Spelling Words…

Jack's spelling test

This weeks exercise on Ink Paper Pen is using the word “Piqued”.

A state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity; a feeling of wounded pride.tr.v. piqued, piqu·ing, piques
1. To cause to feel resentment or indignation.
2. To provoke; arouse: The portrait piqued her curiosity.
3. To pride (oneself): He piqued himself on his stylish attire.

This is what I came up with, it’s a departure from the Jimmy James stories.

She looked down the list of spelling words her 7 year old was learning. Every Monday he came home with a list of spelling words to learn. Most of the words were set by the teacher, but the last three words were chosen by her son. The words he chose never ceased to amaze her.

“Jack, how did you choose these words?” She asked her son.

“I opened the dictionary and picked some words, and those ones had Q’s in them.” Jack had a tone in his voice that sounded like it was the most natural thing in the world.

“OK,” she replied hesitantly, “I understand Jonquil, after all, we have them growing in the front yard, but pique?” she questioned.

“But it’s a really cool word,” Jack replied enthusiastically, “It has cool meanings and my teacher couldn’t say it right!” he giggled.

“Fair enough.” She laughed along with him, “but, can you spell it?”

“Not yet,” Jack replied, “but that’s why I have to practice my spelling words.”

She smiled and left him to his look, cover, write, check exercises and went back to making dinner.


Write On Wednesdays


Jimmy James’ Scarf

Jimmy James learns how to knit

After having so much fun with the Ink Paper Pen writing challenge, I went searching for another one. I remembered that Leaf Journals has a story starter challenge each week. This week’s is My Greatest Achievement… Hand Made.

Jimmy James loved creating things. All his life he made bits and pieces out of whatever he could find. At different times of his life, he would make things out of different materials. When he was in Kindergarten, he used to make the most amazing box creations. Now that he was 9, his favourite material was Lego.

For Christmas and his Birthday, his family, knowing of his love of Lego, gave him numerous Lego kits. He happily built them following the instructions, but once they were built, he admired for a while, but soon got bored of looking at them on the shelf, so he would dismantle them and rebuild them in other ways, creating some of the most wonderful space ships and other machines.

He was keen to try new things, anything that was available to him. One night he watched his Mum as she was knitting a jumper for her little brother, and he asked her to teach him. Finding some knitting needles and wool, Mum sat and patiently taught him what to do.

Jimmy James was excited. Not only had he learned a new skill, but now he was able to make something special – a scarf for his favourite toy monkey, and a matching one for himself. For a little boy who usually couldn’t sit still for more than five minutes for fear of missing out on something, he would sit for ages, concentrating on getting the stitches just right. Even so, the scarf still ended up with a huge bulge in one end!

After what seemed like months, but was much closer to weeks, Jimmy James showed his knitting to his Mum. It was now long enough and he wanted to learn how to finish it. Mum cast off the stitches and handed him the finished scarf.

Puffing up just a little bit with pride, Jimmy James tied the scarf around his Monkey’s neck. Monkey looked really warm in his new scarf. Jimmy James couldn’t wait to start on the matching scarf for himself.

WoW – Character Study, Jimmy James

This is my first Words on Wednesday post – I thought I’d do it & see how it goes. I wasn’t sure whether to do a creative piece or just describe one of my characters – so I thought I would describe Jimmy James. Here goes – five minutes of writing!

Jimmy James is a character I created one night when I was frustrated about my boys not changing their socks. He is a 9 year old boy who loves his football and he is not great in Maths.

He has a little brother and lives with his Mum in a house with an open plan living area, one that is perfect for socks to make a mess! Their home has a large back yard, perfect for kicking the footy around.

He has short, brown hair and freckles on his face. His brown eyes have a cheeky glint that betray his wonderful sense of the absurd as well as his cheeky mind. He is slim and sporty.

Jimmy James is a mix of my two sons and some of their friends. With so much inspiration, there is the potential for a number of different stories about Jimmy James, his brother and their friends.


Write On Wednesdays


Write on Wednesdays…

Write On Wednesdays

I have just come across a really cool exercise called “Write on Wednesdays” over at inkpaperpen. I thought I’d give it a go – you never know what I’ll come up with…

It could be a lot of fun and it looks like a great way to get the creative juices flowing. I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Submitting to Publishers

Places to submit my manuscripts

As well as my kids book, I am in the process of writing a series of short stories that I’d love to have published as an anthology, or a series in a magazine, as well some non-fiction manuscripts.

One of my Facebook friends posted links to Manuscript Monday and The Friday Pitch. It looks like publishers are changing the way they are doing things! I’m posting them here as much to keep track of the links as anything else!

While my kids book won’t be part of this as they aren’t accepting picture story books in this way, my other manuscripts are likely to fit their lists – I hope! With the Accidental WAHM stories, I need to choose one that will represent them all. With the various non-fiction manuscripts, I will need to find a chapter to submit, especially as they are based on blog posts, so are fairly short.

It may take some time to get my submissions up to scratch, but it’s a start… as well as that, if I get one of those manuscripts accepted, then I’m more likely to get my kids book published too…

Anyway, wish me luck.

Changing face of publishing

Publishing is changing

Over the last few months, I have been looking at publishing. As well as my kids book, I have a few other ideas buzzing in my head and have started writing them & looking at publishing.

I had a talk with someone from the Victorian Writers Centre yesterday to talk to someone about self publishing vs traditional publishing. The lady I spoke to had the view that traditional publishing is the way to go, at least to start with.

But with technology, things are changing.

There are people like Adam Mansbach who published the popular Go the F*** to Sleep. The story I heard (and I don’t know how true this is) is that he started publishing the story/pages on his Facebook page, it was popular, so he turned it in to a book.

There are also people like Chris Allen who is publishing his first book Defender of the Faith using print on demand and using social media as a way to create a buzz before the book launch.

With social media, blogging, ebooks and more, the face of publishing is changing, as well as book distribution.

One of the biggest reasons to go the traditional publishing route was to get in to book shops to get sales, however with the closure of book shops like Borders, I imagine that smaller booksellers would be happy to stock books by authors publishing their own books, especially when they have a huge following with social media and people asking for their books.

I’m still not sure whether or not I will self publish, but it’s nice to know I have so many options to look at.

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…]

Tips for kids

My kids want to write a blog

My kids have been begging me for their own blog/website! There are obvious concerns about Internet safety, however I have come to realise that the boys are technology natives – whether I like it or not – and the Internet is just part of their lives.

So, we started a conversation about blogging and the Internet. I wrote down some of the things we had talked about – and guess what, another blog!!

Last night, I put up Blogging For Kids. So far, I haven’t done much apart from putting up some posts, hardly anyone even knows they are there! I need to work out what to do next… probably a Facebook page.

I’m hoping that the tips will be useful for other kids/parents who want to have a blog.

I have four blogs!

4 blogs!!

Yes, that’s right – at last count I had 4 blogs!

Each blog has a different theme and different template. And there are a couple more mini, niche blogs being planned.

  1. Business Mums Blog – I started this blog in 2008 sharing tips for Aussie business mums. It has recently undergone a face lift and restarted after a few months break.
  2. Down with Super Mum – my “Mum” blog with thoughts on life and parenting. I started this one a couple of months ago after a bad day trying to be “Super Mum” and I’d had enough! It was originally a place to vent & share other stuff in my head, and quite a few people read it!
  3. Accidental WAHM – a place for my fictional stories about work at home mums (WAHMs). Somewhere to put them up so people can read them
  4. This blog – of course. I guess this is a place about me to promote my other blogs and just put other stuff that doesn’t fit on the other blogs!

So, there you have it – I have 4 blogs! It looks a bit odd now that I’ve written it down like this… oh well. What can I say, I love writing, I have ideas flying around in my head and blogging is a way I can get it out there.

I hope you enjoy my blogs!

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