I'm entering a blog contest titled "You Deserve to Be Inspired"
The rules are relatively simple: tell about an experience that will inspire someone and give three positive things I've learned.
The problem is I don't actually have a sob story.
And here we are - the hardest letter in the English alphabet. Lucky for me, it's also Update Day at the Big Goals Blog Hop. So I'm going to X off both on my list at the same time.
(See what I did there?)
*Ahem* Official Cohost here, telling you to click on that image up there and join the goal making blog hop.
OK, I'm done being official.
For Writers: No Xs on My Bingo Sheet
Because Kirsten W. Larson has started a new round of Rejection Bingo, I've downloaded the new sheet.
So Right now it's blank.
But I'm back in the querying game, so it might not be blank for long.
For Readers: An X from the Past
Looking back helps me see how far I've come. Today, I thought it might be fun to look at the two past years I've done this challenge.
There is no doubt we are in a Digital Age. It seems everyone and their dog has a website. But what if you are not as webpage savvy as the Millennials? Are you doomed to never be published?
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
They also say publishing a children's book is a lot like raising a child.
I don't know who they think they are, but...
I think I chose the two most underrated careers in the history of careers: homemaker and children's author. In today's post, I'll explore the latter.
For Writers: Being an Underrated Author
"Oh, you write for children? How cute!"
"I've thought about doing that. I've read tons of children's books. How hard can it be?"
"How fortuitous! I'm a librarian. If you want to sign a copy of your book, I'll be happy to put it on my shelf."
"Oh really, and when will you graduate to writing real books?"
All of the above quotes (or versions of them) have actually been said to a children's author. Being an author of children's books is underrated, possibly because:
Ironically, I've been told that it's impossible to write a play that tells a full story in under ten minutes. I thought, that's interesting because I know tons of people who do it all the time - how long does it take to read 32 pages, straight through? Time yourself. You'll be surprised. Which brings me to...
For Readers: Underrated Picture Books
One of my favorite authors is Sid Hoff. His books should receive as much fame as Dr. Seuss, but alas they don't hardly. What is it Dr. Seuss's books had that Sid Hoff's didn't?
Really the only thing that takes a quality book from obscurity is the marketing. And since our collective attention span is so short, the loudest most colorfully marketed books get the fame while the rest equally impressive books slide into the massive figurative pile of picture books, collecting proverbial dust - and largely forgotten altogether.
So, my friends. Take a trip to the library. Walk past the flashy signs that say "Read me now!"
Bend down and start scanning spines. Find the one that doesn't grab you, that doesn't have a cover redone or arrows pointing to it.
True, you might find a lump of coal.
Or you might find a gem.
In any case
Enjoy the hunt.
The Big Link
Whether a message is being translated from a foreign language or simply from a former generation, it is probably going to be altered just a little.
When I chose this word for my #AtoZChallenge post, I immediately began singing, "Silence is Golden". The message of the song is so sad, but lovely at the same time. And I began to wonder, is Silence Golden for Writers and Readers? Here's my answer...
For Writers: Silence means No
Shout out to Kirsten W. Larson @SubitClub who has started another round of Rejection Bingo!
The center square of this card is "Free Space: Silence means no"
That's why for many writers – Silence is not Golden.
Or is it?
Sometimes Silence doesn't mean no. It might mean
"My inbox is so full I can't see the bottom of it."
"Life Happened. I've been offline for a while dealing with it."
"Google decided all emails with 'Query' in the subject line were spam."
"Your email got lost in cyber space. I never received it."
So, how can you be sure it's really a "no"? Some do's and don'ts
So, as frustrating as silence can be for a writer, it really is often a necessary tactic for agents and editors.
For Readers: Visual Silence
Sometimes the whitespace or pause can be more effective than any words. I love when a wordless spread carries the story. Or when a page stops midsentence and you have to turn the page. As a reader, you can play with that pause to engage little listeners. For example,
If you do it with a twinkle in your eye, then your listeners will perk up and pay attention as you eventually do return to the story. Nothing more enticing then the possibility of NOT ever finding out – it makes you want it more.
That's why pauses are so delicious.
Yep, Silence is Golden after all.
Just in case any of my followers have never heard of the song "Silence is Golden", here it is:
Want to join me in Rejection Bingo? There may be chocolate...
Also, want to join me and many other bloggers on this crazy A to Z Blogging journey?
P.S. I haven't posted in the comments of the A to Z blog lately because I haven't been able to visit fellow bloggers. But if you drop me a comment, I promise I'll return the favor!
Today for my #AtoZChallenge post, I'm talking about "Read Aloud"
I love questions! The good ones, the bad ones, the stupid ones, and even the ones you only think are stupid. I think the only bad question is the one never asked... because that means you've assumed something.
Since I am still trying to catch up my posts – today's is short. Hope you enjoy, anyway!
I've been told there must be opposition in all things. I don't know about that but it definitely rings true in picture books.
Today I'm blogging about my least favorite subject - money.
Today's #AtoZChallenge post is all about length. For Writers, I'll discuss how long the book should be. For Readers, I talk about long-winded picture book titles (that are so good anyway).
If you happen to scroll down my homepage, you'll read that I write "for, about, and around children all day." But what you may not know is that I also READ for, about, to, and around children all day. So today's word is...
So I just wrote this blog post for the A to Z Challenge and just thought you might like to read it. Enjoy!
I hope you are enjoying reading the many blogs participating in the A to Z Challenge this month. Today I'm going to talk about...
Today for the #AtoZChallenge I'd like to talk about an awesome word...
Hi Friends! I'm so glad you've stopped by because I finally got a chance to post in the official A to Z Blog.
But today will be different because today's word is...
Hello, Hello, Hello! Today I'm talking about the Echo, echo, echo! As part of the A to Z challenge.
I feel like a sorry excuse for a blogger not responding to the comments on my previous posts, but please know I feel the love!
So here we go, go, go!
As I was sorting my inbox so I could read and reply to A to Z blogs (if I ever catch up), I found another blogger's post titled "D is for Dialog". She may have spelled it differently, but I worried my post might become redundant.
Not so! This month Megan Morgan is on a mission to cure writers of this awful insanity we call writing. I whole-heartedly support her cause. If you have any hope of quitting, SAVE YOURSELF!
Unfortunately, I'm addicted. Beyond hope.
So my word today, like hers, is...
As I continue to play catchup, I hope everyone is enjoying their A to Z journey. I have some comments on my previous posts, plus any that come to visit today, and I simply MUST return the favor before posting a comment in the official A to Z blog. But before I do all that, let's talk about today's word...
Hello, Hello! Glad to see you at the second post of my A-to-Z Challenge. Actually I'm REALLY glad, because I'm still playing catchup and the fact you are here means you cared enough to come back! You're Awesome!
Today's word is...
This is my first post of the 2017 AtoZ Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is "For Writers and Readers" and today's word is "Animal." For Writers, I'll be sharing my ideas about when it's OK to have anthropomorphic animals in your story, and tips on how to do that effectively. For Readers, I'll talk about nonfiction animals, and why you might sometimes find them in the picture book (fiction) section.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)