Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guinea Pig Surprise - The Surprise

Be sure to see  Episode 1 - The Plan and Episode 2 - One Week Away

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guinea Pig Surprise - non-writing post

Who knows, it could lead to a picture book. LOL

Continue to Episode 2 - One Week Away

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Horror Poster Competition

I created this image for a Halloween Horror Poster Competition, on the Lyons New Media Centre Facebook page! I'm in need of votes and they have to be in before Oct. 31, 2011.

Click here to see it in full and vote : http://bit.ly/sKMMFO

JACK-O-LANTERNS - An Acrostic Poem

I've posted this acrostic poem before but I thought I'd post is again since it fits the occasion.

by Madeline Barr

Jagged tooth grin
And nothing to say.
Candy he guards,
Keeping ghouls away.

Orange, cool armor he wears. His

Life, an internal light.
Armed with an eerie glow and the
Natural darkness of night.
Triangular, flashing eyes
Examine the area for miles.
Relentlessly protecting the sweet treats but
Never forgetting to

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dream Soup

Taken from http://madelinebarr.blogspot.com

I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamed I received an acceptance letter in the form of soup. Yes, SOUP.

I got it from the mailbox and it was chicken soup with pasta words. As I stirred the soup the pasta words floated around with the chunks of chicken and carrots. The words started to surface so I could actually read them. YOUR was the first word, then SUBMISSION. As I kept stirring the word that had surfaced just bobbled around a bit but didn't move. HAS and BEEN joined the first two words. The next word was long and stared with an A.


I kept stirring thinking it was a joke and waited for the word NOT to pop into place but it never did. I was so happy I stared to cry. 

Then I woke up.
I can come up with a few meanings for this dream but I want to know what you think.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Carvings

Quick post.

I love Halloween. One of my favorite things to do is carve the pumpkin. Usually we get 3 pumpkins; one for each of the kids and one for me. We have to get one for me or else I'm hovering over the kids telling them how to carve theirs and that's not good for them or me. I usually carve a fun cartoon character because I have young kids. As they get older I will move to more scary stuff.

Here are 2 pictures of pumpkins I have carved in previous years. I either make my own template or I don't use one at all.. I have also done Tigger and Dora - I'll have to see if I can find the picture of those.

2010 - Tinkerbell

2009 - Elmo

I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do this year. Maybe OSO? Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Free Kindle book for people in the US

OK here is a freebie for all my American friends who have Kindle.
Arthur Slade's, Edgar-nominated horror DUST (the Kindle version) is available for free for a short time on Amazon.

Here's the link you need:


Monday, July 18, 2011

Media Barr: It's Here And A Little Dirty!!

Have you seen this?

Media Barr: It's Here And A Little Dirty!!: "Media Barr is proud to announce the launch of 'This Is The Mud' Spot the differences game. Author Kathryn Apel contacted Media Barr and rec..."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Your Book Cover In A Game

What if your book cover could be part of a "spot the differences" game....on your site.....for free?

Free interactive media of your cover, logo or anything else you can think of is available at http://mediabarr.blogspot.com/

Help keep people at your site and passing your game on to friends.

Also, thought the scratch card might be a great idea for wishing a friend a happy birthday, we're pregnant or any other special message you might have for that someone special.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are You Giving Your 'Stick' To The Right 'Person?'

How is this dog like some newbie writers?

He didn’t do his research.

Being a writer is not easy.

You come with an idea. Develop characters, plot, and setting. You create a mood and watch your characters grow. You add a twist. You write, rewrite and then write it again. Then you rewrite some more. You flesh out and cut out. You’re meticulous about every word. And then you finally type “The End.”

You can’t take your story and place it at the feet of an agent and expect them to pick it up.

At first glance any agent may look perfect. They’re bright and shiny on the outside, not a hair out of place. But you need to look deeper, on the inside. You need to make sure your story is right for the agent and you need to make sure the agent is right for you. If you send your picture book manuscript to an agent who only handles YA and MG you’re wasting their time and your time. What genre are they looking for? What are the agent’s likes and dislikes? Do they have a soft spot for cowboys, vampires or vampire-cowboys? Are there any blog interviews with the agent online? Are they speaking at a writing conference? What authors do they represent? Have you read any of their client’s books?

There are many great resources on the internet when searching for an agent. Two very good sites are:Not doing your research may make you look like a fool while you bark up the wrong tree.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Almost Here! Are you Ready?

NaPiBoWriWee - National Picture Book Writing Week

Along with her new web site design, Paula Yoo has posted information about the 3rd annual National Picture Book Writing Week (a.k.a. NaPiBoWriWee) The goal of NaPiBoWriWee is to try to write 7 picture book manuscripts (rough drafts) in 7 days. Prizes will also be given away by random draws for those who particpate.

I have participated in NaPiBoWriWee since the first one in 2009 and have found it to be the freeing, kick-in-the-pants I need. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

For more information about NaPiBoWriWee visit Paula's site at http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=11

If you have any questions about my previous expiences in this challenge feel free to ask.

Friday, March 25, 2011

WICKED PRETTY THINGS is not so pretty right now

While on twitter I saw a number of tweets and retweets about authors pulling their submission from an anthology, WICKED PRETTY THINGS. I decided to check it out and I have gathered some links and information for you.

Basically Jessica Verday, author of THE HOLLOW trilogy, had written a male/male love story and was asked by the editor to change it to a male/female relationship because it would not be acceptable to the publishers. She refused and pulled her submission and support of the anthology. In support, so far, 3 other authors are pulling their submissions from the anthology as well. Below I have posted 2 links from Jessica Verday's blog which include quotes from the editor and the publishers. I have also posted links to the blog entries of the other authors who have posted why they have chosen to pull their stories.

Blog Posts From The Other Authors Who Have Pulled Their Stories

* I will edit this post if more authors pull their stories Love is love.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

POV and Picture Books

Last week at #pblitchat we talked about point of view (POV) in picture books. I am going to touch on a few points during the chat and add a few of my own. If you want to read a full version of the chat transcript you can see it at the Picture Books Only Blog – Transcript 10/11 March.

Point of view, or POV for short, in books is the perspective in which the story is told. Who’s eyes we see the story through. POV can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around.

Basically there are three points of view: First, Second and Third

There are finer details such as third person limited (you are ONLY able to write what one person sees/feels/hears/thinks) and third person omniscient (you can hover above everybody & see everything) but I’m not going to get into that at this time.

I believe third POV is probably the most used in picture books followed by first POV. Second can and has been used however there doesn’t seem to be as many picture books in that POV.

First Person POV
First person point of view is written with the narrator as part of the story. The words “I” and “we” are used. Though this POV brings us close to the narrator and show s/he thinks and feels, it does limit the story to the one person’s perspective. In picture books this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem since telling a story from more than one perspective can confuse a child. The other issue with first person is some younger children may get confused when being read to. When read “I went to the store” a child may think mommy or daddy really did go to the store. As KarenCollum put it in #pblitchat “There’s an element of maturity involved in kids reading a PB in 1st and understanding that ‘me’ and ‘I’ is not them.”

Second Person POV
Second person point of view is written with you being part of the story. The words “you” and “your” are used. This POV pulls the reader right into the story. You often find this POV in choose your own adventure books or self help books. This type of POV is less popular in picture books – though it has been done and done well.

Third Person POV
Probably the most popular POV to write, third person POV tells the story from a person outside the story. The words “he,” “she,” “they” and “it” are used. This POV allows for more freedom in how that story is told.

Examples of Books Written in the Different POVs
Have you ever tried to write one of your works in a different POV. What did you find? Does the story change? Did you find wholes in your story?
So, there you have it. Feel free to leave your comments about other books and POVs or anything else you would like.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Picture Book Chat

If you are looking for a place to chat about picture books then you need to join #pblitchat. Aussie writers Kat Apel and Karen Collum run a blog called Picture Books Only which is the home to #pblitchat. The chat is held once a week all about picture books is open to writers, librarian's and all lovers of children's picture books. Even though they state "Sorry – no middle-grade or YA novels allowed" they do tend to enter the conversation every once and a while however the main focus is pictures books.

I have found these sessions very informative and entertaining with a very friendly group. We're all learning so no question is ever to stupid to ask and I feel comfortable asking all my "stupid" questions here. Every week there is a different picture book topic and sometimes a special guest. Kat and Karen listen closely to participants of #pblitchat and some of the topics are based on the feedback they get. Some topics in the past have been so popular more than one session has been devoted it.

Topics include:
POV, technology, submission tracking, goals, myths in picture book publishing, plagiarism and copyright, From idea to polished manuscript: How do you get there? and the list goes on.

Special guests such as:
Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman (creators of the ‘Joey Fly’ graphic novels) and other published authors and illustrators, publishing consultant Alex Adsett, agents, poetry writers...

Time and Place
The chat is the same day every week but you need to pay close attention to place and time of the chats. To help accommodate the different time zones the time and place of the chat alternates each week.

Every 1st, 3rd and 5th (if there is one) Thursday of the month the chat is held at 7:00 am Eastern Time on Twitter using the #pblitchat tag.

Every 2nd and 4th Thursday the chat is held at 6:30 pm Eastern Time in a Chatzy chat room.

For a full listing of #pblitchat times in each timezone see the About Picture Books Only page. In order to enter the Chatzy room a password is required but don't let that scare you off. Simply email pblitchat[at]skymesh[dot]com[dot]au or pblitchat[at]bigpond[dot]com and request the password. (This was necessary due to some off-topic gate-crashers.)

Miss a chat or what to know more information about a topic previously covered? Kat and Karen happily post the chat transcript on their blog. You can find the transcripts on the Picture Books Only home page. I'm also hoping to summarize the transcript here on my blog.

Picture Books Only: http://picturebooksonly.wordpress.com/
Karen Collum: http://www.karencollum.com.au/
Kat Apel: http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Adobe Flash Player is required.

I'm a little scratch crazy this week. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cover Reveal Fun!

Cheryl Rainfield, author of SCARS (WestSide Books, March 24, 2010) has just revealed the cover of her new book. So, I've created a little fun using her new cover.

Adobe Flash Player is required.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hiking Up My Socks

I decided to hike up my socks and get to work polishing a picture book manuscript I have been working on-and-off for a long time.

So, last week I pulled it out of the draw and something interesting happened. That same day I had two different volunteer groups come to me and basically say, 'We'd like to use your writing skills. Can you help us? Would you write..." I don't mind helping and of course I said 'yes' but I find it funny that these requests come to me as soon as I decide to put all my focus on one of my bigger personal writing projects. My analytical mind now starts to wonder why this has happened and if there is a bigger meaning?

I think the bigger meaning is, 'you need to write...more...now.' I have finished one of the requests already and the client was very happy. Surprisingly, it wasn't as tough as I thought it was going to be. The other project will not happen for a while.

For now, I am looking to submit some smaller works, mainly poems, to magazines and web sites while I continue to work on my picture book manuscript and get it agent ready. Yay me!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

You Don't Know 'Jack'

Jack and the Bean Stalk. Jack Jumps Over the Candlestick. Jack and Jill went up the Hill. Jack Sprat. Little Jack Horner.

Do you know Jack or at least why Jack seems to be in so many fairy tales?

Though the name 'Jack' has a very complex origin it's meaning is very simple. 'Jack' basically means 'guy.' Some guy jumped over the caldlestick, a guy and a girl (Jill is slang for a young woman) went up a hill.

How many 'Jacks' have you heard of other than in fairy tales? Jack-in-the-box, Jack-of-all-trades...

To read more about the name Jack see the following URL: http://tinyurl.com/22tk7x3