Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Writers Weigh In: The Work of Maurice Sendak

Last night I am sure hundreds of thousands of bedtimes were started with the profound words:

"The night that Max wore his wolf-suit and made mischief
of one kind
and another
his mother called him 'WILD THING!'
and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!”
so he was sent to bed without eating anything."
And anyone would have been hard pressed yesterday to avoid countless reflections on the work of Maurice Sendak on the internet, television and radio.  In fact, NPR dedicated it's whole day of programming to Sendak.

In writing classes, symposiums, journals and conferences around the world Sendak is hailed as a genius.  "Where the Wild Things Are" is often called the perfect picture book.

Most of us will never see such success or impact in the world of literature.  If I get read in one stranger's house at bedtime I would be honored.  So it brings me to today's Weigh In.

Its no surprise that he is being mourned throughout the world in various communities by children and adults alike.  But why?  He was gruff, outspoken, and often polarizing.

So...from a writer's perspective, what is your reflection on Maurice Sendak and his work? 

Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak.  I pray that in the end you found the peace which alluded you so much in life.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today's Treat: 5 Things I Learned from NaPiBoWriWee (so far!)

Today's Treat is a Friday segment dedicated to helping writers 1) treat themselves like a writer by building confidence and craft and 2) putting themselves in situations where others will treat them as a writer to build community and connections.

Well, I am happy to announce that for the first time in a loooong time I feel like a writer!  I think it is safe to say that my slump is over.  With participation in NaPiBoWriWee this week I have broken through and have written a manuscript a day!  I wrote my 12x12in'12 April draft on Monday (which was the last day of the month, by the way).  On Tuesday, NaPiBoWriWee started and I wrote Manuscript #1, followed by Manuscripts #2 and 3 on Wednesday and Thursday consequetively.  What a rush to set a goal and accomplish it! 

Now I know that I have yet to complete Manuscripts 4-7, but I have today through Monday to do that.  What I want to focus on today, is what I have learned from NaPiBoWriWee so far.

5 Things I Learned from NaPiBoWriWee (so far!)

1)  Brainstorming is key!  Although my job does not always lend itself to writing manuscripts during the day, I have made sure to spend the entire day brainstorming on the story I want to write on that day.  Therefore, when I finally do have time to type it all up, it doesn't take as long.  In fact, two times this week I didn't open my laptop til 10pm, but was finished writing up my 550+ word drafts within an hour.

2)  My good ideas have not dried up.  I know its kinda silly to say, but sometimes I think that I will never have another good idea for a story.  And yet, each day this week I have started to write one!  And most of the ideas did not come to me til the night before.

3)  A draft is a draft.  As hard as it is to stop line editing every two seconds, it is important to just "pound out" the draft.  Don't worry about too much description or being too wordy.  Focus on the plot: beginning, middle and end.  Also, focus on developing fun characters that the readers will care about.  Once you have all of this you can deal with revisions later.

4)  I love to write.  There are plenty of times when I wonder if I even want to be a writer anymore.  Sometimes it just seems daunting and tedious.  But, you know what?  I do!  I love writing!  Just getting back to that basic is so priceless. 

5)  Accomplishing a goal is an energizing feeling!  I have been feeling so blah lately.  But not anymore!  Thank you, NaPiBoWriWee!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Writers Weigh In: NaPiBoWriWee!

Its National Picture Book Writing Week (or NaPiBoWriWee)!  This amazing challenge, hosted every May 1-7th by author Paula Yoo is a fun event created to encourage people to stop procrastinating and actually write and FINISH a rough draft of a picture book.

But to challenge everyone, Paula made it an entire week. So from May 1st to May 7th every year, you must write 7 picture books in 7 days!

I, myself, have been in a creative funk lately.  Nothing seems to inspire me.  Everything bores me.  Therefore, I am taking part in NaPiBoWriWee to break though this slump!  And so far, its worked!  I wrote Draft #1 and am working on Draft #2 today.

Sound like fun?  Well its not too late to join!  Head over to Paula's blog at and get writing!

This all brings me to this week's Weigh In...

what is the craziest thing you have ever done to break out of a slump?  Writers Weigh In!