I am jumping into something new today. I am joining in on a blog hop. Get it? “Jumping” into something new – ha, I just crack myself up :-)
My friend Yvonne Mes invited me to join her in hopping. I just got a vision of Yvonne and me doing the bunny hop dance. I guess in a way that is what a blog hop is. Yvonne has brought three other friends to the dance, and I will be bringing three more. Pretty soon there will be bunny hopping bloggers all over the place. We are multiplying like, well . . . bunnies :-)
I am in several writing and illustrating groups with Yvonne. She is one talented and creative woman. I think the best way to describe Yvonne is to take my favorite line from her blog bio, “I love life, I love to learn, I love to create.”
I think I will take a breather here and stop dancing so I can answer the blog hop questions.
1. What are you working on?
I am gearing up for some picture book submissions to agents. I am also considering some contest submissions. I am polishing about 15 picture book manuscripts and brainstorming a couple of new stories. I’m restructuring a nonfiction picture book. Since taking the WOW nonficpic writing challenge, I have seven new nonfiction picture book drafts that are calling me. I am reading “Anatomy of Nonfiction: Writing True Stories for Children” by Margery Facklam and Peggy Thomas. My murder story for the adult market continues to whisper in my ear, “Come back to me. Finish me.” And on and on it goes. My writer brain never stops.
2. How does your writing process work?
I am the type of writer that feeds off creativity. This means my process is a very natural and free-flowing thing. I go where my creative heart leads me. However, allowing my creative heart to lead me sometimes takes me down a path where nothing ever really gets accomplished, so this year, I started a group called Sub Six to hold me accountable when it comes to submitting my work. When involved in the submitting process there has to be some balance and discipline or the submissions would never be sent. Thanks to my writing groups 12 x 12 and Sub Six, I have monthly writing goals or self-commitments. This prevents me from bouncing off too many creative walls. With 12 x 12, I make a commitment to write at least one picture book draft each month and to submit to the 12 x 12 agent for that month. With Sub Six, I commit to sending out at least one submission each month. With my critique groups, I commit to submitting several manuscripts each month and critiquing many manuscripts in return. Throughout the month, I balance my self-commitments with my free-flowing creative methods. This way, I am able to satisfy my need for creative spontaneity and my desire to work toward getting more picture books published.
I tend to write in the morning and late afternoon. My writer’s brain truly never stops. No matter what I am doing, there is something in the back of my mind. It might be a new idea brewing. It might be observing life where new ideas are sparked. It might be trying to find a solution to a character’s problem. It might be trying to find a solution to a story arc problem. And on and on it goes. I often wake in the morning with writing answers or ideas.
When it comes to polishing 15 stories at a time, I cycle through them. I work on one manuscript until I feel like it is ready to rest for a while. Then I move on to another. And round and round it goes until I feel like I have polished something to a perfect shine. Then it is time to submit. Sometimes my polishing priority is determined by how much I like the story combined with the responses I get from my critique groups. If a critique suggestion gets me inspired, that story will take priority.
I often let critiqued stories sit until I feel like I can look at comments objectively. When I am ready, I return to the comments and decide which ones work for me and which ones do not. Then I edit from there.
As you can tell, I could probably ramble on about my writing process forever. But I think this is enough for one day.
3. Who are the authors you most admire?
Since my main focus is picture book writing, I will list some picture book writers.
I love Peter H. Reynolds. His books appeal to my creative heart because they tend to be about the creative heart. I think he does a wonderful job of building creative confidence in children and adults like me :-)
I admire Kathryn Otoshi a great deal. I love her books and the mixture of learning opportunities and positive messages that they present to children. Kathryn is extremely talented and creative. I not only admire her writing and illustrating ability, I admire her extreme success as an independent publisher.
To me, Tammi Sauer is a powerhouse in the picture book world. I met her at the 2011 North Texas SCBWI conference, and I have been a fan since. One Tammi Sauer picture book after another has hit the shelf since 2011. They just keep on coming. In addition to Tammi’s writing talent, I admire her success in the tough picture book market. True confession time: I am a Tammi Sauer wannabe :-)
Now that I have written my way into true confessions, I think it is time to offer up some other blog hopping bunny hop dancers. Following are the links to some other writing blogs. They each offer something different. But they all offer great writing tips and resources.
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