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It’s November, and for hundreds of picture book writers — both established and aspiring — it’s time for Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month!

 

Tara’s amazing challenge to come up with 30 picture book ideas in the 30 days of November began with her challenging herself in 2008, and expanded in 2009 to blog posts that she shared with her followers.

It’s now an eagerly anticipated event — a time to be inspired by incredible guest posts daily throughout November (with equally incredible guest posts before and after the official challenge month), a time to be encouraged by fellow idea-thinker-uppers in the PiBoIdMo Facebook Group, and a time to let one’s imagination loose to come up with everything it can, from character names to titles to full-blown ideas.

piboidmo2013-lightbulb-happy-200x254As I said in my October Accountability post, I’ve realized that I *need* to participate in PiBoIdMo to fuel myself for the coming year’s writing. Besides keeping my story radar active, it helps immensely to read the daily posts on Tara’s blog, from a wide variety of writers and illustrators at various stages of their creative careers, and also to get involved in discussions with participants all over the world in our PiBoIdMo Facebook Group.

I first participated in PiBoIdMo in 2011, and remember that nearly all the names in the blog comments were new to me. I felt very much a “newbie,” and a little out of my depth. After missing last year, I’m back for the 2013 version of PiBoIdMo, and it’s a delight to not only see names I remember from 2011, but to see names of people who have in the past two years become dear friends. Besides generating more ideas than one would believe possible, these groups create community and friendship that is so valuable, and I am grateful.

I am keeping track of the number of PiBoIdMo ideas I come up with, on the sidebar of my blog. I’d like to say a word about my Idea-O-Meter. I do not intend this to be bragging or drawing attention to my progress. Not at all! Instead, it’s a way of prodding myself to keep up with the challenge. Knowing that I’ll be letting my community know my progress (or lack of it) will, I hope, keep me on track. Others are blogging daily or at other intervals about the process, while some prefer to work away at it quietly. We all have different ways of tackling the challenge, and that’s great.

If you’re interested in participating in PiBoIdMo, registration is open until November 7th, at this link.

And just a heads-up — my Perfect Picture Book pick coming on Friday was written and illustrated by one of the guest posters for PiBoIdMo this year, Katie Davis. In fact, her post is up TODAY! Hope you’ll come back on Friday to check it out.

May the ideas swirl high, and may the inspiration lift us all.

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Another heads-up, this one about Picture Book Month, Dianne de las Casas’ brainchild, the international celebration of picture books and children’s literacy. Emma Walton Hamilton is the November 7th Picture Book Champion. Be sure to read her post at the Picture Book Month site.

And now, a quick word to say that the Halloweensie story contest finalists are posted on Susanna Hill’s blog today, and you are welcome to go over there and vote for your favorite. I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Susanna for organizing these contests, and for sifting through all the entries to choose finalists. This time there were SEVENTY-EIGHT stories entered. Amazing! Not only have we had a great time reading all the entries, but we’ve “met” new people, found new blogs to follow, all thanks to Susanna.

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