Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! - I'm Still Alive

I didn't plan to get sick (no one does), but it happened anyway. I think I had just finished a cold the last time I posted, and I got another one right after. I was really ill right up until December 24th (slept all day) and was feeling ok on the 25th (thank goodness!). How was everyone's Christmas? We had a great one here!

I am feeling better now, but still have quite the cold. I missed the December 19th interview. I have several other interviews planned, but have to go through my email later to figure out the order!

Interview Schedule:
January 2nd - Bobbie Dacus
January 9th - Julie Murphy

Anthology stories! 

I finally squeezed in writing my story for the Anything Goes Anthology. I think there is a couple more months of work on that. I'll let you know more about this later!

The free Monster Chores coloring book is coming out soon! I'll make a post for this once it's released. Jennyann has a couple more things to do before it's officially released. 

I have a TON of things I'm planning this year. I will make a post about this by Monday (or if it's several posts I'll start them by Monday). I'm hoping this will be the best year ever for both me and my blog!

Every Day Possible
2015 Planning and dummy work.

Wed 12/31 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! Happy New Years Eve!

Thursday 01/01-  Planning for 2015 (Especially David's Birthday Party).

Friday 12/02- Interview with Bobby Darcus! Working on some dummy work.

Saturday 12/03- Dummy work and unicorn poo. (I got sick so I'm behind!)

Sunday 12/04- Coughing all day.

Monday 12/05- Finding that lung I lost. 

Tuesday 12/06 - Dreaming about hiring a maid and personal cook.

Wednesday 12/07 - What's Up Wednesday! David's Birthday!

Resting as much as possible.


Toddler Minding 
I'm sick, so he's sick. He did all the bad things today!

Coughing, but not dying!

*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.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Interview with Dianna Dorisi Winget

I am joined on my blog today by author Dianna Dorsi Winget. This is the second time that Dianna has been on my blog. The first time was a website review back in February of 2013. Here is a link to the first review: 
I'm so glad to bring her back on my blog and get the real inside scoop on how she thinks! Last time she was here there she only had one book available, and now she has three. She's been quite the busy bee! 

Dianna has written the books: "A Smidgen of Sky", "A Million Ways home and "A Sliver of Sun". Soon "A Sliver of Sun" (sequel to "A Smidgen of Sky") will be released as an ebook. Keep checking Dianna's website to see when this book will be released! 

If you haven't visited Dianna's website then check it out. You can read a lot of her stories there and find out more secrets that aren't in this interview. Don't check it out now, there's an interview you have yet to read! 

Dani: Why books?

Dianna: I had a mother who introduced me to books and the joy of reading from very early on. But I fell in love with books about age ten. From then on it became my dream to write middle grade novels.

Dani: What's over your rainbow?

Dianna: The kind of perfect living conditions the Bible promises for the future. No more sickness, pain or suffering for people or animals.

Dani: Finish these thoughts:

1. I don't often... invite people over to my home. I know I should be more hospitable. But neither my husband nor I are big social bugs. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I've always been a homebody. Maybe it’s that whole reclusive writer thing.

2. My greatest wish... Hmm. I don’t think it’s necessarily my greatest wish, but I wish the publishing industry was a lot less volatile. It can be frustrating when you have to wade through all the red tape and loopholes when all you really want to do is write entertaining stories for young readers. Another wish would be to have enough time, money and room to go to my local animal shelter and adopt all the dogs at once.

3. My books never... turn out looking quite like I expect them to. Don’t get me wrong, I've been very happy with my book covers for the most part. But somehow, I always have these ideas in my head of how I’d design them if it was up to me, and somehow they never look like that.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Dianna: My work isn't commercial, it’s literary. I love to delve deeply into friends, family and relationships. And I try hard to come up with characters that kids can deeply bond with and relate to. Oh, and the dogs, of course! You've gotta have a dog. They’re usually the most relatable of all

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Dianna: To be the best mom and wife I can be, and to help young readers fall in love with books the way I did.

Follow Dianna: 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! December 10

Having a decent December so far. Working on a lot of things, being busy. My cold is almost gone and I have a few hours tomorrow to just create. Feeling weak still, so exercise is tough!

My son got a toy thrown at his head and ended up with a cut. He's had to have a bandage on him and I've not taken him to get a haircut because he's scared of people touching it. Hopefully I can get Christmas cards made before December 12 (which is the limit for sending things to the states before Christmas). 

Interview Schedule:
December 12 - Dianna Dorisi Winget
December 19 - Julie Murphy
December 26 - Day after Christmas so no Interview
January 2nd - Bobby Darcus

Still on the anthology. I'm behind because I was sick.

Continuing dummy work this week. Didn't get much done last week because I was sneezing up a storm! I didn't like the idea of getting sneeze on my artwork. I'm pretty sure there is a law against that!

Every Day Possible
Dummy work

Wed 12/10 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! 

Thursday 12/11-  Working on picture book Dummies

Friday 12/12- Interview with Dianna Dorisi Winget! Sending out mail today. 

Saturday 12/13- Dummy work and unicorn poo.

Sunday 12/14Continuing the poo

Monday 12/15- Still dying this day. 

Tuesday 12/16 - Sleeping the whole day (yeah right)! 

Wednesday 12/17 - What's Up Wednesday!

Sleep. All of the sleep!


Toddler Minding 
Just a boo boo and getting over the cough. 

Better but still weak.

*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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kung Pow Chicken Winners!

Thank you for everyone who entered the giveaway for Cyndi Marko's book "Kung Pow Chicken: Heroes on the Side". The more people that enter these giveaways gives me a chance to have bigger and better giveaways! Keep checking back for more giveaways.

Here are the winners of the giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 7, 2014

PiBoIdMo Winnah!

I am a PiBoIdMo
I last year I entered Tara Lazar's ( PiBoIdMo challenge because I was out of ideas. At least for picture books. This year I entered the 12x12 (12 picture books in 12 months and I would have had no ideas for picture books if it hadn't been for Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo. I focused on illustration this past year's 12x12, but I was able to generate several new ideas for manuscripts (even if not all of them got written). I just barely scraped by last year with 30 ideas.

This year I wanted more.  If an idea doesn't grab me when I go to write, then it's not helpful (at least not at the time). My plan was to have more than 30 ideas. After 10 days of the event I was done with 30. I could have stopped there and been fine, but I wanted more. So my new goal was 60, and I wasn't sure that I could get that.

I'm a pretty competitive person. If I know I can win something, then I will make it my goal to win that thing. I was reading through the numbers people were posting and I had to have MORE than what everyone else was posting. I think the highest number I saw was 52, so I went from 40-60 ideas in one day.

60 wasn't enough, so in the final week I came up with a few. I joked that I would come up with 30-40 ideas in one day. I was crazy busy all month, but Sunday was slow. I got an idea for generating ideas, and ended up with 102 ideas to finish up the month. 

Now not everyone is going to get 100 ideas, but it's the trying that counts. Next year will be different, but I'm happy what I achieved this year. I have a lot of ideas now, but not all of them are going to move me when I go to write. If I don't like any of my ideas? I'll go back to previous PiBoIdMo years and generate ideas from old posts. Thank you so much Tara Lazar for PiBoIdMo. I promise to make you proud of the amount of ideas I use in manuscripts this year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview With Jennyann Carthern

Today on my blog I have the fantastic Jennyann Carthern. I met Jennyann through the 12 x 12 (which is an awesome group of picture book writers/illustrators--more on this later). Jennyann has brought together several illustrators for a monster coloring book which she will be releasing soon. This fantastic coloring book will be a free download for every coloring enthusiast to enjoy!

Jennyann loves the fine art of mural creation. She also teaches students to paint murals, sculpt, act, design, and animate. Jennyann paints in a traditional medium and loves creating brightly colored illustrations.

Dani: Why picture books?

Jennyann: Picture books have always been a interest of mine since grade school. Under the influence of my school librarian, who would read to my class every week. I was not only inspired by the stories, but the images that surrounded them. Some of my favorite picture books growing up included Corduroy, the adventures of Busytown, The Little House, and all things by Shel Silverstein starting with Where the sidewalk ends. I could go on on on with this list.

Dani: Do you know the Muffin Man?

Jennyann: Yes, I know the muffin man, he lives on Drury Lane. I don’t like to visit him all that much, because of his crummy attitude. Just saying!

Dani: Finish these thoughts:

1. I can't pencil sharpener.

2. I never pet a spider.

3. Drawing is like..being born again.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Jennyann: The work I make is special because it is an authentic translation of where I am in any given moment. It’s made from passion, hard work , and play. I also prefer the tactile qualities in making art, in that I love using the raw materials, rather than digital, which still come in handy for editing purposes.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Jennyann: My ultimate goal is life is to create successful art businesses, that will allow me to make a living doing what I love while sharing those creative sparks with others. I love making art, teaching art, and advocating the arts in after school programs, and I’m on a mission to show the world what art is made of.

Follow Jennyann: 




Fine Art:



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! December 3

I am SO GLAD November is over. It was a crazy month. It left me really sick, too! Or maybe that was my son? Oh well. Anyway I want to tell you to get your clucking self over to this post: because you could win one of two Kung Pow Chicken: Let's Get Cracking! (Kung Pow Chicken book 4) books. Cyndi Marko has kindly donated two of her softcover books for the chicken cause! This is NOT an EBOOK PEOPLE! Please enter. You don't have to do much to enter!

Interview Schedule:
December 05 - Jennyann Carthen
December 12 - Dianna Dorisi Winget
December 19 - Julie Murphy
December 26 - Day after Christmas so no Interview
January 2nd - Bobby Darcus

I'm still reading stories for an anthology. The most recent story I read made me cry! Sweetest story ever!

I FINISHED MY DUMMY AND FINISHED ARTWORK! I submitted it to an agent, so fingers crossed. I also finished the portrait I was working on. The parents really love the portrait! I'm working on some additional dummy work now. It's one (by one I mean many stories) of those things that I need to get on paper yesterday. It's burning a hole in my brain. 

I also have a unicorn poo picture book I'm doing. This may not be suitable for people who are against unicorns, bunnies or poo. Sorry if you are one of these people. Hopefully I'll have this done soon!

Every Day Possible
Dummy Work and finals

Wed 11/26 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! 

Thursday 11/27 -  Starting some new picture book Dummies

Friday 11/28 - Interview with Jennyann Carthen! Maybe some Santa photos?

Saturday 11/29 - Dummy work and unicorn poo.

Sunday 11/30 

Monday 12/01 - I shall promptly die this day. 

Tuesday 11/18 - Working on Unicorn Poo if not done. Also sewing a pegasus

Wednesday 11/19 - What's Up Wednesday!

Occasional sinus medication... I have a cold. :(


Toddler Minding 
Kiddo has bronchitis! Had a cold forever and now this. He's on antibiotics right now. Coughs a bit and is fussy, but otherwise fine. 

Sick, sick, sick.

*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.