2018 Goals Review


It is that time of year again–time to review my goals and see how the year went. I’m a person who looks at the positives. Focusing on the negatives or what I didn’t accomplish is counterproductive. This was a year when real estate and caring for my in-laws took center stage. My latest book, Amos Faces His Bully, was also released by Guardian Angel Publishing. I’m satisfied with the progress made, even if it wasn’t all I wanted.

GOAL 1: Submit Clever Tom to agents – Made progress

This is a cute and funny story that came out of last year’s STORYSTORM. Though I didn’t submit it to agents yet, I did tweak it a bit before researching a few agents. I also participated in PBPITCH on Twitter a couple of times.

GOAL 2: Participate in STORYSTORM – DONE

I love this annual event. Thirty story ideas over 30 days. It’s tough, but not impossible. When picture book writers follow this up with National Picture Book Writing Week then great things happen.

GOAL 3: Blog twice a week on all four blogs – Blogged more than last year and made some additions

I started out with four blogs at the beginning of the year. The Book Connection and The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection are the ones that probably got the most attention. An Imperfect Christian Mom was probably the next most active. Books Can Be Deadly was active, but had some gaps. I resurrected Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection. I also began blogging twice a month at the 4RV Reading, Writing & Art News blog–which belongs to one of my publishers. I’m also still contributing to Christian Children’s Authors and play around with Laura’s Little Houses (my Little House blog) when I have time.

GOAL 4: Guest blog at least once a quarter – Not really

With the release of my new book in January, I did a bunch of guest blogging. Simply haven’t done much since.

GOAL 5: Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids this year – Tiny bit of progress

I took a look at themes this year, but only felt a connection to the December issue. I’m really not a short story person, which doesn’t help. I might still try it again this year.

GOAL 6: Finish Amelia’s Mission and get it ready for submission – Laughs a bit

Now twenty chapters in, Amelia is stuck at school when she receives some bad news from home. I’m dedicated to finishing this, but I am such a s-l-o-w writer. I have been attending most of the monthly writing meetings to help move things along. Our group has grown, so I don’t always get feedback right away.

An unspoken goal that has been on my mind for a while came to fruition this year. I became an acquisitions editor intern for 4RV Publishing. I’m also editing a children’s book series right now. So, I am keeping one leg in the writing world while real estate and family responsibilities move in to consume me. Look for my 2019 goals coming soon. It’s going to be a great year!

What were some of your goals for 2018? What did you accomplish? Any idea on what your goals are for the new year?

National Picture Book Writing Week – Day Seven

Well, it’s actually Monday morning now, but I wanted to update you on my progress. Day 7 of National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) landed on my husband’s birthday, with the girls’ dance lessons and a softball game tossed in. Add to that the annual business meeting and potluck supper at our church, and you can figure out why I didn’t manage to complete this challenge. Honestly, I’m a bit bummed about the whole thing. I was so close! On the other hand, I now have completed six picture books out of the thiry ideas I came up with last November. Not too shabby. I’m sure I’ll be participating in this challenge again next year.

If you want to learn what all the fuss was about and review a list of those who won prizes during NaPiBoWriWee, visit Paula Yoo’s blog at http://paulayoo.com/napi/

National Picture Book Writing Week – Day Six

Yesterday I finished The Not So Scary Ghost. It took me a while, and I’m not overly happy with it, but I’ll see what I can do when it comes time to revise it. I think I am going to work on The Greatest Book Ever for my last project. It was one I thought would be really fun.

I can’t believe that National Picture Book Writing Week ends today.  I haven’t had time to follow Paula Yoo’s blog as much as I would like, but I’ve skimmed some of the posts. They’ve been helpful as I’ve moved along with a very challenging week.

So, how are you doing? Will you meet your goal by the end of the day?

National Picture Book Writing Week – Days Four and Five

 I didn’t have time to post about my progress yesterday, so here I am. On Day Four I completed Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving. It will definitely need some editing, as will all of these, but I’m fairly happy with how it turned out.  On Day Five I completed A New Home. This is the story of three kittens searching for a new home. I’m trying my hand at The Not So Scary Ghost right now.

How are you doing? How many stories have you written so far?

If you want to learn more about National Picture Book Writing Week, please visit http://paulayoo.com/napi/

National Picture Book Writing Week – Day Two

Yes, it’s actually Day Three of National Picture Book Writing Week, but since I’m talking about the progress I’ve made, I’m a day behind everyone else.

Beatrice and the Dinosaur is done, which means 2 books in 2 days. Not bad. I haven’t been able to get into my writing yet today, as I’m working on virtual book tours, but I think once the girls are in bed I’ll see if I can work on the next project. I might go with Beatrice and the Polar Bear, but it would also be fun to tackle my #25 story idea from Picture Book Idea Month – A New Home. It’s kind of like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears meets The Three Little Pigs type of story, with cats. Three kittens are searching for a new home, but there is something wrong with the first and second ones, but the third one is just right.

If you want to learn more about National Picture Book Writing Week, please visit http://paulayoo.com/napi/. Tara is already making preparations for this November’s Picture Book Idea Month. You can find that information at http://taralazar.wordpress.com/piboidmo2010/

National Picture Book Writing Week – Day One

 National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) started Sunday. The challenge is to write Seven Picture Books in Seven Days. Those who know me, know I rarely turn down a challenge; especially when the challenge comes during one of my busiest times of the month. So here I am, trying to jam writing out some of the ideas I put together during Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) last year  into an already crazy schedule. Yes, I probably should be committed.

Day One went well. I wrote a picture book I titled, “Songs My Mother Sang.” This actually wasn’t one of my PiBoIdMo ideas, but it is something that has been on my mind for a while. It is comprised of 3 songs my mother sang to me when I was a kid. I believe she made up two of the three songs. The other is a song by Jim Revees.  I’ve researched song lyrics, so if the other two aren’t her original work, maybe they are so obscure I don’t need to worry about it too much.

I want to pitch this idea to my current publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing. Their Angelic Harmony line is dedicated to musical books. I don’t know if it would be appropriate, because I don’t really have the music for it, but I can sing it. What renewed my interest in the idea was my review of Rock-a-bye Baby from tiger tales.  

We’ll see what happens with this one. For Day Two I am trying to work on a Beatrice idea.

Visit http://paulayoo.com/napi/ to learn more about National Picture Book Writing Week.

PiBoIdMo Winner Badge!

So, here I am, posting my Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) Winner badge. Nicely created by one of Tara’s chums.  This was such a fun month. It was tough for me because I usually stew over ideas forever, but perhaps this will allow me to change that permanently.

I highly recommend this for anyone interested in writing picture books. I would also recommend that you keep checking in at Tara’s blog to see what else she is cooking up. You can find her at http://taralazar.wordpress.com/. In addition, keep in mind that Paula Yoo is sponsoring National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) in May 2011. I am definitely signing up for that–writing 7 picture books over 7 days. There is a lot of time to plan for it. You can find Paula at http://paulayoo.com/.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my ideas. Positive thoughts and prayers are welcome to help me accomplish my goal of writing some of these over the next year.

Thanks for all your support.