Happy New Year: Looking Back and Moving Forward

me Stu and Jeremy

I’m a sucker for challenges – and Julie Hedlund put a new one together that I just could not resist.

The12 Days of Christmas – There is still a week left – and the previous days are archived so you can catch up easily!

Julie asked that we celebrate what we HAVE accomplished rather than dwell on what we haven’t.

She encouraged us to make a list of our successes and surprises, before thinking of any failures or disappointments.

And this makes sense…it’s the mindset I encouraged in my kindergarteners when I was teaching. It’s the parenting approach I followed with my own kids. Positive thinking does generate positive results!

So here is a rundown of how I spent the past year.

2014 might have been the Chinese Year of the Horse…but for me, it was the Year of Continue reading

Goal-Buster: Sheri McCrimmon

Last Tuesday was April Fool’s Day!

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

Lucky for you, this is today…and I’m not fooling when I tell you we have a special GOAL-BUSTER guest…my dear friend, Sheri McCrimmon.
I met Sheri at a local SCBWI meeting in Colorado Springs two years ago. It was a Sunday…I think we sat next to each other…we chatted and exchanged manuscripts for critique…and that night I emailed her with a request to drive me to Denver very early the next morning…and she immediately said, ‘YES!” You don’t find many people who would do that.
Sheri is an amazing woman, true friend, talented writer, spot-on critique partner, active participant in the kid lit community…and a sweetheart for agreeing to share her goals for 2014 and her plans for reaching them.
So, without further ado, except for a big thank you, here is Sheri!

Sheri photo
Vivian, thank you so much for the invitation to share my writing goals. This has been such a helpful exercise for me! I hope that it will be helpful to others as well.
Sheri’s Writing Goals for 2014:
1) Have 10 polished books in submission circulation by year’s end. (As of March 15, I have nine ready).

How:
A. Write and send query/cover letters using what I’ve learned with the help of Mira Reisberg’s awesome picture book class (and free webinars) at the Children’s Book Academy, 12 x 12 resources and lots of googling. (As of March 15, I have one picture book out to two different agents, another to one agent and yet another to two agents). This process is more terrifying and slower than I had hoped, but I am moving forward.
B. Continue to revise, revise, revise. . . with the help of my awesome critique posse, 12 x 12, Rate Your Story and Continue reading

Clarike Bowman-Jahn is a Goal-Buster!

karate week 2 jan 2014

Another month has passed. I can’t believe it is March 1st already. Time is passing by so quickly.

And that’s why it is so important to focus on what you want to do, set your goals and decide what steps you will take to reach them…otherwise, it will be December and you will look back and be disappointed that you didn’t try.

My Goal-Buster guest today will NOT be disappointed when she looks back on 2014…that is for sure.

Please welcome a dear lady and wonderful children’s author, CLARIKE BOWMAN JAHN

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 Hi Friends!

I am writing this for my friend, Vivian Kirkfield, and hope it’s up to snuff. I have looked back on last year long enough to know that I did well. One of my picture books is coming out next summer, and we are putting the finishing touches on the illustrations. This is one of the nice perks with working with a small press; the publisher lets us work with the illustrator. This book is “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Rescue Donkey Story” that I co authored with Susan April Elwood. My acknowledgement page is totally for The Round Hill Writer’s Group because they gave me so many good ideas to incorporate in this book.

One of the great things I did last year was to participate in Susanna Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class. And that is the book all ready to be queried.

One of the things I did in 2013 was start a Picture Book Critique Group from people interested in it who attended the 2011 SCBWI conference. We had a brilliant bunch of us sharing a new manuscript every month. I also wrote three other manuscripts and one is totally ready for the querying process. This leaves the other two in need of revision and professional editing which is in my goals for 2014.

Also in 2014, I will start Continue reading

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