PiBoIdMo Day 11: Joe McGee Lives in a Child’s World (plus a prize!)

Hahaha! Give me that passport back to childhood now!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

joe mcgeeby Joe McGee

Inspiration…that’s what we’re here to discuss, isn’t it?

To bandy around, to kick back and forth like a dented Campbell’s soup can on a weed-choked school blacktop. You know, the kind of blacktop where a hundred little sneakers will soon be racing around, attached to skinny ankles, attached to band-aide slathered kneecaps, attached to Star Wars t-shirt wearing torsos, attached to toothless grins on eager faces.

You there…yes, you. The adult standing over by the bleachers. Can you—there, that’s better. No shirts tucked in. Can we smear some dirt on your knees? Maybe leave a little cheese doodle smear on your cheek? Let’s put a few candy wrappers, a rock, and a marble or two in your pocket. Good, now we can talk. I mean, after all, we’re talking about writing for kids, right?

How can we write for kids if our adult selves get in the…

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PiBoIdMo Day 10: Janna Matthies Gets Tough (plus a prize!)

I absolutely love how you describe your approach to tough topics. Excellent advice. Thanks Janna.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

by Janna Matthies

As a guest blogger during this high-gear month of generating Pi Bo ideas, I’m honored to share in the charge to Inspire! My first word of inspiration is this:

My new picture book, TWO IS ENOUGH (adorably illustrated by Tuesday Mourning), releases today! YIPPEE!!


While this might seem like shameless self-promotion (let’s face it, it is), it is also a reminder that people who only a few years ago were not published can one day accomplish that goal. Furthermore, we published authors—after only 4 books or, I hear, even after 25—are still dreaming, churning out ideas, putting bad ones through the shredder, writing, revising, submitting and hoping for the next book. The dream is attainable, and the process is ongoing for us all. We’re in this together!

My second word of inspiration is where I’ll land for today’s post. And it’s good news in a world where…

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My Progress in PiBoIdMo

I see this emu whenever I walk to work. He is looking weathered and split at the moment. Wonder if he will last. June

It’s the perfect time to be doing PiBoIdMo for me.   Why?  

No more tutoring for the year, family still at school, a quiet house during the day, my kickstarter that can’t quite start yet (few tasks but nearly there).  Finally the space to write.

So where are the ideas brewing.

This year is inspired by research.

When I have an idea I see if it has been done before, and if not, I  begin to brainstorm it. If it has been done  I see if I can put a new twist on it, and then persist with it. If not I put it in the ‘don’t bother with it pile.’

I might be inspired by some of the blogs over at Tara’s blog and see whether their ideas help me make it an even better idea.

I’ve been reading a lot of Pasifika mythology, while thinking about a lot of the world endangered creatures and creatures that might not be endangered but who I would like to know more facts about. Who knows maybe I’ll combine these ideas, but how – that will be a surprise.

I’ve been taking note of funny stories my family tell and stories from Mum that I must ask her more about, but which I have a vague recollection from as a child.  Perhaps in these conversations a story idea might be born.

Now if I am sick of my computer, I think a walk might inspire an idea, so definitely heading out for one of those.  The picture at the header of this post is an emu carved by a chainsaw.  Hmm maybe there is an idea in that.

In Australia we have just reached day 5.

Good luck everyone with the rest of your PiBoIdMo. May you find even just one wonderful gem of idea that you feel passionate about dedicating some time to developing and polishing.

Over and out,  June aka Pearlz.

Pre-PiBoIdMo Day 5: See, Hear & Remember with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (plus a prize!)

Haha, yes writers listen for stories everywhere. I love listening to how anyone, especially children and teens frame their world, and have their own lexicon. Thanks for this post Sudpita.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

familyportrait (140)by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Thirty days, thirty picture book ideas. At first, that doesn’t sound too hard. And you’ll undoubtedly have terrific ideas in the first few weeks, nuggets that have been waiting to be uncovered for a while that PiBo is forcing you to excavate.

But then, if you’re like me…it’ll start getting harder. Maybe you’ll even hit the wall…and start to think you’ll never have another good idea again…and then maybe never any idea at all ever again…and then you’ll be tempted to quit the PiBo challenge and give up on your writing dreams and move to the Adirondacks and live in a small cabin you hand-make out of fallen branches so you’ll never have to face anyone ever again…

OK, maybe it won’t get that bad. But it is not uncommon to hit the “idea wall,” so to speak – and that is always disheartening. So before you…

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How to Write a Space Adventure with Karen Tyrrell

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Regulars to my blog may well remember previous visits from Karen.  What you might not know is that recently Karen Tyrrell recently won a major mental health achievement award.  However, this space Adventure, Jo Kin Battles the It, is a slight departure from Karen’s previous books. For those who haven’t come across her books before though, Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning Brisbane based, ‘resilience ‘author, who publishes on this theme for both children and adults.   Her earlier books, like Stop the Bully,  have dealt with themes like bullying and mental health.

I took the chance to find out what motivated Karen to write a space adventure.

1. JUNE: This is a departure from your usual ‘present day and time’ themes, what attracted you to write a space adventure?

KAREN: I’m an avid sci-fi fan and created a hilarious space adventure as a comedic escape when writing my recovery memoir, Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness. When Jo-Kin zoomed across the galaxy battling gruesome monsters and killer robots, he could save the Super Space Kids and be the hero in his own life.

2. JUNE: What do you think setting a story in space rather than in every day circumstances has done to the way you treat the resilience theme?

KAREN: Powerful resilience messages transcend time, space and genre. Children learn to live strong and be the heroes in their own lives. Humour is a powerful coping  tool which kids can use to empower themselves. The FUN fast paced story will enthrall children and the positive messages will open discussion in the classroom and within the family.

3. JUNE: How long have you been working on this story and why couldn’t you stop writing it?

KAREN: This is the story that wouldn’t give up. Over five years ago, I started writing Josh and the It, (original title) receiving high scores at the CYA Conference competition. A major international publisher considered Josh for publication for 14 months. When that didn’t happen, I pursued publishing my recovery memoir from mental illness under my own imprint, Digital Future Press … and the next five resilience books.
Last year I joined Write Links children’s critique group. I submitted Josh and the It with the aim to make it funnier, more intriguing and a real page turner. The new version Jo-kin Battles the It (Super Space Kids #1) was born.

4. JUNE: What was the most challenging thing about completing this book?

KAREN:To create a hilarious space adventure that would have mass appeal to children, parents and teachers. To do this I needed a fast paced story with everything kids would love– incredible gadgets, killer robots, delicious food scenes, quirky humour … and of course super space heroes.

5. JUNE How is Jo-Kin Battles the It different to other kid’s sci-fi?

KAREN: Not only does JO-KIN delivers a fun fast paced hilarious space adventure that’s science curriculum based but it empowers kids to live strong. How?
A. JO-KIN is jam-packed with humour, resilience skills, team work and brainpower skills.
B. Jo-Kin Battles the It invites the reader to problem solve the challenges using science and curiosity.
C. Positive messages show kids how to preserver and NEVER give up.

Jo-Kin Battles the It Book Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR one of four eBooks of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR signed artwork from the illustrator, Trevor Salter.

For a chance to WIN like Karen’s Super Space Kids book series page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SuperSpaceKids and leave a comment on any  Blog stops 19-30 Oct.  See this earlier post for full list of locations  BLOG STOPS

The next two stops coming up are

29 Oct Sally Odgers http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au Interview

30 Oct Kate Foster http://www.katejfoster.com/blog Interview

Winners announced in November.

You can purchase the book HERE

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