Alayne Kay Christian: Goal-Buster Extraodinaire

jeremys first day at soccer made a goal 9_7‑13

If you haven’t already done it, go and rip the month of January from your calendar!

That right…one month over and gone! Hard to believe…and January was one of the long ones.

Many of us make resolutions or do goal-setting at the beginning of every year – but often, after a couple of weeks, life gets in the way and those resolutions fall by the wayside and those goals remain unreached.

That’s why I’m so very excited to have Alayne Kay Christian here today as my guest for Goal Busters.

 ALAYNE headshot

I met Alayne through our common interest in writing for children – you will find her in just about every kid lit writing challenge out there – many times as an ‘expert witness’ so to speak. She’s an award-winning children’s author, life coach, founder of Sub Six, does awesome professional manuscript critiques (I can vouch for that) and so much more – scroll down to the end of the post to read her bio and find out how to connect with this amazing lady.

Welcome, Alayne! I’m thrilled to have you here today.

Thank you, Vivian, for inviting me to be a goal buster. I have decided to only share some of my bigger goals for 2014. If I shared all my goals, this post would become a total bore. I love goals that provide their own rewards. So, when it comes to rewards, you will notice that in most cases my rewards come from Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest and ReviMo Info

Entering contests is a great exercise in creative writing. It hones your writing skills, brings you into fellowship with other writers and helps you gain courage to put your work out there. For the past three years, I’ve been participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contests – today begins;

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!
 crashing sleigh


The Contest:  Write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster (a la Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer :)).  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words.

For more information about rules, judging, voting and prizes, please go here.
I thought about what I should write. My trash can is filled with discarded ideas. I hope you will enjoy the story I decided to go with.
SANTA’S NEWEST ELF (157 WORDS)

A letter came for me today.

 Dear Jack O’Lantern, don’t delay.

 Please come to Santa right away

And help make balls and bikes and clay.

A strong wind blows – I rock, I roll.

I barely miss a huge mole hole.

No hole will stop me from my goal

Of elfing at the cold North Pole.

 I cross the street – the light is red.

A tire almost hits my head.

I fear the car will squash me dead.

It pushes me along instead.

And in a muffin shop nearby,

The baker gives a battle cry.

She wants to put me in a pie.

I quickly tumble past – “Bye-bye!”

I see the lights of Santa’s shop.

I slip and slide and belly flop.

I’m turning like a spinning top.

What if I never ever stop?

I hear a jolly Ho-Ho-Ho.

It’s Santa standing in the snow.

He says, ‘The workshop’s down below.”

Elf Jack O’Lantern, come, let’s go!

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas story – I’ll be linking up on Susanna’s website and you can go and read ALL of the amazing entries here. For the Halloweensie Contest, there were 79 stories!

A couple of important items to mention:

1. The Authors for the Philippines auction is over – they raised over 55,000 British pounds (not sure how many US dollars that is…but it is a lot!). I’ve just packed up a copy of my book that I donated – it is going to a mother of two in Staffordshire, England.

2. Please don’t forget the Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop Holiday Extravaganza that is still happening here and on 48 other blogs around the blogsphere. There are so many books and gift cards being given away.

KLGH-Holiday-Button

3. I guest posted on the PreK and K Sharing Blog – one of the most incredible blog resources I have ever seen…please go and check them out.

4. Pull out those old manuscripts and dust them off – Meg Miller is hosting a challenge for the New Year – REVIMO will encourage you to REVISE – REVISE – REVISE. There will be prizes, inspiration and information.

5. And, one more reminder about the limited time only Holiday Sale of my book on Amazon – only $10!

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

Monday Writing Magic: WordPress Family Blog Award

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

In every field, there are awards that are bestowed in recognition of excellence. The Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the Oscars and Emmys are a few of the well-known accolades. Even the blogsphere has some…The Versatile Blogger, Stylish Blog, Candlelighter Award…there are dozens. One of the newest is the WordPress Family Blog Award.

All bloggers are writers…and all writers need encouragement and support. Being part of the WordPress Family, I’ve found so much support and encouragement from fellow bloggers. Some write picture books, some write memoirs, some write YA or MG, some are not trying to write a book, but are investing their talent in writing great blog posts.

wordpress-family-award

Marylin over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother honored me with it the other day. One of the things I regret is that while I lived in Colorado Springs, I never connected in person with this amazing writer. In her blog, she shares the wonderful accomplishments and giving nature of her mom who now suffers from Alzheimers. Marylin supports aspiring authors with writing contests and her blog is a cornucopia of goodness and love and information…on child care, recipes, gardening anecdotes and family matters.  If you don’t know Marylin, I hope you will stop by her blog to say hello…you won’t be disappointed.

When I received the award, I tried to find out a little more about it. I discovered that it was started by Shaun from Scotland: http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/word-press-family-award/

This is what Shaun said about the award:

“This is an award for Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic: 4 Timely Tips

Monday Writing Magic: The Leap from Reading to Writing

The leap from being a lover of books to becoming a lover of writing was not a very big one for me.  I’ve always loved to write . In elementary school, I carried around a small spiral notebook and would jot down little poems.  As a kindergarten teacher, I developed a program that utilized children’s picture books, not only for entertainment and enjoyment, but also to help young children deal with the challenges they encounter in those early years.  But it wasn’t until my own children were born that I began to write my own picture book stories.  And perhaps I have my husband to thank for that.

You see, my husband is an avid fly-fisherman and years ago he also refinished bamboo fly rods – he actually wrote a book on Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – Building Relationships Within the Kid Lit Community

Monday Writing Magic: Building Relationsips Within the Kid Lit Community

Writing can be one of the most solitary occupations. Many writers carve out time from busy schedules that often include family and job responsibilities. Setting the alarm early or staying up after everyone else is in dreamland are two ways to find ‘quiet’ time.

Even though most of us need to be ‘alone’ when we are creating, it is really important to be part of a community that can encourage, inspire and motivate…one that can provide needed resources and feedback. Two years ago, when I began blogging, I discovered a whole new world of incredible kid lit people like Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic: What Makes a Great Picture Book Story?

Monday Writing Magic: What Makes a Great Picture Book Story?

What good luck! I’m continuing my new blog schedule with a Monday post about writing. Susanna Leonard Hill graciously picked today to reveal the 8 finalists in the 4th of July Secret Mystery Writing Contest. Thanks, Susanna…perfect timing!

What bad luck! It will be very difficult to decide who should be the winner…each story is fantastic! You can help….go and read the entries…and VOTE!

What good luck! I just heard an acceptance speech for the Hornbook Award by Extra Yarn author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klaussen. You can read it here and here or listen to it here. They said that a great picture book must: Continue reading