Every year for the month of April bloggers take on an amazing challenge where each day we write a blog post based on a letter of the alphabet.
This year, I had big plans which some wise writers quickly dissuaded me of. So without further ado, my theme for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge will be...
Quick shout out to the ReFoReMo peeps, who are feverously reading mentor picture books. Even if you aren't actively participating, I suggest you take a peek at the official blog for amazing tips on how published books can make you a better writer. (Link is at the bottom of this post)
If you are a math nerd, then you probably know all about Pi Day – No, not that kind of pie...
One of the great things Dr. Seuss did for Picture Books was to get more kids reading them. It's no wonder that we now celebrate his birthday with "Read Across America Day". Schools and authors everywhere are celebrating, and I hope you'll join in the fun!
How am I celebrating?
I'm entering Vivian's Kirkfield's #50PreciousWords contest!
*Clink *Clink* Is this thing on?
Oh! Sorry about that. Guess it's on.
Ahem! This is your Big Goals Blog Hop Cohost speaking with an important message:
I just entered a birthday blog giveaway and realized that picture book writers are pretty good at thinking like a kid.
Happy Presidents Day!
Warning: I'm about to talk about something you have a strong opinion in – Donald Trump.
It's that time of year again when great writers enter Susanna Leonard Hill's FAB-U-LOUS Valentiny Contest. Link and details are below my entry...
Never Text a Valentine
(My poem, written several years ago, seems appropriate):
Here I am
New Year's here again,
Looking at that same old list,
I wrote so long ago.
They say hindsight is 20/20,
But I don't really know.
I guess you have to turn around
to see if that is so.
It's no secret that one of the fastest ways to become traditionally published is by learning from other authors. Luckily, there are countless great online courses and subscriptions. You know how I've drooled over so many, I'm still mopping up my computer desk. But today I'd like to highlight just one.
But first a story...
My week has been eventful, so I'm trying to squeeze in my entry among life's craziness. This is for Susanna's fun contest which I don't have time to elaborate on, but I do hope you'll look at the rules so you can appreciate the theme of the entries.
The Mixed-Up Christmas @ 297 Words
Santa always checks his list twice ever since the mix-up with Mikey Jones in '32.
All Mikey wanted was a bike. All Mikey got was the 12 Days of Christmas. By the 7th day, Mikey's house was full of birds. He had...
Seven Swans a-swimming in the bathtub
Six Geese a-laying in the laundry
Five Golden Rings (that wasn't so bad, except they were just the kind you put napkins in!)
Four Calling Birds in his bedroom keeping him awake all night
Three French Hens in the kitchen that pecked Mikey's toes
Two Pigeons Pooping all over the front room (The tag said they were turtle doves, but those were nothing like turtles according to Mikey.)
"And that partridge on the porch can't be for me."
When eight gallons of milk were delivered by Maids a-Milking Inc., Mikey's mom told him to put on his shoes. "We're going to have company tomorrow and we'd better make something to feed them all."
Mikey put on his shoes like his mom said, because he was a good boy and didn't deserve this awful mix-up. The two spent the Eighth Day of Christmas making custard and pies from the goose eggs and milk, while dodging the three pecking French hens.
Sure enough, the next day Nine Ladies danced into Mikey's house.
Then the day after that, their partners leapt in, plus a Leaping Lord partner for Mikey's Mom. Ten in all!
On the Eleventh Day, when Mikey went to join the Pipers Piping, he discovered what happened. There among the Christmas Carols was Mikey letter to Santa. Why hadn't Santa realized there was a mix-up?
On the Twelfth Day, Mikey started a new letter to the sound of Drummers Drumming:
"Dear Santa, I have a bone to pick with you."
Oh yeah, and I got another rejection.
I totally get why so many people are upset about the results of the United States Election 2016. The fact is more people voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump. But Mr. Trump won because he has obtained more electoral votes – votes that will be officially cast on December 19th. This whole electoral college thing seems to be a complicated way to elect a president.
But in a weird way, I'm grateful for it.
Ladies, we need to talk about what we are doing to ourselves.
Those of you who know about the goals blog hop that this post is a part of may wonder what Anne of Green Gables has to do with my goal of getting rejected 24 times. Bear with me...
It's Susanna Hill's 6th Annual Halloweensie Contest!
100 words or less
Kid-friendly Halloween Story
Use the words "ghost" "moon" and "spider"
(Below my entry is the link to the full details of the contest)
Receiving an honest critique on your pages can be brutal. When the feedback is less than positive, it can be a blow to your very core. But fear not, brave Writer! There's hope for your words. You only need to know how to handle the critique.
No, I didn't get an agent.
But almost as good...
I thought my readers might enjoy a guest post on Early Shirts titled "3 Unusual (And Fun) Ways to Teach Kids to Read."
Here's an excerpt:
When you think of early literacy, you might think of stories at bedtime and frequent trips to the library.
While these are excellent ways to help children learn to read, sometimes you can teach reading without ever opening a book.
Ever spend hours writing a post, hit the publish button and the *poof* the post disappears? That happened to me.
While I wait to hear back from the agents I've queried, I sometimes build my author visit skills by volunteering and guest teaching at my kids schools. As soon as I have a traditionally published book to promote, I will be charging a fee and will need to do some relabeling.
Last time I visited Disneyland, I was a nursing Mommy with several children under 5. More recently, a friend asked for tips on visiting, and I realized I had enough ideas to build a blog post!
Disneyland can be a fun experience for anyone – even a mommy with young children. Here are my tips for Mommies to make the most of the trip (without pulling your hair out).
I promised a visual calendar for September, but time got away from me. Never fear, though, I did post several writing (and illustrator) opportunities at the "retired" Writers Bloc in Placerville website.
For my readers who love kids books, here's a guest post I wrote on Early Shirts about celebrating September with them: http://earlyshirts.com/15-books-to-celebrate-september/
This month, I got a rejection bingo on my card.
The game's not over yet, of course, because I'm going for blackout. (And then I'll probably get a new rejection bingo sheet.) But the bingo inspired me to write an open letter to my future agent.
Dear Future Agent,
Maybe I haven’t queried you yet, or maybe I have and you just haven’t had a chance to read it. Either way, I can’t wait to get to know you.
Rest assured that my actual query to you is personalized with your name spelled correctly, and that I’ve done my homework in the industry and what you represent.
There were a few times I thought I’d found you, but it was another agent who didn’t connect with my manuscript. That’s OK. That means a better chance to work with you, my REAL future agent.
I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. It’s even better than some of my past manuscripts, and I’m still growing as a writer. And I know you’ll have insights about my work that I can’t even imagine!
I’m not sure when I’ll find you, but I’m going to keep looking until I do.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)