Category Archives: Writing

Another pile of books for ReFoReMo

The challenge has ended, sort of. ReFoReMo may be over in one way, but I have a lot of work to do yet. On our own we were to read through each book and then analyze it – study how each was written, observe the POV and universal theme, choose our favourite line, write a little about the story’s main character, and more. It’s been educational for me to find out what is popular now, the many different types and themes of picture books, and the variety of ways to present stories. I’ve learned what type of book I’m not interested in writing and what style I’d like to try. A few I didn’t enjoy reading, a couple brought tears to my eyes, a few were educational and I learned fascinating things I didn’t know before; some stories were funny, a couple were hilarious (to me), and many were sweet stories in a variety of ways. This has been a great experience. (Thanks Carrie Charley Brown!)

I got more books from the library on Saturday and I’ve also started returning books. That’s the sad part.

Here are some of the latest ones I borrowed, I have a few others to photograph,  and there are more on hold for me.

batch 5 -11 Have you read any of the above?  They are:

  • Gravity by Jason Chin
  • One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Birthday Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
  • Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead
  • How Hybrid Cars Work by Jennifer Swanson
  • Sparky! by Jenny Offill
  • A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Amy Dyckman
  • if you want to see a whale by Julia Fogliano
  • When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Locomotive by Brian Floca

I’ve read over eighty picture books through March because of Reading For Research Month, and I’m not done yet. That’s more books than I would normally read in a year! Some people have read many more than the 100 suggested, in only this month.

Now we’re learning from the special posts written for our further insight and inspiration. I’m so glad I did this, although now I’m behind in some other things I was doing – blogging and 12×12, to name only two. What I’ve gleaned through ReFoReMo should help in my writing though, so it’s all good.  🙂

On Sunday eleven of us shared Easter dinner at my dad’s, then I came home for my week off. I have a lot of reading, writing, revising to do and also publishing to finish! I am a writer and lovin’ it! 

When is the last time you read a picture book to a child or for your own enjoyment?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

           

Ideas needed for my story, please

Here I am posting again so soon. I have a good reason.

When I was waking up Thursday morning I was still working out a dream I’d been having. It was a story, one I was “writing” while sleeping!  I seem to have an editor who works at night!  This is not a story idea I’d been thinking about before I went to bed, I hadn’t thought of it until I was sleeping. Really! Isn’t that cool?

Here’s what I need from you, if you will kindly oblige me in a comment. 

If you have ever gone on a cruise or a theme vacation – or any vacation, for that matter – and something went wrong, I’d like to know about it. It could be funny, embarrassing (not personal or intimate details please), disastrous, jumbled up, maybe something went missing or you got lost, or you missed a connection, or had an accident of some kind. Please tell me about it. Maybe it is a vacation mishap a friend told you happened to them.

I already had a few ideas and some members of the writing group I’m in told me of some funny and inconvenient things they experienced. I am gathering as many anecdotes as I can so that I can sort through and maybe even combine a few. This is for a picture book so they have to be child friendly – and hopefully funny.

Thank you so much for any anecdotes you care to pass along to me.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

 

What did you do with your extra day?

Hi, Everybody!  How are you doing as we start our journey through March?

Since this is Leap Year, Monday was February 29th – our extra day this year. How did you fill it?

That was my first whole day home during my week off from Dad’s, and … know what I did with my extra day? I read my Bible, vacuumed my house and did a little tidying up, watered my two dozen or so plants, and so on … and prepared a story that had to be ready for 12×12 check-in by midnight. I’m finding it to be quite the balancing act, and my balance isn’t what it used to be or should be, but I haven’t been knocked off track yet.

Early Tuesday evening we made a quick trip to the library where I picked up fourteen of the over 100 books I have to borrow for ReFoReMo. I won’t be able to get them all as not all are in our library’s system, but I will gather many of them over the month. Our librarian put them on hold for me so that when the books become available they’ll be brought in for me to borrow. I must say, I was excited to get my hands on those fourteen beautiful books! 

first 14

Top to bottom they are:

  • My Teacher is a Monster! (No I am Not) – by Peter Brown
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend – by Dan Santat
  • Raindrops Roll – by April Pulley Sayre
  • Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree – by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal
  • Water is Water – by Miranda Paul and Jason Chin
  • Weeds Find a Way – by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and Carolyn Fisher
  • Flora and the Flamingo – by Molly Idle
  • Who Done It? – by Olivier Tallac
  • Cheetah Can’t Lose – by Bob Shea
  • Duck! Rabbit! – by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • What To Do If an Elephant Stands on Your Foot – by Michelle Robinson
  • The Promise – by Nicola Davies
  • Infinity and Me – by Kate Hosford
  • Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat – by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda

Of all the many, many books I’ve read over the years to my little girls, my nephew, my grandson, and occasionally other children – the only ones I’ve read that are on ReFoReMo’s list of (over 100) books assigned us for the challenge  are The Monstore by Tara Lazar and I Am Otter by Sam Garton. Gosh! It seems I’m waayy behind when it comes to reading picture books, at least the newer ones. And I love picture books!                                                                                   

Of that long list the only one I own is: I Am OtterGee … I’m on my way!  I have to get reading.  Gotta love that.🙂

Have you read any of the above-mentioned books?

How did you use your extra day this year?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Hurry! Time is running out to sign up for 12×12 & ReFoReMo!

This is a reminder post.

If you – or someone you know – is interested in signing up for Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2016, there are only three days left to register. Don’t put it off because if you miss the date then you have to wait for registration in 2017! Please remind your friends who might be interested. Go HERE to register for this amazing challenge. There is so much offered, well worth the fee charged. 

12x12

Also, if you – or someone you know – is interested in signing up for Carrie Charlie Brown’s ReFoReMo (Reading For Research Month) for this year, tomorrow (February 27) Pre-ReFoReMo begins! Remind your friends because you and they won’t want to miss any of it. Registration for the challenge ends March 1 at 11 pm CST. Go HERE to register and get ready to read over 100 picture books! It’s free, by the way. 

ReFoReMo

12 x 12 and ReFoReMo work well together. If you have wanted to write picture books this could be your time to get started. Do check them out, and maybe I’ll see you there! Let me know if you sign up.🙂

Do you enjoy challenges such as these?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Winning, writing and winter blahs

I’ve heard several people say February is such a long month that drags out Winter and feels so blah. Really?

February is the shortest month we have, and even though this is Leap Year with 29 days instead of 28, it’s still our shortest month.  We can do this! 

Here is what I did in anticipation of Spring and to help myself get through Winter:

countdown to Spring

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, that was February 13, so we’re closer now. Yay!  (I’ll soon set up a countdown timer on my blog, too.)

At the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group meeting last week one of the men who attends brought roses for Valentine’s Day and gave them to all the ladies in attendance. Isn’t that sweet? The group is for family members who are caregivers of loved ones: a parent, a spouse, a friend. 

Here’s my rose:

Alz support group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier that day I took Meyya to the groomer who is at the animal hospital/shelter in the veterinarian’s location in town. They were selling tickets on a basket of goodies. All I noticed was a teddy bear in there and I figured there was likely chocolate – which I can’t eat.  No matter, I bought a bunch of tickets because the money was to benefit the animal shelter. Well, on Friday didn’t they call to tell me I WON THE BASKET!!  Wowsers! 

It turned out the teddy bear was this …

gift basket cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

cute, soft, little cat. 

In the basket with it: a gift certificate from a local diner, two bottles of wine, some healthy things from the healthfood store, and – yes, some chocolates. It was a lovely win and my husband received the chocolates. :) 

On another note: because of 12 x 12 in 2016 I am focusing more on my writing. I’ve completed the second revision of the story (picture book) I wrote in January, but I haven’t written a new story for this month. Even so, I’m so glad I signed on. I’ve benefited already. And my own private writing coach is super helpful and insightful. 

For me personally, February is a good month so far. I still have some things to take care of, which I plan to finalize this month, to free up a little more time and space for my writing. I’ll get there!

What are you doing to dismiss the winter blahs?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

 

Baby steps toward CHANGE

2016, my year of change.

I’ve stated it publicly. I am determined to achieve it. I am committed to accepting it.  (Thanks, Darlene, for that last point.)

For me, change means stepping beyond myself, my comfort zone, my place of safety.  Even if that step is only a baby step, it is a step forward to my goal.

I am not saying I want to change everything about myself, or that I want to make drastic changes in my life. What I mean is I am working on my attitude and beliefs about my God-given abilities, talents, gifts, creativity. And fear – I am making baby steps away from the fear and toward the reality of who I am as a creative and what I am capable of doing.

“The key to change … is to let go of fear.”  – Rosanne Cash

 

My goal, which I’m sure you all know by now, is to write children’s books for publication. The changes have begun for me to achieve this:

  1. I have my own writing coach as of September 2015;
  2. I’m ending my publishing of a newsletter I (very sadly) haven’t had the focus and leading to do anymore; after many years it’s hard to let go. I have the final issue to complete and loose ends to tidy up;
  3. my publishing room will become my writing room, my creative space, which I’m excited to prepare;
  4. I’ve continued with Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo each November, keeping the ideas coming. To take those ideas further, Friday I signed on for a year of *12×12, making that huge (for me) leap in commitment when I’m not sure how I’m going to manage the challenge. Having said that, I signed on because I need what is being offered through it in order to reach my goal. (I did 12×12 in 2012, Julie Hedlund’s first year offering 12×12; now it’s much advanced from those beginnings.)

The biggest change for me is my private outlook, my self-talk, what I believe about myself. Change in those will bring about the most change in me and how I approach my writing.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli

Yes, 2016 is my year of CHANGE, the follow-up to and continuation of POSITIVITY – my word in 2015.

I am determined.     I will need reminders. And energy. And focus and refocus. (That’s not a negative already, I know how it’s been and I’m needing to not go there.)

My life as caregiver will continue as it has been, with the change being in me, in how I use my other time. There’s no progress in wishing things were different.

“Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.” – Thegoodvibe.co

This could be an exciting year, a challenging year, a surprising year.

2016.

My year of change.

* If YOU are interested in writing children’s books, it is not too late to sign up for 12×12. Just follow the link I provided above in my point #4.

Can you relate to the struggle of staying the course? What are your goals and determinations that you know will make a remarkable change for you? (Or put that in past tense, what were your goals … and how did you manage to meet them?)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

2015 in review

I didn’t think I did much blogging this year because I know my posts were fewer, however, according to WordPress it seems as if I’ve been quite busy here. I do enjoy blogging, so it’s rewarding to read a report like this one. If you’re interested in reading the whole thing you can follow the link included below.

Here is my 2015 blog report:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Do you have any thoughts to share about Polilla Writes?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂