Tag Archives: research

Free Collection of 19th and Early 20th Century Children’s Literature Available On-Line


Covers from Baldwin CollectionSometimes I do run into some cool information while doing research on-line. When I find something cool, I like to pass on the information.

Now that we’ve been entering the digital age, we may lose previous works of literature to deterioration. But places like institutes and universities are helping to preserve these great works of the past, and now you can read them too. All for FREE!

I found a wonderful on-line archive of different children’s books from over 100-150 years ago. This is great for kids to see what generations past read for their school books or as their entertainment. It gives an insight to how literature has developed. It’s a literary treasure trove to look through. It has been built and is maintained by the University of Florida Digital Collection and is called the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. 

I’m linking the starting point here. I just have to warn you. You can get lost in it all, especially when you discover an unusual book. Plus, share your finds in the comments below. It will be great to share some of the books that we found unusual or interesting.

Good luck, and have fun reading!



Speaking Engagement for Children’s Author Tiffany Turner


Tiffany Turner will be leading a Creative Session at the SCBWI Asilomar Children’s Writing Conference. The session will be entitled: Writer’s Block Walk and will be on Saturday, March 4 at 3:15pm-4:00pm.

writerblockwalkDescription: Got writer’s block on a project? Bring your project for a walk around Asilomar along the beach and dunes. Brainstorm with other writers, and take some time in nature to write and release new ideas.

Still time to sign up for this excellent children’s writing conference at: https://sfsouth.scbwi.org/events/2017-golden-gate-conference/.

A message from Tiffany Turner:

“I’ve been attending the SCBWI South San Francisco Asilomar Writing Conference for over 10 years. Each year it is a shot in the arm to help get my creative juices flowing. It is also a great opportunity to mingle and pitch to children’s editors and agents. It’s a small conference, and many times it’s a nice family and friend-like atmosphere that is great for children’s writers just starting out to the seasoned veteran like myself. Great weekend getaway and chance to focus on your children’s writing career.

Still time to sign-up, and if you are coming already, please join me for the walk. It’s something similar to what I’ve done and I’ve heard others do during this writing conference. Except I’ve taken it to a new level by giving this walk some structure and applying it to something I think a nature walk helps with the best, writer’s block. It should be a fun writing activity. I look forward to meeting you.” -Tiffany Turner

Where Do Authors Get Their Ideas?


How do authors get their ideas? This is a hot topic of debate by readers and authors on what is the best or easiest way to get an idea. Pictures, songs, taking a walk, or just living life is a place to start. Another area is memories. If you are a children’s author, your childhood memories are a starting point for many ideas. Least of all, your own backyard might be a good place to start if you’re having trouble writing.

What do you remember as a kid? What did you day dream? What was a dream? That usually is the yellow brick road, remembering. Take for example one of my childhood memories. It became a large part of my book “The Lost Secret of Fairies”. It seems to be a favorite of my readers as well. Maybe that is because I was a kid when I thought of it. It’s my crystal cave.

As a kid, I had trouble sleeping. So I would daydream to help me fall asleep. One of the day dreams, besides secret powers, was to explore the underground crystal cave I imagined under my bedroom. It connected underneath the house to the orchard behind. The orchard was the favorite playground of the neighborhood children.

Real childhood adventures included roaming in the orchard. I use these memories to write as well. Connected to one side of the orchard was a creek. Many a summer day passed by trying to catch tadpoles and guppies. Later, we’d take our catch to be used in a home built backyard pond. Of course, we found if we used the right trash bag lining, it wouldn’t leak, too much.

So, all these memories clamor to be in a story from time to time. Whether they are made-up daydreams or real adventures from childhood, many of these memories make it into my stories.

Today, the orchard is a hospital, and the house I grew up in, sold. But I was able to return home for a moment, to the hospital now upon my orchard of childhood. My niece was born there today, to my sister whom I shared many adventures with in the orchard. The walls of the hospital are decorated with cherry trees that still live in my memories. The adventures continue in my mind. Though the scenes might be a different from book to book, the main starting point, the orchard, lives on.

Where do authors get their ideas? Living. Being a kid. If you are a kid right now, or are a kid at heart, your adventure is living. Call it research. The ideas will come to you. Keep doing that research, and go find an adventure.