Blog of a Writer on the Go and Barely Here.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Another Picture Book Week Down

National Picture Book Week ended yesterday. I now have seven new rough drafts to work with for my next book. Of those seven, two I'm really happy with, four I'm mostly happy with, but they need work to get them somewhat usable, and one will probably be recycled into another story at a later time.

With the 'Diversify Books' campaign happening across most social media outlets, my brain was definitely focused on creating books that highlighted the differences among people. The majority of the books I wrote this week had themes dealing with how everyone's different, whether family dynamics, skin color, beliefs, or disability. (This last one I also handled in WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME?)

Here's a quick overview of what I came up with. The titles are only temporary working titles for now:

Day 1: WHAT IF? What if everyone was exactly the same in every way? How boring that would be. Good thing we're all different. (Keeper)

Day 2: LOST Puppy is lost and all alone. No one wants to let him in. Then he finds someone else who's lost and becomes a hero. (Workable)

Day 3: GIFT OF ME A little girl is told she has hair like her mother and eyes like her father. All of her features seem to come from someone different. When they're all added together, they become her. (Workable)

Day 4: NOT MY BROTHER A little boy is going to become a big brother, but not in the usual way. His parents are adopting and his new brother looks nothing like him. (Keeper)

Day 5: TUXEDO Tuxedo Rabbit fools everyone into thinking he's Brother Rabbit. It's not fun when his friends want to play with him and not Brother. (Workable)

Day 6: MELODY'S LIE Melody tells a lie. It grows until it's too big for her to handle. (Definitely workable)

Day 7: BLANKIE A little boy and his favorite blanket can do anything together. (Needs reworking. Might be scrapped and redone.)

So, that's my past week in a nutshell. For those of you who have known me forever (or at least since elementary school): Yes, I'm dragging Tuxedo Rabbit back out, kicking and screaming. ;-) Obviously writing all new stories - I'm not even digging out the old ones - but I think his time has finally come to have his tales redone. Poor rabbit paid his dues, getting me writing in the first place. It's only fair he gets some good stories now.

Everyone else who joined me in NaPiBoWee, how did you do? Get at least a draft or two worth working on? I'd love to hear how you all made out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rhino's Super Special Project is Live!

Over the weekend I posted on my children's blog about a project I was working on featuring WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME? The project was a book video done in the same style as Reading Rainbow, with the illustrations being narrated by a voice over.

The first video I posted was ok, but the voice over quality was poor. (I had to use my laptop microphone, which in turn gave me a lot of white noise.) Fortunately, right after I shared the video, my brother messaged me to say he had sound recording equipment and I was welcome to use it.

Of course, I jumped at this offer. I'd have been stupid not to.

So, without any more of my ramblings, here is the brand-new, very shiny video.

Enjoy!!! (And be sure to thank my brother for saving everyone's ears from the white noise of doom. ;-) )

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Writer's Voice Blog Hop Contest

Gods don’t die; they wait.
In the country of Elpis, the Greek gods of old have reawakened. Many are thankful to be remembered. Some are still hurt by humankind’s ability to push them aside so easily. One wants revenge.

Maya, a young girl from an influential family, becomes the vessel for Hera’s plans. Kept on an island for five years with only select companions for the duration, Maya is forced to mother forgotten monsters of ancient Greece. Monsters created to keep mankind in line. 

Angry over what Hera plans to do with her children, Maya does her best to secretly upset the Goddess’ plans. Teaching them about family and loyalty, Maya plants the seeds of rebellion in each monster she creates.

With an army at her disposal, Hera sends the monsters into the world, spreading her message of death and destruction. Now Maya needs to stop them, and Hera, before what’s left of humanity is wiped out in the name of a vengeful goddess.

At 64,000 words, MOTHER OF MONSTERS is a fantasy that explores the bonds of family and the ability to love unconditionally.

First 250:
Old gods never die; they wait and scheme. None did this better than Hera. Now her plan lacked only one element. A whispered word would set things right.

The night air was cool, but Hera didn’t mind as she entered the bedchamber of Thisbe, loyal servant to the goddess. Thisbe’s family had served Hera well for the past two thousand years. When Greece fell and Elpis rose in its place, her ancestors were the first to embrace the old ways. Now, Hera would repay them for their faith.

“Send her away. Save your daughter. You must find a way.” Hera’s words echoed in Thisbe’s head, keeping her from sleep. Her daughter, Maya, would be thirteen in the morning. Sacrificial age for the first born in a household of Hera.

“I must honor my oath to my goddess.”

“Do you believe this is what your ancestors fought and died for?” Hera said, planting seeds of fear and doubt in Thisbe’s tired and troubled mind. The words became young men and women in uniforms, dirty and injured. Flashes of light from their guns illuminated the battlefield that served as a graveyard once the fighting was done.

“My ancestors fought in the Last Great War to free us all. They built Elpis on the ashes of Greece. Their vision of a new country based on old ideals is everyone’s vision.”

“Yet you argue with yourself. Is their vision truly your vision as well?” Thisbe’s dream turned from the battlefield to an Elpis she had never known. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ready. Set. Write Picture Books!

April has come and gone, somewhat too quickly for my liking. Last week was a bit of a blur and this week hasn't been much better.

I shouldn't say that. This week has been great for the most part, except for the whole time moving too quickly. I reached my Camp NaNo goal on my YA Sci-fi, which still needs another ten thousand words or so before the first draft is completed. I also made it into PitchSlam on Twitter with OF LOVE AND WAR. A request was made on if from an agent for the first 50 pages. Here's hoping she wants to see more.

Aside from that, today starts National Picture Book Week! I participated last year, churning out seven rough drafts of picture books (one a day) with one of those resulting in agent interest, but no offer yet. (I'm still querying it with high hopes.) This year I plan to come away with at least one usable ms (after edits and revisions, of course) but would love if all seven ended up equally awesome.

In contrast to when I'm working on a novel or anything of great length, I tend to draft picture books and short stories by hand. If I try to write shorter pieces first on the computer, I can't get them to work, and vise versa, novels started out by hand never make it past chapter two. I don't know why my brain likes to work this way, but it does. So, if I'm quiet a couple hours each day for the next week, you know why. I'll be curled up somewhere with my pad and paper, scribbling away, with visions of Newbury Medals dancing in my head. ;-)

Anyone else joining me on NaPiBoWriWee? Let me know! I'd love to hear how you're doing over the week and what types of stories you come up with.