So long PiBoIdMo, see you next time!

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It was not the easiest PiBoIdMo for me. The ideas were many, but I think a good part of them were duds compared to last year's idea explosion. No matter. They are on paper. I can reread and mull them over. Maybe a few weren't SO terrible. Perhaps they'll come together as manuscripts in the new year.

Congratulations to all of you who gave it your best! Thank you, Tara Lazar and all of the amazing guest bloggers. And it's not even over yet! I'll enjoy reading all the POST-PiBoIdMo posts too. Oh, and thank you for that shiny award illustration, Ward Jenkins!

12 x 12 Blog Party: Halfway There!

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Congratulations to all of you who have made it to the halfway point in the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge. I know I'm proud of myself, so you should be too.

Some months were easier than others, and I wish I had the time to really polish each manuscript each month rather than just squeak out a first draft in most cases. But it's an accomplishment.

Last year at this time I had just one finished draft under my belt that I had been working on for the previous two years. This year I have 3 polished manuscripts, at least 2 other revised manuscripts and a handful of first drafts too. Then there's last year's idea pool from the PiBoIdMo challenge. I'm not sure I'll feel like a 'real' writer even when that first book gets published, but I no longer sit down to write feeling like a complete imposter.

If you're doing the challenge, congratulations. And keep on going. More stories are waiting.

PiBoIdMo: Hooray! (9 days late)

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If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Last year I failed at PiBoIdMo about 10 days in (give or take). This year I'm proud to say that I did it. And really enjoyed it as well.

Even if you didn't participate, I hope you take some time to visit Tara Lazar's blog and all the amazing posts for PiBoIdMo. I'm so thankful to her and all the guests that put this challenge together.

My next challenge is to finish the Sketchbook Project book on time. I really dropped the ball when life got a little busy. I am excited about working on it again - I seem to do better when working on one project at a time.

The Magic of PiBoIdMo

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Last year I attempted the glorious challenge that is PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). But somehow, extracting 1 picture book idea a day for a whole month didn't quite happen. I'm grateful I tried. I still had a solid 10+ ideas that sprung from that pass. I was pregnant and feeling zapped physically, emotionally, and creatively.

I pushed those feelings aside and gave it another shot this year. I'm only on day 7 but I feel tremendously good about the challenge so far. What is shocking to me, is that I'm not spending much time at all on it, yet the ideas keep coming. I don't even attempt to keep a notebook handy for jotting down those fleeting ideas. I'm a stay-at-home-mom to nearly 3 year old boy and an almost 6 month old girl. I'm lucky if I manage to keep the house (and kids) from imploding on a daily basis, much less keep track of a notebook and pen that are also out of my son's scribbling reach.

Here's my reality. In staggering order, I put both kids down for an afternoon nap. I tiptoe away (usually returning umpteen times to get everyone really sleeping). I take care of any immediate needs and plunk myself down anywhere with a battered old notebook. I try not to 'internet' for more than a few minutes, just getting down to business. The toys on the floor will wait.

And then the magic happens. I've never had ideas just appear like this before. I'm grateful and trying not to question it too much. I think the memory of last year's creative funk has fortified me. I've fully accepted that my illustration career looks a lot different from my helm as Captain Mom. I'm sticking to my resolution of just doing what makes me happy. I'm tapping into my childhood more as my older son approaches the age my own memories begin. I'm not letting the lack of time for making books stop the ideas from them coming to the surface. This magic spell might wear off tomorrow, but who has time to worry about that?