Friday, January 31, 2014

Interview With Ace Hansen

Ace Hansen is  is the author of "Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery". Ace is a little different than most people I'll be interviewing on my blog, because Ace is a little green alien. Yep, that's right, an alien. Don't freak out everyone! He's the best type of alien: He comes in peace... well to everything except the world's supply of gummy worms. I can go with a few less gummy worms if I get to read more of his wonderful stories. You can visit his website here:

"Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery" is  a story of a young boy who has been given the opportunity to win a million dollars. He just has to figure out where all the mysterious green gas comes from. It won't be an easy task... He has to deal with an evil bully, a scary lady (who must be a zombie) and the fifth grade. Will he solve this mystery before Jake the Snake beats him to a pulp? Get the book here and find out:
I just ordered my copy and I can't wait until it gets here!

Me: I heard your book Julius Caesar Brown just came out in paperback. How did you feel when your copies arrived in the mail? 

Ace: I bounced up and down from floor to ceiling for a good five minutes. Then I fanned the pages under my nose and inhaled for a few more minutes. Love the inky smell of books. 

Me: Tell me do you prefer paper back books or hardcovers? 

Ace: Paperbacks. They're easier to read in bed.

Me: Was Julius Caesar Brown and the Green Gas Mystery based on a true story?

Ace: I haven't farted green yet, but I do think about it every time I pass gas in public--always relieved that my gas is invisible! This story was inspired by a breath mint commercial.  

Me: What was it that got you into writing? 

Ace: Too much time on my hands. I lived for 8 years in a vacation house in the woods in the foothills of the North Cascades. It rains boatloads. My green skin shrinks if it gets wet, so I had to stay indoors. Total boredom!

Me: Can you tell me something about yourself that no one else knows? 

Ace: I tug on my lips while I'm writing (helps me think.)

Me:  I know you like gummy worms, but what other foods do you like?

Ace: Squid. Tamarind fruit. 

Me: How are you and Angelina C. Hansen related? 

Ace: She is my Earth Host. I live inside her. She lets me out sometimes and sometimes I escape. Like right now. She doesn't know what I'm doing. Shhh.  ^_^

Me: Do you have any new ideas for books? 

Ace: Lots and lots, but Angelina is busy working on her serious Young Adult books right now and won't share her laptop with me. 

Besides being an earth host to Ace, Angelina Hansen writes YA and MG novels and poetry. She has a delightful sense of humour and is wildly unique (in all the best ways possible). Go to her blog and her web page and read excerpts of her WIP. You wont be disappointed. If you want to know more about Angelina read my blog review here:
Visit Angelina's website here:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12

If you are a picture book writer or an illustrator you need to join Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12. It really doesn't matter what stage you are in your career. If you are just starting out, or if you are already published the 12 x 12 is right for you. If you want to sign up go here: Remember to sign up by Febuary 28, 2014 or you'll have to wait until 2015!

The 12 x 12 is like many writing events. You participate and you can win great prizes. The main purpose is not to win these prizes, but to get published. But hey, the prizes are pretty awesome, so if you do win it's all gravy.

There are different levels of participation for the 12 x 12. You can choose depending on your personal level. I'm going to give a bit different information that Julie gives on her site, but be sure to read through everything before you sign up

Bronze - This is your basic starter package. You get access to the main forums and the Facebook page for this. If you are just starting out writing or illustrating you should stick with this package. The information you gain here will be invaluable. You will still be able to get feedback on your work through critique groups, but you do not get to bypass the slush pile. If you are published or really busy and want to participate on a smaller level, then you should get Bronze membership.

Silver - This is the package you get if you have at least a few manuscripts you have written or a full portfolio and you want help with your writing/illustration career. You don't just get to watch the events with this level - you also get to participate in them. You get help on the forums with your manuscripts and pitches, and you can even offer services on the forums!

Gold - If you have manuscripts or illustrations you will be submitting for publication this year, then this level is for you. This is also for people who aren't quite there, but want to make the big push to get published. You will get special information and instructions on how to submit to the featured agent or editor every month. This is what you want to do if want to make sure your work gets seen. As long as you follow the rules you will give your manuscript or portfolio it's best chance of getting seen by people that matter!

Joining the 12 x 12 at any level will help you make more connections in the Picture Book Industry. I made a lot of friends and connections when I joined the 12 x 12 last year. If you participate you will end up meeting people. Memberships range from $45 - $145, but if you can't afford that you can get on a payment plan. Plus next year you will get a returning member's discount!

I'm not getting paid for this post. I wasn't even asked to post this. I just believe that there are two things that all picture book writers/illustrators should join: The SCBWI and Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12. I hope you will join me this year!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

Things are finally starting to shape up a bit for me. It's about time because January is quickly coming to a close. This whole month has been the ultimate never-ending Monday of this year. 

I did get to see "Catching Fire" Saturday. I loved it. It wasn't as good as the book (of course), but I enjoyed watching this movie. I may go back and re-read the series soon. The one thing I wish the movie had was more character development. The actors (mostly) were good. The costumes and special effects were good as well.

What I'm Reading
How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You - because I think she is plotting.

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

I finally signed up for the 12 x 12 (12 picture books in 12 months). I wont necessarily have a manuscript for this month, (at least not one ready to submit) but I think I have a better chance of achieving my goals. I will be working on my illustration work as well. When I do submit to the agents I want to submit my illustration work as well as a picture book idea, so I need to get working. I will be talking about the 12 x 12 tomorrow and hopefully I can convince you to join!

Friday I will be posting my first interview. I'm really excited! I'm not quite sure who it will be (depending on if certain people get back to me) but I guarantee it will be fun! That reminds me... I need to send out a lot more questions to the great people who have agreed to be interviewed!

Every Day Possible
- The Pattern Pals Web Comic is COMING SOON!

Wed 01/29

- Post What's Up Wednesday Post - DONE

Thursday 01/30

- Likely having an insane day tomorrow.

Friday 01/31

- Working on the Web Comic among other projects


Saturday 02/02

- Seeing the 2nd Hunger Games Movie?

Sunday 02/03

- Send out another round of interview questions

Monday 02/04

- Just another Manic Monday

Tuesday 02/05

- Getting my blog review on.

- Toddler dance class!

Wednesday 02/06

- What's Up Wednesday! Post

What Inspires Me Right Now

Julie Hedlund and the 12 x 12!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 
Baby powder everywhere... enough said.

My ReviMo mug is coming to me soon in the mail!

*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.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Angie Karcher and RhyPiBoMo

Angie Karcher is just getting started on her blogging journey. Angie is a poet and loves to write rhyming stories. She posts poetry, her writing journey, and any book or contest news she finds out. She's a blogger to watch, because soon her blog will be busy... especially in April, but before I tell you about that I'll give you her link. You can take a look at Angie's blog here:

Angie is a busy mom of four who decided back in 2001 that she wanted to try the crazy road of having kids and writing too. Before she had kids she always had a job that revolved around education and children, so what a perfect way to bring everything together! Maybe she should have always known that she wanted to be a writer- she even said so when she was seven (see Angie's "All About Me") page. Maybe she did know she wanted to be a writer, but just didn't remember. I know how that is... it's definitely mommy brain! She is a wonderful writer, so I'm glad Angie is writing her poetry.

Angie is a spitfire among new bloggers. She wants to make her mark on the blogging world. As such she is starting a new event! Her event? RhyPiBoMo! But what does it mean? If you haven't already guessed it's Rhyming Picture Book Month! This event takes place in April for the first time this year!

You can also join in some RhyPiBoMo fun. Join The Golden Quill Guest Blogger Treasure Hunt! Just look for this badge in a blog (not mine of course) and post about it when you find this badge. By posting about it I mean everywhere! If you find a guest blogger don't keep it a secret! Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest your blog, any anywhere else you can think to post this. It will be a lot of fun, and you can help Angie get the word out about her event!

Angie has... count them 35 guest bloggers for this event! On top of having all these great people (the list will be annouced soon), Angie is also going to have some great prizes as well! Sorry guys, she hasn't filled me in on the details of the prizes yet! Keep checking her blog to see!

Rhyming picture books is an area that I'd personally like to work on. Writing picture books is hard, and some people think that creating a rhyming picture book is easy. Believe me, it's not! I like rhyme, but the words have to flow just right or the whole story is wrong. I think every writer should try working on their own rhyming picture book so I hope you will join me in April at this event.

Follow Angie:

Angie's Book:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! The Slow Edition

The Bad: Everything seems to be moving too slowly. My web comic is slowly coming along even though I had hoped to have it running right now. I'm working through getting enough interviews that I can start doing a weekly series. I guess I can't complain too much

The Good: I did 5 days of Meg Miller's ReviMo! I wish I could have done more, but I'm glad to have 5 manuscripts that I have worked on this month. I've not kept up with Shannon Abercrombie's Start the Year Off Write, but I'm catching up with everything now. I'm also finding more and more people's blogs to review. This week's person is Elodie Nowodazkij! I'm also doing my What's Up Wednesday posts, so I'm pretty happy. Oh ALSO I signed up for the 12x12, and if you are a writer or illustrator you should too!

The Ugly: More work that I'm going to do mostly! I have a segment I want to get started this week, so we'll see how it turns out. I call it ugly because right now I'm just thinking about it and haven't gotten going.

What I'm Reading
The same picture books for my son over and over and over and (see a pattern here?)

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

I did a lot of work for my web comic today! Figuring out backgrounds for different scenes is rough. I think I said before I'm making "The Pattern Pals'" world from scratch. I want it to feel like a different world from our own so I have to think about everything down to each blade of grass. It's a lot of work but my passion for it has fired back up. I think it will be at least March before I can get it up and running.

Every Day Possible
- Getting ready for my web comic!

Wed 01/22

- Post What's Up Wednesday Post - DONE

Thursday 01/23

- Having a nice day off with family.

Friday 01/24

- Two crazy toddlers... need I say more?

Saturday 01/25

- Seeing the 2nd Hunger Games Movie?

Sunday 01/26

Working on web comic if possible
- Have questions for 10 interviewees sent out
- Visiting Family?

Monday 01/27

- Just another Manic Monday

Tuesday 01/28

- Getting my blog review on.

Wednesday 01/29

- What's Up Wednesday! Post

What Inspires Me Right Now

Ice Cream!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 
Stickers and crayons all over my wall!

Finished "Full Metal Alchemist"

*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.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Elodie Nowodazkij

Some days it's harder than others to find a blogger to review. When I started doing interviews for the first time this year I thought I'd make up a physical list of everyone who had agreed to be interviewed. Since it's working so well for me for interviews I thought I'd do the same thing with my blog reviews. I made up a list of 5 people, and for one reason or another none of them can be used for the blog review. Two because I already did blog reviews and one because they are taking a break from blogging. So what do I do? I check out some other people who do "What's Up Wednesday" posts as well, and there I found Elodie Nowdazkij!

I don't think I could have found anyone better to blog about today than Elodie Nowdazkij. Not only does Elodie keep up with her "What's Up Wednesday" posts, but she has a lot that keep you wanting to come back to her blog. From book reviews to her updates on her own writing - you will have a hard time being bored with Elodie's blog. You can find her blog here:

Elodie gives vivid reviews of the books she is reading. Whether it's a post that's a dedicated book review or a "What's Up Wednesday" post Elodie gives a strong argument for people to pick up these books and read. I haven't found a review of hers yet where I haven't said, "I want to read that book!" after reading her review.

Probably my favorite part of Elodie's blog is when she talks about her own experiences in different writing. Elodie has reviews of her experience of #pitchwars, IndieGoGo, and of course Ready, Set Write/What's Up Wednesday (though this really demands you reflect on your own experiences). I have learned a lot from reading Elodie's blog. I loved sharing in her experiences - both good and bad. I guess that's the magic of What's Up Wednesday, because it forces people to share in their writing experiences. Let's not forget that it's also the magic of Elodie Nowodazkij, because she has to share but her sharing doesn't have to be written this well!

If you dig a bit deeper into Elodie's blog posts you will start seeing a lot of photos. These photos are beautiful and even when there are no words accompanying them they stand strongly on their own. You can tell that photography is a passion of hers. Maybe if she had to start all over she'd become a famous photographer... or maybe she still will!

I hope you enjoyed this review today! It gives me extra pressure to have a really good "What's Up Wednesday post tomorrow. I know that Elodie will!

You can also find Elodie on:


Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Painting of Me by Meg Miller

I know I posted a while ago about winning Meg Miller's Pre ReviMo contest. A couple days ago in the mail guess what I got? I got the original painting that Meg did herself of me! It is fantastic! As lovely as this painting looks here, I can not do it justice online.

To really appreciate this image you do have to see it in person. This image is 5 3/4" by 6". It is done on a wooden panel. I had trouble catching the colour just right in my scan. I have my laptop and a monitor next to my lap top and neither one is quite right. I'm not sure if you can tell from the image but the skin tone is actually the grain of the panel. Some of the finer details (like my nose) was done in graphite while the rest was done in acrylics. You might think that this scan is really grainy, but in truth that;s all Meg's fault. No, I'm not being mean, she used gold paint in this painting so any graininess is the light reflecting off of the paint.

I love that she uses gold in her painting! My mom uses gold when she uses water based paints as well. I think that using this paint is difficult because if you do it wrong you can end up with your painting looking gaudy. If you do it right like my Mom and Meg you end up making more depth and the colours just sing! Thank you, thank you, thank you Meg! I will treasure this painting. If you want to see more of Meg's work please go to:

Original Painting of Dani Duck by Meg Miller

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday!

I've been actively keeping up with Start the Year Off Write 2014 and ReviMo! Having said this... I have not worked on my web comic much this week. I'm hoping that I can get back on track with that.

What I'm Reading
Been too tired to read lately!

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

I'm finally starting to feel like I have time to do things now that David's birthday party is over and done with. It was a crazy fun party and all the kids had lots of fun. I there were 11 kids in all and they eventually stopped taking turns, so it was all out bowling insanity. It was great but I'm glad it's over~

I need to work more on my web comic. It's the tedious boring things that are bothering me. You can't just draw a web comic (well you CAN, but it's not always so easy.) The thing I'm stuck on now is character drawing. Coming up with sketches of my characters in front (which I already have), side and 3/4 views. On top of this I need to know what they look like in different positions. I don't have to do these things, but if I didn't it will take me a lot longer to draw my comic later. I'll have to figure out these things anyway, so I might as well as get it out of the way now.

Every Day Possible
- Getting ready for my web comic!

Wed 01/15

- What's Up Wednesday Post (actually done on Wednesday so bonus points here)

Thursday 01/16

- Working on my web comic while my son is crazy somewhere else

Friday 01/17

- Having my crazy son and the bonus of his crazy friend at the same time, oh joy 

Saturday 01/18

- Going to little Hayden's Birthday Party

Sunday 01/19

- Work on web comic? Please say yes!
- Have some interview questions sent out by now

Monday 01/20

- Working on my web comic

Tuesday 01/21

- New Blog Review

Wednesday 01/22

- What's Up Wednesday! Post

What Inspires Me Right Now

David's wonderful 3rd Birthday Party!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 

\Loving all the new things David is learning even if he never lets me sleep, ever.
Drinking all the coffee

*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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bigfoot Reads

Bigfoot Reads is a really fun site. I would love to tell you the person or people who write this blog, but there seems to be no indication of who writes it! I wish I knew because I would like to personally thank whoever created this blog. It's very engaging and accessible for a large audience and it encourages children and teenagers to read books. You can visit the website here:

Other than having an unknown author (or authors) Bigfoot Reads is different from other blogs because it is written from the viewpoint of Bigfoot and his lively friends. It's true, I don't actually know that Bigfoot didn't write this blog. Actually, maybe this is factual proof that he does exist! Besides Bigfoot there is the Cryptids: Mozant the Alien (and his hamster lab assistant, Mortimer), Penny C. Monster (Loch Ness Monster), Norman the Half Invisible Turtle, Beverly the Other Half Invisible Turtle, Briar the Psychic Beagle. Also Lenny, Oliver, and Violet the Paranormal Puppies play a role in this blog.

There are lots of great things about this blog. If you visit now the first post you see might be the weekly writing prompts. In these Bigfoot encourages his readers to write for three minutes about different subjects. If you choose to do these, and share them with him, then you could be entered to win a prize pack (for either children or teens). 

Tuesdays Mozant interviews an author or Cryptid. These interviews always come from the point of view of an Alien. This makes for some very fun, and funny interviews. Bigfoot does his part in these by taking the photo of those interviewed. These photos seem oddly familiar, hrm.

There are plenty of book reviews on this blog, and sometimes even discussions among the Cryptids about different books. The excerpts from the books are great, and include anything from Haikus to craft projects. The actual reviews of the books are quite humorous. Here's an example: 

"Here is a list of who will like this book:



There are some cute comics on this blog and I hope there are a lot more to come. I think this is a great resource to get young people into books. It's funny and witty... not to be missed! It's also great for writers who are interested in creative ways to speak to their audience. I hope you check it out and don't forget to follow the Cryptids on Twitter:

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Entry for the Tomie dePaola Illustration Award

As I mentioned yesterday I entered an Illustration for the Tomie dePaola Illustration Award. I didn't have much time to work on this and I may have gone a completely different way if I had more time! Having said that I'm very pleased what I came up with even though I didn't win. I'm so adding this to my portfolio. You can see the prompt here: The poem that was to be illustrated is below. Please note that I did not write this poem.

A sneeze
Is a breeze

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! Thursday Edition

Things don't always go as you plan. It seems more difficult to get back into my old routine after having taken a break. It's okay, though, because once things get going.

What I'm Reading
I was trying to finish the "Girl With The Dragon Tatoo" series. Problem is I can't remember if I finished the last book (2nd book) I was reading or if I'm on (or have started) the third book. I'll have to figure it out and try again later.

What I'm Writing/Drawing 

Not enough of anything really. This webcomic is taking most of my time. It's the little things that are slowing me down. We have a lot of stories done, but I'm working on drawing the characters and developing what they look like in different positions and moods.

I just found out that I didn't win the Tomie dePaola award. It was neat seeing the winners for this contest. I did not remember to get my entry in for the "unofficial" entry gallery. I'll post my entry here tomorrow.

David's birthday was the 7th, and preparing for his 3rd birthday party on Saturday is the first thing on my mind right now. I'm having it at a bowling alley this year so all I need to do is the cake and favours. Tomorrow he's going to have fun over at a friend's house while I work on the cake. Not sure how elaborate I'm going to go this year. I'll figure it out tomorrow.

Every Day Possible
- Getting ready for my web comic!

Wed 01/08

- Icky day so didn't get much done

Thursday 01/09

- Update post delayed to today.

Friday 01/10

- Preparing birthday cake and favour bags for David's 3rd birthday.
- If possible prepare some interview questions!

Saturday 01/11

- Celebrate David's 3rd Birthday!

Sunday 01/12

- Taking David to a friend's Birthday Party.
- Web Comic work, HO!

Monday 01/13

- Working on my web comic

Tuesday 01/14

- Blog Review

Wednesday 01/15

- What's Up Wednesday! Post

What Inspires Me Right Now

Memories of a great Holiday Season!

What Else I've Been Up To

Baby Minding 

For some reason 4:30am is a good time to start speaking with a demonic voice and demanding things. There was also plenty of kicking and screaming involved. Long story short: David did not fall back asleep until 6:30am. I've been exhausted all day!
I need sleep.

*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, January 8, 2014

Shannon Abercrombie

I had another blogger picked out for today and then I realized that I haven't done Shannon Abercrombie yet! It's imperative that I bring her up now, because Start the Year Off Write is now in full swing! Before I get ahead of myself here is the link to Shannon's blog:

I'm going to go ahead and make a bold statement: Shannon Abercrombie is the writing prompt queen! This wonderful woman hosts two awesome events 100 Days of Summer and now Start the Year off Write! In these events Shannon gives writing prompts that help squash even the worst writer's block. Not only that, but there is also the opportunity to win great prizes! What's more amazing than conquering writer's block while earning some great prizes? The answer is: NOT A SINGLE THING!

Start the Year off Write has already begun - it started January 5th, but there is still time to catch up! You just have to go sign up and you have until Midnight January 31st to finish. You need to comment on all the prompt posts, but you don't have to show anyone what you wrote.

You will be doing yourself a favour as a writer visiting Shannon's blog. Even if you miss the events the writing prompts are worth looking at if you need some help getting the creative juices flowing. Shannon's prompts are wonderful and so much fun to do! You will learn so much about writing and yourself as a writer if you visit Shannon's blog and work on the prompts.

You can also find Shannon on:
Twitter at

Also don't forget to go back to Shannon's blog in the Summer for 100 Days of Summer! If you do forget I will remind you. Now I have to get back to working on today's writing prompt!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Goals Part 4: Yes This is the Final Part

This is it. I'm not waiting another day to finish my goals. I feel like so much of the year has gone by already and I still haven't said where my blog is going this year! 

3. Improve My Blog
There are a lot of things I'd like to change about my blog. One thing I'll change soon is the background. None of the illustrations I worked on recently seem to work well in the background so I'll hold off on this. Content of the blog will change a bit. I've found that I just don't have time to do a story a week, but I think I'd like to do some silly poetry again. I'm also sticking to a few old favorites like What's Up Wednesday and Blog Reviews.

a) Keep up with "What's Up Wednesday" posts and Blog Reviews (Though blog reviews may end up being bi monthly.

b) Change the background and layout (somewhat) of the blog

c) Start doing author interviews weekly! I already have a bunch lined up... now to write questions

d) Do some weekly short & silly poetry

e) Post artwork or process sketches on a weekly basis

f) Add in other fun content as I create it!

I think this is a good list to start with. I have some other ideas for my blog, but I don't want to start announcing things that I have to quit a few weeks later. Hopefully I'll have other exciting things for you, so we'll see!

4. Increase My Presence in the Publishing World/Social Media
This goal is mainly so that I can connect better with people in the book community. It also extends to people who just like to read books, or are just cool people in general. There is nothing more fun than signing up for a conference or going to a festival and finding out one of your friends is there too!

a) More general tweeting! I've had such great conversations on Twitter so I just need to do it more 

b) Find time to participate in Twitter picture book chats like #kidlitart and kidlitchat

c) Find more groups to join on Facebook and Google+

d) Get rid of any social networks/online presence that aren't doing me any good.

e) Connect with more people on Facebook.

f) Get my web comic up and running!

I probably should have made this more of a sub goal than a goal. The fact that it ties in with most of my other goals is great. I hope that I can keep up with this in the coming year.

SO that's it now. All of my goals for this year. There is a lot, and if I only achieve a few of them then I'm still sitting pretty. If I do them all then I'm probably a robot and you should all fear me. Actually, fear me anyway. 

(I'll be the one wearing the owl slippers)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Goals Part 3

So many goals and so little time, but I'm going to continue with my list of goals.

2. Get Published (traditionally)

This goal is probably the easiest and the toughest of all my goals. Easy because there are a million and one ways to get published, but tough because it's really hard to get published. Even harder when you don't send anything out to be published (no seriously I've tried not submitting all my life and I've still not been published).

This year my main goal is to start submitting! I'd better add this to my list...

a) Create, create, create!
b) Submit a bunch of things to be published. At least one thing a month. (Mostly short stories and illustrations to magazines.)
c) Join a bunch of short term events to help me get stories to be published (Start The Year Off Write, ReviMo, Chapter Book Challenge, 100 Days of Summer, SubSix, PiBoIdMo, ect.)
d) Join the 12x12 gold this year again, but actually submit to the agents!
e) Read more books
f) Finish the dummy and 3 spreads for at least one picture book this year!
g) Learn from all the great people I know already and will meet throughout the year!

I'm now going to skip over 3 & 4 and go right to goal #5 (3&4 will be posted tomorrow). I feel like these two go together somewhat.

5. Profit From My Skills

This is the hardest one for me so the goals may be more vague. I would like to say that I'll sell one book this year and make enough to cover all my expenses forever, but that is unlikely to happen. At least not this year, but while I'm waiting for that million dollar story to be finished I have to work on getting money to pay for daily living and to pay of my *shudder* school loans.

a) Continue working on my Etsy shop and hope that I can start selling things without annoying everyone in the process
b) Work on my portfolio so I can get some portrait painting commissions. - just need a few more here
c) Look on Craigslist and keep my ears open for any local jobs
d) Submit work to publishers
e) Get a part time job in my field
f) Set up at some Comic Cons and Book Shows after I start on my web comic.
g) Research more ways to market myself so I can reach more people that might be interested in my work

I think this list needs the most work. Hopefully the things I learn this year will help me to become better at using my skills at work. I am not at all against getting a job outside of my field, but I have to be careful what kind of position I take. I do have anxiety issues which makes it hard for me to work at certain jobs, and I have to make enough money for it to make sense to put my son in Daycare (if I can't get a position around my husband's schedule).

Two more down, and two to go! Tomorrow I'll be talking about my blog and social media. Hope to see you then!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Goals Part 2

A couple of days ago I posted about my goals for the upcoming year. Now I'm going to write out some of the things I'm going to do in order to achieve these goals. I think I'm going to break this post up into several posts because there is so much for me to go over that I don't want to shove everything into a huge long post.

On a side note my husband's grandmother is actually doing better!

1. Make The Pattern Pals a Successful Weekly Web Comic

The Pattern Pals Web Comic

There is a lot of work that goes into making a web comic. I had hoped that I would have mine up and running sometime within the first week of January. It's going to take a bit longer than this, since I don't even have a web page up. My husband and I are both working on this project, but all the design/drawing work will be done by me. These are the things we need to do:
a) Get set up with a domain name/hosting site (I think I have the host and everything picked out) 
b) Figure out Wordpress and come up with a web page design (have ideas nothing solid)
c) Design the world around my characters (Scenery, Buildings, Objects, ect. - doing well with this)
d) Create costumes for some of my characters (have some of these done)
e) Continue creating more stories. We have almost 20 so far and I'd like a year's (52) worth to feel safe
f) Create pencil sketches for my webcomic
g) Ink and colour pages and get them up on the interwebs 

As you can see I have a ton of things left to do to get this project off the ground. It's been tough to work on projects since the new year, but I have a few days now so hopefully I can get things done. I'm planning on having my site set up and working (if not finishing) on the web page design this weekend.

I'm planning on making this be a weekly comic, so we will be doing 52 pages a year. I will be doing full pages and not just a strip, because I feel this is the best way to do our comic. It will be full-colour and probably digitally coloured and inked. 

I may start out by doing some introductory comics before actually starting the weekly comic itself. This comic will just be about the process of creating a web comic. This will have some of the characters from the comic itself, but not be part of the comic itself. 

Other than the comic itself I'd like to add a few other things into the webpage I'll be creating for my comic. Of course I'll still have The Pattern Pals toys available for sale on my Etsy site still, but there is so much more that I'd like to do. I'd like to work on bios and drawings of all The Pattern Pals on a separate page. I'm also thinking about doing colouring pages every now and again, as well as doing process drawings and anything else I can think of. I might also run a blog with updates to the page, but I'm not sure about this. If there is anything I'm missing I'll figure it out as I'm planning out my week with my "What's Up Wednesday!" posts.

That took a lot longer to talk about than I had originally planned. It's a good thing that I'm not talking about everything in one post. I hope that I can get to the third part of my goals tomorrow!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goals Part 1

Just because I didn't do a New Year's Resolution it doesn't mean that I have no goals for the upcoming year. Actually I have many and they far exceed anything a resolution will cover. I'm going to try to make these goals as solid as possible. Even if I don't achieve all these goals right away (or this year) most of these goals will still be things I'm trying to achieve in the future.

I do wish that I could be writing this at a better time. Since October Peter's (my husband) grandmother has been getting progressively worse with her health. A couple of days ago the doctors have confirmed that there isn't much time left. It's going to be rough getting a lot done in the coming months, but I'm going to do my best.

Dani Duck's Goals for 2014 (and beyond)

In the order that I think of them:

1. Make The Pattern Pals a Successful Weekly Web Comic

2. Get Published 
Have at least one of my stories & illustrations traditionally published

3. Improve My Blog

4. Increase My Presence in the Publishing World/Social Media

5. Profit From My Skills
Earn money for stuff

6. Spend Quality Time With Family
A lot of my time with family has been in large amounts but not in so much quantity

7. Work Out and Be Healthy

Okay I think that's the main list. Since it's pretty late at night and there is a lot in this post already I'm just going to call it a night and finish the details tomorrow. Goals 6 & 7 are more personal so my focus in my next post will be on goals 1-5. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why I won't be doing a New Year's Resolution this year

Yes it's true... I'm refusing to do a New Year's Resolution this year. It's all very simple: Resolutions are toxic and I wont have anything to do with them anymore. Yes, I said it, they're toxic. 

Nothing Good Comes out of a New Year's Resolution

Okay, maybe it's a bit harsh to say that nothing comes out of a New Year's Resolution. Many people have changed their lives based off of these. Me and like 99+% of the population? We have not achieved greatness from our Resolutions. Actually, we go in hoping for the best, and then something happens and we give up. 

Resolutions are a Prescription for Failure

It's not that we want to fail with any New Year's Resolution, but the fact is that resolution's are cut and dry. Creating a resolution is making a promise to yourself and the new year. One that you can't possibly keep. We say to ourselves, "I'm going to do ____ this year," and if you don't do _____ then you fail! No one wants to fail, ever. The worst thing is if you make a little mistake your resolution is forever destroyed and this is when people give up. If you say you are giving up cigarettes and fail, then you have to wait a whole year to start over with a new resolution.

Failure is a Good Part of Life

The worst thing about New Year's Resolutions is that they completely ignore the fact that failure is often a good thing. If we as humans never failed at anything in life then we wouldn't be the incredibly complex and wonderful people we are. I also believe that the longer it takes for someone to have their first failure in something the worst they are for it. I've known artists that are great at art, but they don't get their first objections to their work until they get critiqued in College/University. They are devastated by this. If these people failed earlier in their lives this wouldn't be such a horrible devastation. In the end: It's not bad to fail; It's only bad not to learn from your mistakes.

Learning From My Mistakes

So yeah, I'm not doing a New Year's Resolution this year. I'm waiting until the 2nd at least before I make my official New Year's goal post. I will be making goals for the year, but if I fail it wont be a horrific thing. I will also be posting how I will work to achieve these goals, so I wont be setting myself up for failure.

How about yourself? What do you plan to do in 2014?