Wild One

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I’m so happy to share that Wild One has finally come in. Wild One is a board book story that I had written about my late son, Owen. I had a friend and talented artist, Karen Gilmour, create the illustrations and then I gifted the book to my husband for Christmas. Let’s just say that I won Christmas this year. Can’t top this sweet book!

My goal for this book is for it to be used as a fundraiser for the wonderful foundation who built my son’s memorial playground: Where Angels Play. They are an amazing organization that brings so much joy to those who most need it. Soon I will partner with them to offer Wild One as well as another board book for sale. Please stay tuned for information on how you can purchase one for yourself. Also make sure you check out all of the great work Where Angels Play has done and continues to do.

These pictures though!:

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Looks so much like our Owen:

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Crossing the Finish Line

“The best kind of happiness is a habit you’re passionate about.”
Shannon L. Alder

PiBoIdMo Winner!

PiBoIdMo is not just about coming up with 30 ideas, although that does help!, it’s about creating a habit. I’ve heard it said that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. PiBoIdMo has helped me cultivate the habit of seeking out ideas and writing every idea, no matter how obscure, down.

 

I finished with 34 ideas and while many may never see the light of day, just the act of writing those sparks has created a life-long habit for me. That’s the key. I look forward to developing some of my PiBoIdMo ideas into drafts and continuing to look for inspiration everywhere.

 

Many thanks to Tara Lazar and all of the people who helped us along with their inspirational blog posts. Looking forward to making every month PiBoIdMo- that will be the best kind of happiness!

NJ SCBWI & PiBoIdMo

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Had a wonderful day yesterday at the NJ SCBWI Fall Craft Weekend. I wish I could have gone both days but I still learned so much from just attending Sunday. I was feeling run down and woefully unprepared but managed to soak in as much as possible and meet lots of people. I had lots of positive feedback for my manuscript and I am so grateful for the opinions and insights from the editors and agents I worked with.

PiBoIdMo 2015

I’ve also been participating in this year’s PiBoIdMo with the wonderful Tara Lazar. Please check out her site here for more information. While it’s too late to sign up officially, you can still decide to come up with an idea each day for the rest of the month for your own benefit. It’s been wonderful and challenging and I can’t urge you enough to try it for yourself.

Off to write idea #9!

Plot-asaurus Rex

I don’t plot the books out ahead of time, I don’t plan them. I don’t begin at the beginning and end at the end. I don’t work with an outline and I don’t work in a straight line.

~Diana Gabaldon

 

As a writer, I can completely relate to Diana Gabaldon’s quote. Sometimes it’s just a nugget of an idea and I build around that. Other times it’s a character that comes to life and I write about what they are doing. Anyway it happens, I love when I get a spark of a story.

This year’s KidLit Summer School is focused on plot and I’ve been trying to soak it all in while working on my W-I-Ps and balancing summer life with the kids. It’s not easy, to say the least. There is so much good advice happening that if you haven’t checked out Nerdychickswrite.com yet, you’re seriously missing out.

Today, writer Lee Harper talked about plotting with post-it notes which is something I’ve done myself. It works for me because I’m a visual learner and I need to see things in their place. This is helpful when plotting a book with post-its and not so helpful when rearranging furniture in your house.

Me: “Maybe you can just move it there so I can see what it looks like.”

Husband: “It won’t fit there.”

Me: “Just try.”

Husband tries. *grunts* *curses*

Me: “Yeah, you’re right it doesn’t fit there. Oh! How about over here?!”

(This conversation may or may not have happened MANY times)

If you just need to see something in it’s space, then plotting with post-its is for you. Check out this link to see Lee explain it much better than I can.

The Voice. Like a Prayer.

 

I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing
I have no choice, I hear your voice
Feels like flying

~Madonna

While I’m sure the Material Girl was not singing about voice in writing, I still feel like this applies. When you read your favorite author and mentally hear the words they have written, you connect to their voice and that’s what speaks to you. It’s the particular words that they choose, they way they turn a phrase or their cutting dialogue. It feels like flying.

So how do you get that writing voice? According to Kelly Delaney and that really cool webinar I took recently, there are four ways to work on finding your voice:

1. Practice. (I think this is sometimes the hardest)

  • Write every day (super hard for me!)
  • Don’t focus on finishing projects to share (not as hard for me)
  • Experiment with different styles and genres ( I haven’t tried this yet)

2. Talk to yourself (You mean, do what I’ve already been doing my whole life anyway? Check!)

  • Tell your story out loud (This makes a huge difference! Especially in my picture book manuscripts)
  • Pay attention to differences between spoken and written stories (Hmm, I will.)

3. Don’t force it (But I’m desperately trying to find my VOICE!)

  • Forcing strains voice (Oh…gotcha)
  • Don’t mimic other voices (Mimic not, I will.)
  • Rhyming makes things harder (But I got more rhymes than a Bible’s got Psalms! See it even worked for House of Pain)

4. Retelling (as I explained in my last post)

  • Take another piece of short text and tell that story in your own words (You can use my post and retell it in your words or go back to retelling obituaries, you weirdo, you.)

There you have it. Four practical ways to find your writing voice. Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there!