Tag Archives: Julie Hedlund

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…

JANUARY

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.

FEBRUARY

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’ here.

MARCH

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.

APRIL

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.

MAY

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 😀

– 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).

JUNE

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.

JULY

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!

AUGUST

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.

SEPTEMBER

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. :/

OCTOBER

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.

NOVEMBER

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.

DECEMBER

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).

FINAL STATS:

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!

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Tuesday 12 x 12

If you pop over to Julie Hedlund’s blog, I’ve done a guest post on why I decided to join 12 x 12 in 2012 and what I’ve got out of it so far. Julie Hedlund is the super-awesome founder of 12 x 12 in 2012 and it was a pleasure guest posting in her 12 x 12 series.
Speaking of guest posting, I have a new guest post lined up to post in the coming days on why writers should blog. You’ll notice things have been a bit slow around here lately. I was having some issues with my blog (all resolved now) and my family got hit by an extremely nasty ‘flu (all better now fingers crossed).

The Halfway Mark for 12 x 12!

As of the end of June the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge will have reached the halfway mark. To celebrate, 12 x 12 creator, Julie Hedlund, is hosting a blog party where participants can share their progress so far and either celebrate or commiserate.

Here’s my little update…

PB manuscripts finished so far: 11! (thanks to NaPiBoWriWee in May I have a few extra)

PB manuscripts started, but not finished: 4

Successes: My February PB was published in an online magazine. (You can read it here.)

Submissions: Apart from the one I submitted to the online magazine, I currently have a couple submitted to some PB competitions, but it’s too early to have heard anything from them yet. I’m yet to submit any of them to publishers (most of them still need a lot of work and revision and I  have more polished work that I’ll be submitting before my 12 x 12 MSs).

I’m really enjoying the challenge so far, not just because I’m building a great folder of PBs to work on, but because the support and friendship within the 12 x 12 group has been invaluable. I hope everyone else participating is getting something out of it, whether it’s new PBs or great friends. If you’re not participating, it’s not too late to join in; we still have six months left to go!

12 x 12 in 2012

Over on Julie Hedlund’s blog she has set a challenge: write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months–a picture book a month for every month of 2012. I thought this sounded like a great challenge as I love writing picture books and am often inspired with picture book ideas, so I joined up.

Julie has done a fabulous job of organising this challenge. There are monthly prizes for participants, guest posts from those in the picture book industry (the first guest post from picture book author and founder of Picture Book Idea Month, Tara Lazaar, went up yesterday) and a great community of fellow participants in the Facebook group Julie has set up for the challenge. You can also follow the #12x12in2012 hashtag on Twitter. (Edited to update: the new Twitter hashtag is #12x)

For anyone who is interested in writing picture books this challenge is a great opportunity to learn, grow and connect, so I would encourage you to join up. You can join at any time throughout the year, but to be eligible for prizes you need to have signed up by the 29th January 2012 (you still have nearly a month to sign up). You can find details on signing up here (it’s super easy and completely free).

With a baby due in a month, I hope I can stick to the challenge. Like Julie, I also intend to do NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week) again this year. Am I up to the challenge? I guess we shall see.