10

Well summer started just the other day and I realized we are halfway into the year!  This got me thinking back on my posts during January -  one on New Year's Resolutions (I realized I'm doing at least somewhat well with  7-8  of the resolutions I set for myself and not so well with about  7  of them and the one on books I wish to read by the end of this year.  Here's my progress on that list!:

NEWBERRY MEDAL BOOKS:  (I've read a few of these but really need to get cracking!)

  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead  (book review)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman*
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz*
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech  (book review)
  • Missing May by Cynthia Rylant  (book review)
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
  • Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
  • ?  still deciding....  (Rifles For Waite)  
  • ?  still deciding
* They are not in the picture because I haven't purchased them yet!

HOMESCHOOL SOURCES: (Doing well here)

  • Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann - I've read the parts I need to 'read' but we are still using it for the exercises so I don't count it as totally completed yet! (We are over the halfway point...see my recent post on that here)
  • Exploring America by Ray Notgrass -  Reading Book #2 with my son for school
  • Laying Down The Rails - Sonya Shafer
  • The Early Years - Shafer & Smith
  • All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar  &  The Books and Things Seminar - DVDs and workbooks presented by Simply Charlotte Mason
  • When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper

THE WRITING CRAFT:  (not great, but not bad either)

  • Writing Picture Books: A Hands on Guide From Story to Creation by Ann Whitford Paul
  • 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
  • A Family of Readers - The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature  (started)
  • Honey For A Child's Heart - The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life  (this one easily falls into the Homeschooling category as well as A Family of Readers) (started...I think I'm about a third of the way in)

ORTHODOXY:

  • The Orthodox Study Bible - yes, I've already read it 🙂  But the bible is a daily must no matter how many times one has read it  (Trying to use a recent recommendation and keeping it lying open in a spot that I pass by often.... it's open to the psalms - also reading a bible commentary on the book of Luke)
  • The Faith by Clark Carlton
  • Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Hart of Christian Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides
  • The Open Door by Frederica Mathewes-Green (just started again recently)
  • 2014 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of the Saints (Fasting Calendar by The Orthodox Calendar Company) (ugh.... not doing well with keeping up with this...yikes... not even sure where it is...need to locate and put by the bedside again or maybe with my bible commentary)

FOOD/NATURAL HEALTH:(uh, yeah, well....... not doing so well here...I keep getting distracted by fiction! LOL)

  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
  • The Coconut Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D.
  • It Starts With Food by Dallas & Mellissa Hartwig - I've read this before but I have a feeling I'll be reading it again...it was that good and packed with great information.
  • ??  More to be Determined!

OTHER FICTION: (GLIMPSE was just released....maybe I'll talk my DH into stopping by the mall today so I can see if I can pick it up!  Hope it's as good as it sounds!)

  • Dr. Sleep by Stephen King  ***  I couldn't let this one go by, no matter how many other books I'm reading!  It's the sequel to The SHINING....my first Stephen King book that I ever read!   (see my post on it here)
  • Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff - a Newberry Honor Book (See my book review)
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson  -  sadly it's not in the picture because it doesn't come out until January 7th.... but I should be getting it delivered that day!!  (Wrote a post on this one.....still feeling the pain of the protagonist... will probably read this one again but maybe not this year)
  • Glimpse - the debut novel by Kendra  Leighton... apparently based on the epic poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes... this book is due out in August.
  • The Red Badge of Courage (my son is reading this one this year and I never have)
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Another my son is reading)
  • The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (And another)
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare (My son's first Shakespeare - wish us luck!) (started.....oops...forgot to finish although my son did....hmmm...read before we watch the Netflix DVD that's on the TV stand or after???)
  • Others, if time, To Be Determined.....

PICTURE BOOKS:

  • No current list made.... I'm sure there will be tons....  at the very minimum we go to the library every 2-3 weeks and get at least 12-15 books..... that should involve a lot of reading!  (Yep....been reading A LOT of these.... LOVING IT!)

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I'm not giving up on the New Year's Resolutions either.  I decided to print out my list and keep it by my bedside to use as a marker for whatever my current bedside book is so that I have a visual reminder each evening, allowing me to keep them more present in my mind.

How are you doing on your resolutions for the year and reading goals?

9

My husband got me some books for my birthday back in December, one of which was Ann Whitford Paul's well-known and recommended Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication. Since I'm using this as a major tool on developing my writing 'career',  I've decided to journal about my progress through this book.

Product Details

Ann Whitford Paul is a picture book author. She has authored several well-known titles -  Hello Toes, Hello Feet; Eight Hands Round - A Patchwork Alphabet, and Fiesta Fiasco to name a few.  She realizes, as do other picture book authors, that writing picture books does take a unique set of skills and a working knowledge of children and their parents!

Chapter One of Ann's book is titled 'Becoming a Picture Book Scholar'.  Besides setting down the basics of picture books such as manuscript length and age ranges, Ms. Paul covers some important concepts of the average picture book audience.  I enjoyed her advice to remember that children live in the present.  I know myself all too well of her example  of the child continuously asking, "Are we there yet?" on a long trip. This concept and knowledge of children's  strong emotions, short attention spans, rich imaginations and others are important to have a grasp on when writing for children.

In addition to becoming very aware of these concepts, a picture book writer MUST be familiar with ......

PICTURE BOOKS!

Ms. Paul ends each chapter with hands-on assignments and of course the most important one for this chapter and the others is to keep reading picture books.  Being a mother of a 3 1/2 year old makes this one really easy for me.  Our trips to the library are frequent and well spent.  We load up with 12-15 books per trip!

I've made a list of some I'd like to look for next time including an abundant amount of titles suggested by Ann Whitford Paul throughout chapter one and chapter two(I glanced ahead!).  Some of those titles include:  If Animals Kissed Goodnight by David Walker, Old Turtles by Douglas Wood, and Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban.

I enjoy going to the library with my little guy although sometimes it's nice to go without him so I can browse more without worrying about his whereabouts. Like I said, we usually end up with about 12-15 books but the last time we went I had a big list for us and he decided to add quite a few to the pile!  I sometimes experience frustration because I usually can't find all that's on my list in one visit.  I guess that's good though; it means other kids are reading!

In addition to reading about writing picture books, I've been working on several manuscripts.  I actually have started three new fiction manuscripts since doing PiBoIdMo back in November and one non-fiction manuscript (that one is on an Orthodox Saint).  I'm also still revising an older manuscript that I started several years ago.

I've also joined in the Start Write Challenge  (which is over tomorrow) and  a picture book writer's group called 12 x 12.  It's on a blog by Julie Hedlund and it's focused on getting 12 PB manuscripts started in 12 months.... NOT manuscripts that are ready for submission..... 12 drafts and I think this is something I need to help me stay focused on writing.  I'm sure to  write more about that as time goes on.  I love the forum and am hoping to form a nice strong critique group!  I need critique friends!!

So I'm definitely staying busy!      What are you working on??