Thursday, January 31, 2013

Story Element #7: WORD PLAY

Story Element #7: WORD PLAY
Welcome to the WORD PLAYGROUND! This is the WORD PLAY page of the Story Elements. It's likely to be a very long list of picture books that use metaphors, puns, cool verbs, synonyms, alliteration, interesting vocabulary, onomatopoeia, and the like. Some just for fun. Some more like lyrical poetry.

Pick a toy and start playing (the swings, the slide, the court):

  1. The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy
  2. Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler
  3. Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude by Jonah Winter
  4. Welcome to the ICE HOUSE by Jane Yolen

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Story Element #6: PACING

Story Element #6: PACING
1, 2, buckle my shoe
3, 4, shut the door
5, 6, pick up sticks
7, 8, lay them straight
9, 10, do it again!

Careful, now. PACE yourselves! Learning how to pace your story and your page turns (though you really have no final control over the page turns) will improve your writing skills. Go ahead. Be the pace car.

Here's you list of picture books that teach pacing:
  1. Halloweiner by Dav Pilkey
  2. The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Story Element #5: THEME

Story Elements #5: THEME
Today's theme is theme. Welcome to the THEME PARK! Here you can explore great examples of how to incorporate theme into your writing. Writing theme can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it's not all that hard (until you begin another new story, imho).

Take your pick:
  1. Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
  2. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

Today's QUESTION: What are some of your favorite themes explored in picture books (or even in a novel)? 

Keep on keepin' on...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Story Element #4: DIALOGUE

"Can I help you?"

"I was hoping you would know where to find the long list of picture books that teach dialogue."

"You've come to the right place. It's right here!"

If you missed the other Story Elements, you can still study them all (character, conflict, plot, dialogue, theme, pacing, word play, patterns, rhyme, beginnings/endings). Also, see the sidebar...

Learn how to write good dialogue for picture books (and novels) by studying the books in this list:
  1. Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler
  2. No More Cookies by Paeony Lewis
  3. Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Story Element #3: PLOT

Welcome to the PLOT page of STORY ELEMENTS. I'm updating the sidebars with links to the Story Elements pages. More books to share soon. If you haven't visited the first 10 books featured in STORY ELEMENTS, be sure to get to them. As time goes on, I WILL be adding more, even though I'm slow about it.

This list includes picture books that are great for teaching and learning plot techniques:
  1. The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
  2. Frida by Jonah Winter

Do you know of other picture books that would be good for teaching plot? Please SHARE!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pot-O-Gold Blogger Award #20: Picture Book Biographies

This months's Pot-O-Gold Blogger Award goes out to an AWESOME blog I recently discovered.

Jeanne Walker Harvey's True Tales and a Cherry On Top. She shares picture book biographies, and has even written one herself
A taste of children's narrative nonfiction picture books...mostly biographies... with something the children's book author, Jeanne Walker Harvey
Why I love her blog:
Having written a biography myself, and coming from a teaching background, I am fascinated with biography. She even shares the publisher, publication date, and number of pages. Thank you!

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

     and Illustrator:  


Overview from the jacket flap:

The T stands for Tantalizing Taste, where she shares a snippet of the book. Then she shares "And Something More" where she shares a bit of history about the making of the book, the story about how it came into fruition, or collaborative efforts involved in the final product.

I just LOVE IT!!!

I created this award for excellent blogs based on... 
  • interesting and helpful content AND
  • visually appealing and easy-to-navigate design
It's an award that says, "Look at this awesome blog! There's a wealth of information here! If you visit once, you'll want to return again and again." In other words, it's like discovering a pot of gold. 

How the award works:
  1. Say thank you to the person who gave it to you.
  2. Write a post and include the image of the award, a link to the person's blog who gave it to you, and a link to my blog, WRITE WILD. (Copy and paste the rules in your post.)
  3. Award four bloggers this award and tell why each is a Pot-O-Gold! (If you receive this award more than once, you only have to forward it the first time.)
  4. Share four simple things about yourself: 1-a time you had to exercise FAITH, 2-something you HOPE for, 3-something (or someone) you LOVE, and 4-a time when you felt LUCK.
Keep on keepin' on...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Debut Author FAQ "I think I can..."

"I'm getting my book published!" I squee with delight, in awe, in disbelief, in shock! And all the while saying to myself, "I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could."

Here are the most frequently asked questions I've already received in ONE week:
  • What's it called?
  • What's it about? "A boy named Siku"
  • When's it coming out? "2-4 years"
  • Why does it take so long?
  • Are you doing the pictures? "No"
  • So who's doing the pictures?
  • Who's the publisher?
And normally, I answer them gladly. But not here. Not yet.

So MY most frequently asked questions are:
  • How long till the next step?
  • What IS the next step?
  • When will I get a return e-mail?
  • Who's doing the pictures?
  • Can I get an agent?
  • Did the editor GET my e-mail?
So, if you want to be a writer, no wait, a published author (and writer), you have to know how to spell.

You spell "writing" DO IT. You spell "publishing" W-A-I-T.

And since I have to wait, so do you. I'll share more when I can.

Today's question: What's your DAY job? (I'm a receptionist.)

This question piggy-backs off of yesterday's question, "What did you want to be when you grew up?" If you want to enter to win a critique of up to 1500 words, just leave a comment and reference "DEB." Be sure to leave your e-mail address.

Keep on keepin' on...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paying it Forward - Win a Critique

Last year, I held a contest in which the fabulous Deb Lund won a manuscript critique from yours truly. She graciously declined by donating the critique she had just won back into the literary world. I'm finally giving you all a chance to win that.

Here's how it works. Simply leave a comment (with e-mail address) on ANY post from today through January 31.

Spread the word. Link back to my site (doesn't have to be to THIS post). I will randomly select a winner and then that person will be invited to submit a manuscript of choice up to 1500 words. I'll critique it for free and send it back to you for free.

Can't beat that, right?

Today's Question: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a writer, a nurse, a teacher, a figure ice skater, a writer, an astronaut, a teacher, a scientist, a writer, an army girl, a teacher, a mommy, a writer, a singer, a teacher, an actress, a writer, a dancer, a teacher, a seashell and rock collector, and a WRITER! 

What do you think I chose? HA!!! 

Keep on keepin' on...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Contest (and more coming)

It's time to announce the winner for the FALL 2012 Lucky Clover Picture Book Contest! A huge congratulations goes out to...

...Genevieve Petrillo with her manuscript, Nonna Day!
Nonna Day is a heartwarming story about a girl who longs to communicate with Nonna in her native tongue, but fears she'll never understand the language, until she gets the courage to learn a few key words.
Congratulations, Genevieve! You can expect your critique within a couple of weeks.

And now it's time to announce the WINTER 2013 open call for submissions. Get those submissions sent on in! Just e-mail your ms to me according to the manuscript guidelines.

More contests coming soon (to win a free critique by random drawing, and to win a MARKET book!)

If you could have any of your manuscripts published today, which one would you choose? (Hint, hint... submit that one...)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Set Writing Goals

If writing is spelled "Do It," then publishing is spelled "W-A-I-T." Do you float in the water, or do you swim toward a destination? Does it depend on the mood? Some of us set goals by floating around and seeing what happens, though that's not really setting goals. Others of us may see the shoreline and swim toward higher ground. Which are you? I think I may be a mixture.

Publishing is spelled "W-A-I-T." || how to set writing goals | writing productivity

Everyone always says to write your goals down. And break them up into smaller doable tasks. I try. But sometimes I float. My main GOAL is to always make improvements. That can be measured in different ways. I like to make improvements with my writing by revising each story until it's as good as I can get it. One way I do this is by always having more than one story in progress. When I get tired of one or stuck, I can just move on to the next by asking myself which one I'd like to dabble in.

I know I shared my progress from PiBoIdMo at the end of December, but here it is again, a little differently this time.

Started = began a new manuscript
Wrote = completed first draft
Revised = worked on a revision
Finished = polished
Submitted = sent off to a publisher

S. W. R. F. S. = Start With Real Feeling, Sister!

Began writing again.
  • Started = 2 
  • Wrote = 1 
  • Revised = 1
  • Finished = 1
  • Submitted = 0

Thursday, January 3, 2013

HIGH FIVE #24: Interview with Author Carrie A. Pearson and her Warm Winters...

A Warm Winter Tail
Here’s a big HIGH FIVE congratulations to you for your debut picture book. 

Thank you!!

Title: A Warm Winter Tail
Author: Carrie A. Pearson
Illustrator: Christina Wald
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Date: September 2012
Word count: 375
Jacket Flap
Do you ever wonder how animals stay warm in the winter? Well, they wonder how humans do too! In a twist of perspective, wild creatures question if humans use the same winter adaptation strategies that they do. Do they cuddle together in a tree or fly south to Mexico? In this rhythmic story, take a look through an animal’s eyes and discover the interesting ways animals cope with cold.
Sounds wonderful!

Question ONE: 
What are three of your favorite picture books? Just three mind you.
What? Only three? Okay, I’ll play.
  1. Miss Twiggley’s Tree by Dorothea Warren Fox (this is a recently re-released childhood favorite about how people can become more than they think is possible)
  2. Children of the Forest by Elsa Beskow (I’ve always loved the idea of miniature worlds that might exist without our knowledge)
  3. I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow (The dry sense of humor in text and illustrations tickles my funny bone)

Oh, I really love I Wanna Iguana, too! There's a sequel, you know... I Wanna New Room.

Question TWO: 
What was your reading routine like when your children were younger?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Hope everyone had a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. My Christmas was delightful. My child was so thoughtful. He spent his own money and got me a little silver necklace from Avon at the school's Santa Shop. It has a charm of a W on it. My name is Christie. He got me a W, instead of a C, because, "the W's for Wild, Writer, and Websiter." Isn't he just the cutest? I told him I would have to wear that necklace to every school visit I do. He just beamed. I told him it's "web designer, not websiter." He said, "I know, but websiter sounded better 'cause it rhymes. Get it?" "Aha!" says I.

Be sure to visit in a day or two to read the next awesome interview with a debut picture book author. You're gonna love her inspiring advice.

Happy NEW YEAR!!! Hope you set goals wisely, write them down, and work toward them. I made progress in 2012. Hoping for the same this year. See you around!


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