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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 😉

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I'm trying desperately to cut back on my Goodreads current books I'm reading list. I'm trying to cut back on this list so I can feel better about adding more to it!!  I now have 6.  That's better than last weeks list of 8.  I forced myself to finish two this past week. (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica as well as The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner).  Well, I didn't really have to force myself to finish the first.  I loved that book and it will probably continuously stay on my reading pile as one can just read little bits here and there and it will never get old.  It's great for devotion time. The second was a good book... it just didn't grab me and give me as much as the first.

So now I'm down to these 6:     Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, Open Door by Frederica Matthewes Green, Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christianity by Kyriacos C. Markides, The Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity by Clark Carlton, The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, and Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss.

I really try to read too many books at one time!  It's just that I never know what mood may strike me when I actually find the time to sit down and read something. I've realized that makes 3 out of 6 that are about Orthodox Christianity.   So maybe I'll make myself pick just one of those to focus on at a time.  I am really into Unglued.  I saw the title of it posted on Facebook by a friend of mine and, as usual when I see a book title, I immediately went to Amazon or Goodreads to read a synopsis.  I was very intrigued.  I'm not sure what woman wouldn't be.  I think the vast majority of us have trouble staying calm in the midst of raw emotions...some occasions more than others of course.  So that's the one at my beside right now.  And I just ordered Primal Blueprint from Amazon... not the thing I want to grab and spend hours with right now but I really want to compare the Paleo diet to the Primal and get a feel for both and how they compare to one another... so I may read a page here and there... maybe that's a book for the car for when I am actually the passenger and not checking my WordPress reader.

I've also realized that none of the above books are actually fiction or 'just to relax and enjoy a good story' books that sometimes rejuvenates my 'soul'  more than chocolate. (whoa.....  ok...maybe I crossed the line with chocolate... more than a cup of tea...there...that's better)   There is, of course,  the pile of books brought home from the library for 'my son'.  Or so I tell everyone.  (Shhhhhh.... they are really for me....  lol)  I usually help him pick out a variety of picture books and a few early readers.  We always make sure one is about a real animal (getting the science in already!) and of course, he's a boy, one must be about some sort of construction vehicle.  I think our next run will be involving several of those Margaret Wise Brown books that I have missed as I mentioned in a previous post! In addition, I'll be looking for the books written by the authors featured this month for PiBoIdMo. ( I have several ideas written down this month already!)  If there are any others you want to suggest, in case my son and I have missed them, please do!

In addition to picture books, there are several YA's I've seen mentioned recently. The one I am most excited about right now is Glimpse, the debut novel by Kendra Leighton, because it was inspired by the poem, 'The Highwayman", by Alfred Noyes but it is not due out until Autumn 2014!  🙁 boo.....      Well, there is much to read in the meantime.  I always love a good YA by Laurie Halse Anderson or Jo Knowles.  I especially want to read Wintergirls and Living with Jackie Chan.  Any other good YA's you'd recommend as really good ones to catch up with what's quality YA lit for the last couple of years?

And a friend of mine just started a book club.  I'm eager to see what book they will pick next....the current one is a vampire story and vampires just aren't my thing. Well, I would probably read Salem's Lot by Stephen King over again but that's my vampire limit! So there is lots of good reading in my future!   How about yours?