Archives for February 2012

WoW – Tiny as Your Thumb

Thumbs up!

It’s write on Wednesday again. This weeks prompt is to imagine you are as tiny as your thumb. You can read the whole prompt here.

I started thinking about this and the idea for a children’s story came to mind… I don’t know if this will be the start of my March picture book for 12×12 in 12 or not, but I hope you like it…

As always, comments & suggestions are welcome. [Read more…]

Piquing my Pintrest – Writing

I’ve been having fun playing with Pintrest this week. As well as market stalls and pens, I’ve also found some great quotes about writing, so I thought I’d share those this week. I hope you enjoy them.


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


There are more, but I didn’t want to make this post too long! You can see more here.


Tina Gray {dot} Me

WoW – Write a letter

A dusty pile of letters brings an adventure...

It’s Write on Wednesday again. This weeks prompt is to write a letter, you can read the full prompt here. Last year, Jimmy James wrote a letter, I was tempted to just link to that post again… but I won’t.

Instead, in the spirit of the Chapter Book Challenge, and for planning for that, I started looking at other letters he could write, and how the letter could impact, or be the result of, one of his adventures.

For this, I was toying with the letters that prompt this adventure being the Depression era or World War 2…

To explain a bit, my kids call their great-grandfather “Grandpa” and their grandfather is “Opa”, so there is no confusion. This would also be the end of the story.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Jimmy James sneezed as the dust settled. He looked at the letters in front of him. Never in a million years had he imagined what his great-grandmother had been through as a little girl during the Depression. While reading the letters, and the following adventure, courtesy of his socks, he had a better understanding of what made his great-grandmother tick.

He ran downstairs and pulled out a piece of paper and started to write:

Dear Grandma,

I have just read the letters you wrote to your pen pal when you were a little girl. I had no idea you had hardly any toys or new clothes and had to share a bed with your sisters.

It sounds like it could have been fun, though, playing with all the kids in the street. There aren’t any kids near my house who come out to play with me.

It’s really different to today. I have heaps of toys and get new clothes all the time.

I hope you don’t mind me reading your letters. They were really interesting.

Love, Jimmy James.

He carefully folded up his letter and took it in to the lounge room, where his great-grandmother sat drinking tea with his mum. He ran up to her, gave her a big hug and handed her the carefully written note.

Grandma read it and looked up at Jimmy James, tears in her eyes caused both by long forgotten memories and the note itself.

“It’s OK, Grandma,” Jimmy James gave her another hug, “I’ll help you in the garden in the morning, just like you asked, I understand now why your veggies are so important to you.”


Write On Wednesdays


Chapter book challenge

Getting these books written

It’s official – I’m going to get my butt into gear and get Jimmy James written!

I discovered a Chapter Book Challenge that is starting in March. The goal is to write a first draft of a kids chapter book each month.

Initially, I was thinking of writing Jimmy James as a picture book, however I’m finding I need more words to write his stories!

Each book will be one of his adventures with his socks, and there is a huge scope for adventures! Right now, I’m researching snakes…

If you love kids chapter books and a challenge, join us. This is going to be AWESOME!

Piquing my Pintrest – Jimmy James

Just for fun, I’ve been going through Pintrest looking at some pictures to inspire stories and adventures for Jimmy James.

This Sunday, I’m linking up with Tina Gray dot me for Piquing my Pintrest & sharing some of the images with you. It might pique your interest to some of the adventures that could be coming up, as well as a reminder of some that have already been written.

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest


Source: via Melissa on Pinterest





 Tina Gray {dot} Me

What are kids scared of?

This snake isn't scary...

The story I wrote on Wednesday has passed the kid test – meaning I need to write more!

I’ve been doing a little bit of planning but I need some help.

What scares kids about snakes?

The idea behind this story is that Jimmy James talks to the snake and gets to know the facts about snakes, especially the areas he’s scared of.

Knowing specific things kids are scared of will help me know what things to include in this story.

All suggestions welcome.

WoW – The Monster Under Your Bed

Jimmy James is scared of snakes

It’s Write on Wednesday time again. You can read the full prompt here.

Thinking about this, I wanted another Jimmy James story. As a 9 year old, he wouldn’t be scared of monsters under the bed, so I put the question to my two boys – what would Jimmy James be scared of, something that his socks could help him overcome a fear of by learning more about. They came up with a number of ideas, finally settling on snakes.

I hope you enjoy this, it’s the start of a story that will continue on. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

The snake curled around the handler’s neck, looking like a feather boa. The kids in the class ooh’d and ahh’d at the way it moved, completely captivated by the show. All, except for Jimmy James. He sat as far back as he could, away from the snakes, he wouldn’t admit he was scared of them, just that he didn’t like them.

“OK, kids, who would like to have a go?” the handler invited from the stage. Most of the hands went up enthusiastically. Before Jimmy James knew what was happening, his best mate raised his hand for him and waved it all about.

“You, up the back, come on up.” Jimmy James shook his head, he was scared and stayed frozen to the spot.

“Come on JJ,” his mate encouraged. Before knowing what was happening, the class chanted “Jimmy James, Jimmy James, Jimmy James,” and he was being pushed up to the front. There was a look of fear in his eyes.

Suddenly, the room went quiet, and it was just him and the snake.

“Don’t be scared,” a voice said. Jimmy James looked around. All he saw was the snake, wrapped around a pole near the front of the class room. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“I’m not scared,” declared Jimmy James with as much bravado as he could manage. “I just don’t like snakes.”

“It’s OK,” the voice said, “We don’t really like you either.” Jimmy James suddenly realised it was the snake talking. “Maybe if you get to know me a bit better, you won’t be scared any more.” Jimmy James was a bright boy and, after thinking about it for a minute, agreed with the snake’s reasoning, admitting to himself that yes, he was a bit scared, just a little bit.

“So,” Jimmy James started hesitantly, with a twinkle in his eye, “what is your favourite footy team?”


Write On Wednesdays


What language do you use?

What language do you use?

I’ve had an interesting experience lately. I submitted my first story from 12×12 in 12 to a couple of critique partners, one in Australia & one in the US. I also submitted it to a fantastic service called Rate Your Story, based in the US. I’ve faced an interesting issue – language.

Now, I’m in Australia, and I use Australian English. So, I spell Mummy as Mummy and use Australia phrases, like Rubbish instead of Trash.

I know the US audience for books is much bigger than Australia, simply because they have more people there, so it’s been interesting getting feedback from US services. Both Rate Your Story and my US critique partner commented on the differences in language. (There were other things to work on with the Rate Your Story comments, but language was the one that stood out to me this morning.)

With this in mind, who do you write for? What language do you use?

When I write, I admit to having my boys in mind as audience, they are Aussie boys and advanced readers (that’s another blog post).

Do you change the language in your manuscripts for different countries initially, or do you stick to the country you are writing in?

Something weird is happening…

Story about socks!

Last year, I created a character called Jimmy James. He has some amazing socks that he thinks are horrible, but they are amazing.

These stories have captured the imagination of my kids, aged 10 and 8. They are advanced readers and I’ve been struggling to find books that have themes suitable for their ages.

It’s not only my boys who are enjoying these stories… the snippets I’ve posted on this blog have been getting some great comments, as well as on my PlanBig plan.

The ideas for places Jimmy James can go with his socks have been coming thick and fast, and there is the potential for a huge number of books of Jimmy James adventures with his socks. And Grandma can give him more than one pair of socks over time, so the stories and adventures can grow with him.

I need to do some research and plan some excursions, both with and without my boys, to get some ideas and information, and I need to hit the library. Then I need to do some serious writing, especially as people are already asking to read the stories!

The little story that was born out of frustration that my kids wouldn’t change their socks, and a prompt from Ink Paper Pen looks like it’s turning in to a series of books!!

WoW – Jimmy James’ Collection

Jimmy James has a treasure box

It’s Write on Wednesday time again. I missed last week, but this week I got inspired.

I know you’ve been wanting to hear more about Jimmy James, at least my kids have, so this week is dedicated to him. It’s also great as it gives me an idea of where to take his story.

To read this weeks prompt, click here. And if you’re a writer, don’t forget to join in. As always, I welcome comments, suggestions and critique on this piece.

Jimmy James was nearly in tears. His beloved magic socks were falling apart, his toes were poking through them and Mum had declared that it was time to say goodbye.

He opened his treasure box. In reality it was an old shoe box he had rescued from the bin, but to him it was much, much more. Inside held a collection of objects he had accumulated while on his adventures.

There were the sticks that had appeared in his pocket after he had learned how to make fire from the aboriginal man in the Museum. There was the bullet shell he had picked up at the Shrine of Remembrance from the Digger. There was the moon rock he had picked up when he visited the Moon via the Planetarium, and many more objects.

It had been a wonderful year and now it was coming to an end, it was time to say goodbye to his magical orange and purple spotted socks.

“JJ, come downstairs, Grandma’s here.” Mum called from downstairs. Jimmy James carefully packed away his collection of treasures and headed down.

“Hello, Jimmy James,” Grandma greeted her grandson and handed over a wrapped parcel. A smile spread across Jimmy James’ face…


Write On Wednesdays

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