What does an evil genius do?

OK, so I couldn't find a pic of an evil genius!

Wow! I’ve been blown away by the suggestions on my “Mean Mum” post the other day. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who posted their suggestions. You have helped me to nearly finish my first 12×12 in 12 draft.

Now for my next question.

What does an evil genius do in their quest for World Domination?

I don’t know whether I need to watch more cartoons like Pinky and the Brain or something, but I’ve run out of ideas!

Please help! I haven’t done a Google search yet – that’s next on my list.

“Mean” Mum…

I'm a mean Mum...

I am half way through a manuscript for 12×12 in 2012 called “My Mummy is Evil”. This is another idea inspired by my kids – they told me I was evil for putting them to bed early!

I have a number of things my kids complain about that make me mean – can you add to this list?

The list includes:

  • Going to bed at normal time every night
  • Making them do homework
  • Getting off the computer & Internet to play outside
  • Brush teeth morning AND night
  • Taking out the rubbish
  • Watching the News instead of ABC3
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Tidy bedroom and put away toys
  • Help with the dishes

I need a few more things to add to this list. My kids are Primary School age, so ideally things that are aimed at that age group. Add a comment with your suggestions 🙂

Jimmy James as picture book?

Jimmy James as picture books?

I’ve been looking at stories and ideas I’ve already started working on to kick start 12×12 in 2012, and keep coming back to Jimmy James.

For those of you who have read his stories, you will already be familiar with this cheeky boy and his magical orange and purple spotted socks. For those of you who are new, you can see his stories here.

Looking at them, would they work as a series of picture books aimed at primary age children?

I’m sure my darling boys would be happy to give me some ideas for his stories – they already have, and I’m sure that list will grow if they are given half a chance to brainstorm.

But what do you think? Do you think an adventure a book would work as a picture book?

Picture book challenge?

A gorgeous friend on Facebook told me about a challenge she’s doing, involving writing 12 picture books in 12 months. You can read her post here.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you will know that I have written a kids picture book and want to get it published. Read all about it here (you’ll need to scroll through the posts to read the whole journey).

Many snippets I’ve written here for Write on Wednesday has the potential to be a kids book, so I’ve signed up for 12×12 in 2012.

The challenge is simple (on the surface at least). Write 12 first drafts of a picture book in 2012 – that’s 1 every month. It could be fun, it can also get some of the stories out of my head and down on paper (or at least in the computer).

I don’t know how much I’ll post here, but I will keep you updated with my progress… I might even do a new plan on PlanBig!

If you want to join me, click here.

Language in kids books

Language in kids books…

My 7 year old has recently been reading the Peter Rabbit books. One thing that struck me was the language.

These books were aimed at children. The language is sophisticated. Ask my 7 year old what “soporific” means, he can tell you.

Comparing this to the language in more recent children’s book s where the language is incredibly basic.

In the first Jimmy James story I wrote, I was asking friends for an alternative word, and the comment was made that we needed an easy word. I replied that I didn’t want an easy word, I wanted one that worked.

Even in another story I was writing, a friend who was  editing it told me the words I was using were too long for a kids book! I then asked someone else to edit it as I disagreed with their assessment of the language.

So, are we dumbing down the language in kids books? Or is it just me?

Entered a competition…

I've entered a competition...

I’m holding my breath slightly right now.

I stumbled upon the Kids’ Book Review Inaugural Unpublished Picture Book Award! and as I have an unpublished picture book I’ve been working on, I thought I’d enter.

With some encouragement from my PlanBig friends and followers on my Facebook page, I submitted my story last night.

Now, the Jimmy James story is too long for the criteria, so I’ve entered Mikey’s Bedtime. I am now waiting for them to get back to me with their payment details so I can pay the entry fee.

I’m a bit nervous. Then again, I don’t know why I’m nervous – I have won writing awards before, but it has been a while.

Please wish me luck. I’ll let you know how I go.

Kids book – an update

Updating you on my kids book

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my kids book. If you’ve been supporting my plan on PlanBig, you may have seen some updates…

But here’s the latest:

About a month ago, I attended a workshop by Create a Kids Book. I wasn’t very well on the day, and didn’t take a lot in, but the most useful part was the mini  assessment at the end. The amazing Jo Thompson went through my edited manuscript and suggested a whole lot of changes. It only took me a month from the workshop, but I finally sat down on the weekend, made those changes and finished off the story in line with those changes.

Before submitting it for a manuscript assessment again, I thought I’d forward it on to a few people for their thoughts. I have sent it to three different people, one has never seen the story before, one read it about 15 years ago, and another read the last draft I did.

So far, one person has come back with her thoughts, and I have butterflies waiting on the others.

I’m still not sure whether to self publish, or contact traditional publishers, but that isn’t a decision I need to make right now. Either way, I’m hoping to have the manuscript at a publishable state in the next few months.

Reading my story

Shared my story

This afternoon I shared my story with a couple of kids while waiting for the boys to finish in choir. The kids are the little sisters of some of the kids in the choir. Their Mums were also there to listen.

The story went down really well – though the story does need pictures.

Even the Mums liked the story!

It was quite scary sharing this story outside my own family – after all, my own kids loved the story, but then again, I’m their Mum, so they’re kind of obliged to like it…

I’m happy that they liked the story. I still don’t know whether or not to contact publishers again, or self publish, but I’m so much happier with how the story has turned out.

I also found that reading it out loud was great, as there are a few lines where I need to take out, add in or change a word or two so it flows better, that I’d missed when editing it on screen.

Getting the plan for my kids story out there

PlanBigOK, so I’m now putting it out there. After my post last night, I have finished the story & my kids like it!

I would love to see this published as a picture story book, so I’m putting it out there on PlanBig.

For some background – this story originally started life asToby’s Bedtime, a story about a boy who wouldn’t go to sleep. This was based on my years of babysitting kids who wouldn’t go to bed & some of their tricks. I submitted it as part of my VCE writing folio back in 1995 (you can do the maths to work out how old I am). Then it was called Mikey’s Bedtime after a little boy I babysat at the time (he is now 18!). I got an excellent mark for my writing folio. [Read more…]

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