Monday, February 28, 2011

Z is for Zzzzz-acation...

Blogging all month long has been lots of fun; I had a blast. I'm also worn out a bit and need a short break. So I won't be doing my regular blog posts for the month of March. My goal is to accomplish several of my personal writing goals that seem to have taken the back burner this month. I am going to work very hard to accomplish them (submit two mss for Feb., critique my groups stories for Feb. and March, judge the contest winners, revise three stories, submit two mss for March, complete assignment 2 of my ICL course with Clara Gillow Clark). It's a lot, but with your encouragement and support, I know I can do it!

Here's March's schedule:

March 2 (Wed.) -   with Alison Pearce Stevens at her blog.

March 5 (Sat.) - High Five interview with another awesome debut picture book author.

March 10 (Thurs.) - Coming up on March 10th! with Megan Bickel over at The Write-At-Home Mom.

March 15 (Tues.) - Winners of Bloggiversary Contest announced!

March 17 (Thurs.) - New blogger award unveiled!  Who will be the first four lucky winners of the newest award on the block?

March 25 (Fri.) - Book Review of Kristi Holl's latest, More Writers First Aid.

The month of April: another month of alphabet blogging

Hope to see you around!

Keep on keepin' on...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bloggiversary Alphabet: Y is for Your Last Chance

Your last chance to enter the big bloggiversary contest is tomorrow night, Monday February 28.

You can win The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books by James Cross Giblin by tweeting about the contest! The book discusses all aspects of children's writing, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. It's very good!

You can win a picture book critique by entering your PB ms. If you win the critique, you also win a marketing plan. All who enter also win a chance to win Kim Norman's Crocodaddy.

Anyone who guesses my word for 'Z' will win 10 extra entries for either book of their choice. I don't think anyone will guess it, though. Are you game? (Hint: it's a made up word...) C'mon, you know you want to guess anyway! What do you think tomorrow's 'Z' will stand for?

Keep on keepin' on...

Bloggiversary Alphabet: W and X is for Write with Excellence

Keeping it short today. Write with Excellence.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." --Aristotle
Keep on keepin' on... 

Friday, February 25, 2011

BlogGiversary Alphabet: V is for Visualization

The power of visualizing is incredibly strong. I'm not talking about merely having the dream to be a writer. Or the more specific dream to be a stay-at-home writer and actually make a little money from it. Or the vision you have of each of your books, on the bookstore and library shelves. I'm talking about the day-to-day visualizing, planning the dream.

Every night, I HAVE to literally envision myself waking up the next morning and going for a run on the treadmill. I love running and I love mornings, but I hate waking up early. As I have continued to envision my success of a stronger, leaner self, I have made progress in my ability to arise each morning and accomplish my goals. If I don't think about it, I'm more likely to snooze myself right through my morning workout. 

Same goes for writing. The thing is, sometimes it seems like my goals are way too vague lately. And I know why. It's because I don't actually SEE myself DOING anything. I'm stuck on the fitness thing and not on the writing thing. Next month, I say, next month. You'll see... I'm already envisioning it. 

(So here are my lame excuses for right now: I'm sick. I have to file a year's worth of receipts, etc. so we can go file our taxes on Saturday. I still have Christmas decorations up. Chores to catch up on from going out of town last week. My bloggiversary alphabet. I'm even behind on my crit group. So, yes, I'm lame. But hey, that's life, right? If that's the case, then how did I manage to make time to exercise for the past 8 weeks? Enough with my pathetic excuses, already.)

Here are a few great quotes to inspire you:
"Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you." - Jerry Gillies
"I've discovered that numerous peak performers use the skill of mental rehearsal of visualization. They mentally run through important events before they happen." - Charles A. Garfield
"I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That's the thing. You can't just visualize and go eat a sandwich." - Jim Carrey
 "To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan... believe... act!" - Alfred A. Montapert
 "Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success." - Unknown
 "What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill
"To visualize is to see what is not there, what is not real -- a dream . To visualize is, in fact, to make visual lies . Visual lies, however, have a way of coming true."  - Peter McWilliams
Do you know of a quote you'd like to share?

Keep on keepin' on...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blogiversary Alphabet: U is for Urban Dictionary

When I started my celebration of my blog anniversary for this month, also called a bloggiversary, I wanted to spell it BLO GG IVERSARY and not BLO IVERSARY. I reasoned that the two GG spelling would be more correct because blogger is spelled with two g's, anniversary has two nn's, and phonics says that the one G spelling would be pronounced BLOW-giversary.


I asked Ms. J. Baranick over at Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares what she thought. She consulted the Urban Dictionary, which went with the one G spelling.

I also did a Google search.
  1. "bloggiversary" yielded about 84,900 results
  2. "blogiversary" yielded about 643,000 results
So I went with the majority, even though I still believe the two G spelling would be more correct.

What about you? One G or two G's? 

Keep on keepin' on...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blogiversary Alphabet: R, S, and T are for Reward Successes Today

Every time we chunk our writing into 10-20 minute blocks of time and accomplish a small goal, we should celebrate our success and give ourselves a mini party. Or at least that's what I've been told.

Successes to Reward:
  1. critiquing a buddy's ms
  2. coming up with five new ideas
  3. researching an aspect of your current project
  4. finishing your own rough draft
  5. rewriting one of your stories (or chapters)
  6. revising again
  7. writing down the first five places to send your ms
  8. writing a cover letter/query letter for that ms
  9. verifying the address and editor's name of a publisher
  10. editing/polishing a ms and printing off a fresh new copy
  11. mailing off a ms
  12. writing three blog posts ahead of time
Rewards to Give Yourself:
  1. a small piece of chocolate
  2. light a candle
  3. get up and dance to one of your favorite songs
  4. go give your children 10 kisses each
  5. sing "We Will Rock You"
  6. read a friend's blog
  7. give three comments to other people's blogs
  8. color a page in a coloring book
  9. read a picture book
  10. buy a picture book
  11. go for a run
  12. do yoga
  13. call a friend
  14. get on twitter for 10 minutes
  15. get on Facebook for 10 minutes
  16. read a chapter from the book you're reading
  17. make a card
  18. play "London Bridges" with your children
  19. play BLINK (a very fast, very cool card game) with your kids
  20. have an ice cream cone (maybe only once a week)
  21. watch a movie you've been wanting to watch for a long time (weekly, not daily)
  22. sit by your fireplace for 10 minutes (if you have one; I don't...)
  23. sit on your front porch for 10 minutes
  24. go to bed early, jazzed that you accomplished your writing goals for the day
Any more ideas, guys? For successes OR rewards?

Keep on keepin' on...

Remember to tweet about the contest for a chance to win The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books:
RT to enter. Win The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books (PB, MG, & YA)  @ Enter PB contest, too!
And to enter the PB contest! Remember all entries gain an entry to win Kim Norman's Crocodaddy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blogiversary Alphabet: Q is for Quality vs. Quantity

When it comes to writing, quality and quantity do not precede consistency. Come to think of it, that probably applies to a lot of things in life. Running is more beneficial when you do it every day (consistency), than when you do it for quality (running for speed) or for quantity (running for distance).

For example, running at a moderate pace for 20 minutes a day (consistency) is more beneficial than running at top speeds for 30 minutes a day (quality) because trying to have the quality of speed will wear out your muscles and cause you to become injured. Writing for quality is usually a SLOW process of meticulous self-editing to get all the words just right the "first time around." (i.e. impossible). It will wear you out and injure your creativity.

And running at a moderate pace for 20 minutes a day (consistency) is more beneficial than running slower once a week for a couple of hours (quantity) because you may burn out before the two hours are up and your body has a hard time remembering that it ran seven days ago. In writing, it's easier to remember where we left off if we write daily. We can get back into the groove much quicker and we don't risk burnout by trying to cram all our writing into one session.

Of course most of us writers are really marathoners: in it for the long haul; and can sit and write for hours on end, days on end, weeks on end. But you have to be consistent.

Which do you have the most trouble with, quality or quantity? (I'm a quantity-challenged writer because I like to write for hours on end and find it hard to chunk into smaller pieces of time. I'm not a huge self-editor in the early stages.)

Keep on keepin' on...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blogiversary Alphabet: LMNOP is for...

ostrich head In SandLMNOP is for...




Life is full of problems. And so is good writing. If your manuscript has no problem for the main character to solve, then it might be a lazy manuscript. The next time you revise a ms, make sure there is a central problem for the story. Try beginning by writing a quick summary: The chickens want to see the farmhouse, but they keep running into obstacles. That's my version for Leslie Helakoski's Big Chickens Fly the Coop. Her wonderful book is way better than my simple summary. It's a lot harder to do for your own ideas and books, so feel free to practice on books you have already read.

What is one of your favorite picture books with a good problem?

Keep on keepin' on...

Remember to tweet about the contest for a chance to win The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books:
Each RT entered in  to win Guide to Writing Children's Books (PB, MG, & YA)  @ PB contest too!
And to enter the PB contest! Remember all entries gain an entry to win Kim Norman's Crocodaddy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogiversary Alphabet: K is for Keepin' On...

I dedicate today's post to the man behind my tag phrase and motto, Seth Gilkerson. And the tag phrase is "Keep on keepin' on..."

Seth Gilkerson | author | inspiration | Keep on keepin' on | heroes | NC authors

Keep On Keepin' On...

Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Seth Gilkerson. I was working for a few elderly folks, helping them cook and clean while visiting them. Seth was one of those individuals. He has since passed on. But I still think of him.

Seth was absolutely amazing. Married to a sweetheart who had already died by the time I met him. They have one daughter. Seth was in the military, a biologist, a teacher, a farmer, and of course a writer.

He told me some of the best stories. Of times from when he visited the great pyramids. Of times when a herd of sheep stopped the traffic on an old dirt road in Egypt. He wrote country songs and mailed them off to Tennessee to have them recorded for his own personal pleasure.

He designed his own home in western North Carolina to be energy efficient by utilizing the heat of the sun by strategically placing windows in the most optimal locations. I only sat with this man because he broke his foot while working on his back deck, in his eighties! And I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet him. The pleasure was all mine. He was always my favorite - of all the folks I sat with that summer.

Seth always said, "Keep on keepin' on." No matter what you do in life, don't give up. Don't become lazy. Keep caring. Keep working. Keep on keepin' on!!!
"The urge to write is a gravity of the mind.  It pulls at you until you make some sense of your thoughts, and then try to put them on paper in logical and sensible combinations.  Sometimes the process begins in frustration and ends in ecstasy.  Other times it begins in ecstasy and rapidly tumbles into despair.  For me, this gravity is as essential for writing as is the gravity which brings the rains."
That I know of, he wrote and published four books. Two books of short stories, and two novels. Three of which I was privileged to receive a copy.
  1. Fingerprints and Other Stories. Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press, 1979.
  2. Wait For Me and Other Stories. Aurora, CO: National Writers Press, 1982.
  3. That Bastard War. Great Neck, NY: Todd & Honeywell, 1986.
  4. Rose and Charlie. Watermark Press, 1989.

Short Bio: as quoted from UNCA: "Seth Gilkerson was born in 1907 in West Virginia. By the time he began writing fiction, he was well into his retirement and had had enough jobs to fill several lifetimes. Gilkerson had been a farmer, coal miner, country school teacher, captain in the Army, college professor, clinical microbiologist, and a researcher in the fields of tuberculosis and lung cancer immunodiagnosis. The last of this work took Gilkerson to Asheville, North Carolina, where he published several papers on his research."

Who inspires you? Share in the comments below!

Keep on keepin' on...


    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: J is for Just Do It

    No, this isn't a Nike commercial. But when it comes to writing, running (or any kind of exercise program), or setting up a new personal goal on a daily basis, it JUST makes sense.

    Just Do It
    Just Show Up
    Just Be There
    Just Invite the Muse
    Just Pray
    Just Read
    Just Run (Hey, my favorite running specialty store is called Jus' Running...)
    Just Write

    In the book referred to me by my dad (and then later by a co-worker), Younger Next Year, the authors say when it comes to exercise, just show up. If you want to be healthy for the rest of your life and be younger next year and live like you're 50 until you're 80 and beyond, then show up 6 days a week and exercise. Just show up. Showing up is half the battle.

    So that should be easy enough advice to apply to writing, right? The thing is, you have to know what writing is and what it isn't. Walking or running (or both) on the treadmill is certainly exercising. It's SHOWING UP. Dawdling, spending ten minutes to get clothes and shoes on, spending five minutes to drink water and fill up a water bottle, spending ten minutes to stretch, getting sidetracked by first taking out the trash or putting away last night's dishes, spending five minutes to look for your watch, blowing your nose (again) is NOT showing up. You want to run? RUN! You want to write? WRITE!

    Here's how SHOWING UP in writing looks: you pull out your manuscript, quickly reread over the last chapter or page or paragraph, make a few notes, write a couple changes, reword a few sentences, add another scene, think about what the character will do next, write a few more paragraphs while trying to figure out the best possible ending. OR you have the first draft done and now it's time to incorporate all your critique group's comments. You've already read through them. You write the ones down that make sense to you and you incorporate them into your ms because you agree with them. The might be simple suggestions such as word choice, grammar, syntax, punctuation, names, verbs, etc. Or they might go deeper and ask profound questions such as why is your character acting that way, what might a better ending be, suggestions for how to move around scenes or new ideas to help the story become stronger. To me, revising IS writing! Or maybe you're composing a cover letter or a query letter to send to an editor or agent. That's still writing. JUST SHOW UP!

    But if you're anything like how I've been lately, I "say" I'm writing, but I'm really just "still putting on my socks." Composing a blog post. Checking and answering e-mail. Writing a list of people to contact about a contest. Reading other people's blogs. Commenting on blogs. Tweeting about my contest on twitter. Reading book reviews. Looking at the pictures in a picture book. Planning future blog posts. Critiquing others manuscripts. Glancing in my market book. Wondering which running race I should enter next. Entering a book giveaway. And, oh yeah, I'm supposed to send out two manuscripts this month. When am I ever going to get those cover/query letters written? I'm all out of time. If I don't get to bed right now, I won't wake up to go running. So now I'll make a quick list of SPECIFIC tasks to accomplish the next time, preferably the next DAY, like actually revising my latest letters and putting the first publisher's addresses on them so I can actually print them out and mail off my two mss for the month.

    Get it? Got it? Good! SHOW UP!!!

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: I is for It's Here!

    It's here! My first blogiversary ever! Today is the official day to commemorate my humble beginnings one year ago. Wow. February 10, 2010 to February 10, 2011. Listen... Do you hear all the cheering? People are doing cartwheels and throwing confetti in the air. Silly string is flying across the room. Since I'm reminiscing and all that, I thought I'd also link back to my 100th blog post where I shared 100 things about me. Just a quick recap of this month's Blogiversary Alphabet, so far:

    1. A is for All Out Effort
    2. B is for Blogiversary CONTEST ***
    3. C is for Countdown
    4. D is for Debut Author
    5. E is for Entertainment
    6. F is for Friends
    7. G is for Gifts of Daily Writing
    8. H is for Hard Work
    9. I is for It's Here!
     *** Reminder to enter the CONTEST to win cool prizes ***

    Enter any PB manuscript this month to see if you have what it takes to be plucked from the slush pile. The winner(s) will receive:
    1. recognition
    2. a critique
    3. a marketing plan
    Remember, every one that enters the PB contest will also be entered into the drawing to win...
    • Kim Norman's very cute Crocodaddy book
    If picture books aren't your thing, you can also promote the contest for a chance to win...
    • The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books by James Cross Giblin. It's a wealth of information for ALL children's writers, including MG and YA! 
    If you blog about the contest, you'll get 5 extra points. You can tweet once daily @christiewild for 1 point per tweet. Just tweet this (copy and paste), or feel free to change up the wording if you like: February Blogiversary Alphabet - contest to win #writing books and a critique of your PB! @christiewild.

    I also stands for "I am a writer!"

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: H is for Hard Work

    runnerWriting is hard work. Did anyone ever tell you that? You have to warm up by reading what you wrote last time. You have to get in the groove. You have to keep pounding those words out sentence after sentence. You have to speed up and slow down and adjust the tension. You have to finish. You have to stretch your mind around the possibilities of revision. You have to show up the next day, every day, day after day, and repeat the process again and again. Over time, you get faster, stronger, leaner, better, more efficient. Over time, you plan better and organize your time and space better. Like I said, writing is hard work. And you thought I was talking about running. Oh, that too.
    "Do not wait; the time will never be "just right'. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." ~Napoleon Hill
    But haven't you heard about the runner's high? It's real. It's physical. And it's amazing. And so is the writer's high. That's what keeps us coming back for more hard work, day after day, the natural high of creativity, production, and accomplishment.

    What did you accomplish today?

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: G is for Gifts of Daily Writing

    The gift of daily writing brings progress. And progress brings success. I find that when I break things down into doable chunks, I focus more. I actually get something done instead of vaguely saying, "Hmmm. I need to write today." Here's something else that helps:

    ATTENTION  aiga_right_arrow_  DIRECTION  aiga_right_arrow_  DESTINATION

    The gift of daily writing gives you more attention and more direction, thus leading you that much closer to your destination. Think. Focus. Write. And you will have the gift of a published book one day soon. Hey, that could be a Fortune Cookie fortune. I can just see it now, "Think, focus, write, and you will have the gift of a published book one day soon." Okay, go write now. Right now!

    What are some of your writing gifts?

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: F is for Friends

    pace_e_bene__architetto__01Without friends like you guys, my blogiversary would be nothing. I'm thankful for all of you. You are all such wonderful friends supporting me on my journey toward publication.

    F - Friends
    R - Readers
    I - In tune
    E - Encouraging
    N - Necessary
    D - Delightful
    S - Supportive

    Thanks for being there. You're awesome!

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Blogiversary Alphabet: E is for Entertainment

    projector film movie motion picture entertainmentWriters, authors, entertainers. They're all synonymous, right? I was thinking the other day about how singers sing songs. They're all over the radio. People hear them all them time. And then the artists have concerts! Painters and sculptors have gallery shows. And authors have book signings.

    Now we all know that books have to compete with music and movies. And movies have lots of famous actors and actresses walking throughout the films. And there are movie trailers. There are also book trailers for books. Pretty cool, not nearly as long as a movie trailer, but still pretty cool.

    What if we took it one step further and had a concert for writers? Made it really, dancing, the works! Would people show up? Seems like it would be a lot more exciting than a simple reading and signing. Or is that what we call a school visit?

    What does the "E" in your writer box stand for?

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    HIGH FIVE #4: D is for Debut Picture Book Author and Kristy Dempsey

    Kristy Dempsey, author of Me With You 
    Me With You, illustrated by Christopher Denise

    Please welcome Kristy Dempsey to this month's HIGH FIVE interview! Her story is fabulous and encouraging.

    Me With You (Philomel, May 2009) celebrates the kinds of relationships that allow us to be completely ourselves and the special bond that exists between grandparent and grandchild.
    Question ONE: How has reading picture books to your children made you a better parent?

    There is a certain amount of magic that occurs between reader and child, from the moment a child climbs into, or beside, a reader’s lap, and the two begin to share a book. That emotional connection (reader and book, child and book, reader and child) is what fosters a lifelong love of reading. Early positive experiences with books lead to happy readers later. Reading is one of the easiest ways I know of to connect with your children. 
    Of course, I also think I’ve emotionally rehearsed new ideas and situations through reading for myself, which has also made me a better parent.

    Question TWO: What are three of your favorite picture books (because we all know you have way more than three)?

    Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse 
    By Kevin Henkes
    Mud is Cake by Pam Munoz Ryan
    Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson

    Question THREE: How did you come up with the idea for your debut book? And what was your road to publication like? How many revisions did your manuscript undergo, if you kept count? Did you have an agent? How many publishers did you submit to before getting an acceptance letter?

    In 2005, I attended the Highlights Foundation Writer’s Conference at Chautauqua and met Patricia Gauch. She invited me to send her a manuscript and I took cues from other books she had edited to discover what style she might be interested in. Among the many books she has edited, there were a few sweet relationship oriented books. I had always loved I LIKE YOU by Sandol Stoddard Warburg and wanted to try my hand at writing a book that would celebrate the kind of relationship that allows you to be completely yourself.  I finished the first draft fairly quickly – in a few hours – but spent the next several weeks having it critiqued by writing friends, then revising it. I sent it to Patti about a month after I’d written it. Then I didn’t get a response for a year and a half! By the time Patti and her colleague, Tamra Tuller, let me know they were interested, I had an agent and had just sold my first book (MINI RACER which will release February 15, 2011; the first manuscript to sell, but ultimately my 2nd book). ME WITH YOU was submitted to a couple other publishers also and one of them sent a letter two years after I had submitted to let me know she was interested in acquiring it! It was nice to be able to say, “ME WITH YOU has already sold but would you be interested in seeing something else?”

    Question FOUR: How might teachers use your book in the classroom? 

    The amazing Cassandra Riegel Whetstone has created a wonderful teacher’s guide for ME WITH YOU.

    Question FIVE: What are some writing tips you can offer to writers seeking publication? 

    My advice is simple. 
    1.     READ, READ, READ. Read as many books as possible in the genre in which you hope to write. 
    2.     Find some good friends who also read widely and who will tell you what works for them and what doesn’t in your writing.
    3.     Listen to your heart. Sometimes, after you’ve received advice from everyone you know about your latest manuscript, you’ve made the changes that felt true and left the rest to stew, THEN you just follow your heart. Even if it bucks trends. Even if it’s what’s not selling right now. Even if there is another book on the same premise. IF YOU believe in/are touched by/giggle out loud when you read your manuscript, then there just might be something there that all the naysayers can’t see yet. Every manuscript I’ve ever sold had a few strikes against it on the surface. (It rhymes. It’s a picture book. It’s QUIET!) Keep submitting. Be open to revise it again and again and again. Keep believing. And sometimes the magic finds you!

    Mini Racer (Bloomsbury, Feb. 15, 2011), illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo
    Mini Racer is a race in rhyme through town and country, with twelve different animals in customized vehicles vying for the win. See if you can guess which will be the unlikely winner!
    Thank you so much for joining us today and giving hope to all the budding picture book writers out there. Be sure to visit past interviews that you may have missed and join us next month on Saturday, March 5th for the next spotlight on HIGH FIVE!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    My Bloggiversary Alphabet: C is for Countdown

    time limitThe "official" date of my bloggiversary is February 10. Let the countdown continue. If you don't know what I'm offering this month, check out B is for Bloggiversary Contest. But today is all about the countdown. Six days left. During the last year, I had no idea I would actually be able to blog 3x a week and have nearly 200 followers.
    • SIX - Six months ago, I put a bloggiversary countdown button from the on the left side of my blog. It's a pot of gold sliding across a rainbow.
    • FIVE - Five months ago, I started getting comments on every post.
    • FOUR - Four months ago, I made a goal to submit seven picture book manuscripts by May 1, 2011.
    • THREE - Three months ago, I started working full time outside of the home.
    • TWO - Two months ago, I read a Christmas picture book to my children every night for 24 nights.
    • ONE - One month ago, I received the "go ahead" submittal approval from my critique group on one of my mss.
    What does "C" stand for in your writer box?

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    If A is for All Out, then B is for...

    abc blocksA Bloggiversary Alphabet? Cool! A is for All Out. And since February has 28 days and the alphabet has 26 letters, I'll be blogging every day except for two, unless I combine a few letters. B is for Bloggiversary Contest.

    So ABC is for an All-Out Bloggiversary Contest!

    As many of you know, I host a monthly picture book contest that began in August 2010. This month, my bloggiversary month, I'd love to have more than one winner. That means I'll need to have LOTS of entrants participating. Not only do you win recognition and a huge boost of confidence, but the winner of each category wins a critique of his or her ms, AND a marketing plan from me. This is especially useful if you aren't planning on looking for an agent and you don't have access to a market book. The five categories are:
    1.  Early PBs (age 2-5)  Just think pre-school.  (Shorter, simpler, etc.)
    2. "Classic" PBs (age 4-8)  You know, my favorite!
    3. Non-fiction PBs
    4. Rhyming PBs
    5. Animal PBs
    Every person that enters (and you can enter more than one category - this month only) will also be entered into a drawing to win Crocodaddy by Kim Norman. If you enter all five categories, that's five chances to win her book!

    If you ENTER the contest, you can win Crocodaddy. If you enter the contest (and have a prize-winning ms), you win recognition, a critique, AND the marketing plan.

    If you blog or tweet about the contest, you'll win chances to win The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books by James Cross Giblin. It's a wealth of information for ALL children's writers, including MG and YA! If you blog about the contest, you'll get 5 extra points. You can tweet once daily @christiewild for 1 point per tweet. Just tweet this (copy and paste), or feel free to change up the wording if you like: February Bloggiversary Alphabet - contests to win #writing books and a critique of your PB! @christiewild.


    Check back tomorrow for what "C" stands for, and no it's not Cookies!

    What does your "B" stand for?

    Keep on keepin' on...

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Writing With Sweat

    Welcome to February! This month's quote is:
    "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." --Rachel Carson, American biologist (1907-1964)
    February is going to be my alphabet month. A is for "all out!" In running, it doesn't count unless you sweat. I'm thankful for sweat because it means I know I'm working hard, you know, going all out. In writing, it doesn't count unless you sweat, too. You know that terrible feeling of not knowing what your character is going to do next, of trying to figure out the next plot twist, of wondering how on earth you're ever going to be able to wrap it all up in a neat little package? Well, that's writing sweat. And it means that I know I'm working hard. Of course it applies to finding a market for your book, too. Poring through your catalog for publishers that match your manuscript is sweating, too. What do you do that lets you know you're working hard?

    Keep on keepin' on...


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