Thursday, January 3, 2019

Day Ten - The First Annual 12 Days of Christmas Write Christmas Challenge

FIRST, sorry for the late posting of this (also). As many of your know, I am a full-service Travel Agent who also specializes in Disney Destinations, among other things. Disney did a promotion drop, so the last few days I've been blown out of the water and no time for blogging! Happy to be back to my Blog Pond today, even if just for a little bit...


FANTASTIC PORTALS

With winter weather weighing heavily on most of our minds, think about other forms of weather like, say, Dorothy's twister. This weather phenomenon plays an important role in the story.  The eye of the twister serves as a portal through which Dorothy travels to get to Munchkinland and ultimately, the Land of Oz. As a result, the book evolves from a story about farm life in Kansas into a wonderful, captivating portal fantasy. 

For a more classical definition, a portal is a “wormhole.” In physics, a wormhole is a “hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is fundamentally a 'shortcut' through space and time.” Portal fantasies utilize one of two methods of transportation. Either the main character steps through the frame of an object (perhaps a door, window, gate, or even a wardrobe), or stands alone and the portal appears in a vortex of energy (as in Dorothy’s twister). Portals can link two different spots in the same universe, different planes of existence, parallel worlds, past and future, heaven and hell, this world and the afterworld. This technique of connecting two worlds is common in science fiction and fantasy fiction.  Besides “The Wonderful Wizard…” some popular examples of portal fantasies are: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis, Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series,  the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling, and “His Dark Materials Trilogy” by Philip Pullman. 

Choose your portal. Then, then spend some time devising a unique object through which your main character can travel. Let this object give rise to a character and situation in which the character could stumble or have it thrust upon him/her. Give some thought to the worlds you will link together and create the circumstances of a FANTAST-ic story.

BONUS *WORD WEAVING* CHALLENGE:

Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new! 

PIXIE
HANDS
WORLD
JUNK
GOOD
KIND
LOLLIPOP
KIDS
BAD
WOODS

Today's Word Weaving exercise inspired by random words I encountered. 

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PLEASE feel free to follow this blog so you don't miss any tidbit of information and please feel free to leave any comment or question you may have. I will do my bes to answer all! 

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. 


To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.

Day Nine - The First Annual 12 Days of Christmas Write Christmas Challenge

FIRST, sorry for the late posting of this. As many of your know, I am a full-service Travel Agent who also specializes in Disney Destinations, among other things. Disney did a promotion drop, so the last few days I've been blown out of the water and no time for blogging! Happy to be back to my Blog Pond today, even if just for a little bit...


KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE GOAL

During this time of making New Year's Resolutions, it's important to remember that often life gets in the way. I know, because it happened to me this past year. So when making your list of writing resolutions, get creative and find ways that will keep your ink flowing in all kinds of expected and unexpected circumstances! 

First, start by finding a quote for motivation. Find a new one each week, day or at least, each month. Write or post the quote(s) on your bathroom mirror, calendar, desk blotter, or tape them over your computer. Here are two of my favorites: “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, note, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” Jane Yolen “Writers write. Everybody else makes excuses.” Maureen LaJoy.  Make certain to look at the quote each morning when you wake up.

Depending on how busy you are, choose daily, weekly or monthly writing goals. Look at your goal each morning and try to make some progress toward it daily. You may want to keep a progress sheet, writing the goal at the top of the page, and writing the date and efforts made as you go along. If you’re a non-fiction writer, you can even make a chart of tasks, like I do. I’ve begun these processes lately, and they’ve helped me feel accountable to my goals and given me a sense of accomplishment. I’m certain you will feel the same when you see your work/progress on paper.


CHALLENGE: Write 100 words about something you wanted to achieve or have as a child. 


BONUS *WORD WEAVING* CHALLENGE:

Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new! 



CHATTER
100
MARCH
STUCK
LISTEN
FIND
CLUNK
FIRST
OWL
SMALLER


Word weaving exercise inspired by HEDGEHOG'S 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL by me and illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, 2017) and HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN by me and illustrated by  Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011). Please check out any one of these books! 


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PLEASE feel free to follow this blog so you don't miss any tidbit of information and please feel free to leave any comment or question you may have. I will do my bes to answer all! 

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. 


To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Day Eight - 1st Annual 12 Days of Christmas Write Christmas Challenge



"Shoot for the Goal"

Both fiction and success stories begin with a “significant incident” which interrupts the character’s ordinary “world.” This incident (a decision, quest, loss, inheritance, death, act of nature or otherwise) propels the protagonist toward solving a specific problem and attaining a specific goal.  Whether you’re an aspiring or published writer or a fictional character at the onset of a story, you must have a problem to solve and a goal to attain.

At this time of personal re-evaluation, renew your determination to attain publication. Adopt the New Year as your own significant incident. Confess the unfulfilled desire to publish a book or story as your problem. Choose a specific goal (i.e., write, revise or submit a story, picture book, chapter book or novel). When choosing a goal, select one that you have the ability and the motivation to solve. For example, don’t give yourself the goal of writing and revising an entire novel in one month or writing about something you have little or no interest in. Once you have selected your goal, write it on a piece of paper and post it where you will see it daily.  Find a person to be accountable to as you proceed toward your goal, even if it is yourself, or a piece of paper.
Image result for cowboy christmas by rob sanders 
          One you have your goal in place, grab your muse by the tail and don’t let go. Set your butt in a chair (the BIC method) and work, work, work--write, revise, submit, revise-- until your work shines. Like characters in successful fiction stories, you may have to fail several times in order to achieve it. Remember, if you don’t shoot for the goal, you will never make one. 


BONUS *WORD WEAVING* CHALLENGE:

Write a picture book story using as many words from this list as possible. Give yourself bonus points for using all of them. If this practice becomes a project, feel free to discard any words that don't serve your story. They will have done their job by inspiring something new! 



Image result for pterodactyl show and tell

CHANGES
HIDE-AND-SEEK
WONDERED
NEW
NUMBERS
PLATES
COWS
WARNED
BED
POSTCARD



Word weaving exercise inspired by COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Rob Sanders and illustrated by John Manders (Golden Books, 2012) and popular fairy tales. Please check out any one of these books! 

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PLEASE feel free to follow this blog so you don't miss any tidbit of information and please feel free to leave any comment or question you may have. I will do my bes to answer all! 

Lynne Marie is the author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten - illustrated by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic, 2011), Hedgehog's 100th Day of School – illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic, January 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play -- illustrated by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books, 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares -- illustrated by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling, pending) and Let's Eat! Mealtimes Around the World -- illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books, 2019). You can learn more about her at www.LiterallyLynneMarie.com. 


To order the Star in the Christmas Play, click the title.

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS: Taking Stock of My Professional Accomplishments in 2018 to Make Goals for 2019.

Image result for achievements
Following Julie Hedlund's Lead, I am reflecting on my accomplishments for 2018. 
Here is my list of my major professional accomplishments for 2018.
  1. My Picture Book manuscript, THE STAR IN THE CHRISTMAS PLAY (illustrated by Lorna Hussey, the illustrator of my 2nd book, HEDGEHOG'S 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL) came out in October of this year and I've had nothing but enthusiastic, positive feedback and actual love for this book, which I am grateful for! 
  2. I wrote more than 12 NEW picture book drafts this year in connection with 12 x 12, several of which I feel are promising and am very excited about! 
  3. I received the illustrator assignment for my book MOLDILOCKS & THE THREE SCARES, which is coming out from Sterling in August 2019 -- David Rodriguez Lorenzo! 
  4. I wrote my first non-fiction book - LET'S EAT: MEALTIMES AROUND THE WORLD, which will be published by Beaming Books in Fall, 2019, with two books in the series slated to follow.
  5. I completed my 2nd year as a Spotlight Feature Columnist for Children's Book Insider (www.writeforkids.com) and also interviewed editors and agents for The Picture Book Summit (www.picturebooksummit.com)
  6. I completed my first year as a Critique Ninja for 12 x 12 (and am excited to return in 2019), as well as my first year as a Judge for Rate Your Story (www.rateyourstory.org) and happy to return for my second year in 2019. 
  7. I completed my 3rd year as a Cybils Judge (www.cybils.com). Previously I had been on the Picture Book committee the past two years, but this year I was on the Elementary and Middle Grade Non-Fiction committee. 
  8. I performed my first stint as Critique Faculty for SCBWI FL at the June, 2018 Orlando Conference. 
  9. I ran my first SCBWI Bootcamp for SCBWI FL in September, which was extremely well-received.
  10. I successfully ran my first SCBWI Workshop for SCBWI FL in November.  
  11. I secured a *NEW* and *FABULOUS* agent, who is a great fit for my quirky projects, but still get to work with my former agent (and new agent) on Co-written projects, so it is a *win*win* for me as I adore them both! 
  12. Despite having been to countless SCBWI Conferences in my life, I really LOVED and got a lot of take-away value from the January SCBWI Florida Conference. It had a lot of *heart.* 
  13. I ran a very successful critique group for published and agented writers that has TWELVE books among us slated to come out in the next year-and-a-half! So proud! 
  14. I collaborated with a dear friend on a book that is going out on submission TOMORROW and that we are very excited about. 
  15. I got a rewrite request on an important book written with a different dear friend that we will hopefully have time to work on in the new year. 
  16. I am started on my next non-fiction project, as well as a non-fiction biography about a person I learned about in my childhood who touched my heart. 
  17. I am entering into a collaboration with someone I absolutely admire and hope to help her do great things to promote kindness to all things great and small. 
  18. I read over 1,000 picture books again this year, although with all going on did not have time to log them all in one place, and am happy to renew my challenge this year! 
  19. Did my first craft show where I sold copies of my books THE STAR IN THE CHRISTMAS PLAY, HEDGEHOG GOES TO KINDERGARTEN and HEDGEHOG'S 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL. I am looking forward to school visits and shows next year! 
  20. I did all this and supported my family (and put my daughter through her 7-days per week performing arts program at Broadway Kids) during a year that I am still dealing with finalizing certain issues of my divorce, my father suffered a heart attack, my car got stolen, my daughter was bullied in middle school and dealt with other issues, my son  experienced health issues and moved in with us, I logged in seven trips for my job as a Travel Agent from August - November, my birth mother died and I suffered countless migraines. 
Now it’s your turn to make YOUR list! Share in the comments if you’d like! 🙂