Saturday, February 27, 2010

I ran a marathon in February!

Okay, it wasn't a running marathon, but a picture book marathon. Lora and Jean spearheaded the Picture Book Marathon in the month of February. The idea was to write 26 picture books in the month of February--like running the 26 miles of a marathon.

I was very skeptical. First, to write 26 picture books in a YEAR is stretching it. Picture books take so much time to hone and make perfect. But I threw my hat in the ring, just for the challenge. I knew I needed to write everyday, and this was a great way to try it.

I created a journal just for the occasion (which I bought for a dollar at Michael's).

I created a calendar that fit on the inside cover for recording my progress.

And I made a long list of ideas that I had. I started the month with fourteen ideas and ended the month with 40 ideas. Needless to say, I didn't use them all. I have enough ideas to keep going.

My goal was just to simply get a draft down--not a manuscript fit to be sent off to a publisher, but a promising draft. And I did--26 of them. Now, I don't think I will ever even polish half of them, but there are a good 5-6 that I want to work on to see what happens.

I read picture books--loads and loads of them. It helps to have a five year old who devours books. I would read them to her before bed, then run off to my computer after both kids were asleep to start the new draft.

Lora and Jean did a great job of sending encourage blog posts to keep us motivated--like good coaches. Last weekend I got sick with a bad sinus issue, then two days later the stomach flu hit hard and bad--fever, vomiting and all. I got behind. I got discouraged. I wondered if I would finish.

But I did! I have a folder full of drafts, a journal full of ideas and lines jotted down. It was a very productive month. I wrote nearly everyday and it felt great!

What I didn't have time to do--write some nonfiction ideas. I have several great ideas for nonfiction picture books, but I didn't have time to research them and keep up the pace of writing a draft a day. So, those are on the horizon. With some more time to research, I hope to start writing some of those ideas down.

I'll be having my own version of March Madness--revise, revise, revise. I have a folder full of things to work on.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poetry Friday--A Kyrielle

Thanks to The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Stretch on Monday. One of my goals is to do as many as I can. I love the challenge. I even started a journal just for this purpose. BTW, if you have a Michael's craft store in your area, they have some of the best journals for $1!!!!! Everytime I stop in, I buy a few.

The poetry stretch for this week is a Kyrielle. See the link above to see what that is. Here's mine:

Nepalese Monsoon

Steaming tin roof, sloped and plain
echoes the drumbeat of the rain

waiting beneath for the rumble to wane
while downpours puddle up the rain

my thoughts jumble in my brain
scrambled by deafening onslaught of rain

a conversation I try to feign
but give up shouting over the rain

I'm back--from a long hiatus!

I have no idea if anyone even sees my blog anymore, but I'm back--after a VERY long hiatus. In 2008 I stopped blogging, thinking it was just temporary, but it ended up being much longer than I anticipated. I became pregnant with my son. I was quite ill the entire pregnancy and managed to basically go to work, take care of my daughter, and go to bed each and every day. Six weeks after he was born I went back to Hollins University to finish my coursework for my MFA in Children's Literature. I only had two classes left, so I needed to finish. I did. Whew! Then I went back to work--teaching. I feel like I have finally come up for air after about a year and a half. I have finally gotten back to reading, writing, and living like a normal human being. I have been back to reading blogs--yippee! I have missed blogging. However, I don't think I'll be able to blog as much as before. I'm going to keep my expectations reasonable for myself. I do plan to share at least once a week though.