Category Archives: Preambles to Writing

The Valentiny stories are ready for your vote

Hi, Everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted in over a week. I’ve been swamped.

I’m writing now to let you know the Valentiny stories are ready for your vote – if you are interested in participating in that. It’s very easy.  Susanna Hill has posted the twelve she and her helpers feel are the best ones and she’s made it easy for voting. Just read the twelve little stories, and then select in the poll the one you like best. I’ve voted.  And, no, mine didn’t make the cut.

Thank you so very much for all the kind and encouraging comments about my story.

 

 

 

GO HERE TO VOTE.

I’m still plodding along – reading many books, mostly picture books (as you can see on my books I read this year page), and hoping that I’m learning as I go. I’m behind in the writing class I’m taking (no surprise) but I find that interruptions – frequent interruptions – set me back a lot. It’s frustrating.

So, that’s all for this time.

Have you written anything fun lately? or read a book I might be interested in?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

and blessings on your day.

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My entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny Contest

It’s that time of year again! Valentine’s Day is coming up and Susanna Leonard Hill has issued her writing challenge. Here’s what she wrote on her blog:

write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is hopeful!  Your someone can hope for something good or something bad.  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone hopeful (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)

Judging criteria will include:

  1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
  2. Creativity in using hopefulness and success in making us feel the hopefulness!
  3. Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story!
  4. Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
  5. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
  6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 🙂

If YOU want to enter her contest there is still time if you are reading this before the cut off date. If you don’t want to enter, please go to her blog anyway and read all the stories. I think you’ll even have opportunity to vote.

Here is my attempt in 208 words, I hope you like it:

                                          A Hopeful Valentine

You don't enjoy my sticky hugs, but helped me catch some icky 
bugs,
And when my best cap blew away, you gave me yours to wear
today.

A bully pushed me to the ground, but quickly knew the grief he'd 
found;
Because I'm small you stood for me, you stared him down, he let 
me be.
You held my hand to cross the street, and bought for me an ice-
cream treat.

At home you said to go away, to find some other place to play.
It's not my fault your vase got trashed and all your smelly flowers 
smashed.

You hung a sign upon your door, YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE
ANYMORE!
"Don't touch my stuff! Leave me alone! And NO, you can't play on
my phone!
Don't bother me, you little pest! Stop bugging me, I need a rest!"

I'm sorry! do you want a kiss?, I hope you'll soon get over this, 
Because when I'm afraid at night, you welcome me and hug me 
tight.

When you calm down I have for you a card I made with sparkle 
glue.
It's not a mushy valentine, because you are already mine;
You're my big sis and I love you, and by the way, you need more 
glue.



Thanks for reading, and ... Creative Musings!  :)  

About books and writing them

It’s the first day of February and I am happy to say that I am now a student of Susanna Leonard Hill’s picture book class called Making Picture Book Magic! Susanna teaches small personalized classes that run for a month each. I chose to sign up for February to follow immediately after Storystorm which was the whole month of January. 

Storystorm, run by Tara Lazar, was very inspirational, as usual, and yet it seemed a little different this year but I can’t say just how. All I know is that the ideas I got this time around seem to be improved over previous years in that there were a greater number of possibilities among them. I had more clear ideas for stories whereas in past years they were more vague with many as simply titles and character names. My total this year, after the month of brainstorming, is 41 ideas for stories.

So, back to Making Picture Book Magic … Susanna gave us a list of books she suggests we read if we can, so, of course, I made my requests at the library. I have a few of those books now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also had already been going book crazy – about which my librarians are very happy – and I have “a few” others out now. You can see for yourself.

 

 

They’re three views of the same box of 90 books, most of which are picture books. Another 60+ are on hold for me and will arrive as they’re available.

So, yes, you can guess I’ve been doing a lot of reading; over 100 books in January as recorded on my Books I read in 2018 page. I’ve immersed myself in picture books with the occasional chapter book or novel tossed into the mix. Maybe that’s why my Storystorming was improved this year.  hmm

My only regret is that my book reviews here on my blog have been lessened, and the books that are in my queue to review are still … in queue. I apologize to those authors waiting to see theirs highlighted here. I have yet to figure out how to make progress in my own writing while keeping up everything else, too. Even on Goodreads I write mostly short blurbs after reading a book, but that’s something.

Now I have to get back to my notes for the writing class.

Will you share with me what you have found works for you when you want to learn something? Do you take classes? Do you immerse yourself in trial and error? Do you shadow someone who has the experience? What do you do?

Happy February everyone!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Plugging along, and quotes for readers and writers

I should have been twins. 

If I were twins I could divide between myself all the things I want less to do so that it takes half the time to do them. Then all I want to do and have the most interest and desire for can be enjoyed … giving me a better chance to feel accomplished in completing things – or getting better at them.

Or maybe not.

If I were twins I would most likely take on twice as much, get hopelessly overwhelmed with no recovery possible, and continue to not have enough of me to go around.

So, I am plugging along. Not getting nearly as much accomplished as I want to. Being way too tired too much of the time. And behind as usual. Almost hopelessly behind with little chance of catching up. That’s me, plugging along.

The good news is, I found some quotes to share with you today.

For the writers:

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later i can build castles. – shannon hale

I like that quote. 🙂 

Now this one for readers:

ordinary people have big tvs. extraordinary people have big libraries. – Robin Sharma

I think I would have a fairly decent-sized library if I could shelve all of my books in one room. I’m aiming for a big library. One day I hope to be that organized. 🙂

And a final one for today:

Dinosaurs didn’t read. Now they’re extinct.

Keep reading, folks! 🙂

Anything you want to say about anything today?  What book(s) are you reading – or writing – now?  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

It’s my 8th WordPress Blogiversary!

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

That’s the message I received from WordPress this morning. Eight years I have been blogging here! 

Looking back at the post I wrote on my 7th anniversary with WordPress, I see my goals haven’t changed much from a year ago. I did make PROGRESS, which was my word for 2017, although it’s not apparent to most people yet.  

THIS IS MY 800TH POST!

As of the time of writing this 800th post, my little blog has received 58,906 hits, up from 50,000 a year ago. Thank you for coming to read what I have to share. My official following has increased to 601 with the addition of two new people just this morning. Welcome! Do remember you can go back through my many posts, and by using the search gadget under which I have the heading FIND A WORD OR TOPIC you can be specific in your search, or you can search by CATEGORY. If you’re a writer, I hope you have taken advantage of bestselling author Sue Harrison‘s writers workshop – Writing the Third Dimension – which she generously posted here on Polilla Writes in monthly segments for three years. For free! You can find it by looking in the top bar under the heading Writers’ quotes, helps & workshops. Excellent teaching!

Over the past year I added more quotes, an author/illustrator interviews drop down menu, another contact number under Suicide Crisis Lines, and a gadget so you can read my posts in other languages for if English is a little difficult for you or maybe you are trying to learn another language. I also keep adding to Books I Read This Year, Book Reviews, Buy the Book – because .. well, I’m pretty much focused on books here. 🙂 Reading them, writing them, sharing them. 

I also have been astonished to see my most viewed post is consistently one from March of 2013, The cut worm forgives the plow.

Thank you for making my blogging life enjoyable. 

Please tell me, what has been your favourite or most helpful post here? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

My words for 2018

Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!  I hope your year is off to a great start.

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas set up by Julie Hedlund, for Day 6 we were to implement a plan for the year, develop a blueprint for 2018. Mine is eight points, as follows:

  1. Take a picture book writing course – Susanna Hill’s specifically;
  2. Purge, or list on Kijiji, something every day, or every few days;
  3. If I must play game on iPad or computer, limit it to 15 minutes a day;
  4. Read for 1 hour a day, at least;
  5. Work on a manuscript to prepare it for submission, each month;
  6. Pray for 1 or 2 picture book critique buddies;
  7. Write daily in journal and read daily devotional;
  8. Believe in myself.

So far I:

  1. signed up for Susanna Hill’s Picture Book Magic class for February;
  2. purged nothing yet;
  3. um … forgot to time myself but I’m sure I went over, but was listening to a book at the same time;
  4. didn’t time myself, but I think it was about an hour;
  5. polished nothing yet, but came up with a draft for a new story;
  6. heard from someone about this and I’m waiting to hear back from her after my response;
  7. forgot to write in journal, but I’ll do catch up; did read devotional;
  8. am getting there!  🙂 (a carry-over from my 2017 word – PROGRESS.)

As has been my habit for the last few years, I have been pondering what my word for the new year should be. I started this personal tradition in 2013 with my word being GRATEFUL. I don’t think I had a word for 2014; not sure why. For 2015 it was POSITIVITY; 2016 was CHANGE; 2017 was PROGRESS. This year’s? I waited and listened and waited and prayed and waited. As a result, I believe my word for 2018 is COMMITMENT. I was thinking it was REALizing, a word I like; I don’t like the word commitment. I would prefer REALIZing or SHINE, but I think my word is … COMMITMENT.  *sigh*  The negative aspect of that is an old feeling of being trapped into something I will not want to keep doing because it’s hard to stay with it. The positive aspect is that it will help to keep me on track to actually complete and accomplish my goals. So, if I look ahead with anticipation instead of dread, I’ve found my word.

COMMITMENT in 2018.

I also found a quiz on Day Spring: Find Your 2018 Word of Truth. Out of curiosity I did the quiz. My word there came up as SIMPLIFY. That astonished me at first, but when I read over my blueprint for 2018 … yep! Simplify fits.

For me in 2018 it is COMMITMENT and SIMPLIFY.  That looks like a great pairing. If you want to try the Day Spring Quiz, <– click there.

What is your word – or what are your words – for the new year? If you do the Day Spring Quiz, please let me know what your results are.

Thank you so very much for adding good things and encouragement to my life. I wish you all the best in 2018. May the light of creative joy fill your heart and life.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings.  🙂   

 

Out with 2017, In with 2018 – Happy New Year! & thank YOU

As I write this it’s not long before a new year begins. Personally, I’m a little excited about 2018. If you read my last post, dated December 29, you’ll know I have moved forward in my writing life. Yes, I have a huge distance to go yet, but I lived up to my word of 2017 and made PROGRESS – however small it may seem. That was my goal.

you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – c. s. lewis

I’m now thinking about what I want my goals to be in 2018. They won’t be unreasonable and unreachable, but they will challenge me and spur me on. 

I’m also waiting to know what my word for 2018 will be. I started focusing on a motivational/inspirational word for the year back in 2013. That year my word was GRATEFUL. Apparently I didn’t have a word for 2014; however, it was POSITIVITY for 2015, CHANGE for 2016, and PROGRESS for 2017. 

It’s been a tough year on a personal level, affecting my ability to write as much as I want to. As usual, I’m behind in my reading and yet I still managed to read over 600 books this year! That’s amazing to me – even if they are mostly picture books and therefore quicker to read. (My librarians are fantastic and I do my part to keep them busy. 🙂 )

Before I sign off I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your faithful following of my blog, for your comments and encouragement, for sharing about Polilla Writes, and for your friendship. That means so very much to me.

Even though I fell behind a few times I kept at the blogging when I could do it because I enjoy the connection with you, even if I hear from only a few. I am grateful you are there, reading my words and sometimes adding your thoughts. Please keep coming back in 2018 if what I have to share is worth your time. I appreciate you. Do you have any favourites among my 2017 posts? 

What has 2017 meant to you? Do you have goals (or resolutions) for the new year?

Thank you for helping to make 2017 a year of progress in my life. See you in 2018!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂