Sunday, March 5, 2017

#50PreciousWords Challenge...Don't mind if I do!

Well, it's been a looooooooonnnnnng time since I've posted. And what is it that brings me back?
Why, a writing challenge of course!

Vivian Kirkfield is running her #50PreciousWordContest to celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday. And it is too much fun to resist. So much fun in fact that I made two 50 word or less stories. I mean really, who can resist a challenge?
Check it out for yourselves at

Blanche Baxter

Ba-dum. Played lonely little drum.
Happy when bell and gong ran in. Ping pong, Ding dong.
Chasing one another round and round. Creating huge rings of sound.
Hours without a care, their rhythms filled the air.
Until their mothers called them home, Ba-dum, little drum left all alone.

And then in the middle of the night, this one came to mind. . . Hehe!

Blanche Baxter

A story, 50 words!
I wake in fright,
Jump up, clap on the light.
Outlook dank, thoughts blank. 
Mind is racing and I'm pacing,
Pencil scratching and erasing.
Just when I think my story's done,
I count–
It's 51!
But wait an idea in sight–

Thursday, January 1, 2015

UNconditional love, theme for 2015!

Thought for this new year, wonderful #2015. . . #Unconditionallove!

Life is nothing without love, true love. And the best kind, the only real kind of love that fuels our hearts, souls and minds is unconditional love. When you see people rushing through their days, what do you think of them? When someone you love, a spouse, a child, a friend does something that disappoints you, how do you handle it? When you do something that doesn't live up to your expectations, are you kind and loving to yourself?

Too often we put conditions on our love, expectations that need to be met to make us deserving, and we feel bad about ourselves or about our relationships with others when we feel let down. But if we can realize that there is no letting down, because we are all perfect the way we are and deserving of love, then we can love one another fully, and leave our growth to god.

Take a moment to calm you mind and still your body. Picture a warm golden glow starting in the center of your heart, and watch it grow until it fills your whole body. Then imagine it radiating outwards until it encompasses everyone around you. Notice how no matter how much you send out, there is always more inside you, this source of never ending love and light and warmth. See everyone you meet in the glow of this beautiful warmth and love. Now pull it back inwards until it fills your own heart so fully that it might burst, be surprised by how much love your heart can hold. 

Keep this feeling with you as you move throughout your day, send it out to anyone (and everyone who crosses your path) and fill your heart with this warm love and light whenever you need a boost of unconditional love. Let it be a reminder to be good to yourself and to others! Love to you all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ignore the heckler!

Writing can be hard, and it can be easy.

It's such a simple concept. But, the part I often forget, is that it is my choice which it will be. 

When I set down to write, I can let the thoughts flow from my mind to the page like water from a faucet. I love that feeling when I'm in the creative groove and the story is coming together so quickly, I don't even have time to judge it. All I can do is observe, create, and stand in awe of the fact that I am lucky enough to have this be my vocation and my calling.  

But other times, I freeze up, choke off the flow with my own inner critic. 

We've all experienced that hurtful voice in the back of our minds that makes up feel bad about what we're writing, what we're doing, and sometimes simply even who we are.  

This is the voice that creeps up sometimes when I am really in the zone. I'm flowing, feeling good, and suddenly I begin to doubt. I get so caught up in what my writing should be, all the preconceived notions, that I don't/can't let it just be. It starts to rear its ugly head with thoughts like "this idea will never work" and "ugh, that dialog's not natural" or "no one will ever read this dribble." And instead of telling this voice to simply to kiss my grits, I let it get the better of me and before I know what happened I'm swimming in doubt. Faucets clamped shut, shut off value is soldered, and I don't know how to open it again. 

And once doubt kicks in it is really hard to remove it. It's like I have to create a positive affirmation for every heckling negative thought that swims through my mind. Often I'll try and write through it. Other times, I'll just have to get up and take a lap, knowing that once I've given my mind a break it usually calms down and lets me get back to creating. 

But the thing I've found that works the best out of all these methods is to let myself play from the beginning. To trust that whatever comes through me is exactly what it is meant to be. To have fun, trust myself and to enjoy the process. 

I really do love that part. That my friends is what keeps me coming back for more. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why we need to fuel our creative fires

 This past weekend I put on my big girl pants and took myself to a creative experience (with other people...who are also writers, artists...and editors–oh my!). 

I know, I know, this doesn't sound like a big deal. But, when you consider that the last in-person SCBWI event I've been to was, dare I say it, over 3 years ago, and that most of my writing community social interactions have taken place online since then, this is a pretty big step for me. 

There are a lot of reasons why this is. I move a lot so it is hard to establish a home base writing community. I've also been under the weather health-wise for a while and so it's been hard to get out regularly to meet with people. And, last but not least, I have the best darn-tootin' online critique group in the world, my crit buddies the WritePBers. 

Writing is my life, and I do it at home. 
So, when it comes to my writing life, I don't get out much. It’s easy to forget how important it is go out, talk to people face-to-face, discuss what you love, and plain old play. 

When we write, draw, or create in any fashion, we are channeling ideas and bringing them into fruition. This mining for gold unearths some incredible things. But constantly taking these ideas out and putting them on the page can leave us empty, and if we don't refill the well with new stimuli, new experiences, and images that we get from going out and experiencing life, we may run dry. 

So next time you're feeling stuck and the creative process has ceased to be well, productive, go out and do something! Body and mind will get a much-needed break. And, you might be struck with just the right idea to get you back in the flow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - Show some love!

Valentine's Day is coming!

 I'm lucky to have a number of little ones (of varied ages) in my life right now. I like to send them each a V Day card, so that they know they are loved. And this year, I decided to add a little something extra in each card.

What did I add, you ask? Well, it wasn't money. Although I'm sure that would have been many of their first choice.

I was feeling creative, so I decided to add little drawings in each Valentine. Just some cute, silly little doodles. But I enjoyed the act of creation. And, I hope they will make them smile.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. Find a special way to show those around you that you care.

Here are a few of my little holiday doodles.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Start the Year Off Write 2014! Sure will!!!

Good things come in pairs, it seems.

Just when I was gearing up for this month's ReviMo, I heard from Julie Hedlund about another great writing challenge, Start the Year Off Write 2014, by Shannon Abercrombie.

Starting January 5th, her happy band of writers, illustrators and publishing experts will be posting writing exercises, as well as offering wisdom and critiques (woohoo prizes!) to participants.

Who are these illustrious published authors and illustrators sharing their writing exercises, you ask.

Well, they are:

Linda Ashman
Troy Cummings
Drew Daywalt
Lori Degman
Ame Dyckman
Meg Fleming
Liz Garton Scanlan
David Harrison
Julie Hedlund
Thanhha Lai
Tara Lazar
Marianne Malone
Christie Matheson
Ammi-Joan Paquette
Matt Phelan
Mary Francis Rockcastle
Corey Rosen Schwartz
Adam Rubin
Kristen Fulton

 I know, right! Grrrrrreat line up!

Very excited to be a part of this one, and I know that it will be just the thing to boost my creativity for the new year.

Head over to Shannon's blog to sign up.
Here's the link:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Challenge? ReviMo, you betcha!

January is ReviMo!!!

So friendly writer folks, it looks like I am gearing up for another writing Challenge, as if November crazy write-extravaganza wasn't enough. :-)
When I heard about my super industrious writer buddy, Meg Miller's January challenge encouraging writers to revise, Revise, REVISE those PB manuscripts for a fulll week in January, I knew it was just the thing to get me back in the proverbial saddle. And I don't know about the rest of you, but I have A LOT of manuscripts just itching to be revised! (Hanging out of draws and off tables, clogging up my hard-drive, and sometimes, even haunting me in my dreams.)
And with November's challenges in our tail lights, and in a couple days the holidays behind us, it will be the perfect time to dive in and get back to creative work. 
Personally, I am quite excited! *cracking knuckles and getting ready to work*

So, hop on over to Meg's blog, register for the challenge, and get ready for great pep talks, prizes, and fun. Sign up at:

ReviMo - Revise More Picture Books Week ---- January 12-18, 2014

She's got some great prizes cooked up, including:
*A picture book critique from the Simone Kaplan
*A Making Picture Book Magic Class with Susanna Leonard Hill
*Basic Rate Your Story Year Membership for 2014
*The Picture Book Academy's Grammar Groove Course with Miranda Paul
*A chance to submit to Hummingbird Literary
 *A critique from Miranda Paul  (PB or first two chapters [up to 15 pages] of MG or YA)
*Critique of a query letter from Miranda Paul
*Nonfiction PB critique from Kristen McGill Fulton
*A picture book critique from Margo Dill, Editor 911 (1000 word max.)
*A picture book critique from Alayne Kay Christian (prose only)
*Beth Stilborn's Flubs 2 Fixes Copy Editing Service for 1 or 2 Picture Book Manuscripts and a One-Page Query Letter. (MS should be submission ready. Beth's service is primarily final-step copy edit prior to submission)
*Copy of Linda Ashman's Nuts & Bolts of Picture Book Writing (PDF or EPub Version)
*Signed book and swag from Ame Dyckman

Woohoo, I want all these prizes! But, I will remind myself the virtues of sharing. ;-)
Can't wait!!! 
It will be just the thing to start the new year off right!