There are a lot of things I don’t understand–quantum physics spring to mind–but in the top five, I’d have to include time. Or rather, how time speeds up the older we get.

What is up with that?

Anyway, in the interest of saving what apparently little time I’ll have in 2018, I’m cutting right to the chase: Storystorm.


Storystorm, a month-long brainstorming event, happens in a couple of different places. First, check out the inspiring daily posts over at Tara Lazar’s blog. Then in whatever place you brainstorm, think up your ideas and for heaven’s sake, write ’em down.

That’s it. Except to add that it’s an amazing tool. Last year, when writing didn’t come so easily to me, ideas would pop up, and so Storystorm was perfect. Later in the year, when that little nudge to write came along, I pulled out my idea sheet.

Yep, it was just one sheet. But from that sheet eventually came an entire middle grade manuscript and an outline for another middle grade. So that’s what I wanted to share with you, that it’s not just about picture book ideas (though most of the blog posts will feature PB authors). It’s a great tool for generating ideas for whatever you write.

And that’s it, y’all, ’cause time’s a-wasting and I’ve got work to do! (Unless you can answer that whole time question. In which case, I’ll take a minute or two to read it!)




January Wrap Up

file00025755561I don’t have a lot of accountability these days.

My original and hard-working critique group broke up, my second critique group didn’t work for my schedule, writer friends moved away…even Mister Man, who, if we’re being perfectly honest refused to read any of my writing but would listen to me talk about it as long as there was food involved, up and left me. And so it’s pretty much up to me, what (or if)  I write.

Then I thought about you, dear writer friends. You can be my accountability! And then you can say, “Oh, yes, Cathy, that sounds fabulous!” Or, “Really, Cathy, you can do lots better than that.” Maybe even, “Sounds good to me, pass the garlic rolls.”

And so here I go:

I finished 30 ideas with Storystorm! It’s a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I did it.

I made a goal over at Goodreads to read 50 books this year, and for January, I read four books. (I didn’t make my reading goal last year but whee! It’s January and I’m on track. So far.)

I talked to my Lovely Agent about 2017 and the direction we could go. I have Stuff To Do; I haven’t quite started on that stuff yet.

I wrote up…let me count that again…yes, um…one, er, one story and sent it out into the world. It seemed like a big deal at the time, y’all.

I had an SCBWI writer’s workshop–awesome author Heather L. Montgomery presented–and it was well-attended and lots of fun! (P.S. She was here doing quite a few school visits and kids LOVE her, so if you want a science geek author for your school, contact Heather!) The first of the year is busy in my position at SCBWI; lots of organizing, lots of emails, lots of planning, but I got it all done. That’s probably why I didn’t get much writing done. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

Oh! I finally finished my latest Darakwon book! Whew! I had started it back in the spring, I think, so yeah, it was beginning to be like The Song That Never Ends.

You know, I wasn’t feeling very accomplished twenty minutes ago, but I feel a bit better, now that I see my January Wrap Up. All things considered, right?

So how about you? How’s your January started? Brag a little, whine a little, and pass the garlic rolls. You’re with friends here!


Grabbing Ideas in Storystorm!

storystorm_participantEvery day when I read my Storystorm post, I think, “Really, Cathy, you should let your readers know about this little gem!” Now here it is, rolling into the end of the month, and I’m just now mentioning it. Better late than never, huh?

Storystorm, over at Tara Lazar’s blog, is what used to be PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) which ran every November. It’s still packed with great advice about generating story ideas, and yes, much of that advice comes from picture book authors. But that doesn’t mean you have to come up with picture book ideas.

I’ve got a couple of Middle Grade book ideas, a chapter book or two, stories, nonfiction stories, and yes, a handful of picture book sparks. What better way to start the year than with these idea-inspiring posts, and the–at last count–25 ideas that I can pluck out of my notebook and work on throughout the year!

So it may be too late to sign up for all the great prizes. But really, there’s a prize in every post. All you have to do is read ’em!