Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Gratitude for this Fantastic Way to Kick Off the New Year: 12 x 12 Challenge Scholarship Winner!

12x12 Challenge

Happy New Year to me and my fellow winners of the diversity and financial need scholarships for the 2020 12 x 12 Writing Challenge. Yay! Follow the link below to read more about the scholarship and the thankful recipients.

12 x 12 2020 Scholarship Winners

I’ve been steadily working on picture book manuscripts, but sometimes feel like I’m spinning wheels. The 12 x 12 Writing Challenge is the perfect way to jump start my new year of writing and help me focus on writing, editing, and polishing picture book manuscripts.

The main goal of 12 x 12 is that participants complete the year with at 12 picture book manuscripts/drafts. This is accomplished through videos, expert advice, writing exercises, inspiration, and online critiques by 12 x 12 members-a comprehensive endeavor by kidlit writers. At least, that’s what I believe to be true about 12 x 12, since this will be my first year to join. In reality, I know my experience will be much, much more.

Much thanks and gratitude for this awesome opportunity goes to Julie Hedlund and the entire 12 x 12 community who generously donated to give scholarships to other writers. THAT is what the kidlit community is all about-supporting and helping other writers. I love it!

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Cheesy happy grin from a writer who is very grateful and excited!


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A Little Encouragement Goes a LONG Way

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I might be one of the worst encouragers. Seriously. I think all these wonderful thoughts and admirations, but often forget to pass along many (or any) of the encouraging statements floating through my brain.

Case in point. Last week I texted my honey while he was at work. Almost daily he sends me lovey dovey, encouraging texts. I tell him I love him, but I don’t usually reply with much lovey dovey stuff. I feel it, think it, know it. But forget to tell him. This time I texted him first and told him how much I love him and what a blessing he is to me and how much I love our life together. He was so touched! I felt horrible for not doing it more often. I mean REALLY, not just thinking good things, but sharing. It’s not that hard. You can guess what one of my simmering on the back burner goals is now, can’t you?

Here’s yet another example of encouragement that goes a long way. While enjoying my writing residency at Holly House (Hypatia-in-the-Woods) I opened the writing desk drawer to find many different encouraging notes from previous residents. What a wonderful surprise! I loved reading each note and added a few of my own. Permission to take a nap! Yay!

The short of it: saying or writing an encouragement to someone doesn’t take that long. As long as it’s heartfelt, encouragement is the gift that keeps on giving.

Who can you encourage today?

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Storystorm Winner!

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I’m a Storystorm winner!

Storystorm is a month-long brainstorming project for writers of picture books organized and hosted by Tara Lazar. Mark your calendars for January 2020 when Storystorm will blast off the new year with daily posts, ideas, tips, and interactions with other writers. It’s that good.

Everyone who participates in Storystorm is a winner. I have a full notebook of ideas from this past month of Storystorm and previous years of Storystorm. I just began my second notebook. Those notebooks are gold mines for writers of picture books. Really!

I can’t tell you my ideas. They are SECRET. For now. Let me tell you there are some real gems lining those pages.

Whoop!

What do you do to brainstorm?

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via One Writer’s Journey: Organization Optimization

This post by Beth Anderson gives excellent organizational tips for researching and writing for children. I’ve found myself stuck and constantly searching for that ONE piece of paper hosting important story information, so I definitely could use organization tips. Spiral notebooks just might be the trick.

Thanks, Beth!

*Beth’s book is pictured above. Can’t wait to read it!

 


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: Dog vs Cat

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purple tongue panting

sun-heated fur, sunshine paws

I hike! I like! ruff

 

on a scale of 1 to 8, I’m a ca-nine by Ally Andersen

 

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aloof feline boss.

I rule, command, what I see.

know this, slave, or die.

 

cat-ness by Angie Quantrell

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Teacher (the older one) and student (from way back when in 3rd grade) who is now a senior in high school!

Fun! What a lovely, well-spoken young lady! It was a joy to spend time with her.

 


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Helping Fellow Writers: Some Very Messy Medieval Magic

This is a repost from Literary Rambles. To see the complete post, go here.

Happy Thursday Everyone! Today I’m excited to be participating in the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop hosted by StuckInBooks. There’s a lot of new books that have recently released or will be published soon, and I’m excited to share them with you. I’m hoping to read more this summer and hope you’re planning to as well.

Can You Help Me Help a Friend Who Has Suffered a Tragic Loss? It’s Easy!

But before I get to the book selections, I need you to ask you to help me help an author friend who just suffered a tragic loss. Lee McKenzie has been a good friend of mine for years who I met through my blog. Her newest MG fantasy, SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC, released on May 15, 2018. Two days later, Lee suffered the tragic loss of her husband due to a sudden heart attack. I also suffered the sudden loss of my own husband a little over four years ago and know firsthand how heartbreaking this loss is.

While we cannot take away Lee’s grief, we could show her kindness and friendship by helping her promote her book. I know you all are book lovers and many have your own blogs. I’m hoping that you can do all or some of these easy things to help Lee:

Buy Lee’s book. An e-book is only $3.99. I just did that.
Post about Lee’s book on your blog and other social media sites. Ask your friends to help do by shouting out about her book and buying it
Here’s a blurb about what the book is about:

Pete’s stuck in medieval England! Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Timelock.

But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found. There’s only one solution—fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. He travels to 1173 England accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar. But what if the page remains lost? Will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the dukes’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones, and Pete quickly realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again.

And some links:
Website: http://cleemckenziebooks.com
Dancing Lemur Press: http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Some-Very-Messy-Medieval-Magic-ebook/dp/B079V72G8R/ref=sr_1_1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Some+Very+Messy+Medieval+Magic

Thanks to any of you who can help out.

,

 

 


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A Valentiny Story for You: Jello Did Not Like Valentine’s Day

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Jello did not like Valentine’s Day.

True, the holiday was fine. For everyone else. But for Jello? No one ever remembered to deliver a valentine specific to his – ahem – tastes.

“Jello,” shouted Hatchback. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Strawberries, a favorite of turtles. Disappointing. Putting on a smile, Jello croaked, “Thank you.”

“Hey, mellow Jello,” squawked Licorice. “Will you be my valentine?”

Corn, a crow’s go-to meal. No surprise. Jello belted out, “Thank you.”

“Ssssay, Jello, old buddy,” called Slinky. “Rosessss are red, berriessss are blue. You are my friend. Here, jusssst for you.”

Speckled eggs. Eww, shells. Pasting a pleased look on his face, Jello gulped, “Thank you.”

“Hi-de-ho, Jello,” chortled Twitch. “My heart belongs to you.”

Dandelions, and I’ve no rabbity teeth for gnawing. Jello grunted, “Thank you.”

“Sweet as honey, Jello,” roared Buzz. “BEE my valentine!”

Sticky honey. Ugh. It glued Jello’s mouth shut. Jello bellowed, “Thank you.”

 

No one indulged Jello with his favorite treat. Valentine’s Day was a bust.

 

“Jello-pie,” croaked Jiggle. “True love of mine, you’ve wiggled into my heart!”

Jello gasped! A valentine, just for him! Pink tasty worms. Perfect for his – ahem – tastes. Beaming, Jello barked, “Thank you!”

Maybe Valentine’s Day was not so bad after all. Jello shared his valentine treats with his friends.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Written by Angie Quantrell (214 words)

 

The Second Annual Valentiny Writing Contest: by Susanna Leonard Hill

The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is confused!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone confused (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 🙂  You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)  If you are so inclined, you are welcome to submit more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 🙂  No illustration notes please!


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Storystorm Day 26: “Non-Fiction Truths” by Rebecca E. Hirsch

by Rebecca E. Hirsch Congrats, Storystormers, you are almost done! Tara asked me talk to you about how to get nonfiction ideas. In fiction, anything is possible. But nonfiction shows the world as i…

Source: Storystorm Day 26: “Non-Fiction Truths” by Rebecca E. Hirsch

What are your interests? Mine your hobbies, passions, and experiences for picture book ideas – fiction and nonfiction!


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Storystorm Day 15: “The Day-Job Rule” by Jason Kirschner

by Jason Kirschner If you can stick with this post all the way to the end, you’ll find my little bio where it is clearly states that “author/illustrator” is not my day job. Most d…

Source: Storystorm Day 15: “The Day-Job Rule” by Jason 

One day to complete a picture book? At least you would have a rough draft, right? Thanks, Jason.


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Storystorm Day 7: “Be Big! Be Small! Be Any Size at All!” by Jennifer Arena

by Jennifer Arena A year ago last autumn in Chicago during the Architecture Biennial, one exhibit captured my imagination. Situated in the middle of a large room were several dozen waist-high stand…

Source: Storystorm Day 7: “Be Big! Be Small! Be Any Size at All!” by Jennifer Arena

Need fresh ideas? Change your perspective! Can you see those tiny people sitting on a mountain of chips?