Showing posts from August, 2013

Summer Hazards

Summer is winding down. I'm okay to see it go. It's very dangerous. Though I managed to avoid serious summer dangers like sunburns and bee stings and flaming marshmallow attacks, I fell victim to some bad events. As school let out on the last day, I got too confident on my toddler-sized skateboard and fell on my tush. Since we live across from the school, all the cool kids saw it. OMG. So embarrassing . I had to set a good example about failure for my kids, so I bravely attempted another ride, aching backside and all. Ouchipotatoes! Note the big frowny face and summer flyaway hair do... A few days later I unwrapped the first popsicle of summer and raised it to my lips. I must have been out of training, because I got the popsicle stuck to one of lips. If I had been cool-headed (like if I had already had a popsicle,) I would've poured warm water on the popsicle. But it's hard to think rationally when in such grave peril, so I yanked it. One wor

As Simple as ABC

An idea popped into my head during a lovely nap on Saturday (though of course once the idea arrived, the nap had to be cut short which was most unfortunate.) This particular idea indicated it would like to be told as an alphabet book in rhyme. A very demanding idea indeed! I have not attempted an alphabet book yet. I admit it seemed like a reasonably easy endeavor. One only needs to think of 26 appropriately named items. And weave them in a story arc.  And incorporate them in alphabetical order.  And find a way to tie it in with perfect rhyme.  Easy Peasy! (by wbd via As I sat at my desk (having abandoned the napping couch) trying to figure out the perfect word which started with "A," I realized I had been hoodwinked! The alphabet book is a challenging form full of rules. Though some rules can be broken, I fear starting an alphabet book with "A" is one you can't mess with.  Luckily an "A" word finally appeared and helped to

Where Does a New Writer Start (part 3)

I'm continuing a series where I respond to a new writer who wanted advice on how to get started  writing picture books. Check out  part 1  and part 2  also!  "I’m not sure which category my voice fits in." I struggle with this as well. My voice is probably a 12-year-old boy. Yet, I'm not focusing on a MG novel. Why not?  Because I made a choice to focus on picture books, though I play with MG stories on the side. I chose not to write Mom pieces for parenting magazines or nonfiction stories for nature magazines or steamy romance for paperback. I could write in these areas, but there is only so much time and focus is key. So when you're starting out, write a boat load of different things. If your only idea is for a middle grade novel, then by all means start there.  Otherwise, dabble for a while with short stories aimed at different ages.  Maybe your voice will tell you which it likes best. Or maybe it won't.  Now pick a genre and focus for awhile.  Pi

Where Does a New Writer Start? (part 2)

I'm continuing an earlier post where I respond to a new writer who wanted advice on how to get started  writing picture books. See the first part of the post here.   "How do you stay organized?" "What's that now?" I call from under a stack of papers while leaning on a pile of dirty laundry.  First, I'm quite anal-retentive, so I do love organizing. In fact I like it so, it is my first go to when I want to procrastinate. I have a mirror system, I suppose. Electronically the folder "Writing" (creative, yes?) holds folders for PBs, MG, YA, Publishers, Agents, Craft, Critiquing, Blog.  Then I have a nerdy numbering system to organize stories within there, but we don't need to draw attention to my nerdiness.  I back this up to the cloud and on a little flash drive. It is super helpful if you can type this fast. (image by Hisks via I like to keep a paper copy too, just in case on e-goblins and so I can grab it to go t

Writers Tell All Blog Hop

The amazing PB writer Romelle Broas tagged me in the Writers Tell All Blog Hop , and though it sounds like Oprah should be hosting it, the camaraderie of a good hop is important for solitary writer types.   (Thank you, Romelle!) Question 1: What are you working on? ·                      Wishing on stars and rubbing rabbit's feet following my 7 Submission in July Challenge . ·                      Polishing 1 PB manuscript which I know will be incredible if only I can fully excavate it. ·                      Revising a NaPiBoWriWee draft, drafting a PB from a PiBoIdMo idea, wondering how to incorporate a meditation chant in a picture book... ·                      Critiquing my fellow writers' manuscripts and marveling at the fun ideas they invent. ·                      Wishing for fall to have more writing time while holding on dearly to summer too. Question 2: How does your writing process work? My writing process looks like this: 1.