Monday, February 28, 2011

To Get It Functional (Unscheduled blog...)

OK.  So I'm still learning the blogging thing.  I changed the settings on the comments so that you don't have to be a blogger or have an OpenID or stock in Google to leave a comment.  I had heard from two people that they couldn't (easily) leave a comment.  I can only imagine how many thousands of comments I missed because of that!

Happy commenting now, folks!

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Thank Goodness it's Friday!

Well, we're coming down to the end of February.  The Picture Book Marathon has been great, but exhausting.

So far, I've written 27 books in 25 days.  Only three days left to go.  I wrote a few extra in the early days and took two days off last week.  And I wrote two extras this week, so my total will be 28+ (hopefully).  It truly has been hard work to write a picture book a day from a new idea or an idea that had been hanging around a while.

I also found out what Lora Koehler and Jean Reagan had mentioned in the Picture Book Marathon blog - February 10th - Stinkers and Duds.  I found an idea or two that had been pulling at me, but when fleshed out, didn't really work.

Of course, not all of the books that I've written will work either.  I'll revise and polish them, some sooner than others, but even while writing them, some of them held less promise than others.  But be assured, my critique group will be seeing some of these in the months to come.

Plus, I didn't use up all the ideas I had generated.  I have lists and lists of ideas, but some days, I was struck by a new one that had to be done or I came up with something while I wasn't at my computer.

So, Thank Goodness it's Friday and the Picture Book Marathon is almost over.  It has been a great jumpstart to my writing, but I'm looking forward to now revising some of my stuff and sending it out!

Thanks for stopping by!


(I should have included the logo earlier!)

Picture Book Marathon logo by Nathan Hale

Friday, February 18, 2011


Of course I'm the funniest person ever!

I know that's not true, but I do try my best.  You heard about the Pope and the 'TGIF' on his slippers?  Yeah - Toes Go In First!  (Aha!  The TGIF connection!)  I remember hearing that joke while I was growing up.  I'm not sure why it has to be the Pope, but it works.

Humor can be a great addition to writing.  Of course, every book doesn't need humor, but it can certainly spice up a story.  Even non-fiction can use humor to make a subject seem more interesting.

I want to write for kids, so humor is a definite plus.  When I write my poems, if I'm doing light verse, the humor generally comes easy for me.  But when I'm writing prose, it can be a bit more difficult.

Do I have any advice when it comes to writing humor?  Nah.  I think I'm a funny guy, but it is kind of hard to put into words how I do it.  Verbally, while just hanging out or going through life, I use a lot of pop-culture and current event references.  I like a funny juxtaposition of words, and occasionally even make up my own words.

Anyway, if you do a Google search, you should be able to find lots of sites with tips on 'humor in writing.'  So, I guess this week's blog isn't so much advice, but a more introspective look for me.

As for what kids might think funny, here's a link to humor development in children.  It is on a Clowning website, but the concepts can apply to writing as well.
There are a few tyops, ;) but it is an interesting article.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to stop by every Friday.


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Good Ideas Flowing

I'm fine with ideas.  I read a lot about writers who get asked where they get their ideas and most of them respond the way I would:  Ideas are everywhere!

I'm rarely short of ideas.  When I'm writing about one thing, I often get ideas about other things.  While reading other writers' work, I get ideas (not the 'plagiarize' kind, the 'ooh, what if this happened instead?' kind).  When I'm just going through my 'normal' life, I get ideas.  I have snippets of paper, notepads, computer notes, and a phone and ipod full of ideas that came to me or I happened upon.

If I'm to give you one meaningful piece of advice:  Write down your ideas!  (Or type/speak them into your preferred device.  I wonder how long it will be until we can 'think' them into our notebook...)  I used to lose a lot of ideas before I started carrying around a notepad, and now an electronic notepad (or two).  You can sometimes get it back later, if you remember that you had something, but not always.

Of course, not all my ideas are good (blasphemy!).  Nobody's every idea is gold, but if you sift through enough ideas, you will find that gold someday.  And it is good practice to work with the ideas.  Also, if you're stumped, go back through your old notebooks and computer files and maybe something will inspire you or spur you on.

Keep reading--keep writing!

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Kickoff! (Introduction)

Hello.  I've finally started a writing blog.  I was wondering what I wanted my 'theme' to be.  I finally came up with TGIF.

I've always loved playing with words and acronyms, so TGIF may not always stand for what you think.  I was actually thinking Thank Goodness It's February because I am currently participating in the Picture Book Marathon.

The Picture Book Marathon runs during the month of February every year (started in 2008).  Marathon participants are supposed to write 26 picture books during the month--we get two days off for good behavior or something.  ;)  Last year I signed up, but didn't really do it.  I did use it as a motivation to do more for my writing career though.  This year, I was pumped, and I'm ahead of the game (6 PBs completed in 4 days!)!  Then, I guess we have the rest of the year to polish up those picture books, figure out which ones work best, and submit them to editors and agents!

So, it is Friday, and I was thinking of TGIF, then thought how that could be Thank Goodness It's February.  Thus, a blog is born.  Maybe it will give me reason to keep up a blog schedule though--I might start posting every(?) Friday.  We'll see!

Thanks for stopping by!