12 x 12 in ’12 Blog Party!

12x12 blog partyWhat better day to celebrate the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge coming to a close than a blog party on the 12/12/2012?

By mere coincidence I’ve been penning my December draft today without realising the date. It was only when I got the reminder on Julie’s blog that today was the blog party I realised. How fitting I should write my final draft for 12 x 12 in 2012 on today’s date.

12 x 12 has been a fantastic journey and I really urge any PB writers out there to have a go at 12 x 12 next year. It’s great motivation to build up a folder of PB drafts to work on and the community that comes along with the challenge is invaluable. Next year looks as though it promises to be even better with a new forum opening up and opportunities to pitch to agents (check out all the details here).

A huge thank you to Julie Hedlund for being the brains and driving force behind 12 x 12, she’s has done an amazing job and put so much into the challenge to make it a success. And thank you to my fellow 12 x 12ers for all the support, sharing and friendship throughout the year.

So how did I progress during 12 x 12 this year? Here’s a bit of a timeline…


I started the year full of motivation and was inspired early on in the month. Heavily pregnant and battling a sweltering Australian summer, I wondered how I would be able to pull an idea from my melting brain, but it was the heat that ended up being the inspiration behind my very first draft. It’s been revamped and overhauled several times already and still needs a bit of work. It’s a keeper, though.


After having a story published in Australian Women Online’s Bedtime Stories collection back in November 2011, I thought I might look to their upcoming themes to gain inspiration for my February draft. The upcoming theme for March was ‘Green’. I wrote the draft, revised it, put it through my critique group and revised it some more. (I also had a baby in there somewhere!) Despite it only being a month old (the story, not the baby), I thought it was a a strong story and I was really happy with it. I submitted it literally at the eleventh hour. The next day I got an email saying it had been accepted! I couldn’t believe it! You can read ‘Green Nadine’Β here.


St. Patrick’s Day was the inspiration behind my March draft. I’m really in love with this one. I entered it into CYA later in the year and although it didn’t place, I got some feedback on it, which will hopefully help me shape it up a bit more.


I started a PB draft about a boy who thinks he lives next door to a wizard, but I quickly discovered it just wasn’t working for me. I got a rushed draft about a duck scrawled in my notebook at the very end of the month. Not sure if I’ll do anything with that one, though I adore the name of the duck.


NaPiBoWriWee!! The aim was to do 7 drafts in 7 days. With a new baby, who had been in and out of hospital the last couple of months, I think I was probably a bit crazy to think I could even attempt this. But I got a few drafts done πŸ˜€

– An Australian fairytale based on a play I wrote for kids while studying teaching at university.

– A story about a young chef, which I never finished.

– A house-hunting mouse (this is also based on a story idea I had years ago).

– A country child visiting the big city inspired by a trip to Melbourne with my kids (I believe this was on the first day of NaPiBoWriWee–I was writing the story in my head the whole trip there).

– A family of grumpy monsters, which started as a silly name I made up and just grew from there.

– A simple board book text about fruit.

– The last was more a poem than a story and was written for a magazine (and unfortunately didn’t get accepted–it probably could have done with more rest time and revision, but I was rushing for the deadline).


I started a story about a principal with a silly premise, but it didn’t get far. Luckily I ended up with another two completed stories this month; it was a good month for inspiration. The first was based on a rollicking first line I kept singing in my head, with my three children inspiring the three characters in the story. It turned out as an interactive story and if I don’t end up submitting it to publishers, I think I will just make it into a book for my children. The other is really quite a sad story. I guess I had been feeling a bit down, thinking about the baby I lost (and would have been celebrating his/her first birthday this month), and that poured into a story about a boy whose brother dies.


I wrote my favourite, most favourite story this month. I had been bouncing my baby on my knee singing these silly nonsense words to her, when BAM! Lightbulb! The silly words became the opening line to a rhyming story about a baby echidna. I’ve been revising and rewriting this story like mad, because I really love it and want to submit it. It’s been through my critique group several times, had peer critique at Write on Con and got a great in depth critique from Rate Your Story. As it’s a rhyming PB it needs to be completely perfect in meter and rhyme before I’ll submit it. I hope I can get it there!


I couldn’t find any stories dated from August on my computer, but I do have some handwritten drafts scrawled in my notebook that I haven’t dated and I know I completed a draft in August. I also lost a couple of stories when my laptop crashed that couldn’t be recovered, so I don’t know if there was an August one there. I think the scrawled story about a pirate crew (inspired by my son’s birthday pirate theme party I had been planning) may be an August draft, though it is unfinished.


My son is self-teaching himself the times tables at the moment and my inspiration for my draft this month was a story based on the 3 times tables. Not sure if it works well, however. :/


Another scrawled, unfinished draft in my note book that I think may have been an October draft. My son got invited to a birthday party and I knew his friend loved cooking, so I set out to find a children’s cookbook for his gift. I found none (except for one on cakes, but their family isn’t really into sweets). So I decided to write a PB about kids cooking, with the intention of including some simple recipes for kids in the appendix. (Note: I’ve noticed in the lead up to Christmas there are actually quite a few kids’ cookbooks around now.) I didn’t actually finish this one as it is going to be a longer PB, but I have a skeleton plot written out.


Zip! Zilch! Zero! No drafts this month. Simply too busy, unfortunately. Though I did attempt PiBoIdMo for the first time, since I was forgoing NaNoWriMo this month. I came up with 24 ideas. So even though I don’t have a draft for November, I have a nice little idea bank to dig into.


I’m halfway through a Christmas/fairytale crossover story that I started today. I believe I will have it done by the end of the month (I already have the whole story planned out).


PBs Complete: 14!

PBs started, but not finished: 6

Lost stories (from the computer crash): ??

PiBoIdMo ideas to get me started next year: 24

What a year!

38 thoughts on “12 x 12 in ’12 Blog Party!”

    1. Thank you Cathy! I didn’t really keep track, just opened up my PB folder and checked the dates on my drafts to remember what month I wrote them. Doing it with a baby was a little hectic, and without the motivation of 12 x 12 I’m not sure I would have got any writing done this year.


  1. Jo, I think we “met” during WriteOnCon, but I didn’t have a name to go with the Graceful Doe moniker. I’m glad I posted a linky link to meet my 12 x 12ers. Your list of successes and sadness this year were achingly heartfelt. Best wishes.


    1. Hi Wendy, nice to ‘meet’ you again πŸ™‚ I shall have to go check out your link to the 12 x 12 party. I hope you’ve been having success with your PB writing, too.


  2. What a year indeed! Jo, you have some amazing accomplishments here (and a baby!), and thank you for sharing all these UPS and downs with us.


    1. The first half of the year felt like a rollercoaster with all its ups and downs! The second half of the year has been much less eventful. Thank you for dropping by and reading about my 2012 journey, Joanna!


  3. Wow! Congrats on a very busy and productive year! I love that you have it all organized by month. I have my notes spread out over the year, but this is a great recap. Make me want to do the same. πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks, Hannah! I mostly set it out like that so I could see for myself how the year looked month-by-month (I wasn’t sure anyone else would want to read it!) It was great looking back on my year in PB writing, so I’m glad I went through and set it out that way. I’d love to see your year in review!


  4. Wow Jo! You’ve done so well, especially with a new little one! I loved reading your month by month account, and it’s inspired me to do one as well. Congratulations on Green Nadine, and it certainly seems you’ll have no problem racking up the publications this year too! Here’s to 2013!


    1. Thanks, Julie! And thank you for coming up with the brilliant idea of 12 x 12 in 2012! I could not have come up with all those drafts if I didn’t have the motivation of 12 x 12 driving me. With a little baby keeping me busy, it’s been hard to find time to do any writing this year. 12 x 12 gave me an excuse to say to myself, “Sit down and write!” You’ve really done an awesome job with this challenge and 2013 is looking to be even bigger and better.


  5. I love the month by month. SWEET! Now I’m going to do one, if only for myself. I think that must be important. To see it typed out like that. Congrads on 14 MS’s. My hubby feel off the roof in August or I might have more than twelve. Between homeschooling, caring for the farm, and him, I was outta time and energy. BODACIOUS job!


  6. I so enjoyed your monthly journal of your accomplishments…congrats, Jo! I have never tried NaPiBoWriWee. Maybe next year, but I did promise myself not to get overloaded. Amazing that you could handle that as well. And with little ones to boot! Looking forward to working along side you in 2013.


  7. You’ve done wonderfully this year! And what a great list of accomplishments to look back on! I may copy this idea on my New Year’s post as I review my goals from 2012 and how I did with them. It’s been so great getting to know you this year! (((hug)))


  8. wow! You have been one busy lady. Loved the Idea of recording the drafts by month… mmm I must go back and do that to. Nice to keep intouch with someone from our part of the world to. Have a great Christmas.


  9. Very impressive ’12 output (I mean, you even had a kid–how awesome is that?) πŸ™‚

    And P.S. I love that holiday book you’re in! Festive tales of fear and cheer–sounds like Christmas at my house. πŸ˜‰


  10. Hi Jo…nice to meet you. πŸ™‚
    Congratulations on ALL that you have accomplished this year…that is AMAZING…and a baby as well. πŸ™‚ You get the prize for multi-tasking. πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for sharing your 2012 writing journey…here’s to 2013…much joy and success to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s