With Halloween behind us and November rolling in, most people start thinking about the holidays. And that means presents. And shopping.
But, let's face it - toys are overrated and eventually end up in a landfill anyway.
Why give a toy, when you can give something more meaningful? Here’s one idea:
This blog post is an entry in Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie contest (Click on the image to learn all about it).
In a nutshell, you have to write a story 100 words or less that includes the words candy corn, shadow, and monster.
My entry was especially fun to write, and it was officially edited by 5 professional kids - that is being a kid is their profession - so I know it's good. (hehe)
And so without further fanfare, my entry:
Scruffy’s Missing (and I want candy corn)
Come on Scruffy,
You do this every time.
(Are you in the closet? No…)
I know the screeching and howling is loud.
But once you get out there, you always have a great Halloween!
(Are you behind the curtain? Nope, not there.)
We’re going trick-or-treating with the Vampire twins.
And then a party at Ms. Bone’s house.
She gives more candy corn to the ones with the best costume!
(There you are, under the bed! I see your shadow.)
Come on Scruffy, I need you!
How can I be a two-headed monster without you?
It’s the last Friday of October and you know what that means…
I noticed that my posts are getting boring with the same picture and heading, so I'm changing things up. I don't have any updates to give you on my writing – just that I'm plugging away on it. But I want to give you something to read here, so today I'm going to talk about...
I recently heard a speech that mentioned God, and then completely took Him out of Nature. In the talk, God was not defined as a deity or creative entity but as a personal journey or some nebulous connection to the universe. And that by extending your love and gratitude to those truly beautiful things, you bring blessings of happiness onto yourself - all by yourself, I guess.
This seemed strange to me.
I try to stay away from politics in this blog, but when my exact demographic is attacked – young, married, white, educated, middle-class, homemaker – I have to speak out.
It's back to school, and since I don't have anything to report (same old exciting projects I can't talk about yet), I thought I'd talk about something else...
This Post has a history like a chain letter:
Thanks to a comment on one of my posts, I visited Kristen at The Edifying Word.
She had blogged about a fun post she found on Books And Opinions.
I liked the post (both the original and the reblog) so much that I had to write a post about it myself.
Let's get two things straight:
1) I believe everyone has a right to their own voice.
2) That doesn't mean I agree with everything you say.
But I can't tell.
Ever have a secret that was too big to keep to yourself... But you have to?
That's what I've got.
And do you know how hard it is to create an Update post when you can't spill any beans?
Well, I'll try...
No Luck on my goal
In case you don't remember, my goal was to get 24 rejections by the end of the year. I planned to do this by marking off boxes on a new Rejection Bingo Sheet thanks to Kirsten at SubitClub.
I don't have any marks on my sheet because I haven't been querying lately, Because-
Because I've been working on...
Oh! I almost told! But I can't really tell because nothing is finalized.
Maybe I've said too much already.
So don't tell, OK?
Zzz is what hundreds of bloggers will be doing now that the #AtoZChallenge is over.
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.
Hello, and welcome to the Land of Not. Have you been here before?
No, but you've visited Rejection City? Wonderful, I hope you enjoyed your tour.
But I think you'll find the Land of Not completely different.
Actually, probably not.
Well, let's get on with the tour, shall we?
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)