The Three Bears and Me

I give full credit for this posting to  the magic  and wisdom of Mary Elizabeth Anderson of Lincoln, Nebraska. Her article The Thematic Magic of Thr3s  appears on the Mar/Apr edition of the scbwi (society of children’s book writers and illustrators)  bulletin.  Just as she was inspired when she first heard Sue Alexander mention the power of writing in threes I am equally enthusiastic.  As soon as I read it I knew I would quote her today about the rhythm of three.

“A few examples: “He huffed and puffed and blew the house down.” “Huey, Dewey and Louie.” Papa bear’s chair was too hard, Mama Bear‘s chair was too soft, but baby Bear’s chair was just right.”

“Unconsciously I had incorporated the rhythm of threes into my writing, but now I tried consciously to incorporate the process into every piece. Pretty soon it became effortless. After a while I began selling more articles.”

“Did it have anything to do with my comprehension of the magic of threes? Or was it because I always spent three hours every morning working in my office before allowing myself a break? …”

“Or maybe my sales increase developed because of the three P’s – persistence, patience and postage. I sued tons of all three every day. maybe it happened because I learned to accept the reality of the three R’s – rewriting, revisions and rejection slips …”

“Before sending out a new manuscript, I made sure I checked three things – guidelines of the publication, sample magazines, and of course, my three market books. And I worked hard to divide my query letter into three parts: the first paragraph telling “what for”, the second stating “why me” and the last relaying “why I chose them.” ‘

There is more to the article but by now I think you get the picture. Prepare, persevere and put it in the mail. Great advice I intend to use at least three times a day. What about you?

“Mary Elizabeth Anderson of Lincoln, Nebraska is the author of six books for children. Her novel Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero was released in 2008. She is awaiting word about a second novel titled What to Do About Miguel. Visit her at ”


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One Response to “The Three Bears and Me”

  1. clarbojahn Says:

    Great post! Thank you.

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