Writers Jingle Bell Rock!

DSCN8538And so this is the first of December…

Some of you are downright euphoric, coming off a November of major writing accomplishments, whether it be 30 plus picture book ideas or 50,000 plus words for your novel!

Some of you…not so much.

I won’t say what camp I fell into this year. I’m just going to direct you to “Counting Your Writing Blessings” over at The Muffin. I smiled, writing that post and thinking up blessings. I hope you’ll smile, too, after following the directions.

Because it’s December, and all of you writers–wherever you are in your journey–Jingle Bell rock!

It’s A Snowy Check-in Kind of Day

I am not such a fan of real snow–well, not so much the snow as the fact that, generally, it’s cold outside when it snows–but I do so love the snow here at Cathy C. Hall’s!

And here is something else I love:


Wheeee!! Now I have some great, medium-great, and so-so great ideas to start my year of picture book writing. (I’m not counting the not-so-great ideas. I mean, what was I thinking, writing down an idea about a cow patty???)

And I kinda love this, too:


Um, yes, well…okay, it’s not the winner’s badge. But I’m two-thirds of the way through that rewrite, and rewriting is a whole lot harder than writing because you have to, you know, really think about all those swell writing things that you’re supposed to know but maybe left out. And I had to weave all sorts of nuances through the story and add character development and…fine. I didn’t finish the rewrite. But I’m still giving myself a small “w” wheee! (one exclamation point). I will finish that rewrite before the end of December, friends.

And here’s something else I’ll finish:

2013 Reading Challenge
You have read 71 books toward your goal of 75 books.
There is something about the word “challenge” that’s very motivating for me. The Beneficent Mr. Hall might say I’m “too” competitive, but what is the point of playing a game if you’re not going to try to crush your opponent?
Um, anyway, I’ve been dominating that reading challenge at Goodreads, and just in case the December hectic hits, I’ve got a couple picture books around here to make sure I reach my goal.
And now it’s your turn. Here it is December already, and I want to hear about your Wheee!! (or even wheee!) moments. Because it’s a snowy kind of check-in day, here at Cathy C. Hall’s, and I so love a good, inspirational story!

Home Stretch Writing

MP900341371So it’s that last mad dash of writing, where we’re zipping in to the home stretch of whatever mad writing challenge we’ve pursued this month! I feel supremely mostly fairly confident that I’ll make PiBoIdMo–I mean, a title’s an idea, right?

But NaNo’s been a little more intimidating. I’ve been working on a rewrite and…well, you can read about Of Rewrites and Trees over at The Muffin.

And then, if you haven’t left a comment on Meg Moseley’s post to win her book, GONE SOUTH, zip over there and do so. I’ll be drawing a name tomorrow, so hurry!

And really, compared to coming up with yet another picture book idea and rewriting an entire novel, leaving a comment is child’s play.


Tuesday Writing Tips: Here, There, and Everywhere

So we’re skidding ¬†into the last days of November, scrambling to finish what we started, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, back on the first days of November.

If you’re participating in NaNo, I hope your words have been many and mostly making sense. I completely forgot to mention my guest post over at Agent Courtney’s blog, but it’s not too late for you take a tip from that timely post.

I’m caught up (just!) for Picture Book Idea Month and I am not going to lie–I have been looking out the window practically every day to find an idea. So there are an inordinate number of picture books featuring squirrels, dogs, joggers, leaves falling off trees, decaying pumpkins… Well, I think you get the picture (Ugh. Sorry about that.). But honestly, there are a few gems in the file, so I stand by my tip: ideas are everywhere, if you just take a look around.

And I just zipped over to check out The Next Big Thing over at Sioux’s blog and Debra’s blog and I cannot wait to read these finished¬†manuscripts! Not just because I really like both of these women and their writing, but also because they both came up with great synopsis lines for their works-in-progress. If you can write a great one-line synopsis of your manuscript, then you’ve got a great handle on what your book’s about. And what’s more, you know exactly how you want to pitch it to an agent or publisher.

That’s a golden writing tip, too. So take your pick of a tip–and cross that November finish line with a wow! (And maybe a whew, too!)