Tag Archives: 12x12in12

Picture Book Marathon 2012

9 Feb

“BANG!” Equestrian bodies hurl past the open gates. Hooves pound the dirt below. The race is on!

For the past two years I’ve participated in the Picture Book Marathon and am proud to say that each time I came out a winner with 26 new picture book drafts.

This year is a little different. Instead of charging out of the gate, I haven’t moved an inch. Ever see a cartoon where one of the horses lazily stays in its pen. That’s me. I keep waiting for the jockey to whip my behind. Though I need to realize that if I’m going to finish this race it’s up to me and me alone.

It’s already well into the second week with 20 days left to pen the 26 required drafts.

Can I do it? Of course.

Will I? Well that’s the question I shouldn’t be pondering. It’s just like those wide receivers in the NFL that look ahead to the endzone before focusing on the catch at hand. What happens? They end up dropping the ball. Someone I love dearly once told me that starting is 50%. In any goal we wish to undertake, the focus shouldn’t be on whether or not we can finish, but rather that we started. I’ve never sat on the other side of an interview, but a resume full of half endeavours looks more promising than a blank one.

Recently, I’ve had some people astounded by the task at hand saying that 26 drafts is just impossible. Quite the contrary, I find it easy to generate new ideas. The hard part comes later with dissecting the raw draft into a marketable manuscript, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

By the end of February I hope you will see a post about my conquest, but to be honest I should be worrying about whether I start or not. So who’s with me in leaving the gate and starting the epic Picture Book Marathon of 2012? Better late than never!

Official Information from the Creators:

Your Goal: Between February 1 and February 29, write one picture book a day, until you get to 26. This year, February has 29 days (thus, Take the Leap!), so you get a bonus break day.

The Basics: We define a picture book as (1) a story or narrative, (2) with a  beginning, middle, and end, (3) for children, and (4) intended to be illustrated. They’re generally, though not always, published in a 32 page format. Given the speed of the marathon, your picture book DRAFTS (for that’s what they’ll be) will be very rough. What you hope to capture is the basic plot, characters, and emotion of each story.

Why Do It:
  • Generate a lot of material in a short amount of time.
  • Get your creative juices flowing by forcing yourself to write daily.
  • Circumvent your internal naysayer – they either won’t have time to criticize, or they’ll be too tired.
  • Practice a writing practice.

For encouragement please check out the official PB Marathon blog

Special thanks to the Picture Book Marathon masterminds Lora Koehler and Jean Reagan and illustrator Will Strong for providing the official 2012 logo.

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12x12in12

20 Jan

Art by Linda Silvestri

Driven by a creative curiosity, we imaginators are naturally motivated. Though many of us are often too busy frolicking in our heads to accomplish a set task. We’re chickens, and sometimes we need a crossing guard to help us get to the other side. Say hello to Julie Hedlund, the creator of the internet’s newest children’s book writing challenge, and a much needed crossing guard. Instead of directing traffic for a week or a month, Julie has volunteered to assist us in penning one picture book draft each and every month with her 12x12in12 initiative. Much like Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo, 12x12in12 “will be running guest posts on the blog from experts in the field along with a special giveaway each month.”

I welcome the challenge, and since I typically pen all of my picture books in a hurry during February (Picture Book Marathon: 26 drafts), I’m looking forward to fully fleshing out an additional 12, and if I participate in NaPiBoWriWee (May: 7 drafts) it’ll bring my annual output to 45 manuscripts.

I’ve already signed up, and recommend you do the same. Simply:  1.) Follow Julie Hedlund’s “Write Up My Life” Blog 2.) Complete the online form.

Be sure to do so as soon as possible with the January 29th deadline quickly approaching.

Happy 12ing imaginators!