STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. If you’ve never participated in STORYSTORM, I encourage you to consider it for next year. I’ve been providing updates as I’ve moved along this month. I am happy to say that I finished STORYSTORM a few days early. And just to prove I’m a bit of an overachiever, I went with 31 ideas instead of 30.

Next month I’ll take these ideas on vacation with me and comb through to see what’s worth working on and what might have to stay hidden for a while until it rattles around in my brain some more. There might even be some that just need to hit the trash bin.

Did you participate in STORYSTORM this year? How are you doing?

 

STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. In the past, I’ve posted my ideas here. I’m trying something different this year and simply keeping a spreadsheet of my ideas and posting updates at the blog.

Today makes 12 days that we are into this annual event. Believe it or not, I’ve managed to come up with 12 ideas already. I’m struggling, because tired brains don’t think well. Some of the ideas I will probably end up tossing when I get around to reviewing them. The nice thing is that each day a different guest blogger is featured at Tara’s blog to give us a healthy dose of inspiration.

Are you participating in STORYSTORM? Any other events you plan to participate in this year?

Challenges Can Be Good by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Here’s a little article I wrote as a Picture Book Idea Month (now STORYSTORM) success story.

Challenges Can Be Good

I don’t like NaNoWriMo. There. I said it. National Novel Writing Month is not for me. It did, however, lead me to the perfect challenges.

Discouraged after failing NaNoWriMo—miserably—twice, I came to the realization that the stress of cranking out 50,000 words during one of the busiest months of the year sours me on writing. It’s as torturous as dragging sandpaper across your sunburned belly.

In October 2010, many of my writing friends were brainstorming over their upcoming NaNoWriMo projects. Feeling left out, I decided to explore other options. That’s how I stumbled upon Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). Creating 30 picture book ideas over the 30 days of November seemed daunting, but I gave it a shot and I made it. Now, what was I going to do with those 30 ideas?

Thankfully, there is National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee), an annual event the first week of May where you endeavor to write 7 picture books in 7 days. When I participated in May 2011, I developed an idea from PiBoIdMo that would become my third published book, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving (Guardian Angel Publishing, Nov 2016).

Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving shows ten-year-old Macy using quick thinking and ingenuity to save dinner when the dog swipes the turkey off the table. Without PiBoIdMo, this book may never have existed. It’s not the warm, message-driven story that I usually write. There is a set of fighting twins, a frazzled mom, and a turkey-stealing dog. Not so sweet. Pushing my boundaries to win this challenge allowed me to explore a fun and zany side I don’t often indulge.

Satisfied with my first dabble into PiBoIdMo, I participated again in 2012. Guardian Angel Publishing has Amos Faces His Bully under contract. This story was my first idea for PiBoIdMo in 2012. I can’t wait to see it published.

Just like you need to find a good writing spot and develop a writing routine, finding the right challenge for you can lead to greater success. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself. The rewards can be great.

 

 

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, and Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com

Final Day of STORYSTORM

storystorm

STORYSTORM comes to an end today. Wow! Hard to believe how quickly 30 days goes by. I’ve enjoyed it and will really enjoy further contemplating some of these story ideas and fleshing them out. Here are the final three I have to offer:

Idea 28: I would like to write a short biography about Belle Reynolds who was a nurse during the Civil War. She was born in Shelburne Falls, MA and moved to Iowa with her family before she married a man from Illinois in 1860. She became a daughter of the Seventeenth Illinois Infantry and was honored for her actions at the Battle of Shiloh.

Idea 29: I would also like to write a short biography of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who left home to escape an arranged marriage and became Franklin Thompson, eventually enlisting in the Union army. After the war, she married and settled in Texas. In 1897, she was mustered in Houston to the George B. McClellan Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, which was a “Civil War veterans’ organization committed to preserving the memory of Union solider sacrifice.” She was the only woman ever to be thus honored.

Idea 30: I would like to re-imagine the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Make her a more modern girl–maybe with a red hoodie–and have her outwit the wolf on her own.

That’s it for this year’s STORYSTORM. I hope you’ll be kind enough to share your feedback on some of these ideas.