What an amazing half year it has been! Each one of you have taken a unique journey of your own, participating from least three continents. Just think: 20 years ago, this would have been impossible. CS Lewis had his "Inklings" literary group, and I have my 12x12 literary buddies. Sayres, Tolkien, Williams and Lewis met on a regular basis at the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, England; we meet in cyberspace. Some have been fortunate to have met in person.
|Wikipedia Commons "Inklings Hangout"|
I thought I would celebrate by constructing a timeline of my Writer's accomplishments since last fall. Wish I could sit down with a pot of tea and a scone and talk with each one of you personally (my kind of party!), but, I will look forward to reading your post entries.
I am not doing this to "toot my horn" but to inspire, build confidence, and offer helpful links. It can be done with a home, husband, children and the responsibility of home educating two teens!
So, here goes:
It all began with Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo...I came up with over 30 ideas for picture books that month, keeping the titles stored in my "Chapters" app on my iPad (can't live without one now!)
Took a few days off for a Writer's retreat in a downtown hotel, thanks to my hubby. Revised my "Prickly Tickly Hedgehog" manuscript, with the help of Julie Hedlund's critique I won during her two year blog anniversary celebration. At this point, I had no idea she would be hosting the 12x12 group, but I knew at that time we needed something to "spur us on to greatness". What an answer to prayer she has been!
Wrote, "'Twas the Night Before Jesus Was Born" for Susanna Hill's Christmas poetry contest. Although I didn't win, I was pleased with my accomplishment. My first time to write poetry. A stretching experience.
Joined our group, 12x12 in 2012...thrilled there was another challenge to help me in my writing. With the time I had available, I participated by commenting on the FaceBook group and on individual blogs.
Began researching information for one of my two non-fiction picture books, "The Orphans Who Saved the World."
Took a family adventure to Patagonia, and blogged my way to the tip of South America and back.
Finished 12x12 PB #1 "Where Will it Land?"
Joined Rachel Harrie's "Platform Building Challenge" and spread my wings in out-of-the-box flash fiction. Not my preference, but, again, it stretched me.
Wrote an online gluten-free cooking article for PositivelyFeminine.com
Submitted "Waiting for an Idea" PB to Rate Your Story. It received a 6, but I gained helpful information to move it towards publication.
Won a bid for a social media strategy package with Tricia Lawrence (Erin Murphy Literary Agency) through the "Light Up the Library" auction. Tricia's counsel was clear and concise, and aided me in discovering my "brand". I'm not there yet, but I am close!
Finished 12x12 PB #2 "Waiting For an Idea"
Making my way through Ann Paul's, "Writing Picture Books". I recommend it!
Begin writing blogposts for the upcoming "A to Z Blogging Challenge"...one post a day for 26 days: each post on a different topic. I learn how to navigate the buttons and tabs to set up and schedule the posts.
Joined Jo Hart's Onomatopoeia PB Critique Forum. I get caught up with the blogging challenge, so I don't participate for two months!
Finish 12x12 PB #3: "Have You Ever Seen a Snow Rainbow?"
A to Z Blogging Challenge in Full Swing: spend the month on the web answering comments, finishing blog posts, and visiting and commenting on 10 blogs a day...whew! My followers rise from 18 to 85 that month. I meet some lovely bloggers, and decide to follow them.
My article, "Looking Back on Homeschooling" is accepted for publication in "The Old Schoolhouse" magazine's 'big book' which comes out once a year at Christmas. I'm told it features the best of OS for the year. I'm honored, and I thank God for the privilege...
I discover the editor who had asked for my Picture/Chapter book and Proposal for "A Pouch Full of Miracles" has moved to another job. So I resubmit, with her recommendation, to another editor at the publisher. Now the wait begins again!
I join another critique group with "Children's Book Insider" and introduce myself.
Complete 12x12 PB #4, "Busy as a Beaver"
Take a deep breath, and continue writing blog posts and snatches of various PBs.
I begin my non-fiction PB, "Peacocks in the Courts of Royalty" with a few hours of research.
Still reading through Christina Katz, "Get Known Before the Book Deal"
Visited San Antonio, Texas and found myself blogging about and photographing the historic spots we visited...inspirational! Love the city's RiverWalk...rejuvenating!
Had my pitch for "Waiting for an Idea" critiqued on Susanna Hill's "Would You Read it?" post. Although most writers voted "maybe" to "no", I am learning to have thick skin, and to count it a blessing to learn from my mistakes.
Finished 12x12 PB #5, "Grace All Over the Place!"
Participated in Jeff Goins' "15 Habits of Great Writers" 3 week challenge, which becomes a springboard for solidifying my writing habits. I blog my way through, and begin the habit of rising at least one hour earlier each day. I'm more productive now! Because of his challenge, I was able to complete the projects below:
Submitted another PB, "Where Will It Land?" to RYS
Finish my book proposal for "Your On the Wrong Road, Solomon" (pending approval from my three contacts willing to endorse my possible publication, I am ready to submit the package to messianicjewish.net )
Read half way through Jeff's ebook, "You Are a Writer"
Created a "dummy book" for "The Prickly Tickly Hedgehog". Tara Lazar tells all here.
Submitted a Christmas themed inspirational story to "Chicken Soup for the Soul"
Located a few possible publications to submit my Christmas themed poem in "The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012"
Completed my June PB for 12x12 in 2012
For all this, I am grateful to Julie Hedlund and our supportive Writer's group, and, of course, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave me the ability and inspiration in the first place!
My goal for the last half?
-Complete 6 more picture books
-Visit each of my 12x12 writer buddy's blogs
-Revise my blog posts to help fellow writers in their craft
-Read more non-fiction PBs
You may not have accomplished all I have...maybe you have accomplished more. Either way, as long as you are on the "Write Road" to publication, moving forward, step by step, you can realize your dream. Stay with us for the remainder of the year, as we fill world with quality writing.