Sunday, November 30, 2014

Words and Ideas Can Change the World

Just think -

Amazing, right? And with all those different books made up of those 26 letters, 



Truth. That's not to say that authors are, or need to be megalomaniacs. But think about it - are your words making the world a better place?

You have that power. Use it wisely.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Writing Quotes, Notes & Inspiration

For this week's post, I thought I'd share my Pinterest board that I have had a wonderful time collecting today. This will be a good resource for me to turn back to when I need a kick-start or a self-check.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Journey Continues

I have been struggling with PiBoIdMo. I started off completely gung-ho, sure I would get at least one idea down per day.

Then life happened. And between one thing and another, I haven't had time to write down, let alone think of, a picture book idea in five days.

I wrote down my idea for today and then had much mental gnashing of teeth for the lost five days. Then for some unknown reason, I clicked over to my other blog (which I don't necessarily keep active) and saw that my one post that I wrote over two years ago FOR ME AND ME ALONE has about quadruple the number of hits as my next highest post. I so wrote that for me and me alone that I didn't even put any search labels on it. I just knew that I needed to have a post that would bring me calm just looking at the photos, which are of my personal haven. The photos wouldn't even mean anything or have any emotional impact to people who don't know the place.

So why the 1,200 hits? I don't have a clue. I'd be interested to know, but still, the purpose of that post was for me.

This got me thinking about my gnashing of teeth over my five day lull in PiBoIdMo. I'm participating in PiBoIdMo for me. My participation is for me and me alone. If I can keep up with an idea a day, that's great. If not, well, okay. It's just for me.

And to take this concept larger, the picture books (or MG or YA) I write should be FOR ME. They should speak to MY heart and give a piece of myself. If I write an idea because it was cute, fluffy, funny, it's a 'hot topic' at the moment or it seemed acceptable at the time, but it doesn't speak to MY heart and isn't a piece of ME that I am giving, I think there is far less chance that it will 'work'.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Just When I needed a Magic Idea Generator...

... there it was!

I'm very excited to be participating in Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo for the first time this year. PiBoIdMo, or Picture Book Idea Month, is for writers along the lines of NaNoWriMo. For PiBoIdMo, you use November to think of a picture book idea each day.

One idea each day for a month? Just one? Phhht! I got this! I have millions of book ideas popping into my head all the time!

Welllll. That's what it felt like anyway. When those ideas were flapping and cavorting riotously through my head for weeks on end.

Turns out there were three ideas for picture books. Three. So here it is, November 9, and I have been barely coming up with additional ideas. Shaky ones at that.

Now, I do have a method. I put my picture book idea with the date on the 'front' of each page in my notebook. And then, (since it seems some of those cavorting ideas were MG/YA ideas filling up my brain and making the whole idea room in my brain feel pretty full) I put my MG/YA idea on the back of that same page.

Then I print out writer/artist/editor/book pro guest posts from Tara Lazar's blog that I think will really help my writing process and put them in the back of my notebook.
My coolio notebook which is actually one of my son's discarded composition books from last semester's classes

I also left room in the back of the notebook for making lists that may end up generating writing ideas.

So November 4 comes. Patting myself on the back for my organization, puffed up to be participating in PiBoIdMo this year, no sweat I'll pull millions of ideas out of my fabulous head! Millions, I tell you! Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnd . . . (cue clunker car engine death rattle wherein I write down one or two clunker ideas) . . . I'm out of ideas.

What I need is a genyoowine idea generator. Yep. A good, old fashioned, genyoowine idea generator.

Poof! And there it was!

Splendiferous. Check out the George Stanley Idea Generator from Jennifer Arena on PiBoIdMo Day 7.

I closed my eyes and dropped my pencil point on one idea. Dragon. Then another. Dinosaur. Dragon Dinosaur? How am I going to make a picture book idea out of that??  Dragon .....Dinosaur.  Dragon... Dinosaur?

I then cheated. Pumpkin. Dragon Pumpkin. Dragon Pumpkin? Dragon Pumpkin! I can make an idea out of that!

The George Stanley Idea Generator. Try it, you'll like it!

And I'm taking ideas for Dragon Dinosaur. Ahem.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Native American Heritage Month

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, I'm passing along a great post from First Nations Development Institute. This is their post for Native American Heritage Month 2014 that includes quotes from Native authors, historical leaders and contemporary leaders in Indian Country.
In their own words:
November is National Native American Heritage Month 2014, and Nov. 15 in particular is “Rock Your Mocs Day” in which Native people stand together by wearing their moccasins (there's also "Moc Mondays" every week during the month). In recognition, the 20-member staff of First Nations Development Institute has created a list of their favorite Native American quotations and films.
“Many of us here are prolific readers and movie-goers, especially when it comes to things by Native authors and filmmakers or about Native history and experiences,” noted First Nations President Michael E. Roberts.  “In doing so, we often bookmark certain quotes or passages that speak to us, both from historical figures or contemporary authors, or we recommend films that, for one reason or another, we think are worth seeing. We think Native American Heritage Month is a great time to share these quotes and movies with both the Native and non-Native worlds.”
First Nations is a 34-year-old, Native-created and led organization that works to build stronger Native American economies and communities.  It is based in Longmont, Colorado, but serves American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities across the U.S.

Dance Fan by Kara Stewart, Art in Photography

See the rest of their post here. Great stuff.

And don't forget about Moc Monday. Not just to show solidarity and support, but hey, comfy shoes to work every Monday in November works for me!