Archive | 4:32 pm

StoryStorm 2019: May Bountiful Ideas Rain Upon Us

1 Jan

StoryStorm, the brainchild of creative picture book penner Tara Lazar, is an inspiring challenge to writers of all inclinations to create 30 individual ideas for a story/plot/concept/book throughout the month of January. To further motivate, Lazar’s site provides a daily insightful guest blog from fellow writers/illustrators.

StoryStorm is the evolution of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), which centered exclusively on picture book ideas, and occurred during the hectic month of November (it clashed with National Novel Writing Month). Registration is free, just make sure to post a comment with your name on the registration post, and then you’ll be able to win a slew of cool kid lit related prizes, permitting you post a comment on each inspiration guest post. Be sure to also subscribe so your inbox will be filled with daily inspiration.

Both incarnations are widely popular with thousands of published and aspiring authors as well as classrooms of students participating to develop routine muse-filled habits while embracing their inner creator. In 2018, I decided to continue on my own with PiBoIdMo in November, but am also happy and encouraged to creatively ride out the ‘Storm in 2019!


I’m already one idea in with Wood You?, a meta picture book response to deforestation and both the liberal and conservative stances on protecting the earth’s trees. Think of it as the Lorax, but less furry and more direct and analytical. I certainly need to work on my pitches, as that book (from what I just wrote) sounds AWFUL!!!! 🙂

Amazing Year Day 300 – A Realistically Pleasing Start

1 Jan

01. Jack Frost - The End Becomes the Beginning

I have had the pleasure of starting a new year 37 times. Some of those were spent drooling in diapers (no comment on when), others were spent idealistically planning the impossible, and others were spent ignoring the shift in years. Today, it got real. I treated 2019’s first day as something to be considered but not in a lofty dreamlike way. Waking up early, I spent the first couple of hours reading my first book of 2019: the fifth and final installment of the Guardians of Childhood series, Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.  Then I established my daily books for the year, meaning which book I will read on each day of the week, since I had success with reading 52 Pep Talks for Writers every Monday over the course of the year. I will now extend that success to six different books across six days of the week. Trust me, it’s realistic. Then I established all of my reading/writing/learning/traveling/coastering goals for the year, which I might add were ambitious but in keeping with the title of this post, they were also realistic. Then it came time to play, realistically and seriously, with my wife as we sat at Starbucks drinking our teas as we (more so my wife) planned our monthly budgets for the year, as well as contemplated possible trips. Of course, this was all done, realistically!

The day continued with my daily quota of two comic books read (The Terrifics #10 & Shadowpact #9), as well as me getting a head start on my picture book quest towards 100 with Love by Matt De La Pena, and Don’t Blink! by Tom Booth, and Don’t Blink! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Don’t blink, it’s not a typo; both books share the same title.  I also added an agent to my potential list!

All these details may be boring to read, but for me they are positively good signs that I am pumped and ready for this year. Now let’s see, there are a few hours remaining before I drift off into an early jet-lag sponsored sleep. I just hope I can pen a picture book manuscript draft, watch the first episode of Mr. Sunshine, a Korean drama recommended by my wife, and hopefully a movie (I’m feeling The Happytime Murders). If not, we’ll move it to tomorrow. Because, hey let’s be realistic!