Pushing Through November

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you’re the observant type, you’ve already noticed the badges over in the sidebar. There’s one for NaNoWriMo and one for PiBoIdMo, and the calendar for Picture Book Month is there, too. So, a couple things.

Thing 1:

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you can zip over to my Muffin post where I explain all those letters and what they mean. And how you can join in the fun. New writers are popping up and popping in here every day so I want you to know what everyone in the writing community is blathering on about all November. Because honestly, it’s not like we’re going to suffer work in silence.


Thing 2:

November is going to be busy, busy, busy! I’ll be revising a novel and thinking up ideas and reading, reading, reading. I hope I’ll be learning, learning, learning, too.  And all that writing, writing, writing keeps Cathy running around like a chicken with her head cut off (or perhaps a chicken trying to keep her head). But even a speedy chicken can come up with a post or two and a couple surprises, so I hope to see you around. But if you’re also pushing through November, trying to make word counts and idea deadlines, I’ll completely understand.

November Bonanza: PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo, Picture Book Month and Kidlit Cares (Whew!)

There was a time when November 1st was a relatively simple day. Dispose of the pumpkin before the ants overran my porch, pick through any good Halloween candy left, and get myself to church for All Saints Day. I still do all that (okay, I don’t always get to that pumpkin promptly. The ants are my new best friends) but now that I’m a (mostly serious) writer, November 1st is far from simple.

There’s Picture Book Idea Month starting up over at Tara Lazar’s wonderful blog. I love PiBoIdMo because I just have to come up with an idea. An idea. That’s like, what? A sentence? A sentence fragment, even. I am all over that writing challenge.

And it ties in nicely with Picture Book Month. Technically, I don’t have to write anything for this wonderful literacy initiative that promotes picture books. I just like to slap the badge on my blog and celebrate.  And ask others to join me in the celebration. Picture books opened the door to a world of reading for me and for all the Junior Halls, and I want every kid to have the opportunity to discover that same world when they discover a favorite picture book. Oh! I know! I can celebrate by sharing a post or two on favorite picture books from our shelves. So there will be Picture Book Month writing, after all.

Of course, many of you know about National Novel Writing Month, where 50,000 words in a month gets you a novel and makes you a winner in this writing challenge. NaNo has been a great tool for me, whether I finish the 50,000 words or not…but that’s a post for another day. For now, I’m using NaNo to finish the last edits on one of my already-finished novels. So definitely a chunk of writing there.

Oh! And this year, because of the devastating destruction left behind by Sandy, kidlit authors, agents, editors and illustrators have come together in Kidlit Cares: Superstorm Sandy Relief Effort over at Kate Messner’s website. You can bid on their services (like a critique) and maybe get some feedback on one of your November writing projects–and help the efforts of the Red Cross while you’re at it.

And now, I should check on the time for that All Saint’s Mass, and the status of the leftover Halloween candy.  Although with the Beneficent Mr. Hall in the house, “leftover candy” is an oxymoron.

Keeping Up with Picture Book Month

You thought I was going to say Picture Book IDEA Month, didn’t you? But today is all about appreciating the picture book. That’s the idea behind the Picture Book Month website, dedicated to encouraging everyone to celebrate literacy with picture books.

Every day during the month of November, a picture book author or illustrator will champion their thoughts on why picture books are important. Now honestly, I already know picture books are important. Picture books made my painfully shy childhood a happier place. Picture books were very often the only friends I had. And I can still remember favorite friends from so…well, we’ll just say my childhood and leave it at that. ( I’m not talking about just the titles here. I can close my eyes and see the pictures. I can recall lines and lines of the text. It sort of impresses me the way I can repeat whole pages of picture books I’ve loved.)

But enough about me (and my amazing powers). The point here is that in this digital age of publishing, picture books need a little love. It’s one thing to read a novel on an e-reader, but a picture book? Just not the same.

Besides, what’s the point of coming up with tons of picture book ideas if publishers decide they’re past their time? So while you’re working up those wonderful ideas, take a moment to check out why other authors and illustrators before you think picture books are important. Get inspired! Then put a Picture Book Month Ambassador badge on your blog or Facebook or forehead.

Because picture books can make a difference in a child’s life. I’m walking, talking (to just about anybody) proof.