Wrapping It Up

July has been quite the busy month for me and my family.   We've been busy with loan papers and other important paperwork involved in the selling and purchasing of a home, the joys of juggling two cars among 3 people that need them, planning on the upcoming school year and planning, packing and enjoying church camp, a family camping vacation and scout camp among many other things!

 My Writing World

I've kept up with my writing goals!

  • Do the best I can to put in ten hours a week (absolute minimum) into my writing - the ten hours does have to include my blog writing time, book writing time and the time I take to read other blogs (about writing and the topics I write about), check for information, etc. on the SCBWI site and the 12 x 12 Challenge forum, critiquing, etc.
  • I have posted 12-15 posts this month on the blog (My goal is 12-15:  I posted 15 counting today) including some book reviews here and here.
  • Part of my ten hours is of course spent on writing besides the blog!  I have worked quite a bit on a manuscript that I sent in for a professional critique.  I mentioned this in my post on Point of View in chapter 3 of Writing Picture Books.  I have gotten some really good feedback on what I have revised thus far.
  • I also formed a new critique group and am looking forward to getting to know my critique partners better and seeing what they write!
  • And the most amazing thing of all  - I got an answer to that query letter and yes, while I' m not trying to get my hopes up too high... I DID at least get a request for the manuscript!  (imagine me doing my happy dance here) 🙂

My Book World

  • This hasn't been going quite as well as my writing time.  Mostly because my reading time is at night/bedtime when I am more likely to get interrupted by my teens wanting to talk.  They certainly don't get up at 5:30 in the morning to talk to me but they do tend to wander in to my room at 9:30 or 10:00.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does take away my natural reading time.
  • I have been reading a few really good books actively:  Engaging Today's Prodigal and The Graveyard Book (my current Newberry Medal read) are my own selections for 'older' reading while my picture book world has included titles such as Help! A Story of Friendship,  Bluebird Summer, and Grandma's Purple Flowers. My youngest son has also taken the notion for me to read a chapter book to him- it wasn't my pick- but he seems to be enjoying Geronimo Stilton's "I'm Not Too Fond of My Fur".
  • I was able to start Grain Brain as my husband convinced me I needed to while I was away at Potter County.  It's full of good solid information thus far.

Our Homeschool World

There hasn't been much going on in this area for my youngest.  Of course we read every day and that's the most important thing to do.  But our lessons haven't happened because things just keep getting in the way.

I took the week my son was away at Church Camp (St. Tikhon's Summer Church Camp in South Canaan, Pennsylvania)  to work on his lesson plans for next year.  All 180 days have been planned with exactly what he needs to do each day - with the exception of physical education because we have a few things to look into before decisions are made on that.  I plan on writing up a post about this very soon!

Our Food/Health World

This part of our world is a little tricky in July.  It does require some thought and planning with all the camps and vacation, etc.  I think I have finally nailed a good routine as far as our general menu planning goes for days at home - more on that in a month or so- but planning for time away does pose a few problems sometimes.  Summer camp was NOT a problem though.  The people who prepare the meals at St. Tikhon's are WONDERFUL and they cook a lot of the food for the kids from scratch which is amazing since they cook for so many kids.  I only had to supplement a few things for my son this year.  There were some meals that didn't need any tweaking on my part or theirs at all.   Scout camp is quite different.  Unfortunately, the majority of their food is prepackaged processed items and I needed to plan an entire menu and provide food for all that he needed.  Family vacation with my family is a little stressful trying to balance what other people are serving with what I need to supplement.  Trying to figure out what I need to bring to ensure that we have enough to eat without bringing a lot of food that has the potential to be wasted is tricky- but certainly doable.

Other Parts of Life

July didn't allow much time for other parts of life other than what I've mentioned due to camps, vacation and lots of paperwork and decluttering (and selling things on online garage sales!).  The other highlights of course were the week in Potter County, PA which I posted about here.  And closing on our new house!!  WOOT!  (which happens today by the way!)

So How Was Your Month?


POINT OF VIEW                               

I think since I wrote about changing the POV or Point of View in my own manuscript since getting a professional critique and reading chapter 3 of Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books (read about that here) that the next writing exercise I post for all the writers out there ( homeschool, adult and otherwise) should be this one.

Take a  writing piece that you have created OR take your favorite childhood picture book and REWRITE IT.  If it's told in the first person, retell it in the third person POV.  If it's in the third person, write it in first person POV.  You coud be even more adventurous and write it in second person. You could even have the main character write a letter to tell his point of view to another character.

Try these on for size....

Rather than the tale of the Golden Egg as told by Aesop...what if you wrote the story from the goose's point of view?  (this is an example given by Ann)

Perhaps instead of the traditional tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, tell the tale from the wicked queen's point of view.  Or from Snow White's.

" I bit into the apple and immediately felt a pain in my stomach.  Oh dear... does that woman look familiar? Could it be???  Oh...."

Have the third little pig write a letter home to his mother.  "Dearest Mother,  It greatly grieves me to have to tell you..."

If picture books don't grab you (I can't imagine but...) try a novel.  Just choose a page and change the point of view.  It's quite a different experience, isn't it?

Go on.  Give it a try.   Let me know what you come up with!  🙂



I've been really behind in reading and writing about this book.  My last posts on chapter one and chapter two were quite some time ago.  I've been meaning to get back to it, but it wpid-img_20140707_061624_888.jpgremains sitting on my desk, not far from this computer, and gathering dust.  I've been reminded of it in updating my book list and in my recent endeavor of getting a professional critique on one of my favorite manuscripts.  The author doing the critique actually suggested reading it...so....

Thus, I've pulled it out, dusted it off and reviewed chapter three - well , really reread the whole thing since it's been so long since reading it.

Chapter three in Ann's book is on telling the story.  Interesting that Ann has told me in this book that just like I change my outfits, I can change my story by telling it in different ways- just like the published author told me I could change my story in my current favorite manuscript!  One of those ways is simply by changing the narrative voice - first, second, or third person.  Most picture books are told in the third person narrative.  Ann spends a lot of time in this chapter making sure the reader understands and can identify point of view - and then challenges us to take a story and write it in another point of view.

I'm about to take this manuscript that I have worked on for several months and change it from first person POV to third person POV.  I do think this will help - just not sure I'll like it but I need to give it a real shot.... time to get cracking.

Do you have a story that you have changed the POV?  What happened?