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Picture Book Idea Month update

As a follow-up to last week's post about Picture Book Idea Month and Picture Book Month, I am back to report on some of my favorite posts this week.

Thanks to Pat Zietlow Miller for her Picture Book Idea Month post, in which she advocates for reading and re-reading picture books that you love to figure out exactly how they work on many levels. Thanks to her post, I placed an order yesterday at Barnes & Noble for a few picture books I want to study more closely, including Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, and Me With You by Kristy Dempsey. I'm a bit miffed about that last book, because I can only get a paperback copy, and it is to replace a signed, first edition, hardcover copy that I used to own. After more than a year of searching (and all that recent downsizing, which makes searching that much simpler), I have concluded that my Sara left it at the day care center where she used to work, and where she took lots of my picture books. I don't miss whatever else she may have left there, but I am crushed by the loss of Me With You.

Thanks, too, to Paul Schmid, whose Picture Book Idea Month post provides concrete tips on silencing your inner critic. I found his tips to be helpful for silencing inner critics and allowing room for new thoughts to blow in.

Also tremendously inspirational to me is this blog post by Steven Pressfield entitled "Resistance and Self-Loathing", which I found via Twitter this morning, in which he asserts that both Resistance (that negative voice inside your head that questions why you think you might actually have anything worth saying, etc.) and Self-Loathing (a way of personalizing Resistance, really, to make it cut more) are not actually personal at all, but are rather impersonal forces of nature. He asserts that Resistance is the negative shadow of a Dream (and therefore, where there is a Dream there will be Resistance, and vice versa). It is fabulous, and I highly recommend it.

Another similar sort of post, by my friend Bruce Black at his Wordswimmer blog, provides useful tips about what to do when you hit the wall and can't seem to make any forward progress. It is both inspired and inspiring, and (since it's by Bruce), beautifully crafted.

And before I go, I wanted to share my favorite Picture Book Month post so far, which is this post by Emma Walton Hamilton. All of the posts for this event have the same title, "Why Picture Books Are Important", but Hamilton really fully articulates her answer in a way that sings to me (and no, that is not a Julie Andrews reference, although now that you mention it, the hills are alive with the sound of music).

I am pleased that I've got lots of ideas in my little notebook, and more pleased still that a handful of them have real potential. I am most pleased, I suppose, with the first draft of one of the books that I managed during writing time last week. It needs tweaking and revision, but I am hopeful that it will soar.

Tell me how your writing is going.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 13th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
And your mention of Julie Andrews reminds me of this story:

There's a small German town near Munich called Pfilzerplatz, and the town is renowned for producing fine stationery. Anyway, Munich had a problem -- the thousands of stray dogs in the city were breeding with one another and overrunning the city. So the people of Munich banded together and ran the dogs out of the city. Unfortunately, the dogs appeared in Pfilzerplatz. The dogs took over everything, and the mayor decided to evacuate the town. The paper mills were shut down, and everyone left.

But a couple days later, the townsfolk, watching their town from the hills, saw smoke rising from the smokestacks. They knew no humans were left in the town, so they concluded that the dogs had learned to operate the factories.

The mayor hurried to Munich's town hall and pleaded, "You've got to help us! The mills are alive with the hounds of Munich!"

(credit: Really Bad Jokes)

Nov. 13th, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Man, that credit line is WELL-DESERVED!!
Nov. 13th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
I find that the soaring often comes after the tweaking. Good luck with that. Yes, the hills are alive! (singing with you)
Nov. 15th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
I am fairly happy with my manuscript at present, which is the first time in a long while I've had a new pb text to be pleased about. So yay!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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