Friday, May 11, 2018

Challenge Yourself

A recent Writer Unboxed: Finding Your Way Back to Writing post spoke about challenges and choices. I am not sure of the specific author so cannot give due credit; however, the post read as follows:

"When it comes to challenges, you have a choice. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Being part of the problem means repeating excuses over and over and not doing anything about it. Being part of the solution, on the other hand, means searching for answers and taking action."

I initially copied the post to share with a family member struggling with a big challenge right now. This morning, however, it really hit home on the writing front as I re-read it.

It always goes back to time management for me and the ever necessary balance of writing, work and family obligations.  Surprisingly, I started the year doing well on my goal of one new rough draft a month and not skipping critique submission dates; however, as the weather has improved, I have found my creative self and mind going in several directions.  My challenge right now is to bring focus to the tasks at hand to complete them in an orderly manner rather than the haphazard way I've been doing as of late.  Chaos in my writing environment seems to bring chaos to my mind.  I need organization to function well, and I am far from organized right now between webinars I am midway through watching, two WIPs I am trying to edit and another begging to be roughed out--all good things, mind you; I just need to accept the challenge to bring order to the chaos and find my solution rather than aggravating the problem by adding to the chaos to make the whole more overwhelming, especially as my work year winds down and kids are about to be home for the summer.

I just purchased a large daily agenda pad that looks like a long legal pad to keep myself on track daily and weekly throughout the summer. I will list the most important items to complete per day to keep myself on track and accountable.  We shall see how it goes, but I am hopeful!


Do you work on multiple projects or one thing at a time? If you are interested and willing to share, I'd love to hear your best and most successful organizational tools.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Contract

I am excited to announce I've recently signed a contract for my third children's picture book, ALPHABET ZOO.  I am excited to work with the 4RV family once again and can't wait to see my story come to life as the illustrator brings his/her vision to the creative process.

Check back for updates as we get closer to publication and the release date.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Essence of the Book


I bought a new candle yesterday that has an amazing scent. The brand is "Essence of the Bean." I sat looking at the label this morning while listening to a webinar, and the brand name (and let me tell you, Maple Praline Crunch is divine!) made me think.  Essence of the Bean...Essence of the Book.

As writers, we think a lot about boiling our stories down to a one or two sentence pitch.  That one sentence root, ultimately, seems to be the "essence of the book." It started me thinking in a new way about what is really the essence of my current WIPs.  I have one particular story that seems to be ever morphing but in a chaotic, haphazard manner.  I still can't boil it down and identify the true essence of the story.  Needless to say, it is moving to the back burner for a while.

My newest WIP, my 12 x 12 March rough draft, does have a more identifiable root or essence.  Maybe not fully boiled down to one sentence yet but definitely much closer.  I will continue to work toward developing the "essence of the books" I'm working on while smelling the "Essence of the Bean" candles for added creativity:)

How do you boil down your story to find the true essence and create a 1-2 sentence pitch?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Here We Go...


Ready? Set? Go! Today is the start of a new month of reading for research. It is a great month of learning from daily posts and mentor texts as well as discussions from others in the kidlit community.

Learn more at http://www.reforemo.com and join the fun.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy President's Day


As we celebrate our forefathers today, I pray for peace and sanity throughout this great nation.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Storystorm Success


A storm of ideas it was through the month of January. I generated 31 ideas in 31 days, one of which has already been developed into my first rough draft of the year.  Thank you, Tara Lazar, for providing this opportunity to kick off the new year right!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Explore Your Idea Environment

In the spirit of all the posts and comments I have read recently about ideas being everywhere (which is absolutely true), I thought I'd share this quote.

     "Every person that you meet knows something you don't; learn from them."  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.




Well, hello? It stands to reason that if ideas are everywhere, the people around us are surely part of that equation. I work with children and always keep my ears open for story ideas as, so the saying goes, "out of the mouths of babes..."  So often, however, I find myself looking at things for ideas--the shape of the clouds in the sky, the beautiful sunrise or sunset, the antics of animals, the sounds in the environment, etc. There are so many unexplored ideas and story possibilities in those we encounter each and every day not to mention the new information gained to shelve away in our brains for future use just by listening and participating actively in communicative exchanges. I am going to do a better job of being open to really hearing those ideas and new information when going about my daily activities and communicating with others and see where it may lead. It will certainly broaden my horizons, so my mother used to say.

So, pay no attention if you finish up a conversation with me and turn to wave good-bye only to see me typing frantically on my phone or scribbling away in my notebook.  I'm just jotting down any thoughts as you go:)