Tag Archives: writing challenge

Update about writing & books; & remember: set your clocks ahead tonight!

Today I realized that I should say something about the contests I entered recently.

My 50 word story, Magic Rainbows, for Vivian Kirkfield’s #50 Precious Words challenge, did not place. There were 251 entries; 40 were chosen.

You already know my 214 word story, Valentine’s Day Surprises, for Susanna Hill’s Valentiny contest, did not place. There were 117 entries; 10 were chosen as winners and 18 received honourable mention.

I like my stories and felt they had promise, so, I admit, I was quite disappointed they didn’t make the cut when it was hard to put them out there in the first place. Once I got past those gloomy feelings I paid attention to the positive comments and urges to work on my stories to develop them further. I am going to give that a try. There could be picture books hidden in there. 

Right now I am involved in reading others’ stories (although I’m still writing) because Reading For Research Month is underway, and a book study (Writing Picture Books), both of which have required reading. I have been borrowing books from the library and keeping our lovely librarians busy. Look at the pile of books I have home right now, plus I have a smaller pile at Dad’s to bring home Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t that fabulous?  🙂  Including the ones not shown here I have 73 checked out, and 41 currently on hold to come to me when available. My list keeps growing in either direction because I keep asking for more books.

For the books I borrow I try to write a brief review on Goodreads where I again entered a reading challenge. I set my personal challenge at a total of 150 books to read, which I surpassed by one last year, and I know I can do it again this year with probably even more. Of course, most of them are picture books, but that’s my field of study right now. Picture books. And that’s what I most want to write. Picture books. So most of the books I borrow are … picture books.  🙂

On another note …  For those of you who have to change your clocks (early Sunday morning) …

set your clocks ahead one hour tonight!

Do you use the library much? On that other note, do you have trouble adjusting to the time changing by one hour?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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My entry in Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words writing challenge

A couple of weeks ago Vivian Kirkfield, children’s author, mentioned her writing challenge would be starting again soon. She set it up last year for the first time and the response was so positive, and fun, she’s doing it again. If you want to enter, you have from March 2-6 to visit her website and post a link to your story on your blog or website, or if you have neither of those you can post your story on her site. GO HERE to read all about it and take part in her 50 Precious Words writing challenge.

I’m posting her guidelines here, underneath which you will find my entry. (If you are going to enter Vivian’s writing challenge, do not post your entry here, post it either on your own site or hers.)

#50 PRECIOUS WORDS WRITING CHALLENGE GUIDELINES (as found on Vivian Kirkfield’s site)

1. Write a story appropriate for kids ages 12 or under, using only 50 words…they can all be different words, or you can use some of them over and over…just as long as the total word count of the story is 50 or less.

2. It can be prose, rhyme, free verse, silly or serious…whatever works for you.

3. Title is not included in the word count.

Okay, you can count the words in my entry – exactly 50 unique words, not including the title:

Magic Rainbows

Curious eyes spy bands of colour

carried on summer breeze,

sparkling in sunshine,

floating down to magically disappear.

Another,

then more.

Furry little face pokes through grasses;

children are playing.

Poof!

Swirly rainbow globe bobs nearby.

Twitchy wet nose sniffs close,

closer,

touching the pretty thing.

POP!

Tiny soapy shower.

© Lynn A. Davidson


Let me know what you think and if you are taking the challenge, too.

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!  🙂

 

 

a Question, ReFoReMo, and a Quiz: what is your dragon personality?

It seems as if you, my readers, like the quotes I’ve posted each day of February. My question to you is: would you like to read a quote here every few days through March? or also whenever I find some good ones? I’d find some to do with reading and writing, and likely occasions and seasons. Please let me know so I can get that set up.

As you know, I am involved in 12×12 in 2016. It is proving to be amazing, encouraging, and a little stressful with all that’s going on around me – but I am not giving up. It already is helping me see how to be better at writing picture books.  I’m now part of a six-person critique group through 12×12, and we’re conducting our sharing and critiquing via email.

To add to the fun, another challenge I’ve taken on is ReFoReMo – Reading For Research Month, created by Carrie Charlie Brown. A lot of 12×12 members are taking part in it because it complements 12×12 so well. It runs during the month of March,  but the reading and research can be for as long as you need it to be for you. Today I contacted my local library and gave them the list of over 100 books I am to read and study to improve my own picture book writing. It’s going to be a busy month! If you are interested in taking that challenge you have until March 1 to sign up, so hurry!  🙂

Topic change:  I like dragons.

My grandson is reading a series called Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. In fact, he recently finished book 8, the newest in the series, which is a fantastic accomplishment for a reluctant reader, and he’s now reading another series by this author. He likes the Wings of Fire books so much he wanted me to read them because he knows I like dragons. He lent me book one and sometimes would ask me if I was to the part yet where … ?   🙂  I finally was able to finish book one last month and had really enjoyed it, although it was written for the younger set. 🙂  Now he’s brought me book two to read, but because I’m involved in 12×12 in 2016 I might not get into that book for quite a while. I’ll have to try, though. 

Now for a quiz you might enjoy.  What is your dragon personality

It seems I am a Japanese dragon.  Here’s what it says: You are a Japanese dragon. Also called “Ryu,” Japanese dragons are well known for granting wishes to humans. They are wingless creatures who are often associated with water and weather. Like the Ryu you are very generous and will do everything in your power to assure that your loved ones are happy. You are adept at picking out just the right gift for every occasion and recipient. Your happy place likely involves a beach, and you love bold colors and lively music.

Which dragon personality are you?

Do you want me to post quotes here daily? every few days?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

 

PiBoIdMo — I won the challenge!

It’s December 1 already –

twenty-four days to Christmas.

December 1 –

the day after PiBoIdMo ended, and …

the first day of Post-PiBo.

Post-PiBo is the week after the inspirational Picture Book Idea Month (brain child of Tara Lazar), the week when daily guests post encouraging and helpful advice on how to proceed with all our ideas gleaned in thirty days.

Yesterday, November 30, was the last day of the 30-day challenge to write a picture book idea each day – any idea that could be used in creating a picture book. This was my fifth year of taking on PiBoIdMo and it is my most creative to date. I’ve completed (won) in the other four years I’ve done this, but this year? This year I surprised myself. On day 17 I already had 30 ideas! By the end of day 30, the final day of the challenge, I completed with 65 – yes! 65! – ideas. 

Here’s my badge to prove it.

piboidmo2015winner

Yessiree … I’m doing my happy dance! 

the-seinfeld-happy-dance

Not quite like that but you get my point.

Actually, if when even one of my ideas is developed into a picture book and makes it to being published, the above will be even less of the happy dance I’ll be doing. You can be sure of that.  🙂  Perhaps you will join me? 

One year I won one of the prizes given out at the end. It was a cute caricature of me, based on the illustrator’s insect characters. I may show you sometime what he sent me. I think it’s meant to be a combination of a firefly and a mosquito – or a misinterpretation of a firefly.

Tara Lazar does an amazing job of putting together six weeks of inspiration for writers of all skill levels and experience. She is a published picture book author herself, having written The Monstore which I reviewed hereLittle Red Gliding Hood, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, and Normal Norman.  She has two more picture books coming out in 2016. I urge you to buy, borrow, and for sure .. read and share .. her books.

Right now I am happy and feeling a little proud of myself for managing to go beyond what I’ve done before. This time I will complete manuscripts.

What or who inspires you? What challenges helped you to go beyond what you thought you could do?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo 2013!

November is again a busy writing month for me. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month for my fourth year, and Picture Book Idea Month for my third year – having passed on it in 2012. I am going to make an honest attempt to do both again even though my life situation (caregiving) has not changed.

3886950-fountain-pen-writing-paper-with-black-inkAfter midnight last night a thought came into my mind, then an idea was taking shape, then the thought became the title, and before I went to bed I had a rough ‘rough draft’ of a story for a picture book. Day one accomplished for PiBoIdMo!

Not so for NaNoWriMo, I regret to say, as I have not written a word there yet. I am still writing the novel I began in NaNo 2010, since I’ve worked on it only during the last three Novembers. My word count is a combined total of 123,900 – give or take a few words. When I stopped near midnight of November 30’12 it was at a place one would call a “cliffhanger”, and was a bit exasperating to my sister who read it all after NaNo had ended last year. 😉  She was not happy with where I stopped and told me emphatically I had to finish the story! Even I am not sure what is going to happen next, but my characters will gradually let me know when I get into it again … which should have been today, but that’s not happening!

If you are asking, ” What is she talking about?!” I will briefly explain.

NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month – is the worldwide challenge to write a novel (really a novella) of 50,000 words in 30 days. You have to start with a fresh idea to ‘win’, but there are many who are NaNo Rebels, which is perfectly fine, too. I won (reached the goal of 50k) the first year but the next two years I participated as a Rebel in order to add to the novel I had begun and want to finish. This year I am doing the same.

If you are interested in checking out NaNoWriMo, click here. If you are taking part in it this year, let me know if you want a buddy.

PiBoIdMo – or Picture Book Idea Month – is the brainchild of Tara Lazar which she started in 2009. It is quickly becoming the widely known challenge to write a picture book idea a day during the 30 days of November. It’s for those writers who don’t want to take on creating a novel but would enjoy participating in a book writing challenge. Some of us do both. 🙂 Each day you write something … anything … a title, the name of a character, an idea for a story, or even a whole draft if it works out for you, so at the end you should have at least 30 ideas for picture books! Cool, huh? I think so! Oh, and there are super guest posts, lots of writing genius shared, and even prizes! I love that I end up with so many ideas for PB’s, even if I ‘win’ nothing. It is sort of like a conference but with so much added.

If you are interested in signing up for – or checking out – PiBoIdMo, click here. Registration closes SOON, so hurry!

Now I must create a new page for my NaNo updates so if you want to keep track of what I am managing to do you can read it there. Click on the NaNoWriMo updates (2013) link at the top of the page. Besides, if you want to cheer me on, Heaven knows I need it! 🙂 It may be crazy for me to be taking this on since I am behind in reading, reviewing, interviewing, but sometimes I need a change of pace to get refreshed and inspired anew. At least, I hope that’s what will happen! 🙂

Are you participating in either of the above challenges?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me

Wow! Here it is December 1 which means National Novel Writing Month has just ended for another year. After this month I believe myself – even more – to be a writer. Why?

The goal for the challenge is 50,000 words in the month of November. My personal goal was to finish my novel – the novel I have written only during NaNoWriMo. I started it in 2010, added to it in 2011, and planned to finish it this time. (You can check my progress, if you are interested, through each one of my pages called NaNoWriMo Updates 2010, 2011, 2012)

I have an accumulated word total of over 123,000 words through those three Novembers, every word written by hand. No editing has been done yet so there are whole sections which will be taken out or changed or added to in some way. Someday.

The cold truth is … I did not make the 50K mark. I tried hard to do it. My hand is so sore and was getting cramped by the time the clock reached 11:59 and I had to stop writing to post my final word count — of 41487 — before the stroke of midnight. (I managed to write 9750 words today.) Once midnight arrived the clock stopped in the NaNoWriMo stats chart. It now reads: Event Finished, where all through the month it had shown the number of words written that day, which day it was in the event, and how many writing days were remaining in the challenge.

polilla-lynn stats

Another thing is that my first goal was to finish my novel this time, second was to reach 50K. I did neither, although I wrote 82% of the 50K, and I am so close to the end of this story.

polilla-lynn,wc,pc,days

Am I disappointed? A little. I believe that if I had been able to ignore things, such as normal life stuff and responsibilities (although I tried to), I could have finished this novel.  😉  Now maybe I can cook a decent meal for my dear husband, although I usually don’t have writing to blame for my not-so-great results in the kitchen. Oh, and my internet connection dropped today, so the repairman came by to fix that for me. It is working fine now, yay!, but that was another time stealer – although I am not complaining about that. I am truly grateful for my Internet service.

The worst culprit for stealing time is ME, though. The times I could have been writing, but other things took priority; the times I had nothing coming to me at all; the times I just didn’t feel like writing. So now I still have an unfinished novel. But you know, that is okay too, because I can work away at it at my own pace now without a clock. That might not work in my favour, but that is something I will have to find out.

As I said at the beginning, now I believe myself to be a writer even more than I did before. One big reason is because when I am writing in the NaNo challenge the story practically tells itself to me. Sometimes things I write I wonder about, but later it all ties together; it makes sense as I go along. I find it to be an amazing process. And I enjoy it!

Thank you for your interest in following along as I attempted the National Novel Writing Month challenge again. I appreciate your support.

NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me.  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂