The Halfway Mark

Day thirteen of February is halfway to completing the 26 picture books in the Picture Book Marathon.

Hooray!

Thursday, February 13, is the official halfway point in the Picture Book Marathon. It’s always good to celebrate your accomplishments. If you actually ran thirteen miles, you would celebrate! So, too, writing thirteen picture books, or creating thirteen ideas for stories, is reason for celebration.

Celebrate your accomplishments!

You need thirteen more ideas to finish the Picture Book Marathon. Allow me to offer a few suggestions to help you finish the race.

Ideas are all around.

A photo, a saying or phrase, a memory from childhood, pets, fears, joys, foods, disappointments, overheard conversations, new twists on nursery rhymes, or fairy tales, ridiculous impossibilities, nature, friends, family, failures, successes, concept books, such as ABC’s, counting, opposites, or shapes.

The best advice I can give is to relax. Have fun. Try writing things you’ve never written before, like a new version of Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Make it wild. Make it touching. Try nonfiction, fantasy, or rhyming.

Make this Picture Book Marathon a race of exploration and fun. Remember, this is just the beginning of your creative projects that could turn into a wonderful picture book!

See you at the finish line!

Keep writing!

Picture Book Marathon

Yay! February has arrived! Today I begin writing for my traditional Picture Book Marathon.

In 2010 I stumbled upon a website that challenged picture book writers to create one picture book story, or at least the idea for one, for each of twenty-six days through February. I was looking for a new writing challenge since finishing my first NaNoWriMo novel in November 2009. That challenge was to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

Writing a picture book a day seemed like it would be a walk in the park, after the demanding quota of 1,667 words per day of the Nano novel challenge. Writing 500 to 800 words or less seemed like a cinch

A piece of cake, I thought. And, as icing on the cake, you only needed 26 stories to match the 26 miles of a marathon, leaving 2 whole days in February to relax! (Unless it was leap year, like this year, then you had 3 whole days off!)

But the Picture Book Marathon had its own tests of endurance, in store for me, unique to writing for young children.

Though sometimes gasping for air, or clutching cramped writing muscles, I have managed to cross the finish line for 9 of these last 10 years.

More, later, about that one year I went off course. Right now, the starter gun has fired and I’m off to start my second decade of picture book marathons!