Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a Month!

It's the 30th of November and the challenges are over for now anyway. I kind of flunked a few, but the one I completed with flying colors is the Picture Book Idea Month (aka PkBoIdMo) 
  PiBoIdMo 2011  hosted by the lovely Tara Lazar. I've kept a notebook beside me and my computer and have posted one or more picture book ideas every day this month. I haven't officially counted the dabs and scribbles and doodles and paragraphs and sentences but there are waaayyyy more than 30, thank you very much!
I really don't think of myself as competitive, but I do very well when challenged or put to a deadline test. 
Now that I've completed this phase of the PiBo... I have a plan. Instead of starting to weed out and start writing the stories tomorrow, I'm going to write everything over again in a cute little hard covered journal notebook. I'll put the dates and ideas, and the ****s I've noted in red. Those ****s beside the meaningful quotes that I took out of our "special guests" posts. I'm not thinking of this as a repetitious act, but more like a review of thoughts and reenforcement ideas.
    It's been a wonderful month for participating picture book writers to "think". Now it's time to "write"!
    Thank you to Tara Lazar and all the rest of you for a fabulous month.

Friday, November 25, 2011


The blessing of Thanksgiving and all the goodness in my life has flowed over from yesterday. I have so much to be thankful for that my list would go way off the page so I’ll just say that the one thing that stands out besides the love and warmth of family and friends is tradition. And one of our holiday traditions  is one that my mother, the matriarch, passed on to us - the making of “tootalings”(tortellini) from scratch. 
 No matter what else is on the menu, we always manage to get together a week or so before the holiday to make our favorite dish. 

Another annual thanksgiving tradition is wreath making. Right after we stuff ourselves overfull, and before we let things settle, the dishes and fancy tablecloth come off and the rings, wire and greenery go on the long table! Everyone makes their unique Christmas wreath and garland. Sorry I didn’t take photos of the finished products. Each one was unique- glitzy, of the sea and traditional. Next year I’ll try to remember to take shots of the finished products.

I’ve decide not  to play Black Friday anymore. There isn’t anything I need to “save” money on with the sales, and I’m not loving the fact that stores are trying to outdo each other with the early openings - some on Thanksgiving Day! What’s up with that? Doesn’t it just take the fun out of the Friday, 4:00AM rush! That was mostly why I’d been going for so long...the RUSH!!!!!
So today, "that" Friday has been a quiet kind of day. Fresh cinnamon buns for coffee with the girls. Took down the outside autumn decorations, did a bit of laundry and worked on a picture book story that I thought I had in order but NOT. 

My picture book writing friends have taken up the challenge of writing at least 30 picture book ideas in 30 day. I've got a scribbly notebook beside me and have managed to jot many more than one a day throughout November. I've even written a few rough drafts and SFDs! If you're interested in seeing what's going on, go over to-

PiBoIdMo 2011        
So here's a special announcement to all my Maine friends. My friend, Cynthia Lord, children's author (Rules, Touch Blue, Hot Rod Hamster books) has lovingly offered, to the media specialists in our state, to do a few free school visits. It’s her way of giving back, giving thanks, so she randomly drew the winners on Thanksgiving morning. She was going to do only two visits in the spring, but was so overwhelmed by the people who signed up, that she chose six schools! Sadly, none of them in my area, but I bet these librarians and their schools are overjoyed.  Cindy is such a heartfelt giving author.
Phippsburg Elementary School, Phippsburg, Maine
York Middle School, York, Maine
Washburn Elementary School, Washburn, Maine
Long Island Community School, Long Island, Maine
Samuel Wagner Middle School, Winterport, Maine
Glenburn School, Glenburn, Maine
Lucky! Lucky! Lucky!!!!
Until I blog happy, be funny, give thanks, be nice, be you! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where Do Writing Ideas Come From?

November is the month to sign up for  different writing challenges, so I did. Two of them are meant for the novelist, and I am working on a MG manuscript. But, the muse has put me into Picture Book writing mode and I can't do much about it!

PiBoIdMo is the challenge that's grabbed my attention-Write at least thirty picture book ideas for the month. So what's a writer going to do? Stare at lines in a notebook hoping an idea will pop into mind, or go for coffee with the girls? Can that be a productive way to put story idea to paper? Take a look at this.
It's not a dog that the baby's kissing! Pretty good story starter, right-and the story is more than started!!!

I love to take walks and I always take my camera just in case. In case of what? I don't know but there are
all kinds of pictures to take, all kinds of things to write about.
What's in those woods of mine? 
This is one of my favorites.

If you know me, you know I have an obsession with the sky and all the colors, the old sayings and dreams. 
Pink sky in the morning...
What's at the end of that rainbow?
A Pot of Gold?
Have you found it yet or are you like me, still looking, still dreaming, but knowing that it's there? I know it is. Sometimes I doubt, but I know I can reach out to a friend and get the boost or boot I need to keep the dreams alive.  And my hand is here for them. 
Dreams come true!