Halloweensie Time...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Here is my entry for Susanna's 3rd Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!
For details, click here! Thanks Susanna for the challenge. :D

Halloween CAW! Ball 

by Meg Miller (full story removed)

“Crunchy leaves, crisp breeze . . .
It's time for Halloween Ball!” announces Scarecrow.
“Prizes! Games! Sweets!”
“Ooooh fun!” caws LittleCrow.
“No CROWS allowed.”
LittleCrow flap flaps away.
Why can't crows and scarecrows play?

Power of a Picture Book - Highlights Foundation Workshop

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I debated and debated about going to The Power of a Picture Book workshop at Highlights. It seemed like so much money. How would I come up with the money? And if I did, I could get 10 professional critiques for that much money! I could go to a few nearby conferences. I kept telling myself that I'd go next year, 2014. Something keep bringing me back to thinking about it though, and finally I signed up.

THANK HEAVENS! It was an AMAZING, enriching experience. I was picked up at the airport and found out that a fellow workshopper had been on my flight, Lisa. We were taken to lunch, then wandered around Honesdale. We met our group and toured the Highlights office. We met Highlights Magazine Editors and heard what kind of submissions they'd like. We got to speak to an editor from Boyds Mills Press. Everyone was kind and informative.

Dinner (and every meal following) was phenomenal, the chef Joseph is a wonderful cook and such a nice guy. Martha and Brinna were lovely as well. I never once felt out of place or uncomfortable. Even when I locked myself out of my cabin just when I was needing a boo hoo about missing my kiddos and instead had to go request the extra key. (Myself and one of the ladies were dubbed "the sprinklers" because we kept misting up over various things - eeeesh! haha!)

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Barrett George
We started right in on the workshop after dinner. Deborah Underwood and Lindsay Barrett George
were amazing. Over the weekend we did writing exercises, drew picture book dummies, colored with crayons, and discussed picture books. They made it so clear what makes picture books great. Lindsay and Deborah bared their souls and showed us how they write picture books. I wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop, but I never dreamed it would be as incredible as it was.

 An editor from Highlights Press came and spoke with us. Also book buyer and accounts manager for The Blue Marble Children’s Bookstore and general Kidlit information guru, Dave Richardson brought some picture books to share with us and told us how to create a good working relationship with independent bookstores.

Power of a Picture Book Group Photo Courtesy of Highlights Foundation
Not only was the information top notch, the company was phenomenal. I came away from The Barn with wonderful, new friends. One of the ladies commented that we all needed that weekend, for different reasons and it was so true. It was nourishment for the mind and soul. We're talking about a reunion workshop next year. I can't wait!

I'm only bummed that I didn't take any pictures, it was gorgeous there with the leaves changing for autumn. Next year!

Blog Hop

Tara Lazar, creator of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month - 2013 will be my first, so excited!), author of The Monstore started a BLOG HOP. I was tagged by Elaine K. Kearns. The idea is for me to answer 3 questions and then tag 3 more authors for them to continue the blog hop, but no one volunteered, so I'm going to leave it open!


1. What are you working on right now? I have over 20 stories drafted, but they need to be taken to the next level. I just went to a Highlights Foundation Workshop, Power of a Picture Book and I learned SO MUCH. I have lots of ideas for revisions floating around in my head, but my 4 year old has been working on riding her bike without training wheels so we've been very busy and I've been very tired. I have the Kansas SCBWI Fall Conference this weekend and then the REVISIONS are on like Donkey Kong. :)

2. How does your writing process work?  Sometimes ideas simmer in my mind for a while, sometimes I just sit down with an idea and the story comes out on paper. I like to just let the story flow when I'm typing it. If I try to edit while I'm typing it ruins my mojo!

3. Who are the authors you most admire? Wow, tough question, there are SO MANY! After my Highlights Conference, I'd definitely have to say Deborah Underwood and Lindsay Barrett George, it was so cool seeing their process and how their ideas came to fruition. In addition, Oliver Jeffers, Jim Averbeck, Susanna Leonard Hill, Ashley Wolff, Chris Haughton, Melissa Sweet, Philip C. Stead. So many more, those are just the first to come to mind. I love a succinct picture book that makes you fall in love with the characters and adorable illustrations. Who doesn't, right? :D

TAG- YOU'RE IT - answer these questions and keep the blog hop rolling!