Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April is Poetry Month - Take These Challenges - UPDATED**

Sorry to be getting to this so late but there's still time to enter these two awesome challenges! 

Rena Traxel is hosting A to Z Poetry on her blog.  I was excited to find it because I had a very similar idea but, of course, I waited too long to put it into action.  Now I have the best of both worlds - I get to participate without all the work (sorry Rena)!  

Here's a bit about the challenge:
Starting with the letter 'A' on April 1, 2012 write a poem based on that day's lesson and challenge. There are 26 letters in the alphabet so you will create 26 poems in the month of April. Take Sundays off to revise (except for Sunday, April 1). If you have kids get them involved.  

~ Maureen Thorson is hosting NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) on her blog.  You can find out all about it on her 
FAQ page.

I used to be afraid to take on writing challenges because I didn't think I could keep up with the demand.  I surprised myself and did pretty well.  What I've written may not be my best work but they're starts and who knows what they'll grow into.  I actually have a story I love that I thought of during National Picture Book Idea Month (NaPiBoIdMo) and finished writing during 12X12 in 2012.  Even if you don't end up writing a poem a day, I guarantee you'll write more than if you didn't take these challenges.

So, what are you waiting for - go on - sign up NOW!

** I found a fabulous list on Jamma's Alphabet Soup.  I bet she didn't wait until the last minute to put her list together!  Darn you, procrastination gene!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I've Been Tagged with the Lucky 7 MEME

A writer friend of mine, Cheryl Velasquez, tagged me the Lucky 7 MEME!  Cheryl is a talented writer - I've had the pleasure of reading some of her work and I have a feeling the world will be reading it soon too!  You should check out her awesome blog, Book Nook.

Here are the rules for the Lucky 7 MEME:

1. Go to page 77 of your current ms. (Since I write picture books, I chose to start on the first page.) 
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences and post them as they're written.  No cheating
4. Tag 7 other victims authors.

The manuscript I chose is Five Little Piggies, a mash-up of There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and This Little Piggy.  Since it's in rhyming couplets, I shared 8 lines instead of 7.  Here it is:

She squinted her eyes and she curled her tight lips.
She tapped her big foot with her hands on her hips.

She said, "I'm the boss now - and don't you forget it.
Follow my orders or you will regret it!"  

Never before had the five piggies seen,
a person so callous . . . so soulless . . . so mean!

She yelled at the piggies; her voice filled with hate.
She hollered so loudly, she scared their tails straight.

Now, here are the lucky 7 winners I've chosen to burden grace with this award!  
I can't wait to read their 7 (or 8) lines!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Read Conmigo Literary Program and Manuscript Contest!!

My nephew, Greg, is the AVP of National Marketing with Infinity Insurance in Alabama - boy, that makes me feel old!  He told me about an awesome program they have called Read Conmigo, which was designed to enrich the learning environment in bilingual households by providing parents with unique learning tools, like bilingual children's books - for FREE!  

Anyone 18 years or older, who resides in the US, can sign up to receive a free bilingual book, monthly.  Teachers who sign up will receive a set of 20 books to distribute to their students (one time only).  How great is that?!

They also host a contest which authors and illustrators may enter.   Authors may submit a picture book manuscript, in English and Spanish or just in Spanish.  Illustrators may submit illustrations alone or with picture book text.  The winners will receive $1000 and will have their stories published and distributed to families nationwide!!  Read the rules here (although it says the contest ended in Dec 2011, I have it on good authority that it is still going and is bigger and better than ever!).

Have fun reading - good luck to those who enter the contest!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Book Rocks!!

I want to spread the word about an amazing organization called First Book!  First Book provides access to new books for children in need in the US and Canada.  To date, First Book has distributed more than 90 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities!

If you're an educator or program administrator, and at least 70% of the children in your program come from low-income families, you can register to receive free or low-cost books from First Page.

From their website:
First Book distributes books in three ways:

  • Need Free Books? 
  • The First Book National Book Bank distributes free books to programs that serve at least 70% children from low-income families.
  • Want Low-cost, High-quality Books? 
  • The First Book Marketplace is an online store selling books and educational materials discounted up 50 - 90% off retail prices to programs that serve at least 70% children from low-income families.
  • Interested in Grants for Books? 
  • First Book Advisory Boards make community level grants enabling programs that serve at least 70% children from low-income families to receive free books.