Tag Archives: 12×12 in 2012

It’s the 12×12 blog party! six months down, six to go


and not just any party,

it’s …

Maybe it’s because I’m totally distracted some days in just keeping up, but I haven’t said much about what I’m doing with my writing. Here’s the scoop.

I’m not writing a book, I’m writing twelve books!

Julie Hedlund came up with an idea to write one picture book manuscript a month for all of this year. She had many story ideas after doing the Picture Book Idea Month challenge and wanted to actually use them. Then – since she felt she would be more successful if not doing it alone – she made it into a ‘community’ effort, named it 12 x 12 in 2012, and put out the invitation expecting a few dozen  picture book writing hopefuls to join in. What she didn’t realize is how popular this idea would immediately become and the exciting challenge it would turn into. Boasting over 400 members (yes! over 400 for this first-time challenge), can you imagine the vast number of potential picture books being written?

Now we are at the halfway point in this writing extravaganza and it’s time for a blog party. Julie has asked us to blog about it if we want to – either celebrating or lamenting. I think I will reveal my heart and take the risk of doing both. My post will probably be different from everyone else’s but … here goes.  (deep breath)

The ideas I have for stories are varied and definitely need work (most gleaned while doing PiBoIdMo), so when I began this challenge it was with the hope that I could actually pull together a few picture book manuscripts. Now that I’m a full-time part-time caregiver for a family member I have to try to keep writing when I don’t feel creative at all; some days knowing I have writing commitments is what helps keep me going.

Julie set up 12 x 12 in 2012 not only as a challenge, but as a learning experience for us. She has guest bloggers on a regular basis, each one bringing their own perspective and expertise to the writing (and illustrating) experience. Some days I’m  amazed at the forward thinking and ingenious ideas that are shared. I so appreciate the generosity of the contributors in their willingness to let us in on their secrets, what works for them, what is effectively-applied common knowledge, and what not to do. To be frank, sometimes I am a little overwhelmed. But always I am inspired to keep going.

With all that, what possibly could be my lament? Well, maybe it is more of a whine. My isolation. There’s the fact of a wonderful support group that has developed and I’m mostly on the outside of it. I don’t use Facebook where the support group is set up, and I just feel weary and blah some days, and wishing for the push that talking with another writer involved in this challenge could afford me. So, since it hasn’t really got anything to do with 12 x 12, it’s my own problem and I don’t have a lament after all!

This year so far, the six months gone by, have been challenging on many levels. As for my writing accomplishments, although I have five – not six – rough drafts written (I should say rough to very rough) I still hope to get twelve ready by the end of 2012. I can’t say that I’m delighted with all of them so far, but they are not polished yet. There’s room and time and permission for improvement. Further to that, 12 x 12 in 2012 has helped me even more to explore the fun of writing and to tap deeper into my creative thinking and possibilities.

In closing, I just want to say to Julie Hedlund, thank you for reaching beyond your own aspirations and drawing others into your scope of imagination. This is a truly amazing experience. Where else can an aspiring picture book author have access to the abundance of talent and wisdom of published authors and illustrators – and for such a great deal? What better way to learn and share and meet others of like mind without having to leave home, allowing us to continue the flow of writing? And thank you to the inspiring guest bloggers – the writers and illustrators willing to be involved – the ones who have already brought so much and the ones we have yet to be fortunate to meet.

This is an exciting adventure and we’re only halfway there!

It will surely continue to be amazing.

Party on 12 x 12’ers!

Be sure to check out other 12×12 blog party posts here.

Oh, and Julie plans to do this again in 2013, so if you missed out this year or feel you’ve just begun to tap the well, you’ll have another opportunity. How great is that!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

2012 Month of Poetry and “12×12 in 2012”

It seems I closed my eyes for just a moment, and when I opened them again ..  there it was .. gone! 😉

                                                         P O O F !

The first half of the first month of this new year has been used up already! And what, I wonder, did I do with my portion of it? There is not much I feel I have accomplished thus far.

In my last post I mentioned signing up for two writing challenges – #MOP for the whole month of January, and 12×12 in 2012 which is for the whole year.


Since 2008, Month of Poetry has been coordinated by Australian poet and children’s author, Kat Apel. You can visit her here: http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/ and check out #MOP here: http://monthofpoetry.wordpress.com/about/

Last year I participated in #MOP and fully enjoyed it, so this year I signed on again. Each day participants are to write a poem, anything at all (as long as it is child appropriate because there are even a few very young ones taking part, too), and post it to the board if wanting to share. The posting is not a requirement but in doing so it is inspiring and fun and helps draw ‘poets’ together in the sharing. This is not a competition, nor is it set up with prizes or anything. It is to encourage those who love to write poetry, opening up the possibilities and getting the creative poetic juices flowing.  Kat gives suggestions for improvement where necessary, as do other fellow writers, and it is a great way to learn as you go.

I have been finding it harder this year to write anything, including poetry, but I am still working at it. For today I wrote a poem about words. This little verse is the much simpler short verse I extricated from it before posting the more involved part of the poem to the board. I thought I’d share the orphaned part here as it just didn’t belong with the rest.

Words to share my heart’s intent
words to change and reinvent
I need words to clearly say
what is on my mind today

If you are a writer then you know what a love-hate relationship we can have with words. Sometimes they are sweet in one’s mouth and mind, sometimes the most difficult of partners, sometimes they amaze, sometimes they dismay, sometimes they are right there .. readily accessible, sometimes they just will not surface when wanted. This is the way it has been for me the past several months. A mixture of challenges but more difficult than easy. Even so, I believe that it is important that I write, perhaps only for my own sanity, but perhaps for something yet unknown down the road.

12×12 in 2012

This challenge – found here: http://writeupmylife.com/2011/11/30/12-x-12-in-2012-picture-book-writing-challenge/ – is headed up by Julie Hedlund. Check out her blog here: http://writeupmylife.com/

In Julie’s words: “write one picture book per month for each of the twelve months of 2012. This means a first draft: beginning, middle, end. NOT a submission-ready piece.”

Her idea came out of PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month – when she realized she still needed to do something with all her ideas. You can check out my December 8, 2011 post: http://bit.ly/rDpv8F regarding my efforts in November 2011, and if you are interested you can read through my November 2010 posts for more. Although I had come up with 44 ideas in 2010, I had not pulled together one manuscript (naughty me!), and with almost that many more this year I knew I had to do something with those to honour the pledge I’d made in signing up. Then along came 12×12 in 2012! (Thanks, Julie!)

You may wonder how I’m doing with that so far. Ummm, wellll … to be honest I have barely looked at my pages and pages of ideas, other than skimming them and selecting the ones I think have possibility, but I am going to try to get one story seriously worked on this month. And since there are only two weeks left I have to get a move on!

What are you doing with your goals so far this year?

If you are a writer, is your Muse keeping you busy?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

New year, new plans, blog updates

How did a new year get here so quickly! Already I am having to adjust to writing new numbers ..  2 0 1 2 .. and hoping I don’t make some dumb dating mistakes. (dating on paper – cheques, letters – to clarify that meaning. 🙂 ) This set of numbers seems odd to realize, though. And there are those who believe this year will bring monumental change .. world ending? oh, who knows! Does it really matter whether we even know when it’s coming or not? It ends when it ends, there is nothing we can do about it. If we worry about having time to make things right with God or someone else, then it’s best not to wait .. do it now! Personally, I’m not worried. I’ll just keep living my life and trusting God through it all.

But I do have new plans, or maybe it is just an amped up version of the old plans. Reading and writing. Writing and reading. I have signed up for #MOP (Month of Poetry) which means I am to write a poem a day this month, and I also signed up for 12×12 in 2012 so that the story ideas I compiled in November the last two years through PiBoIdMo can be shaped into story books .. twelve of them! One a month. Hopefully, I can expound upon those two writing ventures in later posts, as time allows.

In case you didn’t notice, I updated my blog pages a bit, too. And I hope to find a better theme for my blog, one that will accommodate the extra badges I want and should put up. Not all of them will show right now so there must be a limit on this theme. Eventually, I will get ‘er done, and I hope you will not mind the in-between time until I get it right.

What are your goals for 2012? Notice I didn’t say resolutions, I seem to fail with those, but maybe you succeed? Do tell!

What are your dreams and plans for this new year? I’d love to hear about them. 

Maybe you are already on the road to something new and wonderful? I’m ready to enjoy your story.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂