Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rate Your Story

I found this awesome blog called Rate Your Story, and I thought it was such a wonderful idea, I submitted three stories.  What I really like about Rate Your story is, you get general feedback to let you know if you're on the right track, if you've been derailed somewhere or your train never left the station (not sure why I'm using train analogies)!  Because I appreciated the feedback they gave me and because I LOVE helping writers with rhyming stories, I asked if I could be one of their judges - and they said YES!  

Here's how it works:
1 - Submit a story you've written.
2 - One or more judges (maybe me) will read your story.
3 - You'll receive a rating from 1: "Great story - you should consider submitting this" to 10: "Consider this story as practice and write a new one."
4 - You can visit the Professional Critiques page if you'd like an in depth critique of your story. 

So, if you've written a story and you're not sure whether it's ready to submit, close to being ready, or needs a lot more work - this is the blog for you!  Check it out!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Thomas' Snowsuit

My writer friend, Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday.  In her post, she reviews a book she loves.  There's also a running list of books loved and reviewed by other bloggers.  She posts it every Friday - bet you figured that out :-)  

Since we got about 4 inches of snow yesterday, I thought I'd choose Thomas' Snowsuit for my first review.

Written by: Robert Munsch
Illustrated by: Michael Martchenko 
Published by: Annick Press, 1989

(Snow)Suitable for: ages 4 and up
Theme/Topic: Common Childhood Experiences; 
Emotion; Humor; Mischief; Seasons

Brief Synopsis: Thomas refuses to wear the new brown snowsuit his mother bought for him. "If you think I am going to wear that ugly snowsuit, you are crazy!" Every time his mother, or teacher, or principal tries to make him put it on, Thomas says "NNNNNNO" - which kids love saying along with him!  After several hilarious attempts to get him in his snowsuit, Thomas' friend calls him out to play and he jumps in his snowsuit and runs out.

Why I like this book: Anyone who has ever had to get a child in a snowsuit, boots, hat, mittens, scarf . . . to go play in the snow will appreciate this book.  My kids and I laughed out loud reading this book and they loved joining Thomas' in his "NNNNNNNO" refrain!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

And the winner is . . .

Thanks to the 16 people who entered the giveaway!  I picked a name at random and the winner of the $25 gift card to the indie bookstore of her choice is . . .  Patient Dreamer!  

Please contact me at: with the name of the indie bookstore and their contact information and I'll arrange for your gift certificate!
I appreciate you all entering and I hope you have a fantastic 2012!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Week in Rhyme - January 1 - 7

Tuesday they held the Iowa Caucus.    
Voters and candidates sure were raucous.

Mitt and Santorum were neck and neck
Bauchman's campaign?  A total wreck.

Paul edged out Perry and Newt by a bit.
Huntsman beat Cain. Oh yea, Herman quit.
They climb on each other to get to the top.
I can't wait 'til March when the primaries 



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Calling all picture book writers!

Children's book author Julie Hedlund has created an awesome challenge called 12 x 12 in 2012: Picture Book Challenge!  Exactly what is this challenge you ask?  It's just what it says - write 12 picture books in 12 months in 2012.

If you participated in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) you'll have plenty of ideas to work with!  If you missed PiBoIdMo, you can read the daily blogs for inspiration.

I'm so excited about this because it feels very doable to me.  So - are you up to the challenge?  Read all about it at Julie Hedlund - Write Up My Life.

Hurry up - the deadline for signing up is 
January 29th!!

New Year's Word: Balance

A writer friend of mine, Cat Woods, posted about her new alternative to New Year's Resolutions.  She chose one word that will motivate her throughout the year. I chose a word but, as I was thinking it through, I realized I'll need two more words to make my first word work.  


I chose the word balance because I am constantly trying to balance the various areas of my life - family, friends, health, teaching, writing, hobbies, interests . . . - and it's often hard to do.


But, balance isn't enough.  If I don't focus, I can't achieve balance.  I flit from thing to thing, often leaving things half-finished or finished, but not to the best of my ability. 


And, balance and focus won't happen unless I use planning.  If I take the time to plan my days and for upcoming events, I'll be prepared to focus on each aspect individually and fully, and I'll achieve balance.  Well, that's my goal at least.   

In addition to adding these words, I'm hoping to strike the phrase "should have" from my vocabulary.  If I apply planning, focus and balance, I "shouldn't have" cause to use it!

Typically, I would have posted this without giving it another thought and later I'd be saying to myself, "I should have had a giveaway for my first post of the year!".  But, since I'm banning that phrase from my life and I'm doing more focusing and planning, I stopped myself!  

Introducing, my first giveaway of 2012!!!

You can earn up to three entries by doing the following:
1 - Comment here with your word - or words - for the new year (required).  
2 - Link to this post on your website, blog, facebook or twitter.  
3 - Follow this blog (if you're already a follower, you'll get an entry).

I'll randomly pick from the entries a week from today, January 8th and one lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card to the independent bookstore of his/her choice.

Good luck - and may the word be with you!  (sorry, I can't resist a bad pun!)