Archive for November 27th, 2009
As an aspiring picture book writer getting new ideas has never been a challenge for me.
Ideas seem to find me as the strangest of time. For instance, like last night when I was really tired after all the Thanksgiving stuff. You know the cooking, the visiting and the cleaning that most of us regular folk do for the holidays.
About 10 PM, I decided to call it a night. I turned off the TV. I shut off the lights and crawled between the sheets with visions of a deep restful sleep for the next few hours. Then, it happened.
A Brahma bull named Braden danced his way into my brain. I tried to stop him. I really did. I rolled over and pulled the cover over my head. I pinched my eyes closed. I willed myself to think of a peaceful stream flowing by as I lay on a bed of grass.
Alas, he wasn’t about to be put away so fast. I saw his big old eyes peeking around a monstrous China Cabinet, just daring me to ignore him. He crept closer, his tail swiping dangerous close to my face. You can’t ignore me he said, sitting at the edge of my bed.
His friend Agy dropped by as well. The little bee buzzed through the China Shop doing ways more damage than you could ever imagine. Tell my story he seemed to demand.
But I want to sleep. Go away. Come back in the morning, I thought.
However, the two friends seemed to delight in throwing themselves around in my head.
So, guess what? I got up. I pulled out a flashlight so as not to wake others in the household . . . who unlike me had no nighttime visitors. I found a scrap of paper and a pen. I captured Braden and Agy down on paper as the twosome waved their good-byes.
Finally, with a sigh, I rolled over. At long last sleep but I should have known better. The fact that Braden and Agy had opened up a corner of my mind allowed other visitors a hole to weasel their way in. Mr. Pendergast, Snook’ems and Sir Knightly all said their say.
Needless to say, an hour later, exhausted but satisfied as a writer, I drifted off in to a restful sleep.
I love reading a great rhyming picture book. They are what is really attractive to me but alas, I am not a rhymer. Just ask some of my fellow critique members. I can handle a line or two but that is it. This is an excerpt of a great article on rhyming. To read the rest of the article go to
by Dori Chaconas
“Please, no rhyming stories.”
I heard it at conferences. I read it in the market guides. What? No rhyme! But I love to write in rhyme! What about all those beloved nursery rhymes? Surely they had laid the foundation for rhyming picture books.
I put the ideas for rhyming stories on my I’d-Better-Not-Do-It list, and there they stayed until I became involved in a good critique group. The writers in that group started to sell their stories, and those stories were written in rhyme. And it wasn’t just an occasional rhyming story that sold. They sold consistently. Like magic, within three years, members of the group sold a total of thirty-six books. Twenty-seven of those were written in rhyme. Then I sold three picture book manuscripts—all written in rhyme.