my books and comics, various collab blogs, online portfolio and press, other miscellanea, browse the navigation links beneath the header banner. And thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

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Entries in gratitude (6)

Monday
Sep182017

Gratitude: Lee Wardlaw

Lee Wardlaw was the very first children's book professional who ever showed an interest in me and my work. Lee's early encouragement meant SO much to me and she helped me get to the next stage in my career: Lee critiqued two of my middle grade novels and after she worked with me on my first novel mss, Lee introduced me to her agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., Ginger Knowlton. Ginger is now my agent, too!

Lee was also the one who first told me about the SCBWI. She took me to my very first SCBWI conference, introduced me around. I enjoyed the conference a ton (and met author Bruce Balan there as well) but wasn't yet ready to take full advantage of everything it offered. Years passed before I smartened up and started going more regularly in 2009.

Lee was my first children's book mentor and continues to give me encouragement and advice. She is smart, funny, generous and explains things SO well. No wonder her school visits and Skypevisits are so popular! Lee was also the one who first introduced me to school Skypevisits, gave me tips.

Lee was my "Ask The Children's Book Author" columnist in Inklings, my email newsletter for writers back in the days I ran a website called Inkspot back then (anyone out there remember that site?).

Lee has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children's Poetry Award and the Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award (both for Won Ton - A Cat Tale Told in Haiku). Her books have also been honored by the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, the Children’s Book Council, the National Council of the Social Studies, the National Council of Teachers of English, Bank Street College of Education, the International School Librarians Association, and more.

THANK YOU, LEE!!!

You can find out more about Lee and her work at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Also do check out her Paws To Read website (and yes, that's my illustration, featuring characters from Lee's fun HAIKU books illustrated by Eugene Yelchin :-))

Monday
Jun122017

Gratitude: Patricia J. Murphy

Whenever student authors ask Patricia for her autograph, she asks them for theirs.

A Gratitude Post - Some facts about Patricia J. Murphy:

1. When I was a nervous newbie at an early SCBWI conference where I didn't know many people, Patricia took me under wing and introduced me to people, invited me to sit with her and others (including other nervous newbies) at the Golden Kite Awards banquet.

2. When I was on a book tour for my first solo book and was SO excited about doing a signing at a Chicago-area bookstore I've long admired, Patricia invited me out for dinner beforehand. She bought a copy of my book at the store beforehand and asked me to sign it. She then went with me to the bookstore event....WHERE NO ONE SHOWED UP. I was so embarrassed. She hung out with me and the bookstore owner as I signed stock, keeping my spirits up with fun chatter and also taking a photo of me signing books, which I later cropped to hide the fact that NO ONE HAD SHOWN UP. :-)

3. I've noticed that Patricia continues to be just as friendly and welcoming to nervous newbies over the years. She doesn't make a big thing of it.

Patricia inspires me, and I feel lucky to have her as a friend.

You can find out more about Patricia J. Murphy and her work at PatriciaJMurphy.com.

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See my other Gratitude posts.

Monday
Jun052017

Gratitude

My life has had its ups and downs but these days it's mostly been ups, and I'm grateful. I so wish we could save up these kinds of moments to take out when we most need them, don't you? Appreciating what I have and the people in my life.

Tuesday
Dec012015

Gratitude: Ryan Couldrey

Gratitude Post: Thank you to Ryan Couldrey for his 2007 post in blogTO about my Will Write For Chocolate comic. Because of this post, interest in my webcomic soared and I also started getting a lot more Google juice in my online projects. Keep in mind that this was THREE YEARS before any publisher showed interest in my illustrations/comics.

Because of that post, I eventually became a blogTO contributor. You can see some of my posts here. I interviewed Bev Katz Rosenbaum years before I ended up meeting her in person through Torkidlit. And because of blogTO, I had some of my restaurant reviews and photos getting published in National Post!

I've appreciated Ryan's encouragement and support of my work over the years, and will never forget that first interview.

You can find out more about Ryan and his work at RyanCouldrey.com. You can also find him on Vimeo, Behance, Youtube,Twitter, Instagram and his blog.

Especially check out his Snow - The Film, which is based on Snow: A Graphic Novel Set in Toronto.

Here's a fun pic of Ryan shooting a pic of Patricia Storms at a National Cartoonists Party in 2008:

Sunday
May242015

Gratitude: Lawrence Schimel

Thank you to my friend Lawrence Schimel​, for his support and advice early on, before I had any children's books out in the wild. I just wish he didn't live so far away!

In addition to being a writer, poet and translator, Lawrence is also publisher at A Midsummer Night's Press​ (he's worked with authors like Jane Yolen, Joe Haldeman and Nancy Willard!). You can find out more about his press at http://amidsummernightspress.com/WP/

p.s. I especially love his Fairy Tales For Writers.