Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012 - Hello 2013!!

Typically, we're several months into the new year when I learn about great ideas people had for making the year the best it can be!  Well, not this year!! I've been on the lookout for new ideas and am sharing them here.  If you have a fresh take on new year's resolutions, please share it in a comment!  Here they are, in no particular order:

Five Things To Do Instead of New Year's Resolutions:
"Tired of the traditional New Year’s resolution to lose weight, get fit, or get out of credit card debt?  Below are five fresh alternatives to help you celebrate yourself in 2012, and get to your goals in 2013."

1. Write yourself a letter from your future self, dated 1/1/2014.
2. List your favorite memory and triumphs of 2012, including the challenges you faced with courage or humor (even if things didn't turn out the way you hoped).
3. Imagine the highlights of 2013. Make a list of at least 5 things to look forward to in the coming year.
4. Make a list of what you are grateful for in your life.
5. Make a 2013 commitment to someone else.

Jar Full of Goodness!

Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective.

On days when nothing particularly good happens, I'm going to write something I'm grateful for, so I'll end the year with 365 notes!

The Tabata Protocol

My son told me about this and it looks very doable.  The Tabata Protocal is the best supra-aerobic cardio workout ever discovered! 
Read more here.

Here are a couple of alternative resolution ideas:

Ten Alternative New Year's Resolution Ideas

Five Food-Related Resolutions

Last thing - DO NOT forget to say RABBIT, RABBIT, RABBIT the first thing when you wake up January 1st and you'll have a lucky year!  If you do it the first thing every month, that month will be lucky.  Stop rolling your eyes and just do it - what could it hurt?

Again - if you have some ideas that are not listed here, please share them in a comment!


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I feel a little guilty celebrating 12x12 in '12 because I only came away with three completed manuscripts - none of  which are anywhere near ready to send out!  So, instead of focusing on my lack of follow-through, I'll congratulate Julie Hedlund on creating this brilliant event and for bringing together such an amazing group of children's book authors (401 to be exact)!!  I've made a ton of friends these past 12 months and have learned so much about writing for children!
I know I'm a little early but, on 12/12/12 I want to say: 

12x12 in '12!!  


See you in '13!!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

PiBoIdMo 2012 Registration is Open!!

November is just four days away and you know what that means . . . PiBoIdMo!!!  This will be the fourth year for Tara Lazar's brainchild, Picture Book Idea Month!  If you've participated in the past, I'm pretty sure you've already registered for this year.  If you haven't previously participated, stop kicking yourself for missing three great years and get over to Tara's site and register!  Don't procrastinate - registration closes November 4th!

Since Tara launched PiBoIdMo in 2009, ideas generated during PiBoIdMo have led to three picture book contracts and three award winners.  Read all about them!

Tammi Sauer's 2009 idea of pairing a minnow and a shark became Nugget and Fang, due out April, 2013.

Corey Rosen Schwartz's 2009 fractured fairy tale idea, Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears, has been sold to Putnam.

Amy Dixon's recently released, Marathon Mouse, started as an idea sparked during the 2010 PiBoIdMo.

Diana Murray and Rebecca Colby received the Barbara Karlin Grant in 2010 and 2011 respectively, both of their stories started as PiBoIdMo ideas.

Penny Klostermann was the runner-up for this year's Barbara Karlin Grant - I think you know in which month she came up with her winning idea!

I am hoping to add to Tara's list of success stories.  During last year's challenge, I came up with 58 story ideas, one of which has become one of my favorite manuscripts and my agent is sending it out soon!

So, what are you waiting for?  Register NOW!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Something to Crow About!

I can't believe I wrote all about my new editor, Marissa Moss, and my new agent, Karen Grencik, and I forgot to talk about my new book, COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS!

About two years ago, I came up with the idea for a "boy who cried wolf" story, but with a rooster instead of a boy.  That story morphed into one about a rooster who goes on vacation, leaving the other farm animals to wake the farmer.  The problem is . . .

                   Farmer McPeeper's a very deep sleeper,
                   Not even an earthquake could shake him.
                   A poke or a pinch wouldn't budge him an inch,
                   'Cause only his rooster could wake him!

Throughout the week, different animals try to wake the farmer, but with no success  . . .

                      "I know that I'm quiet, but I'd like to try it -      
                      here goes," said a shy little sheep.
                      Her "cock-a-doodle baaa" didn't travel too faaa
                      In fact, she made barely a peep.

Finally, Rooster comes back and the animals are certain he will wake the farmer at last.  However . . .

                      Rooster coughed and sputtered; he wheezed and muttered
                      "There's something I think you should know.
                      The damp ocean breeze made me sniffle and sneeze.
                      My voice is so weak, I can't crow!"

Though disappointed, the animals put their heads together and devise a clever way to wake up the farmer.  There's a surprise twist at the end so I'm going to leave you hanging here - sorry!

Back to my book deal . . .  

COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS! will be illustrated by the amazingly talented, Ashley Wolff!  It will be published by Creston Books  in fall, 2014. It seems like an eternity away but I know, from my experience with 1 Zany Zoo, how quickly those two years will go!

I'll keep you posted on the book's development and will definitely let you know when it's released!!

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