Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Blog Hop-Hop

Halloween Hoppers,
Welcome to my Halloween Book Hop-Hop! You brought the blogs, so now I'm bringing the boogie. Don't forget to take pics! And be sure to scroll through the entire playlist to find out who the book winner is. Technically, I can't make you do this part. I'm just not technological enough to create a way to only release the name after you've watched all the videos. But what's the fun of doing all this if you don't listen to all the songs, right? Right!

*Halloween Joke of the Day: What do you call a monster who likes to dance?

The Boogeyman

This is just a Halloween Classic.I had to include it on my playlist.

It had to be done. This reminds me of childhood.

Pure 80's, my friends. Good times!

I'm not gonna lie. I teared up on this one a little. I love Casper!

I ain't afraid of no ghost!

And this is Thriller! Ooooooowhooo! Thriller Night!

And the winner of The Hallo-Weiner by Dav Pilkey is......Christie from Write Wild.Please email me your address at to claim your prize. You should receive your book in 4-6 weeks.

*The contest for the giftcard will end on November 5th. Remember, you must email me a picture of you dancing to Thriller to be entered into the drawing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Book Hop-Hop

Do you love picture books? Do you love Halloween? And most importantly, do you love to shake your groove thang'? If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, then you are going to love my newest 'Halloween Book Hop-Hop' blog hop.

What is a Halloween Book Hop-Hop?

It's only the coolest thing ever. It's a dance off and a book contest all in one. So join me on Sunday, October 31st at 10:30 pm. I am going to give away the picture book, The Hallo-Weiner, by Dav Pilkey. And we're all going to dance along with Michael Jackson's Thriller video dressed as our favorite monster/zombie. Fun, right?

Well, that's not even the best part. After the blog hop is over, anyone who sends me a photo or video of them participating in the hop(dancing in costume) will have their names entered into a drawing for a 10$ gift card to Books A Million. Not to mention, I will post all pics and video on the blog, provided that they're not too racy. So not only are you entered in the drawing for the 10$ Books A Million card(dancers only), entered into the drawing for the free book, but your blog is also getting exposure.

So how do I join?

It's simple. Just copy the linky code at the bottom of the post(or hop) and paste it into your html for one entry into the contest(+1). If you don't have a blog and still want to participate, you could Twitter(+1) or Facebook(+1) about the contest, and provide a link back to the post in the comments section. And if you do all three: blog, twitter, and facebook about the contest, you will receive three tickets in the drawing for the free book. The hop entries close on October 30th, so copy the linky ASAP.
*The only way to enter the gift card contest is to send me pics or video via my email by November 5th, 12pm EST.For any questions, post them in the comments section or email me.

*FYI, this is my first attempt at doing a blog hop, so bear with me as we go on this new journey together.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You may not know this about me..... A Crusader's Challenge

Disclaimer: Non of what you are about to read is true in any way at all, well except for the best selling pb author part. I wholeheartedly believe that part. The rest is just my silly attempt at winning a crusader's challenge issued on another blog. So if you're interested in read my silly, totally untrue story, proceed with caution. I do use some non PG words. Check out Rach Writes and the following link if you're interested in participating.
You may not know this about me, but in an effort to get all the skeletons out my closet before I become a famous, best selling children's author, I feel I need to let the cat out of the bag. I don't want to be like one of those flash-in-the-pants politicians that bursts onto the scene, and then gets depantsed with some big scandal. So I'm just going to dish the dirt now, on my own terms. and artist. There. I said it. Out aloud.

I am the crazy lady that collects discarded umbrellas and turns them into works of arts.

I turn trash into treasure!

Call me crazy if you will, but something about umbrellas speaks to me. Perhaps, it's the fact that they protect you when life comes pouring down around your head. Perhaps, it's because I was breast fed and an umbrella is the shape of an enormous boob. I don't know!

All I know is that they speak to me. They inspire me.

I don't want to brag or anything, but I think that I probably have the biggest collection of umbrella sculptures on the East coast, maybe in the entire United States.

Just last week, I did a show entitled A Downpour Of Art under my pseudonym Grinhelda Kartoffelpuffer. I'm thinking of just changing it to The Artist Formally Know As Kartoffelpuffer when my work starts to really take off, and just have a potato pancake symbol represent my name. But that's still a ways off. I'll get back to you later on that.

I just wanted to take the time now to reveal the many sides & faces of Jessica Stanford. I am not only an artist of words, but of umbrellas as well.

Anywho. I hope that you can understand that an artist is an artist. Whether it's words, umbrellas, or poems a true artist creates with anything.

Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble With Hally Tosis

Every once in a blue moon, a book comes along and knocks your sock off. You read it over and over again. You laugh until you cry. And, ocassionally, you even pee a little. Which in my opinion, is a good sign that a book is a keeper.

Well in the case of Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey, author of the award winning Captain Underpants series, I'm a little embarassed to admit that I practically peed my pants. Not only does this book have great pictures and a funny storyline, but it's just clever. And as a teacher and mama, I appreciate that.

In Dog Breath, the Tosis' Family dog has the worst breath in town, perhaps the entire world. Hally's breath curls wallpaper, makes skunks run for cover, and even makes the Mona Lisa plug her nose. So the parents decide that Hally Tosis must go, but the children are not quite ready to give up their beloved pet. And in an attempt to keep Hally, they try a number of equally funny things to tame Hally's bad breath, even going as far as watching a movie that's supposed to take your breath away. In the end though, it's a band of burgulars that inadvertantly help determine Hally's fate.

If you like books that make you laugh til' your sides hurt, has clever puns and phrases, and turns reluctant readers on to reading, then this book is for you.

I give it a high five.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creating An Online Presence

In this day and age-a time when everyone is obsessed with the next big technological thing-practically everyone spends some time online doing something. My seventy-five year old, great aunt spends time farming on Facebook. My three and five year old sons play educational games on PBS Kids. And, I have started a Facebook page, Twitter page, and this blog, of course, just to keep up with the online Joneses.

"And why do I need to do all that?" you ask. Well, the answer is simple. I, like everyone else who forms an online presence, have something to say. And my message is this....I want to be the next top model. Oh wait... no that's not it. I'm wait too short for that. It's this....I want to be the next big picture book author.

And after a year or so of researching the writing bizz-give or take a few days-I have come to realize a few things about becoming successful in the writing industry. While I don't necessarily NEED an online presence to become a successful picturebook author, it's definitely a recommendation. After all, if I can command the attention of thousands of people online on a daily basis(I wish. Seriously. Please follow. LOL), then chances are I can sell a book or two. Right? Well, that's the logic anyway!

Ok. So now that we've all decided that having an online presence is esential, what next?

Well, now you need to get down to the nitty gritty and decide which platform is best for you. You need to discover which platform/platforms suit your personal style best. Because, honestly, nothing's worse than creating a site, blog, or page in which you can't work and that you're terrible at. I mean technology is forever, people. If you mess up, it'll be documented somewhere on the world wide web forever. No pressure or anything.

So here is a list of options for you to consider using as an online presence: Twitter, Facebook,any number of writing sites, and any number of blogging sites. My preference for the blog, of course, is blog spot. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Let's start out by talking about Twitter. That seems to be all the rage now. And frankly, I'm just not getting it....yet.

Twitter's advantages, to me, are this: 1. You can get your message out there and not bore the reader with tedious details. 2. You learn a lot in quick spurts. You can join big time authors groups and find out what's going on with industry insiders (Love this aspect) 3. It's a little more formal than texting, and a lot like a real conversation. You don't have to be perfect with your writing, and most of the words are spelled correctly. 4. You can decorate your Twitter page with cool backgrounds.If you love the personal touch, you'll like this feature.

Twitter's Disadvantages: 1. I hate having to limit my words. I'm a writer. I love words. 2. Some people abuse the word limitation and send multiple tweets to get their message out there. People, if you're doing this than Twitter's not your platform. Get a new one. Please:) There's nothing worse than reading 15 tweets from the same person, in a row. I think we should have a 5-8 tweet minimum. 3. Sometimes I have to scroll on forever to get to through all the tweets in a day. Probably the reason I loathe multiple tweets in a row. 4. If you don't tweet for a few days, no one misses you. This could be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective. If you don't have a lot of time to work on your online presence, this is great. If you need to feel the love, it's not fun NOT being missed.5. Not as user friendly-IMO.(Sidenote:So far, tweeting is not my favorite online platform. I have learned a lot and will continue to use it, though. I can definitely see its advantages in the long term.)

Facebook's Advantages: 1. You're getting your message out there. 2. It's way more layed back. It just feels more comfortable for the people who have little time, and want to tell you what's going on. 3. You can post pictures and captions. 4. Very user friendly-IMO.

Facebooks Disadvantages:1. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Facebook. 2.You can't add really cool backgrounds. Not cool if you like the personal touch.3. Again, word limitation springs to mind. While it's not as bad as Twitter, it does still put a cramp on your writing style.

Blog Advantages: 1. You're getting the word out. 2. If there is a word limitation, I haven't reached it yet. 3. Lots of cool features: backgrounds, polls, pictures, multiple pages, etc. 4. Most are pretty user friendly. I personally love blogspot, because it is so user friendly. A lot of my friends use Wordpress, and I've heard bad things. For one, you can't post countdown clocks on Wordpress. And as you guys have seen, I love countdown clocks. I will use them often. Countdowns til' book releases. Countdowns til' movies. And countdowns til' the last day of school. They serve as great reminders, and give hope that there's an end in sight.

Blog Disadvantages: 1.It takes A LOT of work to keep your blog updated. The word count is high, so people expect more. It's mucho pressure. 2. You're constanly having to look at other people's blogs to find out how to make your's better. Did I mention that it's a lot of pressure?

And Lastly, Writing Group Advantages: 1. These are a must. One, they get your name out there. 2. You will find great resources on these sites. 3. You will learn to rely on these people to critique your work and help you grow as a writer. 4. You could meet someone who helps you get published. 5. It's just the smart thing to do.(Sidenote: I personally love Writer's Digest and Writeoncon, but I've heard that Redroom is good too. Technically, I'm a member. But honestly, I don't visit. I just don't have the time.)

Writing Group Disadvantages: 1. Not all writers are created equal in these groups. What I mean by this is that some have more experience than others. So in truth, you're going to want to look at their credentials before you just go and buy into their critiques. After all, they could be new to this, like me. I always say things like ' But this is just my opinion. I'm new to all this, so take my opinion with a grain of salt' when I give a critique to someone who doesn't know my experience level. But not everyone does this. Just keep that in mind when you're listening to these people. Don't go changing up your entire story because Joe Schmoe says you should. After all, Joe Schmoe's not an expert!

So to sum everything up, whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, or any number of other online sites, do something. Done correctly, building an online presence could help you get published, help you sell books, and help create the buzz that you want to.

More importantly, write great stories. Because in the end, that's all the matters.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


When you're a writer, even the most mundane tasks become a chance to practice your craft.

Leave it til’ tomorrow
Aroma of stinky socks fill the air
Underwear drawers are empty
Never ending pile of clothes
Detergent oozes out of the bottle
Really?Am I the only one who knows how to operate this machine?
Y do these clothes mock me?

*Am I the only one who does this? Are there support groups for this? Seriously. I need help!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book and Treat: Make Halloween A Hoot With Storybook Costumes

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The weather cools. Comfy sweaters are back in fashion. It's socially acceptable to drink hot cocoa with marshmallows everyday, especially if it's a REALLY cold. And Halloween is right around the corner.

Now some of you, especially the moms who follow the blog, may be saying, "Ugh! All that candy! I just can't handle my kids hopped up on all that sugar."

And in that regard, I agree with you. Halloween definitely provides a few, minor battles in regards to candy consumption.

But have you considered this advantage of the holiday? Halloween is actually a really great time to get your kids excited about reading again.

"Say what?" you ask. "Halloween is going to get my kids to read?"

You heard me right. Halloween is a great time to get your kids reading again. Not only are all the books about witches, goblins, monsters, and ghosts back in rotation at all the stores and libraries again. But you can also turn the first two weeks of October into a read-a-thon in which your child chooses a storybook costume to wear at the end of the month. So not only are they getting different types of books to read, but they're also getting to choose a cool prize at the end. A prize that you were probably going to give them anyway because of the holiday, and without having read all those wonderful, mind enriching, vocabulary building books.

And if you want to make the read-a-thon even more exciting and creative, you and your child/children could take it a step further and make the storybook costume together using household items like make-up, yarn, boxes, spray paint, and duct tape. It's a perfect activity for teaching to your child/children to use their imagination. Not to mention, you could throw in some math skills like measurment, just for good measure( hahahahah...get it?), if they are a little older in age.

Costume making was a yearly tradition in my household when we were younger-mainly because we didn't have the money for costumes-but I still treasure that tradition to this day. It was one of my happiest childhood memories, and I intend to continue it with my children when they are old enough to fully partcipate.

Below are some store bought and homemade, storybook character costume ideas. Please add comments if you decide to try an idea. Better yet, send in pics to I'd love to post pics of the kiddos, if you feel comfortable having your little guy or gal posted on the blog.

Book-I Love You Dear Dragon (Any Dragon series)
Age Group-Toddlers and Kindergarten

Book-Alice In Wonderland
Age group-teens and preteens

Book-Little Red Riding Hood
Age Group-toddlers to teens

Great article from Scholastic on making your own costume.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Countdown To PiBoIdMo

Countdown Clock by

Not sure what PiBoIdMo is? Check out Tara Lazar's blog, and sign up. This is our picture book SuperBowl, ya'll (I swear I'm educated. I just live in the South.)! I hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Breaking Through The Wall: 5 Ideas On How To Overcome Writer's Block For PB Authors

Fortunately for me, I am a never ending well of picture book ideas. I've never experienced writer's block. I don't think I'll ever experience writer's block. The ideas are percolating in my brain constantly. So much so, in fact, I have to carry a journal with me every where I go, just so I don't forget a great idea.

Having said that, I think there's a big reason that I'm a never ending well of ideas, and the reason is simple-I'm completely surrounded by kids 24 hours a day. Kids at home. Kids at school. Kids at the store. Kids at the park. Kids! Kids! Kids!You get the point.

So the question is this, what do you do if you're NOT constantly surrounded by kids and you're a picture book author? How do you break through that wall and get ideas flowing? Below are my 5 suggestions.

1. Volunteer or substitute teach at a school. If you can afford to do this, the ideas will hit you from all sides. Once, I was talking to a kid about his overflowing desk and listening to the tale of how someone took his homework( NOT, he just lost it); a minuter later, I have the idea of a prankster desk fairy who steals children's homework outlined in my mind. The children believe that that they're being pranked by a fairy, and they set out to prove it to their doubting teacher. Funny, right? But if I hadn't had that simple, yet totally mundane experience, I wouldn't have had that idea.

Not to mention(fyi-my favorite phrase), volunteering in a school is a great way to get feedback from your future readers. I test out stories all the time with my kids. And the funny thing is this, sometimes they actually give me ideas that I have never considered. Once, I was reading a story from a father's perspective and one of my 2nd graders said, " You know, if you change it to mother instead of father, you would have a perfect rhyme with the word other." I know. Genius, right? It amazes me to this day that I hadn't thought of it, yet that 7 year old did.

2. Volunteer for story time at the public library, or local bookstore. Those places are always on the hunt for readers for story time. And maybe after you read a book of their choosing, they'll allow you to read one of your stories. It's worth a shot! Not to mention, (told you it was my favorite phrase) you'll be honing your presentation skills. Some day you're going to want to get paid to do author's visits. This is your chance to see what works and what doesn't, in a low pressure environment.

3.Read children's books, not just books on writing. This seems like a no brainer, right? But sometimes, I wonder if people really do this. Sometimes, I think that people try to cheat their way through writing a picturebook. They just don't get how important it is to do the research. And as a result, their stories seem tired and outdated.

My suggestion, pick timeless and current, bestselling books. Also, pick books with a strong child's voice, even if it's not a picture book. I, personally, love the Junie B. Jones series. Barbara Parks is brilliant! She channels her inner 5 and 6 year old better than anyone I've read. I, also, love the Fudge series by Judy Blume. Fudge, like Junie B, is hilarious. When he goes through his money/miser phase, I laughed til' I peed(figure of speech, I'll never tell if I really peed). And when I became a parent and read it again, I enjoyed seeing how his parents reacted to his crazy phases. Every good children's writer owes it to themselves to read these books. They WILL make you a better writer, or at least appreciate good writing.

4. Kid watch.(Sorry men, I hate to discriminate, but this probably isn't your best research strategy. This research strategy is best for females, preferrably ones that resemble grandma.)And be sure to 'kid watch' in a non scary, non stalkerish kind of way. Taking out a notebook and staring at a child, will freak the soccer moms out.In fact, they may call the cops. This strategy is only useful if you happen to find yourself sitting on the subway or a bus one day, and a child is sitting beside you. In this situation, it's totally normal to glance over at the child to see what he or she is doing. Is he or she reading a book? If yes, what kind of book? If no, what are they doing? Are they pretending to be a monster, or playing with a certain toy? If you take a quick peek, in a non threatening way, it won't wake the sleeping bear that is their mother. But if that mother happens to make eye contact with you and look wary, for-the-love-of-Pete, smile at her. Maybe, even talk to her. If you don't, she could pounce on you at any moment. Be forewarned.

5. Watch Cartoons and kid shows. They're funny. The kids love them. And they'll tell you anything that you want to to know about what's in right now. It's a perfect way to research kids and what they like. My favorite shows span from Spongebob to the Wizards of Waverly Place. And today, I spent the whole morning watching How To Train Your Dragon-twice. I mean what's not to love about dragons? They're like fire breathing, oversized dogs. Who wouldn't want to live in a viking village with a dragon pet? I'm just sayin'. Brilliant!

So that's it, five strategies on how to break through the wall of writer' block and get those ideas percolating. Feel free to chime in if you have another strategy that might help others, too. Together, we can change the world of picturebooks!

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Celebrating My 50th Follower

Holla! Holla! I finally have a 50th followa'. Yay! And, in honor of this awesome milestone in my blogging/ writer career, I'm going to celebrate all weekend long.

'How?' you ask. Well for starters, I'm going to give a great, big, virtual hog hug to all of my followers.

Then, I'm going to give away a free picture book, just to prove how awesome they really are.

And the winner is...Dangerous With A Pen. Please email me your home address, and I will send you an amazing picturebook. You should receive the book within 2-4 weeks.

And lastly, I'm going to do my happy dance, while lighting fireworks.

Followers/Friends, I hope you enjoyed the hog hug, video, and flashtacular fireworks; and imagined a pasty, pre-middle aged school teacher dancing in between Will and Carlton. I tried to figure out how to edit myself into the video because I thought it'd be funnier, but my technology skills are limited. This was the best I could do. Sorry:( Maybe, I can figure it all out before the 100th follower joins the blog.

Thanks, Everyone! Happy Blogging:)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tag! You're It!

One of the really great things about blogging within the literary community, is that everyone once in awhile you get to be involved in something totally silly and random, and it takes your right back to your childhood. Or as I like to call it, the good ole' days. The days when things were fun and silly, and I didn't have to clean up after anyone but myself. AWWWWWWWW(sigh), the good ole' days!

Anywho. This week we get to play a friendly game of tag on our blogs. So if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. You're it!

1.) If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Why? That's a no brainer for me, I'd choose to have the power of invisibility. If you're super strong and you can't see me, I beat you. If you can fly but you can't see me, I beat you. And if you have x-ray but you can't see me, that power's useless. Not to mention, invisibility is just awesome. I could send in my manuscripts, and then eavesdrop as the lit agents and pubs read them. How awesome would that be?

2.) Who is your style icon? Me. Honestly, I don't even think much about what I wear before I wear it. As long as it's comfortable and looks somewhat professional,I wear it to work. And as for the rest of the hours of the day, I'm in my pajamas. The moment I walk in the door, I throw those pjs on. Pajamas are like a great big hug for your entire body. And don't even get me started on comfy slippers.

3.) What is your favorite quote? My new favorite quote is from the new Wallstreet movie. " If you stop lying about me, I'll stop telling the truth about you." In the words of pretty much anyone from that 70's show, "Burn!"

4.) What is the best compliment you've ever received? One of my students just made me a poster that says "School Rocks and So does Mrs. Stanford!" It's huge, too. I have it hanging on my classroom door. All the other teachers are so jealous of my awesome poster.

5.) What playlist/cd is on your iPod/cd player right now? I have varied taste. You will find songs from The Sound of Music, John Denver, Judy Garland, Flo-rida, Rianna, The Tings Tings, and Sia. I love any song that has great lyrics.

6.) Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Night Owl. Nuff said.

7.) Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs, ofcourse, man's/woman's best friend.

8.) What is the meaning behind your blog name?

It's pretty self explanatory. I'm a girl who's unpublished. I thought it seemed edgier, though, to add the comma like in 'Girl, Interrupted'.

So, that's it! Those are the eight questions you'll use if you so choose to participate in this incredibly random little tag!

Until next time, write on!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In the words of world renowned singing sensation, Christina Aguilera,“Oh my God, you guys, I seriously do not have a speech prepared whatsoever. I'm shaking right now.”

Seriously, that's how I felt when I received my two 'lovely blog awards' this past week. Not only did I not expect them, but I didn't even realize that I could receive such an honor from my peers. So thanks, Kangaroobee and Allison Stevens:)I promise to post my 'lovely blog award' on the shiny mantel that is my blog and treasure it always.

And as an added bonus, I get to take my 'lovely blog award' and pass it on to other blogs that I feel are lovely. Yay!

So if I could get a drumroll please(tadadadadadadadadadadada). Here are the names of 15 blogs that I think are lovely, some are relatively new and some old pros.

1.A Newby's Guide To Publishing
2.Dooley Noted

And in addition to those lovely blogs, here are the lovely bloggers who thought that I was lovely. Much Love, ladies:)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Are You A Diamond? I Will Be One Day!

One of the toughest things about writing is the brutal sting of rejection. I'd love to say that when you submit your first story to publishers and literary agents that you won't experience the sting of rejection, but let's face it, I'd be lying. The world can be a cruel place. Rising to the top takes time. We all have to pay our dues. Nothing in life worth having comes easily. The internet is filled with quotes about rejection and success like these.

But, maybe, we need to take a moment to reflect upon the life-cycle of a diamond. First, it starts its life off as the dead remains of trees and plants. Yuck! I don't want to wear that on my finger. Then, after millions of years of hard pressure, it becomes coal-very useful, indeed. Finally, if it's lucky, it receives just the right amount pressure and turns into a priceless, yet flawed diamond. This is a rare and beautiful phenomenon of nature.

We, the apsiring writers of the world, are a lot like pieces coal, unfortunately. First, we start off with thoughts of writing. They are not mature, yet-just little inklings of what is to come in our future if we take the time to develop. We are dead the plants.Yuck! Then, we write and receive feedback. It hurts. A LOT. Sometimes we give up under the pressure. We stop growing and maturing as writers. We are coal-very useful for teaching others to write, but not reaching our fullest potential. So sad:(

But sometimes, we continue on with our writing journey despite the odds-not content with just being lumps of coal. Coal is useful, but we WANT to be diamonds. We NEED to be a diamonds. Diamonds are all we think about. So, we endure all the pressure of the writing world, and come out it as great writers because of our ability to receive criticism and grow from it. We have reached the pinnacle of our life-cycle. We are authors. We ARE AUTHORS!

So, I guess my question to you is this, are you content with being coal? Or, do you want to be diamond? Because you have to want it bad( yes, I know it's technically badly, but work with me).Will you give up because someone tells you that you're not good enough? Or, will you tell them thanks for the feedback( Yes, you must), then try to mold yourself into the writer you want to be?

I think the late Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So don't let those people make you feel inferior. Who are they anyway? They are just stepping stones to guide you across the ocean toward success. And, although they seem evil now, they ARE actually trying to help you along the way.(Yes, I choose to believe that the REALLY mean ones are too).

Not to mention, their opinion isn't everything. They may HATE your writing, but someone else may LOVE it. Think of them as only one opinion is a sea of opinions. They are just another Average JOE, just like you. They put their pants on one-leg-at-a-time, just like you. They use the bathroom, too, just like you. And, yes, they have their own insecurities about their writing and life, just like. We all do.

The only BIG difference between 'them' and 'you' is this-they didn't give up when they felt the sting of rejection. So you can't either! Not if you want to be a diamond.

Monday, October 4, 2010

For The Fun Of It

Warning: This poem has not been edited for grammatical errors or meter. It was written for the sheer fun of it. Enjoy:)

My Mom's A Nut
by: Jessica Stanford

My mother tried to warn me
to stay away from thee.
"Your eyes will cross, or you'll go blind
from watching that t.v!"

I didn't heed the warning.
I thought it was absurd.
And now my eyes are criss crossing
just like a cuckoo bird.

Next time, I swear I'll listen
to my dear mom's advice.
I'll clean my room and do my chores-
won't have to ask me twice.

Unless, she tells me no t.v.
It makes your eyesight bad.
On second thought, my mom's a nut.
I'll listen to my dad.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Syllable Contest-Calling All Poets

As a wannabe writer of rhyming picture books, I have come to realize that syllable count and stress are just as important as word choice. Sometimes they even limit your ability to choose the right words to write.

So in the spirit of having fun and growing in our craft, this month I will hold a syllable writing contest. The rules are simple. Write a description about yourself using ONLY fourteen syllables. The winner will get the esteemed honor of being my FIRST interviewee on this blog(LOL). The contest ends on October 31, 2010.

And to lead by example, here is what I would write.

14 Syllables Describing Jessica Stanford

weekend blogger
shot-gun caller
and teacher

FREE Picturebook Editing Contest

Attention all picture book writers, Dear Editor is having a contest RIGHT NOW in which you can win multiple, free edits of your picture book manuscripts. So check out the details from the Dear Editor site This is Epic.

Why? you ask. Because Deborah Halverson has been an editor for over fifteen years. And next June, her book, Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, will be published. That makes Halverson a double threat in the writing bizz-writer and editor. And I don't know about you guys, but I'll take the help from a seasoned pro any day of the week.

So hurry up, if you're interested in entering. The contest ends on October 10th.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Calling All Followers

Spread the word. Help me reach 50 followers, and I'll post and embarassing photo as me dressed as Thing 1. Help me reach 100 followers, and I'll learn all the moves to Michael Jackson's Thriller video and recreate the epic video as my first experiment in vlogging. It'll be very low budget, but highly entertaining. So spread the word.