My goalIt’s that time again, time to see if I accomplished anything this month… er, I mean time to see *what* I accomplished this month.

Actually, looking ahead to November is more exciting. For much of October I was a bit stalled in one way or another. When flying a plane there are various ways that the aircraft can stall. Pilots in training have to learn how to deal with stalls, and spins, and other such things. Well, my writing engine stalled a bit early this month, but I managed to level out, the propeller is going in the right direction again, I’m climbing gradually, and I’m hoping for clear flying ahead.

Let’s take a look back at October, and a look ahead to November, shall we?

12 x 12: October was another month in which I didn’t get a picture book draft written. I have determined that my stalling in 12×12 this year is due to lack of fuel, and I’ve found the remedy for that. You’ll see how I plan to fuel up for next year’s 12×12 when I talk about November later in this post.

Writing: In last month’s accountability post, I said I was dusting off an old manuscript, and planning to work on it. It took a while to get off the ground on this one. I had trouble getting back into the project. It took jettisoning a lot of excess baggage (over 7,000 words worth of baggage) before the manuscript was light enough to take flight. It’s running much more smoothly now, and I’m finally enjoying the ride.

Flubs2Fixes: After an exciting start, with so much enthusiastic support (thank you, all!), circumstances made me have to take this one back into the hangar for a little more work before I can really take off with offering the copy-editing and proofreading service. I anticipate being cleared for take-off in the near future. I’ll let you know when that happens.

On to November!

November is a month of challenges and celebrations in the writing world, and as you’ll see if you scroll down my sidebar, I’m involved in a couple of them.

PiBoIdMo: I mentioned not having adequate fuel for the 12×12 journey this year — thanks to Julie Hedlund’s pre-PiBo post on Sunday, I’ve realize that the reason for my lack of fuel was not being able to participate in Picture Book Idea Month last year. When I contrast the first year of 12×12, when each month I would go through my folder of 30 PiBoIdMo ideas, choose one, and write a draft, to this year of wracking my brain for something to build a draft around, I have realized I need PiBoIdMo.

So, I have signed up on Tara Lazar’s blog (if you’re interested, you can sign up until November 7th) and will be honing my Story Radar (as in this post on Emma Walton Hamilton’s blog), to come up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. Now look over to the sidebar to the right. I’ve put up an Idea-O-Meter to keep track of the number of ideas I log in my log book (to get back to flying parlance). I know from experience that putting the count out there where others can see it will help keep me going. (I tried for a fancy odometer-type counter, but couldn’t get it to stop running automatically and constantly, so I had to go low-tech.)

Make Mine Middle Grade: As you know, a great deal of my focus this year has been on middle grade writing. So that I have a fuel source for my future middle grade projects, I’m challenging myself in what I’m calling “Make Mine Middle Grade” to come up with ideas for middle grade books as well. 30 as in PiBoIdMo may be trying to fly too high, but I hope at least to get off the ground. You’ll also be able to track my progress in this self-challenge by the Idea-O-Meter to the right.

Picture Book Month: Joining the PiBoIdMo logo in the rapidly filling passenger list in the sidebar is the logo for Picture Book Month. This month-long celebration of picture books and children’s literacy is the brainchild of Dianne de la Casas and co-founders Katie Davis, Elizabeth Dulemba and Wendy Martin. I will be posting about Picture Book Month early in November.

The adult novel remains in the flight plan, and I hope that Flubs2Fixes will be able to take off without too much more delay.

But first — on Wednesday of this week I’ll be posting my entry in Susanna Hill’s annual Halloweensie Contest. I’m looking forward to reading all the spooky and/or funny stories that people come up with. My post on Friday will simply be a link to Susanna’s blog where people will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite of the finalists.

Okay, I’ve finished my walk-around, I’ve filed my flight plan, and I’m ready for take-off. Where has your flight plan taken you in October?

Playing to be a professional pilot

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