Category: KidLit

NaPiBoWriWee 2010

There’s been a flurry of sketchbook activity and notebook reviewing as I get ready for NaPiBoWriWee 2010, founded by the amazing Paula Yoo. That’s National Picture Book Writing Week 2010 for the acronym challenged.

To get ready I revisited my notes and ideas from Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month. Seriously did I have to spell that one out too?). To my great surprise, tucked away in that little Google Docs file were a number of solid ideas for a productive week of picture book writing. I’ve also added a few more since then in sketchbooks, text files, napkins and post-its. Enough so that I feel great about seven FIRST DRAFTS in seven days.

Did you see the ALL CAP emphasis? That’s because this is about getting those rough first drafts down for revision. Later. Paula says it quite nicely, allow me to borrow her words for a minute:

Having said that… I want everyone to have fun with this! I’m not expecting Shakespeare or “Goodnight Moon.” This is an attempt to encourage people to finally write that picture book they’ve been dreaming of… please think of this as a fun opportunity to brainstorm and finally write that first rough draft that you can go back to later and revise and improve upon. So often we  procrastinate or convince ourselves that our idea for a picture book is not “good enough.” So NaPiBoWriWee is a fun way to have everyone GO FOR BROKE and write 7 picture books in 7 days and see what happens!

Sounds like a great idea.

The hardest part of the next ten days will be following one of the other rules; no pre-writing. Brainstorming, outlining, and I assume sketching, are allowed, but save the text for that week. Well, my brain is storming away. I’ll be ready to hit the keys on May 1. How about you?

It Pays To Be Lucky

My grandmother won things. Never anything life-changing, like Powerball, just contests held by local grocery stores, or school raffles. Enough so that you’d say she was lucky. Fun fact – she could walk into a a clover patch, bend down and effortlessly pick out a four-leaf clover. That was always cool when I was kid. Heck, I think it’s pretty cool now.

I think some of that luck has been passed down to me. I win the little things too. Door prizes, “Guess the number of gumballs”, things like that. The little things.

Last week I got lucky again. By posting a comment on her blog I won a Synopsis Critique from Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates. This sure feels like a big thing to me.

I’m new to writing. Well, new to writing with the intent of being published. A couple of summers ago I decided to take a “Creative Vacation” at the end of August and attended a local writer’s conference. They had week long classes on writing a picture book led by Judith Moffatt, and Writing Comic Books with Peter David (blog | wikipedia). That was a life-changing week for me (I’ll tell you why in a future post).

Since then I’ve been baby-stepping towards publication, writing more and surprising myself that the well of ideas seems to be a lot deeper than I ever thought. As anyone starting out knows, though, writing is only one part of the equation. Somehow you have to get noticed.

Maybe my grandmother’s luck has given me that chance. I don’t expect any miracles, just the little things. At worst, I’m going to get professional feedback on a story that I love. At best? Well, miracles do happen. Come to think of it, that’s not such a little thing after all.

Off to the clover patch. Wish me luck!