Friday, November 30, 2012

PiBoIdMoDo


Ah, yes. That's a little Tracy-speak for PiBoIdMoDone!
How's that for a short post?!
Thanks Tara for the daily inspiration on your blog.
Thanks to my kids for waiting patiently while I said, "Hold on. I just have to write this down."
And a final thanks to that extra group of brain cells that kicked in and kept me going. You can all go back to sleep now!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On A Roll... So Far

This is the second year I am trying my hand at PiBoIdMo, hosted by the wonderful and talented Tara Lazar, who I actually had the pleasure of meeting at a local SCBWI event last weekend. We've Tweeted with each other, commented on each other's blogs, and emailed, but there is just something powerful about meeting someone in person.

 My new and wonderful creative partners were there too: Lauri Meyers of Lauri's Stories and Jennifer Dorr of A Year of Living Mythically. How fabulous to be at an industry event with them. I also met author Ame Dykman, illustrator Vin Vogel, illustrator Leeza Hernandez, and Scholastic editor Jenne Abramowitz. Yes, they are all real people and no, I should never have been nervous about introducing myself to them. As it turns out, I'm not the only person who feels life pulling me in several directions, or gets stumped while staring at a blank page.
Me and Ame Dykman

Wow- I digressed a lot there. So, back to PiBoIdMo. The premise is simple: pledge to write down one picture book idea for each day in November. Last year, I made it for about 5 days, got all caught up in half days, Thanksgiving and well, that was the end of that. Not good. This year though, I'm doing well. Although some of the ideas will never move beyond the piece of paper on which they are written, others have potential. And if I'm lucky, some will even turn into a whole picture book.
In real life the colors were more vibrant but I used this sunset for one of my ideas.

I'm far from done, but moving in the right direction. And, thanks to those of you who I met last weekend- there was definitely inspiration in those simple and casual conversations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Detoxing

Okay. I've officially decided that Hurricane Sandy is the closest I've ever come to detoxing. See, I'm a bit of a self-proclaimed workaholic. Always searching out using any bit of spare time to write or edit or follow up on a project.
I don't know if work-anon exists, but Sandy came close. For about 10 days.


At first, the forced vacation was fun. My family and I were safe, our home was safe, and if worse came to worse, we could cook hot dogs over the fire pit for dinner. Which, we of course did. I even had flashbacks to my days in summer camp.
I assumed that if nothing else, I'd be able to write. All I needed for that was a pen and paper, which is how I start most writing projects, with the only exception being this blog and my food stories. I thought that as long as the kids were busy and playing I'd have free time. After all, there was no laundry to do (I wasn't ready to go back to the washboard and bucket just yet), no errands to run (power lines and trees everywhere), no homework to oversee (school was canceled for a week), and no sports practices. Time was mine and it seemed I had plenty of it.

I could not have been more wrong.

There was no free time, or when there was, it was dark, and we went to bed. At 9:00. All of us.

What really led to the lack of free time, and what I hadn't counted on, was the shift my husband and I made to the 2012 version of survival mode:
  • Where is the food? How much are we making? (I didn't want leftovers as there was no place to store them and no way to heat them up)
  • How are we cooking? Grill, stove, or fire pit? (I still had the gas for my stove)
  • When are we starting? It gets dark inside at about 4:00 and it's not easy to cook in the dark.
  • Where are we sleeping? Let's set the beds up early (we all stayed in one room for warmth) while it's still light out.
  • Is there anything that needs to go to my sister's to be charged?
  • Do we have food for breakfast?
The whole experience was amazing to me. We all shifted into a mode where we hoped every day for the power to go back on and we planned ahead as well and as carefully as we could. My kids were fantastic, and actually learned how to split wood, and use a machete. Husband was amazing and is definitely a key to survival in a storm (he actually went out every morning and got us coffee- oh, how we missed our coffee). What did this mean for me? No writing. No editing. No plotting or pantsing. Just living and being Mom. It turns out that a week without power does not lead to writing, but instead making sure my family was safe and comfortable.

Am I cured and completely detoxed? No, that apparently was temporary.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hello. Anybody Home?

Hello writer. It's me, your blog. Remember me?
Hello? Anybody home? I didn't think so.
No, wait. I'm here. I've just been a little, ahem, busy.

Sure. Sure. That's what you said about July.
I know. It happens.

Okay. I'll bite. What were you so busy doing????
Writing. Editing. Writing. Editing. Getting the kids back and settled into school. Starting up a creative writing/partner group.

Okay, so it's not like you've been sitting on the couch eating bon- bons.
I wish, but no. I haven't even been reading as much as I had this summer. But, I'm trying to make more time for that and organize my days a little better. I've even started knitting at night again.

Well, I'm glad to see you're back. How was GUTGAA?
It was an incredible experience, and even though I didn't end up with an agent at the end, I did get some positive feedback from the story I pitched and it's always good to know that I'm not the only one who thinks something is a good idea or a cute story.

Excellent. What's next?
PiBoIdMo, (Picture Book Idea Month) hosted by Tara Lazar. I tried this one last year, but lost steam after about (oooooh, can you see me blushing?) 6 or 7 days.

How's it going so far this year?
Well, it's day 2 and I'm two for two. So far so good. I'm looking to work with new ideas, but I have a theme for back up.

Then I'll let you get back to it, but don't leave me for so long next time. I was getting dusty and stuff.
I won't. Promise.