My Successes in 2017

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2017.

Since setting goals instead of making resolutions has been my way for many years now, sharing what I see as my successes feels much more positive. So, in 2017 I have surprised myself because I:

1. settled on my word for the year – PROGRESS – and set out to make it happen in my writing as much as I could manage, and grew in confidence as a writer;

2. celebrated my 7th year of blogging here on WordPress on January 9;

3. wrote 144 blog posts, including this one and one scheduled for Dec 31;

4. wrote reviews of 67 books on my blog, 42 of which were written by 12 x 12 members – past and present;

5. interviewed 3 authors here on my blog, and 2 illustrators – my first time to interview illustrators;

6. participated in Tara Lazar’s Storystorm challenge and came up with 30 ideas for stories;

7. entered Susanna Hill’s Valentiny writing contest  (my entry);

8. entered Vivian Kirkfield’s #50 Precious Words challenge (my entry);

9. participated in ReFoReMo (Reading For Research Month) and read over 100 recommended picture books to learn more about writing picture books – and the reading continues;

10. read over 600 books during the year, all but about 60 were picture books;

11. wrote a 500-word story for a writing challenge through InScribe;

12. attended an information session with other local writers, put on by the writers federation of which I’m a member;

13. attended 15 (or more) webinars about different aspects of writing, mostly regarding picture books;

14. attended a full day online Picture Book Summit & won the big prize;

15. participated in all the 12×12 webinars – except for maybe one;

16. gained a picture book writer friend through 12×12 & we share about our writing life nearly every day;

17. earned a place on the 12×12 winners wall because of writing 25 new story drafts, 18 more than in 2016, (12 are required for the win);

18. wrote 6 revisions of stories;

19. got one story polished and submission-ready;

20. submitted story (point #19) to an agent – my first time to approach an agent;

21. received a reply from agent (point #20) with positive comments and helpful advice – a champagne rejection;

22. posted one of my stories in the 12×12 critique forum and received wonderful comments and helpful critiques, one by a critique ninja;

23. was gifted a helpful critique by author Marcie Colleen to further improve my story (point #19);

24. prepared, arranged, and published my dear mother’s children’s story as a photo flip book and had 8 copies printed for family in her honour;

25. believe more deeply I AM A WRITER!

 

 

 

What are YOUR 2017 successes? No matter how small or insignificant they might seem, they add up and fit together somehow. Please share with us in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

 

 

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Already the day after

It’s already the day after Christmas and this year I obviously missed wishing you all “Merry Christmas“, so instead I will ask you how did you celebrate? 

My Christmas was spent with my family and was spread over two days this year. On Christmas Eve day we all met at Dad’s – fifteen of us – and shared a delicious meal that was followed by an exchange of gifts with Dad, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. It’s my week with Dad, so after everyone went home and I’d finished cleanup, Dad and I relaxed and read books. The next day, December 25, I got home for a few hours with my husband, and in the evening we welcomed our girls, their guys – except one who was unfortunately sick at home, and our grandson. It was another pleasant gathering of the clan with gifts exchanged and more food. My girls know me quite well it seems, and I received thoughtfully chosen items for Christmas. 

Here in our part of Nova Scotia we got some of the winter storm that was sweeping across the Maritimes and eastern US. It varied across the province, but for us it was some of everything – snow, ice pellets, rain, sunshine breaking through, fog, then more rain, more snow – but not a huge amount. The wind was ferocious for a while, though. At our house, and at some others around us, the power went off in the middle of our gift giving/opening, but we were prepared with battery-operated lanterns and other lights. Apparently, power was restored in the wee hours of this morning. That’s the way it is here, so be prepared.

All in all, it was a more relaxed time than in past years. Less chaos, less stress, less pressure. More time to enjoy everything.

Now it’s your turn. How did you spend Christmas Day? Or do you have other celebrations around this time? I’d really enjoy hearing about it. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. – Isaiah 9: 6-7

Book Review: Are We Pears Yet? – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 


Book: Are We Pears Yet?
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Carin Berger
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Picture book; age 4-8 ; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99
My rating: a funny & educational story about the growth cycle

Miranda Paul, with her creative imagination, has written a story that’s both amusing and educational in Are We Pears Yet?

Two pear seeds are excited that they will become pears. They love pears. One seed keeps eagerly asking the other, “Are we pears yet?” The other seed seems to know much more about the whole process so explains patiently each time what has to occur first. Soil, rain, sun, cold, a long 2-year nap …   🙂  Then they have to grow into trees, which takes another year! The impatient seeds are getting tired of waiting.

The illustrations cleverly created by Carin Berger present the story in a stage setting. Each scene shows props, stage hands, scene changes .. whatever is required to make the story move along. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Eventually – after another two years! – the seeds get to where a final event is about to happen, but the reader’s view is of the two main characters hidden behind a sign that reads: COSTUME CHANGE. When they come out, well … it’s just been such a long wait that it takes some realizing. 

Are We Pears Yet? written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Carin Berger is for everyone to enjoy. It’s fun, entertaining, informative, and quite different, with a chuckle at the very end, too.

You can find Are We Pears Yet?written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Carin Berger – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by featured authors and illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

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Book Review: Whose Hands are These? a Community Helper Guessing Book – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 





Book: Whose Hands are These? a Community Helper Guessing Book 
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Luciana Navarro Powell
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: picture book; age 4-9; gr 1-2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.99
My rating: a creative early introduction to careers

Whose Hands are These? is a guessing book written by Miranda Paul. Geared to the younger set of readers, it introduces several careers for them to consider.

As Miranda uses excellent rhyme to tell about each community helper, she lays out clues to describe them, and then allows the reader to guess who she means. The page turn reveals the answer.

The beautiful illustrations in Whose Hands are These? a Community Guessing Book were created by illustrator Luciana Powell. On each page she has perfectly captured the story.

In the back of the book are four pages on which is a description of each community helper mentioned in the story. Beside each paragraph is a lovely illustration. Farmers, cooks, police, scientists, potters, news reporters, mechanics, architects, referees, physicians, teachers. Miranda Paul ends by saying, “Dream big!”

Whose Hands are These? a Community Guessing Book is a beautiful picture book for young children – and older people, too. It’s full of description presented in a fun way with gorgeous illustrations. Very enjoyable.

You can find Whose Hands are These? a Community Guessing Bookwritten by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell – on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Smile

Today … A few words to make you think, and smile.

Little Susie concluded her prayer by saying: “Dear God, before I finish please take care of Daddy, Mommy, my baby brother, Grandma, and Grandpa … and please, God, take care of yourself, or else we’re all sunk!”

 

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

 

“Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?” – George Eliot

 

What makes you smile?

Blessings on your day.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Top 6 comma problems (infographic)

Do you ever find that as you are writing your stories, or even a letter, you get stuck on where to put a comma, or you wonder if you don’t even need one? I know I get tripped up sometimes.

Below is a helpful infographic that might be useful to you. I hope you can see it okay.  If you need to enlarge it, left click on it and a magnifying glass should pop up with a + symbol in it. Click again to enlarge. When you want to get out of it you can simply hit your back arrow to bring you back to this page … where you can leave a comment. 😉  hint hint

Top 6 Common Comma Problems (Infographic)

Top 6 Common Comma Problems (Infographic)

Do you have problems with any of these in your work?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

A video for you by John Greene

Today I want to show you a video by John Greene. He is the author who wrote Fault in Our Stars that was published in January 2012. I have the book but haven’t read it yet, and … I might have seen the movie.

Anyway, I found this video that I thought you’d enjoy. He is quite hilarious in his presentation.

Have you read his book (or any of his books) or watched the movie? Does he make you feel better about your own writing?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂