Monthly Archives: January 2015

PBers: Eyes Over Here! Hot News. Act NOW!

I’m here to tell you about two important things — 12×12 and ReFoReMo. Read on.

12×12 registration ends February 28.

I’ve mentioned Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge often in this blog, and here I am again shouting out about the best writing challenge for PB writers who want to:

  • get and stay motivated to study craft,
  • write and revise manuscripts, and
  • get brave – and smart – about submitting.

The benefits are too numerous to mention here, but you can see for yourself here.

Membership at the GOLD level is now closed, and the SILVER and BRONZE levels will close on February 28. If you write PBs, you owe it to yourself to learn more about 12×12 and decide if you should join. Do it now because after February 28, membership is closed. For. The. Rest. Of. The. Year. And you’ll have to wait until next January for another chance to join.

ReFoReMo is coming in March.

Never heard of it? That’s because this brainchild of Carrie Charley Brown is debuting this year. It’s a month of study of picture books for PB writers and illustrators with PB experts posting daily about – you guessed it – PBs.

I first met Carrie through the 12×12 picture book challenge. We quickly became online friends and recently served together (with five others) as first round judges of picture books for the Cybils competition. I so enjoyed reading her comments about the books we judged, and I appreciated seeing things from her point of view when we stood on opposite ends in our whittling down of the best seven of more than 200 books. She’s intelligent, insightful, a former teacher using picture books in her classroom, and a writer of PBs who’s studied her craft. I’m sure ReFoReMo will be a grand success because of her experience and her big heart that makes her want to help others. Click here to learn more about ReFoReMo.

You’re welcome. Have a great year!

 

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From Beyond the Grave.

Happy 2015, everyone!

I began my new year with a party — drinking good wine, eating delicious food, chatting with old friends and making some new ones. It’s said that whatever you do on the first day of the year reflects what you’ll be doing throughout the year.

But I can’t party every day. Well, yes. I could. But there are bills to pay.

So over the next few days, I got things ready for business in 2015. I created documents to keep track of my writing and reading and client work. I reviewed goals I had set in previous years and set some new ones. I analyzed where I’d submitted manuscripts, researched editors and publishers’ catalogs, and made notes about where and what to submit this year. I created a new Excel document that would help me work more efficiently and submit manuscripts more wisely (which took more than three hours of data entry).

And then my hard drive said, “Tink. Tink-tink. Tink.”

Gone. All that prep work for the year, and everything else I had on that hard drive, gone.

It made me wish I worked in a field where computers weren’t necessary. I wished I wasn’t so dependent on technology. I wished I wasn’t a writer.

So right then and there, I quit. I shut my laptop. I declared myself Not-A-Writer.

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(c) 2014 Photo by Carol Munro

 

It was like a death. I felt hollowed. Empty and echo-y and silenced.

I stayed dead for about a day, then I put my party pants back on, drank some good wine, and got back to the business of writing. Because a writer’s gotta write, right?

One of the things that brought me back was Facebook. Or more accurately, the community of writing friends I have there. Yes, YOU. You saved me. Thank you.

Thank you, Julie Hedlund, Kelli Panique, my co-Elves, and 12×12 (which is open for 2015 membership now through February 28).

Thank you, Elaine Kiely Kearns, Sylvia Liu, and KidLit411 (celebrating a one-year anniversary now with a party full of prizes, but the best gift of all is the wealth of info for all kidlit writers all year long).

Thank you, Alayne Kay Christian and Sub Six. Thank you to my fellow Cybils judges, to Tara Lazar and PiBoIdMo (just named one of the top 10 blogs for writers), to the other online groups I belong to, and to the writers who are not only my friends on Facebook or face-to-face, but also in my heart.

You all brought this writer back.

And hopefully, soon, a techno-wizard will bring back the contents of my hard drive.

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