Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Annie's Special Day

Many of you know Clara Bowman-Jahn

I purchased the e-book version of Clara's book Annie's Special Day. It's a fun read. 

The story: 
In Annie's Special Day, a little girl celebrates her birthday with an adventure every hour. It is a basic concept book about time and clocks.
We learn what Annie does throughout her birthday — all 24 hours of it. There are a variety of scenes, clocks and activities taking place in the story to add to her fun and the reading experience.

The book is written for a 5 to 7 year old, but Enzo liked the clocks  (one of his first words) and the noises in the beginning.

The illustrations by Claudia Wolf show a fun and enthusiastic Annie. She's a very cute character. Plus, I like all the different types of clocks throughout the story, especially the watches. I rarely see children wear those, because they have cellphones! Ah, technology.

The book is published through eTreasures Publishing. Clara would love it if you checked it out.

She's written a blog post about her publishing story, but I'm saving that for October as part of her blog tour. Plus, she's like so many of us she's on a little break and I didn't want to interrupt her time away. I did want to introduce you to the book.

I met Clara through the Platform Building Campaigner's Challenge last year. Here's some information from her bio:

Clara Bowman-Jahn worked as a registered nurse for 32 years finally trading that job for her true love, writing. Clara’s short  stories have been published in the anthology of the “Campaigner’s Challenges 2011” Book. When Clara is not writing, she does volunteer  work for a local elementary school and her church. She also likes taking long walks with her husband, blogging, and reading books. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Pennwriters, Bethesda Writer’s Center and Round Hill Writer’s Group. She lives in rural Loudoun County, Virginia with her brilliant husband, a senior dog and two cats. And she is the proud mother of two wonderful grown sons and a grandmother to a delightful grandson.
If you download the ebook, it's a large file. The publisher has instructions on what to do in case you have any problems. I wasn't able to upload the file to my Kindle due to it's size, but it looks great and reads well from my computer.

I hope my friends in the states have a wonderful Labor Day! Enjoy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday: SCBWI

Marty's book will be free on Amazon this weekend.

I never know how to say that, so I try to rattle off — Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. People sometimes still look at me confused. Others just know that the mouthful of words and letters means something to children's writers.

I love the resources offered by SCBWI, especially the discounts. I joined in 2011, so I could get a discount for a local picture book retreat. Bonus: I can attend the local SCWBI critique sessions organized by two wonderful writers — Marty Mokler Banks and Anne Eliot.

The local meetings are critical for me. While the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge has me writing. I always need a kick in the pants on the revision part. A critique group date forces me to get my work in shape to share with others, so the group helps me on several levels.

SCBWI is my only time for picture book critique. I've avoided an online group due to other time commitments. Now, the local SCBWI writers are beginning a monthly in-person group. I hope to hire a babysitter for a few hours and participate. My participation depends heavily on how my class schedule treats me.

At our last meeting, we discussed many issues plus ate jam bars made by Vivian Kirkfield from Postivite Parental Participation. Vivian and I shared many of our online resources with the group like Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 in 2012, Susanna Hill's Perfect Picture Book, Rate Your Story and The Meter Maids.

Marty Banks shared she's published her chapter book The Adventures of Tempest & Serena. It's free this weekend through an Amazon promotion. She wants people to check it out and review it. I haven't read the book yet, but look forward to it. I enjoyed Marty's picture book The Splatters Learn Some Manners.

Anne has a young adult novel Almost: A Love Story published.

I appreciate both Marty and Anne for organizing this group of writers to meet, to share work and to talk about writing.

The Rocky Mountain SCBWI will host its fall conference Sept. 22-23 in Denver. I'm excited about this event, especially the two-part workshop on picture book revision by Jean Reidy.

While it does cost an annual fee to join SCBWI, I definitely get my money's worth from the organization.

Don't forget, grabbing a copy of Marty Mokler Banks' book won't cost you a single penny this weekend (Aug. 24-26).

Happy plotting, writing and revising!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Kids' Week

Here's my ode to The Word Shark. *

My friend The Word Shark Karen S. Elliott is hosting a special week filled with children's writers on her blog.

I am always thankful for Karen's themed weeks and her Editor Spotlight series.

I know many are returning to school and fall routines, but if you have a moment check out the series. I always meet someone new during these series. So far, the diversity of publication paths and work processes sticks out to me. There are so many ways to reach publication.

Here are links to the posts (I've updated them since this post first published. It's a complete week with lots of great information):

An Interview with Chris Eboch — She shares her most recent historical fiction book and some about her process. When she talked about outlines, this struck me (a sort of pantser):
I figure a strong outline is the equivalent of two drafts.
Author and Illustrator, Harri Romney  — She picked up drawing 20 years after her college days to illustrate her own books. On her website, she offers a way to purchase her characters on T-shirts, buttons, etc.

Author Jessica Messinger — I'm impressed her husband illustrated her story.

Author Darlene Foster — Who may still be 12 at heart, which helps her write books for tweens.

Illustrator, Book Designer Janice Phelps Williams — She shares her process of working with an author.

Writer Allyn Stotz — She shares her journey to become a published picture book author.

* I just finished a semester of working with Illustrator. I need all the practice I can get, so here you go. My version of The Word Shark with her red pencil. Hee hee. Practice. Practice. Practice. Have a great day!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Cast

Enzo remains up to his usual antics.

It's OK to wince. 

Strangers did every where we've been with Enzo since last Thursday. 

He broke his arm. He tripped and fell in the living room on the carpet. There were no super hero jumps or Olympic moves. He ran. He fell. 

People anticipate a better story. I can tell by their reactions that "he tripped and fell" doesn't satisfy. 

He did well during the four-hour trip to the ER. None of us enjoyed the X-rays. We were able to get a cast on Friday morning after a few hours of sleep. 

The cast is doing its job. Enzo runs around like normal. He's managed to black his eye and bloody his lip and knees. We anticipate about four weeks in the cast and then a splint. 

I'm thankful the cast is protecting his arm. The break needs to heal. Getting him to rest or slow down is always another story. 

Many  people have said, "Welcome to raising a boy" when they see the cast. I pray we don't have years of these types of falls ahead of us. I like a drama-free life, especially in the area of family health. 

I may craft him an outfit out of Bubble Wrap and packing tape. It would make me feel better.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday: School Supplies

School Supplies
Who loves the line in You've Got Mail about a "bouquet of newly sharpened pencils?" Me. Me. I love the movie. The line about fall and school supplies always gets me. Maybe it's because I can write with school supplies or maybe it just reminds me of the adventure of a new school year — learning new things and meeting new people.

I especially enjoy all the back-to-school sales in July and August. I may not like them so much when my kiddo enters school. Our neighborhood supply list is pretty extensive. I've joked that I need to buy supplies now to be ready for his first day in three years.

My cart runneth over recently as I've scooped up the penny deals and specials. I can't resist a great deal on tools for school

Are you ready for school or fall? I am!