#NaPiBoWriWee Days 5, 6, 7 and a Wrap Up

I just flew in from #NaPiBoWriWee, and boy are my arms tired. It was a great exercise in writing every day (a constant goal of mine), and I have a better understanding of why it doesn’t happen. I also have a better idea of how to make it happen more often.

Life balance, juggling, time management, sleep deprivation. Whatever you call it, it’s about choices. Do I want to sit and write or do I want to:

  1. Work my day job
  2. Spend time with my family
  3. Clean the kitchen/the bathroom/myself
  4. Exercise
  5. Watch TV
  6. Read a book
  7. Buy groceries so we’re not eyeing each other like it’s the Donner Party Picnic

Choices and goals. This week gave me a clearer picture of how to make it work, and the value of working even when it’s hard. Thanks, Paula. I owe you a hug, or a high-five at least. Same for all the awesome folks who have chimed in and cheered each other on through the week.

OK, on with the show, I’m veering hard to the maudlin.

Day 5

This idea wasn’t on the original list I had made, but I couldn’t resist the title (which popped into my head while hiking around a local pond with my family). I often lock on to a phrase or title, and tease it until a story pops out. I like this one a lot, but again feel it might be a better chapter book or middle grade story than a picture book. Here’s the title, and opening line:

When Is a Polar Bear Not a Polar Bear?

Willa took the news hard, and she decided to do something about it. It took days to get the whole thing set up, and keep it a secret (well, mostly). Today was the day. She stepped off the bus, went to her locker and put on the Polar Bear costume she had hidden there. Now maybe they’d listen!

This is topical, dealing with climate change issues, but I don’t want to focus on the issue, rather the impact it has on Willa and what she does to raise awareness in her school. It’s a very rough draft at the moment, but this one gets a star next to it, for follow up.

By the way, the answer is, “When there’s no more polar there”.

Day 6

Confession time. Day 6 and 7 got away from me. I have the ideas, a rough outline and sketches for Day 6, but the rough draft eluded me. I’m blaming Day Job again. Where’s the life balance when you need it. What? You mean I need to pay the mortgage too? Bah! Hulk smash puny mortgage! But I digress…

Halloween is NOT for Monsters

Halloween is NOT for Monsters!
I just can't let him go.

Doodles work for me too. This little guy to the right appeared a couple of years ago, and I just can’t get him out of my head. I’ve worked up a series of sketches for him that tells the story of a little monster that wants to go trick or treating. His Mom won’t allow it because the monsters let the regular people own Halloween night. He figures out a way to sneak out and trick or treat without revealing himself as a monster.

I guess it’s an homage to the Charles Addams cartoons that I fell in love with as a young boy. I remember getting odd looks from the librarian checking out a collection when in second grade. Of course now I get odd looks from librarians for checking out children’s books. What’s with all the judgement, librarians?

Day 7

I knew this was going to be a tough one. I’ve had this title in mind since last summer, and just can’t find the story in it. Cute character, interesting situation. No conflict that satisfies. The Unicorn Whistle remains to be written. Someday…

Now it’s time to put these stories away for a bit. I hit the pause button on two projects in order to do #NaPiBoWriWee and I’m chomping at the bit to get back to them. Hope your week was equally refreshing. I’d love to know if any of your rough drafts from this week make it to submission and publication.

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