Cinda Jo Bauman: Children's Book Writer & Illustrator, Cut-Paper Artist, and More!


Yes, I am still here!  Still trying to get published, still working on improving my art, still struggling with calling myself a writer and artist.

I have a middle grade manuscript that I’ve been submitting to literary agents quite a bit, well…tons.  I’ve read all of the articles on when to give up and drawer a manuscript, and according to the experts, this manuscript has not reached that point….yet. But there are so many rules, so many opinions, and I am certain I have gone against many of them on this journey to get published.  Just this year, I made the mistake of setting my hopes on the perfect agency. I waited, and waited on them to get back to me after they requested I send them the full manuscript; and while, yes, I was finishing another novel, I should have been sending this one on to more agents.  I’ve written before about my need for closure before I can move on, and sadly I still have that problem. So eight months later, they finally rejected me. (well not me, my manuscript) I gave myself a couple of weeks to sulk before pulling my big-girl pants on and researching a new list of agents to query.  Imagine tying your shoes with horrible hangnails on both thumbs and forefingers to get an idea of what this was like.  Maybe ‘excruciating’ is an exaggeration, but close. Because in order to find this new list, I had to go through my pile of rejections to make sure I didn’t give anyone the honor of rejecting me twice.  After that, I just wanted to delete the manuscript permanently, crawl under my covers, watch a chick-flick, and cry.  But I didn’t.  Instead, I concentrated on the ones who had requested to read the full manuscript and the ones who had sent personal positive rejections (I know, a positive rejection is an oxymoron!) Eight agents I found were looking for what I write, and they all seemed to be a good fit. So I picked the top three, took a deep breath, said a prayer, and sent a query and sample pages off to them!

With the New Year around the corner, cheers to all the brave writers out there. May we all have a successful, published year!

smooth landingsFinally finished! Hope for Smooth Landings, Acrylic on 36×24″ canvas. This is an intuitive prompt painting I started over a year ago with a group of artist friends from an online group called The Paint Circle. This group was a spin off of the Flora Bowley Ecourse I took in 2012. Each member suggests a prompt to get you painting such as: write a letter to yourself on the canvas, paint something you find outside on your canvas, paint with your opposite hand..until you get an idea of what the painting wants to be. I decided to paint a goose after painting feathers, so I found a reference photo and then many, many layers later…done! The photo doesn’t show the colors and textures as well as I hoped, but I’m so happy I kept trying because I really love it.  

Good morning!

Yep, it’s still winter.  Yuck.  At least below zero wind chills and blowing snow gives me an excuse to still be in my pj’s at close to noon.  It also gives me time to think about the children’s stories I have tucked away – not feeling brave enough to drag them out, dust them off, and send them out on another round of submissions to publishers.

Last night, I participated in a webinar called, “”Writing Cover Letters and Pitches that Agents and Editors Want to Read” presented by Mira Reisberg with the Children’s Book Academy.  I’m glad I signed up, but most of her information seemed geared toward people very new to children’s writing.  I’m certainly no expert, still super unpublished, but I have done my share of research on cover and query letters.  The part I need serious help with is writing a 30-50 word pitch!  THAT is torture for me.  So, I enjoyed listening to her take on the pitches that were sent to her ahead of time.  Sadly, she didn’t have time to get to my pitch, so I’ve decided to post it here and ask for comments.  (Snow days must make me brave!)  What do you think of this pitch for a 450 word picture-book manuscript titled Fancy Firefly? (You can also see the characters in my Gallery 1 cut paper art)

Fancy Firefly wants to make friends, but she has no idea she is scaring them off with her blinkity-blinking fanny.  She encounters a barkity-barking dog, a rowdy raccoon, and fat frog before discovering that what she seeks is right where her journey began. The story is suitable for ages 3-7.

King Struttfred

Only good thing about a COLD-snowy weekend is finishing a painting that has been so close for too long. Felt really good to get him finished. Quite a while ago, my friends suggested names for him. My favorite was King Strutt, and most popular was Fred. I decided to compromise with King StruttFred for now, but may change to something more psychedelic eventually. 🙂 I hope he brightens your day like he does mine. And in case you are wondering, I haven’t given up on illustrating for children’s books!  I’m just enjoying learning to paint for now.  Stay warm! Cinda


When I created this website, I had no intention of blogging.  But I have really been wanting to share an experience I had this past fall, so here goes.

Through browsing artist’s websites, I heard about an artist named Flora Bowley.  I checked out her website.  WOW, talk about bright, beautiful, free feeling paintings.  After I saw she offered an online ecourse, and then read all of the reviews from people saying their life had changed after taking her class, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve always wanted to take painting lessons.  I tried once, but being so self-conscious around other artists just left me frozen.  By the time I relaxed enough to paint, the class was over.  Seriously!  This class would last 5 weeks, offered online video tutorials five days a week I could do at my own pace with no one watching, and a Facebook community for the others in the class.  I tried and tried to talk myself out of it, because I shouldn’t have been thinking of spending money on something I probably wouldn’t finish.  But, every time I read the comments from people who had taken the class I was more hooked.  Finally, I just did it!  I signed up.

If you watch any of the videos on her website, you will see the gentle, encouraging person that was my teacher.  Her love and enthusiasm for art and life is shown the first time you watch her and keeps growing to the very end.  I didn’t just learn about painting and how to have fun with it again, I learned about myself .  One of the best parts is I have met a whole group of online friends who everyday take a second to encourage each other and share their beautiful creations.

Flora suggested we  journal during the class.  I found my journal today and decided to share what I wrote:

October 4, 2012   Today, I’m starting to feel the changes this class brings.  There have been tiny changes along the way, mostly just noticing attitudes I want to change.  But today I’m feeling something different, maybe something like “acceptance.”  I’ve always known how important it is, and that it was something I lacked.  But, you can’t just wake up one day and say, “I accept who I am.”  Flora’s daily words and exercises have let this come about naturally.  As for the painting part of the class, I am still learning, and most of my paintings are still in “the awkward teenage stage” that Flora tells us is exactly where they are supposed to be.  So, even though after I added another layer of paint last night, and my painting hasn’t seemed to evolve much from the last six layers….I can look at it and say, “It’s okay, we’ll see how it looks after the next layer.”  And, I actually look forward to the next layer. 
So, while looking at my art and saying, “I accept that,” I am also looking at myself and saying, “I accept that.”  Who I am is pretty darn cool, and knowing that I am getting braver, and truer, and loving life more each day is pretty much priceless compared to the cost of this class.

That pretty much sums up the class.  I’ll post the three paintings I have finished from the class, and I’m happy to say I just started two more and can’t wait for time to work on them again!  Oh, and here’s the link to Flora’s class in case you are interested.  I highly recommend checking it out.


Not quite the visitor Spider was expecting.

I finished this illustration using the feathers I posted a LONG time ago……well, a LONG time ago.  But I’ve been waiting for a sunny day when I had time to photograph it.  The little blue bird actually started out to be a Blue Heron.  As I built his feather covered body though, I realized by the time I finished he would be HUGE!  So after studying him, and being determined to use all those feathers I had cut, I just chopped off his head and neck and “whalla!” a bluebird. 🙂

I got the postcards in the mail today that I had made for Liberate Your Art postcard exchange.  Can’t wait to start getting fun mail!           


I can’t believe it, March is almost over! It’s time to dig those picture book manuscripts out, dust them off and send them out to a new batch of publishers. After all, no one will publish them if they are sitting on my desk, now will they?  I’m afraid I lost my submission momentum when the publishers got so busy they decided not to reply to manuscripts unless they were interested.  I understand, really I do, but it sure leaves us writers feeling a little lost.  I need that closure of a rejection, even if it is just a form letter. (Of course, a CONTRACT would be MUCH, MUCH better!)  It’s like my signal that it’s okay to move on to the next great publisher on my list.

I’m working on something with those feathers I posted, too.  Hopefully, I’ll post a picture soon.  Enjoy this beautiful weather. 🙂


What should I name you, Ladybug?