Have any of you read “The Celestine Prophecy”? Author James Redfield talks about ‘synchronicity’…a term first used in the 1920’s by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Redfield explains that coincidences have a meaning personal to those who experience them.
Late last year, one of my blogging buddies, Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way, suggested I check out a Friday linky of Picture Book Reviews. I hurried over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday…and I’ve happily been there every Friday since then! Susanna also hosts writing contests and writing prompts that encourage us to express our creativity.
Connecting with an amazing kid-lit community that followed Susanna’s blog, I met dozens of wonderful writers (one of whom has a birthday today…Happy Birthday, Beth!!!!), illustrators, librarians, teachers, moms…one of those was Julie Hedlund. It turns out that Julie had just organized a challenge called 12×12 in 2012…write a picture book draft every month of the coming year.
My love affair with picture books began over sixty years ago, but I had put away my picture book writing when I started working on my book for parents and teachers, “Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Heart beating like a rock-band drummer, I immediately signed up.
And now the year is almost over…so it is definitely party-time! I know WE are all ready!
I have completed twelve picture book drafts…twelve more than I would have had if not for Julie Hedlund! Two or three have been critiqued and polished (hopefully enough) and will be submitted to publishers/editors shortly.
- Caroline’s Flower-Sprigged Hat
- Whom Do I Love?
- The Boots of Dylan McGee
- The Tomato Turner
- No Brother for My Birthday
- Grandma’s Visit
- Confessions of the Tomato Turner
- Hugs Are Not For Sale
- How Can I Learn How to Snow
- The Witches of Fairy Top Hill
- Where Is Buddy?
- Further Adventures of The Tomato Turner
Julie’s blog also provides guest posts by writers, illustrators, editors and others who love children and books…each sharing a journey that motivates and teaches. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that we couldn’t have done it without her.
I also have thirty picture book ideas, generated during Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo…an amazing challenge in November that I recommend to anyone who has ever thought of writing a picture book or to anyone who has dozens of published picture books…the information and inspiration gained by reading the guest posts is invaluable!
This year has been a joyous one for me…due, in large part, to my immersion in Julie’s picture book writing challenge. It’s kind of like a picture book party where I am always dancing around, scribbling story titles, character names and plot ideas…what fun!
I will be retiring from my ‘day’ job on December 31…lots more time for picture book writing, I’m sure! I’ll be hopping aboard the 12×12 in 2013 train…I’m looking forward to continuing this picture book writing journey…with Julie Hedlund as the engineer!
- Don’t Be Afraid…Go Ahead…Write Picture Books! (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- Make a Dummy to Perfect Your Picture Book Manuscript (onewaytowonder.wordpress.com)
- 12 x 12 | JulieHedlund.com (onewaytowonder.wordpress.com)