Sunday, December 1, 2013

PiBoIdMo Winner 2013

The Badge says it all.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30, 2013

46+ PiBoIdMo ideas. (The plus is because some are but a whisper of an idea.) 
     I've made many new friends and gathered a large number of blogs to look at, I'll be busy until February. Now comes the time to toss out, flesh out and send out.
     I've blogged every night this month and truthfully, I fell asleep a couple times while sitting in bed with my laptop. But, I've managed come up out of the valley and walk up that hill. I didn't need the little red wagon either. I think this picture displays my journey the best.


Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29, 2013

Time is almost up.
Time for PiBo to end and time for my laptop to get plugged in.
So that's all I have for the day after Thanksgiving and the day before PiBo is over.
Why must I get up?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Hanukkah

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27, 2013

Todays post by Annette Simon was full of fun and whimsy. It really made me study the title of books. There are truly too many that start off with the word, "The."

We were prompted to make a picture book spine creation. I had fun making mine.


It's interesting to study just what I have here. I have six little ducks, one male and five female. They wait all their childhood years for wings that will allow them to fly. We as parents clip their wings which is often needful. Just so we don't stomp on them that they forget how to fly and swoon and dive.

Life as a parent is about freedom for not only yourself but for them as well.

Now that our little ducks have gotten their wings it's time for us to dance a new dance and drop as many crumbs along the way, hoping they will come to nibble on them.

Interesting, serendipitous, quite right!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013

After tonight there are two days until Thanksgiving, two nights until Chanukah, four days until PiBoIdMo is over and twenty nine days until Christmas. That leaves us thirty six days until the year is over. I'm glad. I've never gotten used to the look and the feel of the number three in 2013.

Today was one of those days when I wanted to roll up the sidewalks and shut the curtains..................................................................................................Oh sorry, I was falling asleep. As I was saying, it was one of those days where you don't even want anyone to talk to you. I knew I was in trouble when I was telling my Rice Krispies to be quiet. I had come to a place of information saturation. I no longer wanted to read anything, write anything nor know anything. I was ready to build an igloo and hang out until the spring thaw. Just deep freeze me thorough winter.

I was bookin' it. No pun intended. I spent the day without TV, Internet or music.

I read today's post by Renee Kurilla. For me it was very encouraging and timely.

She wrote about a fantastic story idea that came to her and it seemed like all the characters and events were spinning into place and then . . . she says, "Once again in my happy little kidlit cloud, this is where my story fades to black."

Man-O-Man, how many times does this happen to me. I get so far and it all goes black. I  r-e-a-l-l-y need to fix that problem. I find the best way to do this is roll up the sidewalks, turn off the TV, tell the Rice Krispies to shut-up and spend time alone in head (or my igloo).

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013


Today I thought about snow, and bunnies, and physical appearances and  . . . well, more snow and turkey. It was a day that seemed to speed right past me. I haven't been on the Internet much so I still have to take my laptop to bed with me and catch up on all the great guests that have been invited to share with us during PiBoIdMo. Here's the link in case you're as behind as I am.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24, 2013

Winter 2012-2013
At a distance the house looks stable, straight, secure. Right? Wrong. It's still standing but on closer inspection we have a house that has up and downs depending on the room you are walking through. For the first few weeks we lived here I felt like I had an inner ear problem. I was dizzy.
A portion of the front of the house does not have a basement and the foundation is on ground. That's probably a good thing because, see the two windows on the left, that's my den. The Merlot Room. A lot of my books are against that wall. At least I can be sure the house won't cave in on the north side.
Well, today I thought about our crooked little house and came up with a silly story about an old woman who lived in a shoe she had so many children she didn't know what to do. Oh, wait that was already written. Actually is it about an old woman who lived in a crooked little house.
This picture was before we put up shelves. We used the leaves from our old dining room table because I busted the legs from the weight of the books and the sloop in the floor. The table was held up with a car jack until I could unload it and revamp the area.
That's it for me, sitting in the Merlot Room.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23, 2013

Saturday Night Fever,

 . . . no, not me. Not my weather either. It's like -7 with the wind chill out here near the big lake in Wisconsin. It's so hard to be inspired when winter comes knocking too early. My blood hasn't even thickened.

So what did I do today as far as PiBo-ing? I'm a few days behind on reading Tara's website, but that's what Mondays are for. Today was another Grandma babysitting day. In preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day meal I cleaned the kitchen floor at my daughter's. I wiped all the cabinets down as little Ian watched Kipper The Dog on my windows phone and Anna played pretend running to and fro. Afterwards we took a nap, woke up refreshed and had a cup of joe.

On the drive home I thought about all the holidays we had when the children were little. The kids had the job of wiping down all the lower kitchen cabinets. This was for two reasons, one, I couldn't reach them and two, they could. I started to think about little kitchen helpers and it started to turn into the cutest idea for a holiday PB.

For me that should bring my total up to 36. And, for your enjoyment may I share,

Friday, November 22, 2013

January 22, 2013

The 22nd day of PiBoIdMo. The turkey is thawing out. The snow is starting to fall. The temperatures are starting to drop. On Wisconsin.

I can never understand how a flock of a hundred or more geese can take to the sky and politely share the air. When we can't seem to drive down the highway or the roads through town without thinking we own the road.

Perhaps that's the title for my idea for today.

Bird Brains

Good Night Moon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 21, 2013

We're getting close to the end.
No ideas today. No, not a one. I spent the day getting ready for house guests next week and loafed the rest of the afternoon. I had a big belly ache from eating a whole entire bag of cheesy bunny rabbits yesterday and then went out for a Culvers hot fudge sundae with pecans. "Oy," said my tummy, "stop talking about it."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20, 2013

I'm P.O.'d

I updated Windows 8 to Window crappy and I can't get Skydrive to allow me to download my pictures for todays blog.

                                        So I say, hang it.

                                                                                 Like on a Sky Hook.

The one in the basement my mom always threatened to hang us on when we were little (and a little naughty). I'm imagining her mom threatened to hang her on one also. And, her mother's mother. And so on down the line. I obviously must come for a long line of Sky Hook hanger-uppers.

You know I never did find that sky hook and I couldn't figure out why it was in the basement when there was no sky down there. It had to have been outdoors.

For November 20th, 2013, that's all I have.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013

Favorites  .  .  .

After a comment by one of my dear cat friends I thought about favorite things as I grew up. One thing was a purple and blue pair of pajamas I just loved. I loved them so much that I wanted to be buried in them.

"What?" my mother said as she recoiled.

I'm not sure what I was thinking. All I knew was I wanted them to be with me forever and ever. Scheesch! What kids don't think. But that's the beauty of it, they don't need to think things through. All I knew was, I am here. Someday I won't be. These pajamas are coming with me when I go.

Sadly I have no idea what happened to those pj's.

I did have a favorite toy, it was a Johnny Appleseed doll. I remember walking around in the kitchen with a kettle on my head.  I loved him so much. I even have one packed in a box somewhere. I bought him on eBay a few years back.

Then there was my favorite game, Tickle Bee.

As I got older it was my Betsy McCall doll, which I still have (even though she only has one leg).

What does this have to do with PiBo? Childhood Memories. This is why we write. We wish to create "childhood memories" for children.
Today I had a Grandma babysitting day. As I left I heard Anna say to her mother, "Let's play make-believe. Let's pretend we're worms."
With that, I was glad it was time for me to go home. No slithering for this old gal. Is there a story there? Undoubtedly.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Today I caught up on reading the posts on the website, Picture Book Month.

Sue Fliess' post caught my attention. She writes for Little Golden Books.

They were the first books I can remember as a child. Oh how I longed for them when my mother would roll us up to the check-out counter after grocery shopping. She'd often say "no" and tell us she couldn't afford the .59 book. Life can be so cruel sometime. 
Hum, I'd like to see them try to sell a bunch of iPads at the check out lanes. I bet that wouldn't go over well.
I still have some of the early books from our childhood. Books like, WRONG WAY HOWIE LEARNS TO SLIDE. "Slide, Howie. Slide."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17, 2013

Today was not a dry day. It was an extremely wet day. Rain, wind, tornados. These are all the things that make for a day where you need a super hero, a sidekick and the bully.

As today is my last day as the color black ( the absence of all color ) I started to sneak in a little blue. Hum. I thought, black and blue. Not a really good connotation. I must need a super hero.

So perhaps there is a story here.

Now I ask you, who wouldn't love this web page?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16, 2013

UP   h

Updates, we update many things, our car, our clothing, our computer, our status on the work we're doing.
My computer is presently updating so I shall update you from my Windows phone.
Today was a dry day. I had two fleeting ideas. One about my dog, Kep, and one while I played with Thomas the Tank engine.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013


My dad is stronger than your dad.

                                        My car is faster than your car.

                                                                              Mom likes me best.

                                                                                                     Her piece is bigger than mine.

First is worst
                                Second is best
                                                                         Third is the one with the hairiest chest!

I have a hamster.

                               I have a cat.

                                                       I have a dog.

                                                                                Well, I have an elephant.

Smile, we had it half way through,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013

                         . . .

                                              . . .

                                                                    . . .

                                                                                    I forgot.

But wait, elephants never forget.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13, 2013

Day thirteen has been a day of catching up on reading Tara's blog. I love Jane Yolen. What a treat to have her as guest today.

The next three days are the color gray. I guess there is a big gray elephant that wants me to write a story about him. So be it.

I kept thinking of my mouse thing. We used to live in an old farm house where the mice thought we were there to pay their rent. And, having cats on the brain after yesterday, I just knew this guy was worthy of a PB too.

This is Fred. He is the oldest of our pets. He was found living in the Chrysler LeBaron.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013

Being Grandma . . .

Did I tell you I'm no longer a chauffeur? Since 1987 I've been a chauffeur to six of the wildest zoo animals. As of October 21st I hung up my hat.

Since then my days are my own, except for when I'm Grandma.

I'm a little concerned about myself though, I'm slowly becoming the crazy cat lady. Today my daughter and I went to pick up, Giraffe from the vet. He was neutered (the cat, not the vet ).

I think the meds are working!
Giraffe wandered into our yard about three weeks ago. After a lot of hemming and hawing we decided to keep the little guy. Today got me thinking about being homeless. It was that idea that brought about PiBoIdMo for day 12.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Another Mom'sday. I'm so glad they come around every so often.

I spend the day in "pink" because I didn't want "gray" and I surely didn't want "white", but we got a taste of white anyway. We had our first dusting of snow and 20 degrees afterwards. And, I'm hating it. I'm so not ready for winter weather. There will be plenty of time for that in December, January and February. I had to give my pumpkins mittens today. (Hey what a cute idea for a PB)

This evening I read Todd McQueen's post on Tara's blog. He talked about ships and harbors and busyness, and will your boat stay afloat.

 All day I thought about two pictures, each were of the sea. I wondered what the women were looking for.

 . . . and they each are pink. I kept thinking, girls-at-sea and cupcakes.

So today I worked in the kitchen. I washed a needy kitchen floor. Only because I had to dig deep into the lower cabinets and didn't want to sit on the dirty floor. I'm not sure what I originally went in the for but I sure pulled out various items. Like four rolling pins. What was I thinking? Am I opening a cookie store? The greatest find was a package of Mrs. Fields Cupcake Mix.

You are all invited to my house tomorrow for cupcakes, chocolate and pink frosting cupcakes.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013

"It's Sunday . . . "


"Well, that's about all I got!" I said.

"Really, you can't do anything better than that?" said egg.

"I'm kind of lost egg," said I.

"Is the muse diminishing?" asked egg as he leaned over the edge of his egg stand.

""No, Big NO!" I scowled back at him.

"Hum, I'll expect more out of you tomorrow then." He rolled, fell to the floor but didn't break. After all he is marble.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013

Babysitting . . .
              Now I know why God stops the biological clock around 50 years of age. Unless your name is Sarah.

Today while I was watching Anna and Ian, Anna came into the kitchen while I was on my phone reading Rosemary Wells' comments on Why Picture Books Are Important.

I said, "Look, Anna. Do you want to see the author who wrote the story of Max and Ruby? See the lady? She created the story of Max and Ruby."

Anna became interested and pointed out the picture of Max on the wall behind Rosemary. You see, on Tuesdays when I watch the kids my job at 3:10 is to pack Ian up in the car and pick Anna up from K4. I pause the TV. Anna comes home in anticipation of watching Max and Ruby with me while we both eat Cheerios and milk.

I then proceeded to again explain that a person who writes books is called an author. She then says to me, "And a person who draw the pictures is called an illustrator."

I began to wonder who is teaching who.

Today was the last day of "yellow" and all I could think of was the yellow box of Cheerios and all the bowls Anna and I have had together. And, when Ian is old enough to chew he will join in the feast. There's a lifetime of stories in that.

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013

Yellow lives on in the heart of this zebra. Alright I may be going overboard, even the dogs are drinking out of a yellow bowl. I thought this morning, hey it's round, it's deep, it hold sufficient water, it's yellow. It doesn't get any better than this. This is Nutzy, the American Eskimo, Kepper, the Bichon Frise, and Mau, the boss. She's one of three that live in the house.

My cutest idea came today from a little boy that was waiting in line with his mom. We were all waiting  for the General Store to open. It's a really Fantastic place. I go every Friday and look for bargains. (even if they're not yellow)

As I headed home I drove past the house with the little yellow fire truck. I'm loving it more and more every day. I keep thinking I need one.

Day 8 coming to a close.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November, 7, 2013

Day 7

We've been at it a week now. I hope everyone is enjoying PiBoIdMo. I sure am.

Today my color is yellow and will be for the next two days for no other reason than the sun is going to shine for the next three days. In Wisconsin, as fall turns to winter, it's not uncommon to have gray days. So in honor of Mr. Sun we shall celebrate with yellow.

I spent most of the day working in my den trying to find my desk. I went from this . . .

to this . . .

in three easy payment of $39.95 plus shipping and handling.
Oops, wrong brain wave.
I looked long and hard for a spark on inspiration in the shade of yellow. I came up with this guy. Friend of Rahoule, the pool boy.

Okay so Skipper Mac just didn't scream a story to me but I kept him on my mind while I went out to run errands. While I was out I did see the cutest kids riding vehicle. It looked like a fire truck but was yellow like an emergency vehicle. Hummm, he sure looks like he wants to be in a book, I thought.

As I finished setting up my work space I found an old lamp my husband gave me years back, now we're getting somewhere. Let's just see where yellow takes me in the next three days.

Lastly, a cup of chamomile tea. Night all. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 6. 2013

Day 6.

I'm still in the game. Although my color thought was orange, I came up with a story for pink. I said, "No, stop it. Bunnies aren't orange. Let's not go there today." It didn't work, the idea happened. I got a main character, supporting characters, a plot and a title." That's when you lay aside your constraints and go with the creative flow.

Then it happened again, I got a Christmas story idea. "STOP ALREADY!" It didn't listen. I had the bare bones for story no. 2 for the day.

I still had to come up with my orange story. I felt my inspiration would come if I wore my orange fairy wings. And, it happened. What do you call it when you have an idea for a _________ and a ________, and that's all. It's like you say to yourself I'm going to write a story about a ________ and somehow incorporate these _________.

November 5, 2013

I'm a day late but I did my PB idea. It was orange, too.

The first week of May I immerse myself in National Picture Book Writing Week.

 I got in the habit during NaPiBoWriWee to inspire myself by dressing in a different color each day throughout the week. Writing a story in one day is a challenge (at least if I want to read it when I'm finished and not go, "Pee you!") It helps me to separate my thoughts as I jump from one day to the next.

So, I decided to jazz it up for PiBoIdMo. Which by the way, I myself pronounce it, Pee Bold Mo. The first three days the color was green. The next three, it's been orange. So today ( which was truthfully, yesterday) I came up with a story while watching our neighbor's horse and pony frolic in the wind. I suppose you're wondering if they have an orange horse or pony. Well, not any more.

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013


My day to do whatever I please without explanation or quilt. Mom'sday has been a part of my life for over 10, 15 years. Heck I don't even remember. Because I raised six children, I needed one day for myself. Even if I did the same things I usually did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Mom'sday was a mental reprieve.

The day was windy, terribly windy. I watched the snow geese struggle in flight, the horse and pony across the street roll in the dirt and rear in the air and I sat in my cozy house, ate breakfast while I cooked up an idea for Day 4

I decided to pack up my pencil and paper and hit the road. Thanks to the color orange, and the horses I came up with a breezy idea. No, Dorothy, there are no flying monkeys in it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3, 2013

See that guy? We all know him. I'm sure we're all been him at some point or another. Today was my turn. Today I read the post on Tara's PiBo site. I read why picture books are important on the November Picture Book Month website. I read Facebook tidbits and meandered on the Writers Retreat.

Then I went outside because the sun was out after two days of rain, constant rain. The kind of rain meant for toads. I set up my Thanksgiving decorations, fed the birds and spent time with our new cat, Giraffe. Then I came in the house, made a hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup, spilled beverages (twice) on the counter, poked myself with a knife as I struggled to get the wrapper off a Tylenol bottle. It was then I decided I was semi-dangerous and had better go lie down for a while. You see, I'd been terrible sick earlier this week and I'm still not all together right in the head. :-P

But, you ask, did you do your picture book idea? Well, yes I did. I stole an idea from myself. It was from a comment someone posted on Facebook about catching a great idea at the worst possible time. What do we do to remember if we are unable to write it down? I chant pieces of it. Just joking around I commented I understood and gave the example, frog in a pink dress, mailbox, chocolate cake-frog in a pink dress, mailbox, chocolate cake-frog in a pink dress, mailbox, chocolate cake.

And why not? You could go 100 places with that combination. So, I'll try.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2, 2013

Today is day two of Picture Book Idea Month hosted by Tara Lazar.
Today's guest blogger on Tara's site is Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. I appreciated her thoughts. If I may quote her, "Again, allowing yourself to have incomplete ideas gives you the freedom to pursue many more possibilities." Now that's my kind of math.
That's really how all of PiBoIdMo goes for me. A thought here, a character there. I had two ideas today but it seemed that they wanted to be in the same book. One idea was just a character. The other idea was a basic plot.
Todays character was a small porcelain frog that belonged to my mother. This is the anniversary of her passing. Before I ran off to babysit my two grandchildren I needed to take something of hers with me. The first thing I saw was this guy. He broke off his rock and was sitting on the kitchen windowsill waiting for me to glue him back on. He now becomes the secondary character in my Day 2 story. And thanks to my granddaughter we have a story to tell.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013

I spent the day running errands. One of them landed me in a local resale shop. I always have a need for glass containers and this one caught my eye. Not for it's usefulness but for its contents. Talk about a story wanting to come out. This one had it all. I could find no reason nor rhyme to the arrangement of its contents.

All I could hear them say is, "I wanna get out."
The rest of the day went well for ideas. One came to me as I awoke. It's interesting how some mornings I will come to the end of a dream sequence and my mind says it's now time to get up. Now go do something about this clown.
PiBoIdMo Day One

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Picture Book Month

If life isn't sweet enough we have a double header to consider. November is topped off with another Picture Book treat. Its Picture Book Month. Whoooo wouldn't give a hoot about this?