Showing posts from October, 2014

Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs

Susanna Hill is hosting her annual Halloweensie Contest . The rules are to write a Halloween story in 100 words or less including the words pumpkin, creak, and broomstick. After having a good poem at 111 words, I cut it down to 109. Then I thesaurused (that's a word right?) a few more changes to get to 105. Then I stomped around and pulled my hair out and threw myself on the bed and cried, "Why? Why only 100 words?" I rubbed some fake spiderweb for inspiration and finally got to 100 exactly . Sulky Spider's Spooky Webs By Lauri Meyers Sulky Spider planned a scheme For making trick or treaters scream. Spider silk began to spin A Jack 'o Web with wicked grin. "Pretty pumpkin ," cowgirls said. "Pretty?" Sulky hung her head. "A webby ghost will do the trick!" She spun a spooky ghoul up quick. Pirates shouted, "Ghosts are neat!" She gobbled up her web. "Defeat."     Spinnerets be

How to Summon Your Muse

The leaves are turning red, zombies are roaming my neighbor's yard, and I'm wearing my gray writing sweater every day, it must be... PiBoIdMo time! Logo by Vin Vogel This is my third Picture Book Idea Month, and I am primed and ready to fill another notebook with ideas inspired by fabulous daily guest posts. But I'm not sure my muse is ready. She's having a really hard time adjusting to back to school. Just because I have a tiny bit of free time, doesn't mean she's no longer needed. Tara Lazar (whose sixth picture book just sold, btw!) posed a question about how a writer can summon their muse. I always revert back to my corporate training in flowcharting when it comes to questions like this. Easy Peasy! Enjoy spending the month of November with your muse, and the fresh smell of unicorn rainbow gas.  UPDATE: I won a guest posting spot on PrePiBoIdMo from Tara. SQUEE! Read the final post here along with Summoning Your Muse with amazing illu

Subversive Picture Books (Part 4)- Scary Creatures

My last post on scary books covered my biggest fear:  The Dark . But the thing that makes the dark so scary is the fear of the Scary Creatures which lurk in it. With the exception of some overlap in the Halloween books, each of these books features a completely different chill making critter. I think I'll take this in order of scariest illustrations. "The roof space is creeping and crawling with things, things that have horns and raggedy wings." ( In the Haunted House , by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Susan Meddaugh) The first read of this is scary with two sets of feet walking through a house full of scary creatures. Knowing the twist at the end - a little girl drags daddy through this pretend Halloween house again - helps kids appreciate following reads.   ""Oh," said Dave. "Why is it...trying to eat my burger?"" (Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? , by Julie Middleton and illustrated by Russell Ayto) These di

Subversive and Mysterious

I told you a few posts ago about the subversive story I had been noodling, but I left out an important detail: I LOST THE MANUSCRIPT. For some unknown reason I hadn't typed it up yet. Still I carried its paper-clipped pages and post it notes in my purse. And hence, I lost it. "Argh!!! I can't eat this. This story isn't even finished." (Angry Bear by Malowanki via I'm confident I'll find it though. Unless a bear took it. (which might have happened, because the last place I recall having it was at the campsite.) Most of it is more or less in my head anyway. It's just hanging out with random song lyrics from the 80s and nursery rhyme warnings of epidemics. It's in good hands. Sort of. And besides it adds a bit of intrigue that this manuscript is going to put up a fight! Unless of course it is so grim and disturbing it is just not meant to be found. Mwa-ha-ha! Do let this cautionary tale serve a

Subversive Picture Books (Part 3): Scared of the Dark

I started studying subversive books way back in September with the plan to cover lack of parental supervision , nudity , and scariness. I thought scary would be easy. But then over the course of the last few weeks, my living room turned into a Booknado! I considered Lion vs. Rabbit (Alex Latimer) because bullying is scary and Extra Yarn (Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen) because an archduke breaking into your house is scary. Vampire Baby (Kelly Bennett, Paul Meisel) seemed like a sure thing, but it's just too darn cute. I interviewed my 4yo over juice boxes. "Is Tiger in My Soup * scary?"  "I give it one dot of scary." Geesh. Even my kid has her own rating scale for scariness and tigers roaring apparently rate low. (*Kashmira Sheth, Jeffrey Ebbeler) I entered a state of I-don't-know-what's-scary paralysis!! So I decided to focus on what scares me the most: 1. The Dark 2. Scary Creatures 3. Mortal Danger 4. Real Life Ma