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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Conservation success...Kakapo Baby Boom!

Finished my Kakapo origami for my upcoming book, "Easy Bird Origami," in time to learn of successful conservation efforts in New Zealand! There are only 125 Kakapos in the wild--thanks to an intensive breeding program, 33 fluffy chicks have hatched this season. Go Kakapo!

Friday, August 5, 2016


Your word for the day: 


transitive verb bum·fuz·zle \¦bəm¦fəzəl\
Definition: confuse, perplex, fluster

Example: I'm bumfuzzled by the 2016 election.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Illustration tutorials

Helpful tutorial on color theory.

And what's color without composition?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GoPro vs Bulldog--Keeping Busy Between Books

Taking my "studio assistant" Roxy for a walk, I thought it would be great to mount a GoPro to capture Kailua Beach from a bulldog's perspective...if anything, as inspiration for a new children's book character.

Butterfly Emerging

My obsession with butterflies goes beyond origami...I do raise monarch butterflies at my home in Hawaii, using crownflower as a food source for the larva and lantana to attract adults. I'll write more about what goes on during metamorphosis on my Origami Page.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SCBWI-Hawaii Book Sale!

SCBWI-Hawaii at the Friends of the Library Book Sale
June 18-19, 2016
McKinley High School Cafeteria

Stop by and meet Christopher Caravalho, Sue Cowing, David Estes, Leslie Ann Hayashi, Christin Lozano, Alina Niemi, Sandi Takayama and Tammy Yee!

Talk story, learn more about writing and illustrating for children, stock up on your summer reading, or have books autographed for your favorite reader. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Library. Spread the word!

Book signing schedule:

Sue Cowing, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Christin Lozano, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
David Estes, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

Sandi Takayama, 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Alina Niemi, 12 noon - 4 p.m.
Christopher Caravalho, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Leslie Hayashi and Tammy Yee, all day

For more information, visit

Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 SCBWI Hawaii Conference and Workshop

My introduction to writing and illustrating children's books was Uri Shulevitz's guide, Writing With Pictures--I still have it on my bookshelf--and the thought of attending an SCBWI conference terrified me. I came away from my first conference overstimulated and overwhelmed, but also energized and inspired. Through the years, I've learned that there is no better way to meet other author and illustrators, develop your writing and illustrating, and learn from the best in the industry. 

 So if you happen to be in Hawaii this March, join us for our 2016 SCBWI Hawaii Conference: 

Smooth Sailing
in the Sea of Children’s Book Publishing

March 18 – 19, William S. Richardson Law School, University of Hawaii at Manoa


DAN SANTAT, Author-Illustrator, 2015 Caldecott Medal Recipient



KIRSTEN CARLSON, Local Author-Illustrator

Featuring workshops and breakout sessions for authors and illustrators, First Pages/First Look Critique Panel, industry tips and more. 
If you would like to attend Dan Santat's Friday workshop, Art School in One Day, contact


dansantatDAN SANTAT, Author-Illustrator, 2015 Caldecott Medal Recipient
Dan has been a proud member of the SCBWI since 2001. He has since published over fifty books for children, which include the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series by Dav Pilkey, Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett which won the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and the New York Times best-selling book, Because I'm Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa. Dan has also the author of the graphic novel, Sidekicks, which has won numerous state book awards, and is the current recipient of the 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal for his book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. He is also the creator of the Disney animated series, The Replacements. Visit him at
IMG_2698SUZIE TOWNSEND, Director of Literary Services & Literary Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media
Suzie represents all brands of children's and adult fiction. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she's specifically looking for new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy) and crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers). In Childrens' she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects. Suzie loves strong characters and voice driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres. For more info on her clients and projects: Follow her on twitter (
Naomi-Long-Eagleson-The-Artful-EditorNAOMI LONG EAGLESON, Editor
Naomi Long Eagleson is the founder of The Artful Editor, a book editing company based in Los Angeles. She helps writers improve and polish their manuscripts for publication. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has worked as an assistant editor at Manoa Journal and as a manuscript reviewer at Mutual Publishing. She has edited over a hundred books, including children’s books and young adult fiction.
KirstenKIRSTEN CARLSON, Author-Illustrator
Kirsten’s background in biology, scientific illustration and graphic design lend themselves well to interpreting stories about nature for children. In addition to picture books, her work as an author/illustrator has also appeared in periodicals, including National Geographic and Phycologia. She won the First Place Award for Realistic Portfolio at the 2003 and 2004 SCBWI Conferences. Kirsten is the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Hawaii, and a past Regional Advisor for SCBWI Germany+Austria.

The Art of Creating Children's Books

Interested in writing and illustrating children's books? SCBWI Hawaii is presenting several events that might be of interest to authors, illustrators, educators and librarians:

Free art exhibit and panel discussion at the Hawaii State Library Adult Reading Room

Join us for a free discussion on getting started in writing and illustrating for children, and meet our panelists, authors and author-illustrators James Rumford, Scott Goto, Sue Cowing, Chris Caravalho and Vera Arita.

What does it take to create a children's book? View the notes, rough sketches and final children's book artwork of SCBWI authors and illustrators. Featuring the work of Chris Caravalho, Kirsten Carlson, Sue Cowing, Scott Goto, Leslie Hayashi, Mariko Merritt, Elizabeth Oh, Esther Szegedy and Tammy Yee.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Storytime, children's crafts and more!

Join us for storytelling, crafts, book talks and book signing! Meet some of the authors and illustrators from the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana Center, on November 21, 2015, from 11:30 am-1:30pm. Booksigning from 1:30-2:30pm.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Business Tips and Taxes for Writers and Illustrators Webinar with author, CPA, Carol Topp

We work diligently at our craft, but what about the business side of writing and illustrating? The Texas Chapter of SCBWI is hosting a webinar this Tuesday, November 10 to help you structure your writing and illustrating business, keep records, and understand sales tax and deductions. The fee is only $10 for SCBWI members--one of the many reasons to renew your membership or join!

For information and registration, visit

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Writers on Writing: Ian McEwan on Finding Confidence

A revealing interview by author Ian McEwan (Atonement):
“I don't feel confident at all. No I don't. Sometimes I pick up some work I finished fifteen years ago and think, am I as good as that now? Could I do that again? No, I think you'll find most writers are not confident they can just turn out books...There's a great difference between that all that public world of prizes and interviews and public readings and the private world of the closed door, and the hiss of silence--and here we are again, and what can you make come out of this of silence. And you can't relax about it, you can't be certain that you can do it again."

Sunday, June 21, 2015

SWARMING DADDY LONGLEGS! The explanation behind the creepy phenomenon

So, fellow nerds, what's with this video circulating on Facebook and Youtube?

First of all, these are not spiders. They are harvestmen or daddy-longlegs. For those of you who remember the ol' mnemonic device for taxonomy, King Philip Can Order Fresh Green Salad (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species), these critters, like spiders, scorpions and ticks, are in the class Arachnida. However, harvestmen belong to their own order, Opiliones.

So what's the difference?
  1. Harvestmen have a single cephalothorax and a single pair of eyes. True spiders have a narrow "waist" that creates two segments, the cephalothorax and abdomen.
  2. Harvestmen have a single pair of eyes. True spiders most commonly have eight eyes, however they can have no eyes, or as many as 12 eyes.
  3. Harvestmen are nonvenomous.
  4. Harvestmen have no spinnerets, so they do not spin webs.
  5. Harvestmen are older than spiders--the oldest fossil, from Scotland, is at least 400 million years old. True spiders are about 300 million years old.
  6. Harvestmen are omnivores--they eat dead stuff, bird droppings, fungus and small arthropods and slugs.
Finally, the question every one is asking. WHY DO THEY DO THIS? They mass for defensive purposes, and to keep themselves warm. Harvestmen possess a pair of stinky glands called ozopores; when they mass, the combined smell can be quite disturbing. Swarming also makes them appear larger. When disturbed, the entire throng will sometimes bob and sway--a truly unsettling effect.

Learn more about harvestmen/daddy long legs:

Friday, June 19, 2015


Video step-by-step directions for folding patterns from my new book, "Easy Butterfly Origami" featuring 30 bold full-color patterns designed to accurately portray the dorsal and ventral sides of some of the most beautiful butterflies from around the world!

Fun facts about behavior and distribution accompany each butterfly model!

From the vivid green Cairns Birdwing to the striped Tiger Swallowtail and the Blood Red Glider, these beautiful butterflies feature a kaleidoscopic array of colors and patterns. Includes simple instructions for folding, and perforated pages for easy removal.

Many butterflies have iridescent patterns on the top, and drab undersides for camouflage while they rest with their wings folded up. The origami patterns in this book are specially designed to highlight the diversity of species--when folded, the models accurately portray the variation in the insects' top and bottom views.

Each butterfly model is accompanied by fun facts about behavior and distribution. For example, did you know that the Mountain Alcon Blue butterfly tricks ants into feeding and protecting its caterpillars? Other caterpillars, like the Moth Butterfly, are carnivorous and feed on ant larvae and pupae.
List of butterflies included in the book:
  1. Apollo
  2. Black Swallowtail
  3. Blood Red Glider
  4. Blue Morpho
  5. Boulder Copper
  6. Cairns Birdwing
  7. Chestnut Tiger
  8. Claudina
  9. Cleopatra
  10. Colorado Hairstreak
  11. Common Buckeye
  12. Dead Leaf
  13. Emperor of India
  14. Malachite
  15. Malaysian Clipper
  16. Mocker Swallowtail
  17. Monarch
  18. Moth Butterfly
  19. Mountain Alcon Blue
  20. Noble Leafwing
  21. Painted Beauty
  22. Painted Lady
  23. Pansy Daggerwing
  24. Peacock
  25. Purple Spotted Swallowtail
  26. Queen Purple Tip
  27. Red Flasher
  28. Shining Red Charaxes
  29. Tentyris Forester
  30. Tiger Swallowtail
You can order your copy at:

More information:

Monday, June 15, 2015

SCBWI Authors at the 68th Annual Friends of the Library Book Sale

The 68th Annual Friends of the Library Book Sale starts this weekend on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21 at McKinley High School! Authors and illustrators from SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) will be selling and signing their brand new children's books and art work in the blue tent in front of the the cafeteria. A portion of sales will be going to support Friends of the Library of Hawaii.

The FLH Book Sale is an island tradition that attracts over 20,000 readers of all ages and backgrounds and features bargains and a selection of titles to rival any bookstore. Stock up on your summer reading, or just stop by to say hello!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Free Discussion on Writing Children's Books (SCBWI Hawaii)

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 2:00-4:00pm
So You Want To Write A Children's Book?
At the Hawaii State Library, 478 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Are you working on a picture book, an early chapter book fiction, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, poetry or non-fiction? Join us for a free discussion for beginners on what you should know about writing and illustrating for children. Hear how voice, language and content are affected by stages of childhood development and learn about various categories of children's books, so you can develop a sense of who your target audience.

Presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), featuring Leslie Hayashi, Sue Cowing, Kirsten Carlson, Nancy Reynolds and Tammy Yee.

Copyright ©2009 Tammy Yee
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