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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #7

The photo challenge today asked participants to post five facts about ourselves. Here’s what I wrote to go with the photo below.

  1. Some days I feel like I carry this pile of stones in a sack on my back. I have friends who cut holes in the sack and lessen my load.
  2. I count my blessings. So far, I have this many (see pile).
  3. I have certain rocks I’ve found elsewhere and hauled home. I treasure and care for them, and display them on my porches as though they’re works of art.
  4. Rock and roll is not my favorite type of music.
  5. One of my favorite places in this area of the world I call home is a lake I was introduced to by a friend when I was 20. There are many large rocks and boulders in the woods and water. When the water level is low, one grand boulder peeks out. I swam out to sun myself on it many times, once towing my youngest son who was maybe about six years old. He held my shoulders and floated above me, completely trusting.
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©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

Photo Prompt: 5 Facts About Me

Writing Prompt: Pebbles. Stones, Rocks. Boulders. What do they mean to you? Brainstorm. Make a list of 60 things about you and rocks. YES, sixty. Why so many? Today in another blog post, my writer friend Marcie Colleen mentioned this:

Twyla Tharp, award-winning choreographer, often asks her students to generate a list of sixty possibilities to solve a problem and then chooses the sixty-first.  As she says in The Creative Habit, “The closer they get to the sixtieth idea, the more imaginative they become—because they have been forced to stretch their thinking. It’s the same arc every time: the first third of the ideas are obvious; the second third are more interesting; the final third show flair, insight, curiosity, even complexity.” So, keep those ideas coming. Challenge yourself. Dig deep.

(Thanks, Marcie! You can follow her here.)

When you have sixty things on your list, pick something that inspires you to write today. Save the list for future inspiration. Have fun. Go. Write.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #6

This is one of many pages in a blank journal I made for one of my sons. The book is my version of River Song’s journal (of Doctor Who). I printed various quotes from episodes of the television show on random pages throughout the book. If you’re curious to see more photos of this book, click on the JWW Samples tab on this website.

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

Photo Prompt: Notebook

Writing Prompt: Liar, liar, pants on fire. Your nose is longer than a telephone wire. Write about lying or being lied to or being accused of lying. Can you do it in dialogue only with no narrative whatsoever? If you try, it will be a great exercise in showing the characters’ feelings through their words only. Have fun. Go. Write.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #5

Today my photo for Suzannah’s challenge (citrus) stretches the connection a bit. I took lots of photos of lemony-orange nature – bursting-bright yellow flowers, buzzy-fuzzy yellow jackets and bumble bees, fluttery-beautiful yellow butterflies and orange ones, and bitty-bouncy yellow goldfinches. But I choose to post this pic of fruit growing on my quince bush. What’s so citrus-y about quince? Glad you asked. This fruit has more vitamin C than lemons. And there’s the connection.

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

 Photo Prompt: Citrus

Writing Prompt: Write about the over-use of hyphenation. Or about fruit. What was your favorite fruit when you were a child? And now? What memories do you have about picking fresh fruit? Or buying it? Or stealing it? What’s the oddest experience you ever had involving fruit? (If you hang upside down and swallow watermelon, the juice comes out your nose. Yeah. I know that for a fact.) Consider writing from a child’s or animal’s point of view. Have fun. Go. Write.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt ©  Carol Munro, 2015

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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #4

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

Photo prompt: Numbers

Writing Prompt: Today the photo challenge led my husband and me into a cemetery we’ve driven by for more than 30 years. I’m glad we stopped and strolled around. It made me feel more rooted in this region of Western Massachusetts. This stone in particular made thoughts in my head ping-pong every which way. The abbreviations. The stone cutter’s work. The longevity of this man born in 1616. That this man (it seems) is buried with his son, who died 52 years later. (Did the Captain not have a stone all those years? Or was his replaced after his son died? Or have I totally misconstrued the stone’s message?) That 300+ years later, someone continues to tend this grave. Where does this photo take your thoughts? Go. Write. Have fun.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #3

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

©2015 Photo by Carol Munro

Photo prompt: Skin

Writing Prompt: Sometime we read into things. We see things that aren’t there. Today as I photographed the bark of a tree, I saw a face looking at me through the viewfinder. Can you see the face? Do you see the cigarette hanging from its lip? Write about seeing something that’s not there. Write about not seeing what you think is there. Write about seeing beyond the surface. Write about attempts to hide the obvious. Or write about skin – thin skinned, thick skinned, the skin of your teeth. Have fun. Go. Write.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

 

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Photo Challenge / Writing Prompt #2

Today’s Air Quality Index (AQI): Unhealthy

© 2015 Photo by Carol Munro

© 2015 Photo by Carol Munro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo prompt: Air

Writing Prompt: It’s a guy thing. The lift of the foot, the lean to the left, the letting go of…air. Write about buddies being buddies together. Have fun. Go. Write.

For more info about the photo challenge, go here: Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

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Photo challenge for me. Writing prompts for you.

I’ve joined Suzannah Conway’s August Break, 2015. It’s a photo challenge that’s centered more on fun than challenge. She provides a daily word prompt, and we follow up with a pic, which may or may not relate to the prompt.

I thought I’d post my daily photos here on my blog as writing prompts — for those days that I meet the challenge, that is. Here’s the first.

© 2015 Photo by Carol Munro

© 2015 Photo by Carol Munro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo prompt: Breakfast.

Writing prompt: Who came to the table? Was there conversation? Silence? Morning garumphs? Birdsong? Rumbling lawnmowers? Honking horns? Incorporate sound and taste, more so than any other sense, into your work. Or not. Have fun. Go. Write.

Photo and writing prompt © Carol Munro, 2015

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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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Cybils News and a Whole Lot of Favs

Round One of Cybils judging is done! Whew!

We (me and six more judges for the picture book category) have chosen seven books from a list of 229 that were nominated this year. Want to know which we chose? Can you keep a secret? Because I’m not supposed to tell, but if you can keep a secret…

Yeah, right. I’m not tellin’! Finalists for all categories will be announced January 1, 2015. On that day, you should be able to find the announcement here.

Meanwhile, I’ve been remiss in posting my favorite picture books, so check out this list from books I’ve read in June through November.

  • ALL DIFFERENT NOW: JUNETEENTH, THE FIRST DAY OF FREEDOM by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, 2014, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • BAD BYE, GOOD BYE by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean, 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub. Co.
  • THE BAMBINO AND ME by Zachary Hyman, illustrated by Zachary Pullen, 2014, Tundra Books
  • BEAR HUG by Katharine McEwen, 2014, Templar Books (Candlewick Press)
  • BEN & ZIP, TWO SHORT FRIENDS by Joanne Linden, illustrated by Tom Goldsmith, 2014, Flashlight Press
  • THE BOY ON THE PAGE by Peter Carnavas, 2014, Kane Miller (EDC Publishing)
  • CAPTAIN CAT by Inga Moore, 2013, Candlewick Press
  • COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS! by Lori Degman, illustrated by Deborah Zemke, 2014, Creston Books
  • THE CROCODILE WHO DIDN’T LIKE WATER by Gemma Merino, 2013, North South Books, Inc.
  • EXTRAORDINARY JANE by Hannah E. Harrison, 2014, Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Group)
  • THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN by Marla Frazee, 2014, Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • THE FLAT RABBIT by Bardur Oskarsson, 2014, Owlkids Books
  • FRAIDYZOO by Thrya Heder, 2013, Abrams Books for Young Readers (Abrams)
  • FROODLE by Antoinette Portis, 2014, A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press (Holtzbrinck Publishing)
  • THE GIRL AND THE BICYCLE by Mark Pett, 20114, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • GOING PLACES by Peter H. Reynolds, illustrated by Paul A. Reynolds, 2014, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • THE GRUDGE KEEPER by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, 2014, Peachtree Publishers
  • HAVE YOU HEARD THE NESTING BIRD? by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak, 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • HENNY by Elizabeth Rose Stanton, 2014, A Paula Wiseman Book (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • HERMAN AND ROSIE by Gus Gordon, 2013, A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press (Holtzbrinck Publishing)
  • HI, KOO A YEAR OF SEASONS by Jon J Muth, 2014, Scholastic Press (Scholastic Books)
  • THE HOLE by Oyvind Torseter, 2013, Enchanted Lion Books
  • HOPPER AND WILSON FETCH A STAR by Maria van Lieshout, 2014, Philomel Books (Penguin Group)
  • HOW TO BEHAVE AT A TEA PARTY by Madelyn Rosenberg, illustrated by Heather Ross, 2014, Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A DREIDEL by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by David Slonim, 2014, Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic Inc.)
  • I LOVE YOU JUST ENOUGH by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, 2014, Sleeping Bear Press
  • IMANI’S MOON by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell, 2014, A Mackinac Island Book (Charlesbridge)
  • JOY IN MUDVILLE by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Glin Dibley, 2014, Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
  • KID SHERIFF AND THE TERRIBLE TOADS by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith, 2014, Roaring Brook Press (Holtzbrinck Publishing)
  • A LIBRARY BOOK FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, 2014, Candlewick Press
  • THE LION AND THE BIRD by Marianne Dubuc, 2014, Enchanted Lion Books
  • MADAME MARTINE by Sarah S. Brannen, 2014, Albert Whitman and Company
  • MATILDA’S CAT by Emily Gravett, 2012, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • MOGIE, THE HEART OF THE HOUSE by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • MONSTER NEEDS HIS SLEEP by Paul Czajak, illustrated by Wendy Grieb, 2014, Scarletta Kids (Scarletta)
  • THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING by Ashley Spires, 2014, Kids Can Press (Corus Entertainment)
  • MUMBET’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE by Gretchen Woelfle, illustrated by Alex Delinois, 2014, Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
  • MY TEACHER IS A MONSTER! (NO I AM NOT) by Peter Brown, 2014, Little, Brown & Company
  • THE NOISY PAINT BOX, THE COLORS AND SOUNDS OF KANDINSKY’S ABSTRACT ART by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary Grandpre’, 2014, A Borzoi Book/Alfred A Knopf (Random House Children’s Books/Random House, Inc.)
  • OH, HARRY! by Maxine Kumin, illustrated by Barry Moser, 2011, A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press)
  • ONCE UPON AN ALPHABET, SHORT STORIES FOR ALL THE LETTERS by Oliver Jeffers, 2014, Philomel Books (Penguin Group/A Penguin Random House Company)
  • ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, 2014, Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
  • THE ONLY ALEX ADDLESTON IN ALL THESE MOUNTAINS by James Solheim, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, 2014, Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
  • OUT OF THE BLUE by Alison Jay, 2014, Barefoot Books
  • PAUL MEETS BERNADETTE by Rosy Lamb, 2013, Candlewick Press
  • PEGGY, A BRAVE CHICKEN ON A BIG ADVENTURE by Anna Walker, 2012, Clarion Books
  • PLANET KINDERGARTEN by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Shane Prigmore, 2014, Chronicle Books
  • QUEST by Aaron Becker, 2014, Candlewick Press
  • THE ROCKABILLY GOATS GRUFF by Jeff Crosby, 2014, Holiday House
  • RUPERT CAN DANCE by Jules Feiffer, 2014, Michael di Capua Books (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • TAKE AWAY THE A by Michael Escoffier, illustrated by Kris DiGiacomo, 2014, Enchanted Lion Books
  • THOSE MAGNIFICENT SHEEP IN THEIR FLYING MACHINE by Peter Bently, illustrated by David Roberts, 2014, Andersen Press USA (Andersen Press Ltd)
  • THREE BEARS IN A BOAT by David Soman, 2014, Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Group)
  • WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom, 2013, Compendium Kids

Let me know if any of these are your favs, too.

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