Peg366's Blog

Writers Article on Life’s Twist and Turns.

Posted on: June 17, 2009



by Peg Finley


                Welcome to the wonderful world of writing….a world filled with diversity in terms of skills and expectations. It is a magical journey and one filled with a roller coaster of emotions. It is a journey that I have cherished every single moment of, through the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows.

            Everyone that decides to write has their own starting point. For me, my love of kids and my love of reading that combined to start me on a trek into the competitive writing field. I knew that I wanted to focus on the preschool to second graders level– from the first day I volunteered at the MSAU Daycare Center at Michigan State University.

As I walked into the classroom, this adorable little child pulled me to the bookshelf and thrust a book into my hands, begging me to read him Alligator’s all Around by Carole King. He sat in my lap as I read. I glanced down at his face. His eyes shone. His body leaded forward. He was captured in the story…and I was hooked.  I remember thinking …someday I want a child to feel that way about my writing.

            However, nothing in my life has been a straight line toward any goal. Life had other things in mind for me. It wasn’t until 31 years later that I began to seriously write. I had to go through many hardships to finally reach the point where I could be me, the real true writer. I survived an almost deadly heart attack, kidney failure/dialysis due to long term untreated diabetes, the loss of eyesight, and a leg amputation of my beloved mom, and things were not any better for my dad for the last few years of his life. He had multiple heart attacks and strokes… including the one that struck his brain stem and lead to his death.

After their deaths, there was a major conflict within my family over my mom and dad’s estate which lasted several years.

Add those horrible things to diabetes for myself, the loss of a ten year relationship, being fired and reinstated by the boss from the hot place if you know what I mean, and last but not least chronic pain throughout my entire body. I am surprised that I survived it at all. With survival came skills that I would need at a later place and time in my life.

In hindsight, it was the survival of all those things that enhanced my need to write and it probably made me a better person as well as a better writer. I become much more motivated after the death of my parents. It was like a light came on in the darkness that had been my brain for so long. I realized in a way that life was not a right but a gift to be savored and lived to the fullest. My parents both being dead in their early 60’s made me realize that time on this earth is limited and if I really wanted something I would have to get on the ball and go after it.

I learned the patience and persistence I would need to enter the very competitive field of picture book writing. I learned not to take rejection too seriously, while learning to grow from the comments I received from personal rejections from editors. I joined groups that I might not have joined to hone my skills. I learned that life and the growth one is fortunate to have is an on-going process right up until the last breath we take.

Most importantly, I learned that no matter how bad things got. . . tomorrow holds the promise of better things. I learned to hope and dream. It led to my new motto… Dare to Dream. Live the Dream. Writer Write On.


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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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July 2009

June 2009
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My Favorites:

I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

Authors and Illustrators:

Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


C= Children

MG= Mid Grade

T= Teen

YA= Young Adult

A= Adult


Bonnie Adamson *

Kathi Appelt *

Tedd Arnold


Natalie Babbit

Molly Bang

Bonnie Becker

Jan and Stan Berenstain

Judy Blume

Tracey M. Cox

Linda Crotta Brennan *

Jan Brett

Janie Bynum *

Eric Carle

Pam Calvert

Nancy Carlson

Beverly Cleary

Kevin Scott Collier

Sharon Creech

Doreen Cronnin

Tomie dePaulo

Kate DiCamillo

Kathleen Duey *

Dotti Enderle

Jan Fields *

Denise Fleming

Mem Fox

Kelley Milner Hall

Amy Heist

Kevin Henkes

Ellen Jackson *

Jeff Kinney

Jackie French Koller

Ursula K. LeGuin

Leo Lionni

Lois Lowry

Mercer Mayer

Robert Munsch

Laura Numeroff

Linda Sue Parks

Dav Pilkey

Patricia Polacco

Peggy Rathmann

Bethany Roberts

David Shannon

Aaron Shepard

Donna J. Shepherd *

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jerry Spinelli

Diane Stanley

Chris Van Allsburg

Rick Walton *

Lisa Wheeler

Mo Willems

Karma Wilson *

Audrey Woods

Jane Yolen *

Favorite Websites:

Favorite Blogs:

• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
• Alice’s CWIM Blog
• A Fuse #8 Production
• Cynsations
• Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent
• Editorial Anonymous
• Miss Snark’s First Victim
• Writing for children and teens

Favorite Quotes.

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