I knew about Nano (National Novel Writing Month) which is held in November each year and challenges to write a novel in one month, or 50,000 words which, according to the website, is doable even for an active person. Do they know what I do in a day?? (laughing incredulously). Well, I tried Nano once. I don't recall how many words I accomplished that year, but it certainly wasn't close to 50,ooo and I wasn't as busy then as I am now!Someday, maybe, I'll bring out that YA I started years ago, and attempt Nano with it again. Or maybe just be content with adding a paragraph a week. That may be more like it.
But this year I am doing PiBoIdMo! PiBoIdMo is Picture Book Idea Month. This is the fifth year for PiBoIdMo. That's obviously why I haven't heard of it before. I haven't really written in over 4 years or more. How I didn't know about it the first year, I'm not sure. But I am glad to know it now.
Immediately, upon finding out about PiBoIdMo, I got very excited, registered, and pulled out my( still blank) Ideas and Images journal I obtained from a SCBWI conference many years ago. It was perfect for the newly inspired me! And I wrote in the numbers 1-30 over two of its pages...... So the idea is that through the course of the month, which is November which has 30 days, the picture book writer comes up with at least 30 different ideas for a picture book (I already have 5 listed besides the one I've actually spent a little bit of time starting this past week). In addition, Tara Lazar (founder of PiBoIdMo) will be putting up daily blog posts by picture book authors, illustrators, editors and other professionals from the kidlit world! I am so inspired by this. It was really perfect timing.
So I have opened the cupboard in my sitting room that has been closed since the cupboards were built. Inside, I found very dusty folders and notebooks I've not looked at in quite sometime. It was really sort of humorous (and maybe a little sad) as I glanced through folders with started manuscript titles not remembering half of them! I mean, sure memories came back after reading through a few lines, but I honestly hadn't remembered starting half of them! So it will be interesting, I'm sure, taking more time to sort through and read through them all again. I'm sure, this many years later, I will have a totally different perspective on many of them if not all of them!
I also found my notes from SCBWI conferences and other related sources. Right now, sitting at the top of the pile on my desk, a notebook lies open displaying the notes from the Katherine Patterson talk. Here are some of the things I wrote that Katherine said: "I can never be Jane Austin or Tolstoy, but neither can they be me." (So true!) "I am the only person that can tell my stories." (Yep!) "We must bring out what we fear and what we care mostly about." (I must remember this). Katherine ended her talk that day by exclaiming, "Go Home and Dare!"
So I'm daring. I'm not sure what will become of all this but I am grateful to you, my followers, for making me feel that maybe, by following me or reading this blog from time to time, that you must think I have something to say, something worth reading. I appreciate that. I don't give myself enough credit, or so I'm told. You help me do that. So thank you, dear reader, for giving me encouragement to go out and dare! And now it's time to do a little more looking into those past manuscripts and notes... maybe a new idea for a picture book will emerge and I can add more to my list! They come up in the most unusual places....like sitting and watching a little old man filling his car up with gas at Sam's Club 😉