Picture-Book-A-Palooza

I’ve got some very busy writer friends! They’ve been writing and getting published and having book signings and I’ve been…hmmmm.

I wish I had something scathingly brilliant or outrageously adventurous here as a reason for not writing as much as I’d like to write, and not getting myself published (and therefore, not having book signings). But I think we all know what happens to me in the summer. And oh! I am planning Juniorette’s wedding that’s coming up next month, so there’s a good excuse.

Okay, I’m not really planning the wedding; Juniorette’s done most of the work. But I’ve had to think about wedding stuff  a lot and I think that counts for something. Anyway, the point today is picture books and all my friends who have books on the shelves in bookstores and libraries (or books you can order):

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Lisa Lowe Stauffer’s Two By Two is a board book adventure about a couple of mischievous monkeys on Noah’s Ark. And oh my goodness, I love the wordplay in this book and I know your little mischievous ones will, too! Lisa’s been busy with book signings, and she’ll be in my neck of the woods in October for a workshop!

 

 

indexTina M. Cho is celebrating a book birthday with her picture book, Rice From Heaven. I could say more about this book (and Tina) but she says it so much better here, at Tina’s Tidbits. Please go give it a read and then give her book a read, too! I can’t wait to get back to my hometown library and get this one. (Yep, Tina, your book is in the Gwinnett County Library system!) It really is a small world, after all!

 

And then there’s Heather L. Montgomery, whose two books are coming out in October, I think. But they’re available now: Bugs Don’t Hug AND Something Rotten, A Fresh Look At Roadkill. And every time I read these titles, I’m conflicted. I feel a little like “Come on, Heather! Ick!” but I also feel a little like “Oooh! I can’t wait to read about stinky roadkill and bugs!”

Yep, Heather knows how to make anything compelling! And I’m not the only one who thinks so–Heather is super busy right now on school visits and book expos and I don’t know what all. (But you can find out when you visit her website. You might even be able to get her for your school because seriously, Heather Montgomery can rock a school visit!)

Didn’t I tell you I had some busy friends? And I have some more friends who have been busy writing novels so stay tuned! Meanwhile, I’ve got a porch swing and salty breeze waiting for me to get busy with a wee bit of a nap because I’ve worked kinda hard on this blog post. Plus, I thought up something that Juniorette needs to do, wedding-wise. (She’ll thank me later, I’m sure.)

 

 

 

 

 

Time To Rhyme (See What I Did There?)

writing-in-rhyme-to-wow-class-logo-e1457424491540This month–or at least after all the SCBWI doings–I caught up with a Writing in Rhyme class I won from Angie Karcher. Goodness, Angie really knows her stuff!

I, on the other hand, am not exactly a whiz at writing rhyme (though I like to try). I only have one picture book that’s in rhyme but I learned a whole bunch of stuff to make it better and my project for next month is to take that manuscript and polish it till it shines like a…a…well, see? I need a little work on imagery and such.

And maybe you’re interested in spiffing up a rhyming picture book. Or maybe you’re just interested in rhyming poetry. Boy, have I got a deal for you!

Technically, it’s not my deal. It’s Angie Karcher’s. Every April, she hosts RhyPiBoMo which is short for Rhyming Picture Book Month and holy moly (see what I did there?), you are not going to believe all the wonderful guest bloggers she’s scheduled!

Plus, she has all kinds of fun events and doings over there. And it’s ALL free! But mostly, I guarantee that you’ll learn a TON about rhyming picture books. So run like a Tasmanian Devil (see? I’m getting smarter already!) and register for RhyPiBoMo! (See you there!)

Why I Can’T Do RhyPiBoMo (But That Doesn’t Mean YOU Can’t)

rhypibomo-2015-calender2-e1426397801516Last summer, I had the most delightful time in North Georgia, spending a week with a most delightful bunch of picture book writers. I wrote all about it here and when all was said and done, I decided that I had to be done with picture books and get back to my heart. Because I had the beginning of a middle grade story on my heart that was begging to be written.

So this year, I’ve been writing, writing, writing that middle grade story. And I am this close to being done with it. But that, my friends, is just the first draft I’ll be finishing. I’ll need to go back and weave in some good stuff, take out some of the stinky stuff. And that revision has been penciled in for…yep, April.

It just so happens that RhyPiBoMo (that’s Rhyming Picture Book Month, in case you wondered) begins in April (and you can register now!). And I’m just not talented enough to revise a 35,000 word middle grade manuscript and follow along with Angie Karcher’s great posts and read all those great picture books, too. And okay, I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but not this time.

Oh, no, people, not this time. Angie (did I tell you I met her? Up in North Georgia at that weeklong writing workshop?) works so hard to bring such a lot of great writing information your way. I mean, she is committed. And I guarantee that you will be a better picture book writer if you commit to RhyPiBoMo. You can’t be half-a…er…baked about it. You have to be all in.

Kind of like I’m all in on my middle grade story. So best of luck to all of us, wherever our heart is leading us (but dang, I’ll miss all those fun picture book writers)!