2013 – Mid Year Check-in on Life and Writing

booksaleHope you all are having a splendid summer or winter so far. Life has been busy. My hubby and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary. Wow! It’s been a journey. Can’t imagine what the next ten years have in store for us. 😉  I did 40 Random Acts of Kindness for my birthday and went on a business trip to Bangalore for two weeks to deliver training. I now have a KG and a 2nd grader, that are in too many activities (piano, ballet, gymnastics, etc), but I love it. So far I have done three read-alouds with the girls.

The Lion, Witch, and the WardrobeStuart LittleCharlie and the Chocolate Factory

So how’s your writing going so far? I made a list of goals back in January, so let’s see how I did.  Since it is baseball season, I’ve come up with the following semantics:

Done — HOME RUN, On-Track — 1st/2nd/3rd BASE, Completely off track – FOUL BALL, Slight Change – PINCH HITTER

    1. Have my PB Concept story polished by March 2013 —  FOUL BALL — Latest critiques indicate I need to go back to the starting line and start over. For once I agree. Doh!
    2. Submit PB concept story to several publishing houses in 2013. — PINCH HITTER — Concept story is not going on submission (see item above). Instead a new song-based story is! sub
    3. Write 6-8 new drafts — 1st BASE — Wrote 2 new drafts.
    4. Have three polished manuscripts by the year-end. — 1st BASE — One done and another close behind.
    5. Complete Character-Driven Workshop from Picture Book Academy — HOME RUN
    6. Attend one writing conference, possibly Books of Passage in June or a Big Sur Writing Workshop put on by Andrea Brown. — PINCH HITTER — Attending the SCBWI Regional Conference in Oakland in October.
    7. Completed Making Picture Book Magic by Susanna Hill HOME RUN, but really a GRAND SLAM!
    8. Waking up at 5:30ish every weekday to work on writing — 2nd BASE — we’ll see if this holds once the kids’ school starts)

Taking the picture book course Making Picture Book Magic was not on my radar, but I am sooo glad I took it. It was perfect and just what I needed. The course is like a “how-to-manual” on writing character-driven picture books. Susanna does an excellent job of breaking the course into 20 modules, 1 per-day that can be completed in 15-30mins. These modules are building blocks for your story, which is exactly what you will be doing. At the halfway point you will be writing a full draft! Here is the best part of the course. Susanna will be commenting on your (optional) homework assignments along the way. I loved being able to get this type of early feedback from Susanna and my fellow classmates; it definitely enhanced the learning process for me. I am the type of person that learns best in a classroom, where you can have live Q&A. Susanna’s MPBM is the next best thing. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is just starting out or has been writing for a while and wants help on building a story with a strong arc and vivid characters.

Wishing you all the best in your writing goals for the second half of 2013!

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15 Comments to “2013 – Mid Year Check-in on Life and Writing”

  1. That’s progress! Congrats, Darshana. Can’t wait to hear about Making Picture Book Magic and how you liked the Character-driven Workshop. Am considering taking another worthwhile PB course to take me to the next level.

    • Hi Romelle, slight typo in the post as I did include my thoughts on MPBM in this post. If you want to know more feel free to email me.

  2. I’m not the best on baseball, but everything sounds good – even the foul balls! I really enjoyed the MPBM class too. Enjoy the remainder of your summer.

  3. I think you’re doing great!! It takes all kinds of hits to stay in the game :•) Nince job, Darshana!

  4. Oops…Allow me a revision, please. Nice job!

  5. Enjoyed your post — I’m glad you have a great sense of humor. Clever to liken your progress to baseball. I understand completely. I had a foul and I know what it feels like. We’ll all get there because we are learning so much and support one another!

    • Thank Pat. Foul balls are just a sign that we are giving it all we got. It is great having you on this writing journey. Best to you too.

  6. You are so on top of things. I like how your goals are so clear. You will get there, I am sure of that!!

    • Thanks for the compliment. Funny I think the same of you. You have an amazing blog. I have to make specific goals. I only seem to operate well when I am rushing towards a deadline.

  7. Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on all your accomplishments.

  8. Darshana – what a lot you have done in 6 months. Wow!

    Thanks for telling us about your MPBM experience. Susanna is such a doll. Hoping I find the time to take the course soon.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Thanks Cathy! I highly recommend taking the course. Seriously make the time to take it. For the most part you really only need 30mins a day. The only part that took longer for me was writing the first draft at the mid-way point.

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