Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

2013 was a great year. As the minutes are ticking down to the end of the year fireworks I'd like to look back at what I accomplished this year. At the start of the year I (as I often do) I posted a big long New Years Resolution. I will not be doing this next year but I will talk about that in my next post. You can read last year's resolution post here: http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2013/01/new-years-resolution-time.html

The following is what I wanted to accomplish in 2013.

1. Post On My Blog On a Daily Basis. This so did not happen. Neither did posting a pic weekly. I will not be attempting a daily blog this year. It's just too much time that I don't have!

2. Send Out Work To Be Published I sent out a spot illustration at the end of 2012 to the SCBWI Bulletin. I did not get it published yet, but I did get a nice letter that it was being kept on file. This year one of my stories and two of my illustrations ended up in anthologies for the Chapter Book Challenge. The anthologies were 

SuperHERo Tales: A Collection of Female Superhero Stories (story) and 

Jingle Bells: Tales of Holiday Spirit from Around the World (illustrations) 

3. Finish My In-Progress Picture Book So did not happen this year!

4. Come Up With (AT LEAST) 8 Picture Book Ideas Thanks to PiBoIdMo I have over 30 ideas for Picture Books for next year. I wrote at least 5 picture books this year, but all of them need to be edited before sending for publication.

The only other thing that I achieved of note is that I lost 30+ pounds this year and kept it off! 

An Interview With Anna Staniszewski on "The Dirt Diary"

It's a day later then when I wanted to post it, but here is my interview with Anna Staniszewski about her new book "The Dirt Diaries". You can read the first chapter of this exciting book on her website here: www.annastan.com. There are also a lot of other fun things on her website like her blog, a list of events where she'll be and many other resources just waiting for you to explore. 

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Look for the first book in Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diary, in January 2014, and visit her at www.annastan.com.

You can see a trailer for "The Dirt Diary" here:  http://youtu.be/XFbn0j3Fc80

Anna Staniszewski on "The Dirt Diary"
Coming January 7, 2014!

What's it like shifting from a magical world to a character in "the real world"?
Since I've traditionally been a SFF writer, I was a little hesitant about writing something realistic, but Rachel's strong voice and quirky character made it a lot of fun from the beginning. Pretty soon I got so caught up in Rachel's misadventures that I didn't even miss the magic. Someone pointed out to me, though, that The Dirt Diary has a "Cinderella" feel to it, and I had to agree. I guess I can't get away from fairy tales no matter how hard I try!

Saw your book trailer! Really cute and funny. How is it different researching for something in a fantasy book then a fiction story?
Researching realistic fiction is a slightly different process. With my UnFairy Tale series, I read a lot of fairy tales for inspiration, but with The Dirt Diary, I watched baking videos (because Rachel loves to bake) and asked friends who'd cleaned houses to share their experiences. My research focused much more on nit-gritty details than inspirational ones.

Sometimes writers put a bit of themselves into their main characters. Is the character Rachel like you at all?
Rachel and I definitely have a lot in common personality-wise. Her extreme shyness, neurotic insecurities, and funny sayings were inspired by my own quirks from when I was in middle school. Thankfully, I’ve gotten a little more outgoing and a little less insecure since then!

What was the best part of writing "The Dirt Diary"?
Rachel says a lot of wacky things throughout the book, things like "Oh my goldfish!" and "Holy twice-baked potato!" She also uses goofy fake swear words like "gas cap!" I think the fake swears were the most fun to come up with. :-)

What are you working on next?
I just finished up the last round of revisions on the sequel, The Prank List, which comes out in July, and I'm about to start writing the third book in the series, The Gossip File, which will be out in January 2015.

I hope that you will all visit Anna's website and buy her new book when it comes out in a few days! If you need something to read until then then you should pick up Anna's "My Very Unfairytale Life" Series!  You have a whole week to read all four books, no problem, right? Enjoy!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pattern Pals Colouring Page: Grunt

Usually I like to check the print on these pages before I put them up. Today I'm out of yellow ink and my printer refuses to print my black and white picture because of this. If anyone has problems with this let me know right away and I'll fix it!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What's Up Wednesday... Thursday Edition

I'm still taking a break from blogging and working hard core on my Illustration work. It's hard to take a break because I want to work on this, but I know I need the mental and physical break from this right now. It's also difficult because I know it can be hard getting started on things all over again. FYI: I'll be posting another colouring page for you tomorrow!

What I'm Reading
Netflix descriptions and instructions on how to put kids toys together. 

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

I've come up with several ideas for stories for my webcomic already. I've also come up with some character designs, scenery and other important parts of the books. I still have a lot of stories I need to come up with. Soon I need to actually sketch out and illustrate my artwork. I will also need to get my webpage going that will be hosting all of this great content!

Every Day Possible
- Getting ready for my web comic!

Wed 12/25

- Had a great holiday and I hope you did too!

Thursday 12/26

-Did an update post!

Friday 12/27

- Maybe some shopping, or just playing with Christmas toys!

Saturday 12/28

- Come up with more ideas for my comic strip and some artwork!

Sunday 12/29

Share artwork with my illustration group.
- Draw out some comic ideas.

Monday 12/30

- See above.
- Interview with Anna Staniszewski about her new book "The Dirt Diary".

Tuesday 12/31

- Post about the year in review!

Wednesday 01/01/2014

- Happy New Year!
- New Year Goals post.

What Inspires Me Right Now

The Great Holiday Season!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 

Was able to make 4 stuffed pattern pals for my son to give to him on Christmas. He had a lot of fun opening presents. He even opened a few he shouldn't have. ^_^
So much Dr. Who so little time! Yes, this again. Also liking "My Little Pony". Go ahead and laugh at me. I really don't care. :p
*What's up Wednesday is part of Jamie Morrow's summer writing intensive: "Ready. Set. WRITE!" There are other host blogs including: Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Free Colouring Page: Emma of the Pattern Pals

Free Colouring Page today! I hope you like it. This one is of Emma. Please let me know if you have any troubles printing this page.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What's Up Wednesday!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted! December 4th? Is that right? I don't believe it! I demand a recount! I've been really sick, and it's been hard to do much of anything. Hopefully I'll be able to do all the things before Christmas! 

What I'm Reading
Not enough. Though, it truly never is enough.

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

I finished up my last craft show and really didn't make much with it. It was expected and is unfortunate, but the goal was always more to get published. I'll just be trying some different things in the future. 

I entered the Tomie de Paola Award contest http://www.scbwi.org/awards/tomie-depaola-award/ I entered an illustration that I really ended up loving. I'd love to show it to you here, but that will have to wait until after the award is announced. I did have the opportunity to enter another contest, but I just needed a break until Christmas!

I will still be taking it easy until after Christmas. I'm hoping to post another "What's Up Wednesday" post on Christmas or a Christmas post and an update post on Thursday. I will also post a couple of coloring pages between now and the end of the year. I hate to be so absent right now, but I want to get things going on my web comic! Other than these things I will be posting (most likely on Monday) an interview with Anna Staniszewski about her new book "The Dirt Diary". On the 31st I will be posting a summary of the year and on the first I'll let you know what I've got planned for the following year! 
Every Day Possible
- Getting ready for my web comic!

Wed 12/18

- Write my What's Up Wednesday post - So Done Right Now!

Thursday 12/19

-Catching up on things and making some items for my show!

Friday 12/20

- Two Toddlers Throwing Tantrums (again)

- Going to a birthday dinner for a friend!

Saturday 11/21

- Work on some presents for my little man David.

Sunday 12/22

- Lots of art, writing and magical creation stuff. Maybe even cookies.

Monday 12/23

- See above.

Tuesday 12/24

- Wrapping presents and enjoying family!

Wednesday 12/25


What Inspires Me Right Now

The fact that it's almost Christmas and it's like 40 degrees out. Love it!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 

David is learning so much right now! He is driving me crazy doing the whole He Man ("By the power of Greyskull...") thing. Getting lots of cuddles from my little man as well. 

So much Dr. Who so little time!
*What's up Wednesday is part of Jamie Morrow's summer writing intensive: "Ready. Set. WRITE!" There are other host blogs including: Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Sugar Tonight!

Sorry, tonight will be another night of no sweet, sweet blog reviews. It's December and this is a busy month for me!  I'm just going to say now that I'm going to use most of this month to plan out what I'm going to do for my blog next year. I won't rule out blog reviews, but if I don't get to them it's because I'm planning other goodies. What are these other goodies you say? Well, they may or may not include a couple of free coloring pages! So stay tuned!