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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 2017 Writing Prompt -- Little Boxes and Friendship




  LITTLE BOXES

Dear Friend,
You are safe with me.
I will not unfriend you
Because your beliefs and opinions
 May differ from my own.
 I do not seek the conformity
Of “little boxes just the same.”
I choose to embrace
The diversity of ideologies
 To which friendship exposes me.
 If this makes things challenging—
When the best we can agree to
Is to respect our disagreement—
Know you are worth it.
My growth as a person depends on it.
You are safe with me.
 
 
If you aren't familiar with the "little boxes" reference, this link will take you to a Pete Seeger  recording of this song written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962: Little Boxes
 
 
 

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 2017 Writing Prompt -- Snow Melts






Snow melts, drip-dropping,
Finding my bare neck, snaking
Shivers down my spine.
 
 
 
 

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Month of Story Ideas



In November 2015, I participated in PiBoIdMo--thirty days of jotting down story ideas, characters, plots, or even word lists in the hopes that these bits and pieces might inspire a picture book manuscript. I faithfully jotted down my 30 plus ideas and eventually found at least three I knew I could develop further. With those works in progress added to my repertoire, participating in this event was a success as far as I was concerned and I eagerly awaited November of 2016. 

Then in the fall of 2016, PiBoIdMo founder, Tara Lazar, announced she was revamping the event. The idea was to give it a name more associated with brainstorming motivation. And one much easier to say. Furthermore, it was moving to a new month.  Moving the dates, did away with any conflicts with the popular NaNoWrMo event that many children's writers also like to participate in. I bit back my impatience and looked at these changes as a win-win scenario. As soon as registration opened, I signed on.

STORYSTORM  debuted January 1, 2017. There may be a new name and new art work, but at heart it's still all about chasing those elusive story ideas. Once again, Tara has enlisted some wonderfully creative writers and illustrators to provide daily posts that will sizzle synapses like lightning, blast in a blizzard of bright ideas, and leave participants over the rainbow with a pot of golden nuggets. I don't know about you, but like Pecos Bill, I'm going to jump on this twister and chase me down some stories.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Writing Prompt - December 2016 - Christmas Acrostic


 
 
THE PROMISE OF CHRISTMAS
 
 
Come, celebrate the promised One,
 
Heralded by a shining star,
 
Revealed to all this Holy Night.
 
Innocent babe born in a stable,
 
Sought by shepherds and kings alike--
 
Truth has taken human form.
 
Make haste, rejoice, sing alleluia . . .
 
Announce to all the joyous news:
 
Son of God, Christ our savior, has been born this Christmas Day.
 
 
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 2016 - Writing Prompt - TURKEY SURPRISE

 
 
 
Wednesday saw flocks,
Strutting by without a care,
In for a surprise.
 
Yet Thursday morning,
Not a single feather stirred,
Not a gobble heard.
 
Drumsticks, thighs, or breast?
Vanished like our dinner plans.
We got the surprise.
 
 
 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 2016 Writing Prompt -- Scarecrow Dance


 
I just read a beautiful picture book, Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Rob Dunleavy and was inspired to try the reverso poem format in which it was written. Since it's October, the rest of my inspiration came from here: Scarecrow Gallery

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SCARECROW DANCE
 
Magic
Moonlight
Conjures
Music
Windmill
Creaking
Branches
Swishing
Cornstalks
Rustling
Crickets
Thrumming
As
Head
Bobbing
Arms
Flapping
Legs
Swaying
Boots
Thumping
Dance
Scarecrow
Dance
Thumping
Boots
Swaying
Legs
Flapping
Arms
Bobbing
Head
As
Thrumming
Crickets
Rustling
Cornstalks
Swishing
Branches
Creaking
Windmill
Music
Conjures
Moonlight
Magic
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

BACK TO THE BASICS

 

With fall comes that rush of back-to-school energy. A new year, a new beginning. New things to be learned, new friends to be made. A mood that has me thinking this is the perfect time to take my writing “back to the basics.” Which is a rather humbling thought—after all these years, shouldn’t I have the basics down?

Well, yes. And no. I think over time I’ve learned what the basics of story structure, of creating characters, of rhythm and pacing, of voice entail. But when one of my stories hits the desk of an agent or editor, have I applied those basics to the very best of my ability? Have I given my work the edge it needs to be the Waldo that stands out from the crowd? Judging by the ratio of rejections to nibbles . . .

No, it’s time to dig deeper. Time to take a step back. Several steps back, in fact. It’s time to go back to school. To pull those favorite books on writing for children off that dusty shelf and crack them open again. To go back through the scores of picture books I’ve read recently, pick my favorites, and dissect them as mentor texts. To boot up that online course I spent money on, put my bottom in my chair, and become a student again.

Will it pay off?

I’ll let you know.

 

My favorite books on writing for children:

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books by Linda Ashman

Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz

Second Sight by Cheryl Klein

 

The online course I’m using:

Picture Book BluePrint – Laura Backes, Children’s Book Insider