Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Picture Books

Everyone in my book club is reading Christmas-based books for December, any genre. I picked up - A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber. Sweet, home town story.

What children's holiday books do you love? Some of my favorites include: Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert E. Barry, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky to name a few.

Although some agents and publishers shy away from holiday specific books with a limited shelf life, I love them and think they add richness to children's literature. The best have a perennial shelf life. Keep them coming!

Friday, November 23, 2012

In the Black

For years, I thought Black Friday was named for the rudeness and misbehavior of day after Thanksgiving shoppers. I didn't realize it was for shop owners who were now solvent and "in the black" after 11 months of being in the red. 

It's a lot like writing. The majority of the time you use a red pen to hone a story to a fine edge. Then, after many revisions there is only black ink, no more rude red; the piece is polished to perfection. It becomes Black Friday or Black Tuesday or whatever.

Like finding a great sale, satisfaction reigns. Send it to an editor and hope for green.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Now?

Its Day 20 of PiBoIdMo and I'm still on schedule. Ideas are flowing with little or no effort. It's fantastic. The only thing that puzzles me is why now? In the past few years, I've  polished and re-polished a few stories and really didn't look much beyond those. Now during my first PiBoIdMo, they arrive right on cue singly or in twos and threes. Again, why now? Was giving myself permission to open the tap? Perhaps, but I'm thinking that it goes back to being prepared, being receptive, and doing the groundwork. Working on my craft for weeks and years brought me closer to the point where ideas are recognized and accepted as valid. It's exciting! How about you? On track? Ahead? Lagging? It's all good.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Creativity...Opening the Tap

It's Day 12 of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) and surprisingly I'm on schedule. Some ideas came in a flood and others dribbled in on the day they were needed. The key seems to be me. 

Let me repeat that. I am the key to my creativity. Who knew?! 

Making the decision to tackle the 2012 PiBoIdMo challenge allowed a creative cog to slide into place and OPEN THE TAP. 

My part was easy. I just had to commit time every day to soak up the ideas and write them down. Simple.

The hard part will be to work the best inspiration into stories I love, stories true to my writing voice.
How are you coming in this or other writing/illustrating challenges? Has the cog clicked? Share your successes and dry spells. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

VOTE! (for picture books)

As the daughter of a librarian, I grew up reading and loving books. When vacationing in the beautiful Pacific NW, my father would say, "enjoy the scenery and get your nose out of that book." I would look up, exclaim about the trees and view, then quickly get back to the story. Books were friends and fellow adventurers.

Picture books offer insights into new friends, places, cultures, and times for many children. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, give a picture book to a school or library today. You'll be there voting anyway. Share the adventure!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Release the Muse

I recently sent off a couple of picture book stories to an agent who requested them (i.e., excitement/terror personified) and was thinking I didn't have anything new to work on, but then came PiBoIdMo and the ideas started flooding in.

It is only Day 2 and I already have 4 new picture book ideas outlined. AMAZING!!!  Letting the muse come out and play was all it took! 

Still looking for a holiday motivator? There is still time to sign up for PiBoIdMo 2012.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Picture Book Idea Month - 2012

 Picture book idea month starts today. It's my first time to participate and I'm ready! I have motivation. I have  chai tea and snacks. I have a new spreadsheet to catch ideas as they spring from the ether.

Check back on November 30. With any luck, I will have captured at least 30 story ideas to polish in 2013. Good luck to all those participating! If you haven't joined yet, there is still time (through Nov. 4). Children's author,
Tara Lazar is the contact.