Maybe It’s Not the New Year, Maybe It’s Me!

A new year, a fresh start?  Once again, I find myself sitting in front of my computer with lots to say and share.  Aaaand I’m spending most of that time trying to get this blog to be functional.  (totally user error, naturally). Of course, the dishes need to be done and a mountain of laundry is screaming my name.  It’s January and yet everything still feels the same.

Maybe it’s not the new year. Maybe it’s me!  Over the last few years (gulp!) I’ve been learning as much as I can about writing for children.  Because of our remote location, it’s been a challenge meeting local writers and finding critique groups.  So at 50-something, I’m retraining my brain to think globally and finding my people on line.

Julie Hedland’s 12 X 12 group has been an amazing resource of information, education and inspiration.  It’s daunting and super fun to meet so many wonderful writers out there!  The premise of 12 x 12 is to assist writers, published or pre-published, to write twelve manuscripts over twelve months.  It’s a pretty lofty goal for a newbie like me.  Instead of setting myself up for failure, I joined to learn.  And boy howdy, have I learned!  You can learn, too: Julie Hedlund 12 X 12 challenge.

Julie has an amazing network of writers, illustrators, editors and agents who offer advice, encouragement, ideas and Friday dance parties!  The best part (if there really is a best part), are critiquing resources and educational opportunities.  If you’re lucky to get in (sign up is now!), you’ll find so many more wonderful kidlit gems in the 12 X 12 group.

Another HUGE resource is Katie Davis! I can not get enough of her YouTube podcasts.  Forget binging Netflix, Katie had me at Brain Burps.  Specifically, Brain Burps About Books.  It’s all about the business end of writing.  As yucky as that sounds, Katie has helped me realize that if I want to eat, I need to know this side of being a writer.  *sigh*.

Katie Davis has another free podcast called Writing for Children; AND is the Director for the Institute of Writers.  Where does she get all that energy?  (Yes, I’ve submitted my aptitude test and have checked my email every five minutes to see if I am accepted.)

I can’t finish this article without mentioning Suzanna Leonard Hill!  Her online class, Making Picture Book Magic in an invaluable resource on the ins and outs of writing a story that is worthy of submission.  I also look forward to her blog posts and “Would You Read It Wednesday”, where authors can submit their book pitch before submitting it for real-sy.  Suzanna has much more to offer, including free writing contests.  I’m not sure what’s more fun, submitting and entry or reading everyone else’s!

There are many more folks that I would like to promote; however, it’s probably time to tackle this wordpress debacle.  Katie said so. Oh, links, why won’t you work???

Happy 2018, everyone!  ~Yvette

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Under Construction!

I apologize for the mess appearing on your screen! Like my house, everything is in a state of upgrades and repairs.

Please be patient with this Housewife…I’m learning from YouTube Tutorials.

Which I love, if only my screen matched the videos. *sigh*

My Christmas Lie

I would like to begin by justiclarifying: it was for the children.  

new-word-box

Here’s what happened:

Like most of the country, the Pacific Northwest suffered a fair amount of bad weather.  Enough to justify late starts and school closures.  Country folk don’t just run to the store on a whim in bad conditions.

Whether or not school would be open for the class party were questionable.  Either way; it quickly became the “day before last day of school holiday party material rush”. Luckily, road conditions were fine.

Easy list: plain cards, stick-on gems and different colored paint samples for 50 students. (Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/259519997256699047).

Dollar Fillintheblank, here we come!

Said everyone. 😶

No plain envelopes. Only red and green sticky gems left, but that works!

Found a great holiday sticker packet with 24 snowman gems!  After 20 minutes of searching, I finally ask the checkout clerk while ringing up.

After a perfunctory glance at the product and myself, the answer?  “Sorry.”

Naturally.scrollsIt’s okay, the next one-stop shop will have cards and paint samples! With Hubby’s uncanny skill of getting a parking spot up front,  we ran in with a list and a mission.

Like everyone else.  😑

Utilizing my ninja skills, we navigate the growing crowds to hardware.  Within 10 minutes, a fat stack of sample cards rested in my hands.

paint-sample-cards

Mental Math: If you have 50 students each making 1 card with 4 -5 trees; how many paint samples will you need to make the trees?  Depends on how many trees you can get on 1 paint sample!

Hubby lost an aisle away and my bladder crying for mercy after a 22 oz DP; I put the samples in our almost empty cart. Parking it to the side, I ninja to the bathroom.

On my way back to hardware, I venture through stationary for the plain cards.  No. Plain. Cards. Seriously??

Time is ticking, so I head back to Hubby and the cart. Returning to find two employees putting the samples back!!

“Nooo!!!”, I cry from 20′ away.  I glimpse Hubby: head down and casually walking away, his face turning white in mortification.

No plain cards = making cards at home.

Tonight.

After cutting trees out of paint samples.  

Holding the nearly 3/4” high stack of samples, the senior employee replies, “Ma’am, we usually don’t allow this amount of samples per customer. Why would you need them all?”

And here it comes.

My Christmas spirit bows under the pressure and I frantically reply, “Because you need one for each wall, of course! Colors change depending on the amount of light and I have a whole house to do!!”

It was a Hail Mary, we-are-on-a-roll-and-you-are-in-my-way move.

Holding my breath while his mental wheels turned in disbelief; I smile graciously while he decides if this is the battle to win today.  Phew!

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Everything. Is. Done.

My awesomesauce Hubby folded cards until 11:30, bless him!

I crawl into bed close to 1 a.m.

Aaaand, school is cancelled.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Be gracious, grateful, and giving.  That’s the real spirit of Christmas.

~Yvette