Monday, November 26, 2012

Grab ALL ideas as they Fall

Taking the Picture Book Idea Month Challenge has been just that - a challenge. For me the simple part is jotting down a topic each November day. The real trick is coming up with 30 original story ideas. 

At the beginning of November, I researched every idea on my list using Amazon's website. For instance: "Fall." After all how many books in print do readers really want about the Fall season? Currently, 475 books on Fall have been published for ages 3 to 5. Then I typed in - Fall leaves: 225 picture books, Fall animals: 135 picture books, Fall colors: 97 picture books. This process may be informative but it's not creative.

What have I learned as November draws to an end? I needed to stop editing my thoughts during the brainstorming stage. By allowing one idea to lead to another organically, creative ones emerge.

Now I'm scanning picture albums of my boys' preschool years to remember what interested them. And I'm keeping my eyes open during my daily activities and interactions. The result is a growing list of ideas that stem from my world not statistics.

Visit Author Tara Lazar's blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) for daily posts to inspire your writing.

Remember it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.   Eleanor Roosevelt 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Blog Hop

I'm grateful for my villages - family, friends and writers                   
As one of the women in my writer's group likes to say, "Life has its seasons." This means that each of us has possibilities and limits at every stage. As a young mother, staying awake and sane enough to write a coherent story was out of my reach. I only had the energy and time to write down snippets of conversations, story ideas and very short essays.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
I am thankful that during my current season of life, I have more time to think, read and write. With a tea cup in hand and puppy at my side, I capture the characters talking in my head. Throw a load of t-shirts and jeans in the washer, then jot down more thoughts. It's amazing how writing two hours every day, adds up.

Last August, with a polished middle grade manuscript and several picture book manuscripts filed on my laptop, I reached out to writers and agents online. The blogging community of children and young adult writers share their experiences and information on writing. Although writing is a solo act, I appreciate being part of a village. I'm inspired by others passion for the written word.

For all writers with a polished Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult or Adult manuscript, check out Brenda Drake Writing . . . under the influence of coffee She is hosting #PitchWars.

Over 30 agented writers will act as coaches to polish and pitch an unagented writer's novel.

On November 26th, the coaches will post on their blogs which genre they wish to coach.

#PitchWars continues to trend. Join the fun!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Auction to benefit Red Cross

Writers, join the auction at Jen Malone’s blog 
to benefit those harmed by Hurricane Sandy.

Please join the effort!
The auction closes on Wednesday, November 7th at 5 pm EST.
Bid on critiques from agents, editors, & authors, signed books, writing tools like Scrivener, and writing workshops.

  • Query Critique From Agent Sarah Jane Freymann
  • Three Chapter Critique From Agent Jessica Sinsheimer
  • BIG Box Of Signed YA Books, Rare ARCs, And Swag
  • Query Critique from CODA Author Emma Trevayne
  • Rhyming Picture Book Critique From Author Janet Lawler
  • Three Chapter Critique From Agent Victoria Marini
  • Query Critique and Signed Hardcover of Bestseller STARTERS by Author LIssa Price
  • Giant Book/DVD Swag Bag from Walden Media
  • Query and First Five Pages Critique From Agent Kathleen Rushall
  • Free Scrivener Upload For Your PC
  • First Chapter of Your Middle Grade Novel Critique From NYT Bestselling Author Adam Gidwitz 
  • Three Chapter Critique From Agent Julia Alexandra Weber
  • Thirty-Minute Ask Anything Phone Call With Agent Holly Root
  • Ten Page Critique From Author Jenny Lundquist
  • Copyedit From Publishing Professional Dahlia Adler
  • Query And First 50 pages Critique From Author Alison Cherry
  • Query Plus First Two Pages Critique From Agent Marisa Corvisiero
  • Query Critique from Publishing House & Lit Agency Intern
  • PB Manuscript Critique, Signed Copy of BOY + BOT and Swag Pack From Author Ame Dyckman
  • Registration To Any Upcoming LitPow Workshop
  • First Five Pages Critique of MG or YA Manuscript From Editor
  • Query Plus 20 Pages Critique and Phone Call From Agent Susan Hawk
  • Query Plus 10 Pages Critique, Signed Book & Swag From Author Diana Renn
  • First Chapter Critique PLUS Two Signed Hardcovers From Author Veronica Rossi
  • Copyedit of First Three Chapters or PB Text From Industry Professional
  • Twenty Minute Phone Call With Author Catherine Masciola
  • Query Critique and E-Copy of Query Handbook from CJ Redwine
  • Full Manuscript Critique From Writer  Marieke Nijkamp
  • First 20 Pages Critiques Plus Queries From Up-And-Coming Authors