Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Picture Books

November is coming to an end. I reached the goal of coming up with 30 picture book ideas! Yeah!

Starting Saturday, December 1st, I am going to be reading a Christmas picture book each day until December 24th.

I love Christmas picture books!

I looked around and found these at the house. I have enough to read one each day!

My only problem is figuring out which one to read first.

Come back Saturday and find out. I will be posting each day about the one I read.
Visit me and enjoy a Christmas picture book each day.
It will be fun!

If you want to post about one, too, let me know the day before you post about it and I will  put a link to your blog on my post that day. Just send me the link to your post.

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wishbones, Food and Helping Hands

Here is wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.
I have so much to be thankful for and I am sure you do, too.
I have posted below my Two-Lane Livin' November column for kids. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to share it with your kids or grand kids.

What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo?
A turkey that can pluck himself!

Did you know that making a wish on a wishbone might date back to 320 B.C.?” However, the Etruscans, who supposedly started the practice, did not break the wishbone; they merely rubbed it to make their wishes come true.
Every turkey has a wishbone. Pulling a wishbone takes two people. Each person makes a wish, takes hold of one end of the wishbone and pulls. They say if you get the longest end, your wish comes true. This is also the origin of the expression “lucky break.”
The only foods mentioned in records of the 1621 Thanksgiving feast were venison and fowl. However, other items the settlers would have probably had were lobster and cod, pumpkins, turnips, peas, onions, squash, beans, nuts, plums, grapes, spices and seasonings. They never had pies, because they lacked sugar needed to make them. The Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days.
You can be a part of the Thanksgiving dinner at your house by helping with the menu and the grocery list. You can also make a pretty decoration or place cards for your table. You can wash fruits and vegetables, mix the pie ingredients, mash the potatoes, help stir the stuffing, add marshmallows to the sweet potatoes, roll out the pie crusts or prepare a special treat. Food tastes better if you help make it.
You can help set the table and then help clean up after the meal. After this is done, bring out the dessert!


© Janet F. Smart
Five plump turkeys
Strutted down the road
One flew away
Then there were four.

Four plump turkeys
Strutted down the road
One stopped to eat
Then there were three.

Three plump turkeys
Strutted down the road
One lost his way
Then there were two.

Two plump turkeys
Strutted down the road
One stopped to rest
Then there was one.

One plump turkey
Strutted down the road
Gobble, gobble, chomp
Then there was none.

Are you serving this poor little plump turkey for dinner tomorrow?
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Monday, November 12, 2012

PiBoIdMo Update and Story Starter

It is almost the middle of the month. Already! Can you believe it?

Time flies when you're having fun. Right?

I was behind on my picture book ideas, until this morning when I woke up with four new ideas. Now on November 12th, I have 13 picture book ideas!
Whew, I am caught up and one day ahead of the game.

How are you doing this month?

Just a reminder, be sure to keep popping in over at Tara's blog and read her posts. They give you inspiration and great ideas. And remember, to be eligible for some of the prizes, you have to comment on the posts.

I know, I know some people don't like to comment. But just like with writing, you have to put forth effort to get the results you want.

This month we are only having to come up with titles or ideas for future picture books.
But if anything is to come of our ideas, we will later have to put forth a little effort and polish those ideas into magnificent manuscripts.

What do the four crows have to do with this post? They are a story starter.

Can anyone come up with a story idea using the crows as an inspiration?

How about - a non fiction book about farm animals or Four Hungry Crows, which one will get up the courage to face the scarecrow and get supper for the family.

You know I think I just might use that last idea and add it to my list for November. Now I have 14 ideas. See, you never know when an idea will swoop down and land on your shoulder. Always be ready to grab hold of them and write them down before they fly away.

Any ideas to share? Comment and share your ideas or just give a little inspiration to fellow writers.

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


We all need a little encouragement now and then.
Writing can sometimes be lonely.
We write and write and then sometimes we think about quitting.
You think and think and then you always write again.
It is in your blood.

I entered a local contest put on by our library.
The instructions said to enter your best Appalachian story,  memoir or poem.
They called me this week and said I was one of the winners.
The reception was Saturday and I found out I got first place in the adult division.

What did I get?
Along with a prize package consisting of three books and a gift card, I got the most important thing of all . . . I got encouragement.

The judge wrote at the end of my entry . . .

Lovely story, beautifully told. Keep writing!

I think I will keep writing. How about you?

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day Two - PiBoIdMo 2012

It is day two of Picture Book Idea Month!

Do I have two ideas yet?

Yes. I came up with one idea last night and three today! Yah!

How do you come up with ideas?

Be aware of everything around you. Don't let anything pass by unnoticed.
Watch television. Watch the channels geared towards kids and watch channels such as Discover, History and National Geographic. Take a walk, go to the park or playground, go into the woods.

Make a list of the different kinds of picture books, such as . . .
board books
lift the flap books, novelty books
counting books, abc books, books about colors, books about shapes
animal books
bedtime books
biography picture books for older children
non-fiction picture books (they say these are sometimes easier to sell)
fairy tales
folk tales

What interests you? What are you familiar with? What do you want to know more about?

Ask what if?

Do you think everything has been written about?

Yes I think everything has been written about, so you have to put a new spin on a old topic and make it unique.

Anyone have any ideas to share?

Good luck!

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.