Thinking Thursday – SUMMER SPARKS!

Summer Sparks

I hope you are ready for another challenge!???!

Yes, I’ll be hosting Summer Sparks once again this year! Have you been looking for this post? Are you ready to get those ideas sparking??? This year, I’m going to try something a little different. COMMENT on this post and let me know if you are planning on taking the challenge. BUT to qualify for any giveaways you must comment on every giveaway post. Yep, no pre-sign ups. Although I would love to know you are going to take the challenge. I want to keep this light and fun.

So what exactly do you need to do for this years challenge?

  1. FOLLOW this blog!  If you don’t already do this, email notification is over here.   —>
  2. COMMENT on this post. This is so I know you are taking the challenge. No cut off. If you have come into the challenge a little late, no problem. Comment now.  🙂
  3. THINKING CAPS on! You will need to come up with 14 pb ideas in 14 days. You are on the honor system and will take the pledge at the end of this challenge.
  4. COMMENT on the guest bloggers post. Let them know what you think. Did something click? Have you had a brain blast because of what they said? Do this especially if they are offering a giveaway.
  5. SHARE the posts! Seriously, help get the word out about the challenge and then what we are saying. Help spread the word.
  6. Friend/Like/Follow the guest bloggers! Let’s show them some linky love.
  7. Take THE PLEDGE at the end of the challenge! Let me know if you got your 14 ideas
  8. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I still have a few spots open. If anyone who is picture book published would like to be a guest blogger. let me know!

NOT SURE WHAT SUMMER SPARKS IS?

Go to this page to read more about it and see lasts years posts.

COMMENT ON THIS POST!

Let me know that you will be participating in Summer Sparks 2015!!!!

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tips – Accepting Challenges

CHALLENGE… ACCEPTED

BEGIN!

Why should you challenge yourself as a writer or participate in challenges as a writer?

258d6c97a3a5a340f70c9bf3d103f9baSimple. It makes you grow. As writers, we tend to stay inside a bubble. Our own little bubble. Where we know what we are doing, how to approach the topic, how to face what lays ahead.  When you are in a challenge, you push yourself. To do more. To explore more. To find more. To reach down deep more. We grow. We find the magic that makes our story soar and eventually make our readers fall in love.

This is why I do challenges. I want to grow as a writer and make my work better. I challenge myself to write 12 first drafts in 12 months each year. I’ve participated in Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo each year (except one). I am still reading through Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo (first year). I also hold Summer Sparks to help others (and myself) out on ideas.

The fact is, I will never stop learning, and neither should you. It is what drives us and keeps us on our toes.

SO. To all that, I am challenging myself (kicking myself in the tush really) to get my picture book reviews going again. I have revamped my goals for that blog, given it a new home, and a new title…

PB & J’More
Picture Book Reviews and Activities
Get Stuck On Writing

I will vlog about picture books and also give links to fun activities to tie into each book.

To begin with, I will only do reviews for the month of April, because…

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A to Z Challenge

This challenge is to create a theme and blog about it for the month of April.

Well being a picture book writer and all, I am going to blog about picture books who’s title start with each letter of the alphabet. I hope you will enjoy what all I have to say and find some great reads. So click on over, follow me there too if you like, and let get prepared to explore some great reads!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about challenges.
Do you know of some great ones that you are participating in?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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~World Read ALOUD DAY~ March 4th!

litworldWRAD15logo-web

Did you know WORLD READ ALOUD DAY is approaching fast?

Well, it is!
~ March 4, 2015 ~

And I’m participating!

I’m offering 15 minute *FREE* Skype visits that day.

What will I do?

  1. Smile and wave
  2. Read one of my stories
  3. Allow your students to ask questions

What do you need to do?

  1. Contact me! email me at authorvisits@traceymcox.com or leave a comment below
  2. Pick out which  BOOK  you would like me to read
  3. Prepare questions

Check out my EVENTS PAGE on my website to see what times are available. Book your spot N-O-W!!!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of this idea.
Are YOU participating in World Read Aloud Day?
How? What are you doing?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign-ups are over here —>
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*** Sign up for my  N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click  ~HERE~  to be directed to my
Newsletter sign-up page.
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ALA Awards!

So for some reason, I had this post set to draft instead of scheduled post.  😦  I’m so sorry. It must have been from all the excitement of watching the ALAYMA live. Yeah, that was it. I was hyped up on adrenaline, and the old noggin didn’t function properly.   😉   😉

So here’s the post that should have been on Wednesday… in case you haven’t heard.

shutterstock_102813506 [Converted]

 

And the winners are…

Click 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards to download a complete listing of all the wonderful winners and honorable mentions. You can also watch the event and relive the excitement on the ALA website.

One of my favorite things is to listen in on the phone calls…

Don’t you love the feel?    *happy tears* *laughter* *applause*

Here are the winning books cover art:
*some won multiple times

The CrossoverEl DeafoBrown Girl DreamingBeekleNana in the CityThe Noisy Paint BoxSam & Dave Dig a HoleViva FridaThe Right WordThis One SummerHow I Discovered PoetryHow It Went DownFirebirdJosephineLittle Melba and Her Big TromboneI'll Give You the SunA Boy and A JaguarRain ReignGirls Like UsAll The Light We Cannot SeeBellweather RhapsodyBingo's RunConfessionsEverything I Never Told YouLock InThe MartianThe Terrorist’s Son- A Story of ChoiceThose Who Wish Me DeadWolf in White VanMe…JaneMikis and the DonkeyHidden- A Child’s Story of the HolocaustNine Open ArmsH. O. R. S. E. A Game of Basketball and ImaginationFive, Six, Seven, Nate!The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow PlaceA Snicker of MagicLittle Roja Riding HoodGreen Is a Chile PepperSeparate Is Never Equal- Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for DesegregationI Lived on Butterfly HillPortraits of Hispanic American HeroesThe Family Romanov- Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial RussiaNeighborhood Sharks- Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon IslandsThis Day in JuneBeyond Magenta- Transgender Teens Speak OutMorris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressYou Are (Not) SmallMr. Putter & Tabby Turn the PageWaiting Is Not Easy!Gabi, a Girl in PiecesThe Carnival at BrayThe Story of Owen- Dragon Slayer of TrondheimThe Scar BoysThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava LavenderPopular- Vintage Wisdom for a Modern GeekLaughing at My NightmareIda M. Tarbell- The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won!The Port Chicago 50- Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

 

 

I’ve been going around doing my

~ S n o o p y   D a n c e ~

for all you win-nahs, win-nahs, win-nahs out there!!!

 

Did you see some of your favorites? I know I did. Now I have got a great reading list to go scavenge around my library with.   🙂

 

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Feature Friday: ReFoReMo hosted by Carrie Charley Brown

ReFoReMo2ReFoReMo
Reading for Research Month

We know we love to write. We know we need to learn to write well to be published. So how do we go about to learning? There are classes we can take. Webinars we can watch. Speakers to listen to.

Another great way to learn?  R-E-A-D! Yes, read! By submersing yourself into your genre, you will see what works and what doesn’t. Read the classics to see what has carried them this far. Read the mid-list to see what can make you stay steady. Read the newly published to see what is on the pulse of publishing and how your writing can fit in.

By reading a combination of publishing years you can begin to see the patterns of publishing. Things that are considered ‘classics’ wouldn’t be published now. Stories that are coming out this year might not have been published 10 years ago. Use the current books as mentor text. You will see word count, topics, and trends that are similar and will help direct you to better writing.

Carrie Charley Brown came up with a genius of a plan to help writers collaborate together and learn from each other with mentoring texts. Her and I were talking the other day, and she graciously answered some of my questions:

 

Q1: Name of writing challenge?

Reading for Research Month, or ReFoReMo

Q2: Do you have a website?

Of course!  You can find more information at:

http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo

Q3: Date of sign-ups?

February 15-March 1

Q4: Date writing challenge runs?

March 1-31

Q5: Why did you come up with this challenge?

I’ve grown as a writer by participating in challenges such as PiBoIdMo, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and ReviMo. At the same time, I read a lot of picture books as research tools and I wanted to share that inspiration with others.  

Q6: What do you hope people will gain from this challenge?

Guest author-educators will allow us to step into their shoes as they use picture books as tools. My hope is that picture book writers will gain a deeper understanding of how to use mentor texts to grow as writers. I also hope the consistent practice of reading picture books will immerse them into the form they write.

Q7: What else would you like to include?

Sometimes people don’t realize that fiction takes research, too. I write mainly picture book fiction and could not imagine writing without first understanding what is constantly being released in our market. Writers need to stick together and share. ReFoReMo will allow us to be there for one another in both fiction and nonfiction.

 

About:

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Carrie Charley Brown

Carrie Charley Brown juggles ideas every day as a children’s writer, teacher, blogger, and mom. She is the founder of the 2015 ReFoReMo Challenge, or Reading for Research Month. You can learn more about Carrie’s writing journey, her KidLit Services, ReFoReMo, and many other amazing authors and resources, at her blogsite Carrie On… Together!

 

Thanks Carrie!
I am also honored to be one of the Author-Educators for the challenge.   🙂

Hope you all will join us. Click on the link, banner, or ~ HERE~ to take you over there.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about this post.
Have you read any great picture books lately?
Do you know of any writing challenges you would like to see featured here?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Newsletter sign-up page.
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Free Pass Friday: Q&A SCHOOL VISITS… How to Prepare

GoldenTicket

Today I’m continuing my block of post on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

Every now and then I will have interviews, Q&As, and such that give you an inside look. I will be posting them under my Free Pass Friday series.

I held a live Q&A the other night and would like to share the result with all of you. There were a lot of great questions. So here is the video:

I hope you enjoyed it and that it answered some of the questions you might have had about Preparing for SCHOOL VISITS.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about what all I said.
Do you have any questions?
Is there another angle you would like to see covered?
What do you do to prepare for a school visit?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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www. WHERE Can You Hold a School Visit

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www. Where Can You Hold A School Visit

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

A few people have asked me where am I able to hold a SCHOOL VISIT at? My answer to this question is literally almost anywhere! In today’s technology, we don’t have to physically be somewhere to be able to see and hear someone.

While I absolutely LOVE going to a school and holding an in person visit, that may not always be an option. Distance and school budgets can be a big factor.

BUDGETS:
Schools budgets are getting tighter and tighter. While they encourage interaction, they may not be able to afford an author’s honorarium, plus traveling expense.

DISTANCE:
I have had several schools in-state that want to book me, but because of the travel expense they cannot afford it. There is mileage rate. I charge $0.56/mile, which is Federal Standard Mileage Rate. For places where I have over 2+ hours driving time, I request a hotel for the night before. If there is an extended drive, authors can ask for plane tickets too.

???So What To Do???

Welcome to the internet! 🙂

You can still visit schools by offering online visits. I offer these through Skype or Google+Hangouts. If you do a Google+Hangouts On Air, you can record the event for later use too.

Set up is simple.

If you have a Google email account you are ready to go. Hangouts selection is on a column bar on the right-side of your screen. Add your contact person to one of your circles and you can connect with the via Hangouts.

For Skype, you’ll need to create an account and download the free software. Add your contact person and you are ready.

I always like to do a test run with the school. This helps get any bugs out, wiring difficulties, sound check, and visual components.

There is a website you can sign up with: Skype In the Classroom, where you can post your presentations.
PROS: Great place to get your name out there. You are seen world wide. Your not restricted by regions.
CONS: Your presentations have to be free. I do ask them to send home a few flyers. (One on me, my bio, and one about my books, which also includes my website.) I also send them a flyer so they can announce that I will be ‘visiting’ their school.

It’s a wonderful experience. I have visited New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, and a few other places with this great avenue.

If you choose to do this: For the free ones, may I suggest paring down one or two of your presentations. Maybe do a quick reading and then allow 10 minutes for q&a. Maybe send a form before-hand letting them explore the writing process and then you can go over it and give them 10 minutes for follow-up and/or q&a.

The point being, the only thing to stop you from visiting a school is your own creativity. So that shouldn’t stop any of you. We are writers and illustrators after all. 🙂

Hopefully this gave you some ideas and maybe got you thinking some too.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about online visits?
What do you think about in person visits?
Do you have any questions about online or in person visits?
Let me know.

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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