Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Readers,

I’m keeping myself honest with weekly writing updates.

So this week I’ve been on vacation. Just keeping it real. Even so, I’ve done four critiques on picture books in progress. So that’s something.

And today I spent a little time revising a fiction pb that is loosely based on an actual person of historical significance. I’d say it’s a slice of life from their childhood as I’ve imagined it.

And that’s all folks! Tune in next Wednesday for more updates.

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello to my wonderful readers!  There may be only two of you, but you are appreciated all the same.  It’s all about quality, not quantity, right?

Anyway, I’m checking in with you for my weekly writing update.  This helps keep me going with my writing.  I’ve got plenty of time this summer for writing, but the sunshine is a distraction so I need to stay focused to get things done.

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This week I felt very fortunate to get some awesome feedback from my critique group.  They really dug into my story and were super helpful with their comments.  I’ve done some revisions now based on their thoughts and I’m feeling really happy with the story.  It is getting closer to being an actual picture book one day!  This one is fiction, but it is a book that is needed in the world with a main character who has sensory processing issues.  Yes, all people can be heroes and that includes people with SPD!

Next, I’ve begun delving into non-fiction picture book biography writing.  This is completely new territory for me. I had an idea for an individual who has never had a picture book done about him and I’ve begun my research.  I’ve got a ton of notes and quotes!  Now to wrestle it all into a compelling story that is geared for 5-9 year olds.  Hmmm… That may take some doing.

How is your summer going?  Are you getting things done? Enjoying the sunshine? Getting some rest and relaxation? Let me know in the comments!

Check out my picture book!

Happy Monday!

Welcome to Monday!  This is your opportunity to learn a little more about the writer behind the blog.

As you may already have learned, I am an introvert.  I get worn out from being around large groups of people.  This is why I love teaching preschool and piano.  My preschool is small, so we have 15 children at a time.  There are no other preschool classrooms on the same site so I only need to get to know the families and children who are directly in my class. And with piano, I get to teach one student at a time.  This works very well for my introverted self.  The summers off are truly a time to rest and recharge and I really enjoy my alone time now that my children are both graduated from high school.  Still,  I’m sure I’ll miss them terribly when they eventually move out.

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I’m working on relaxing and am hopeful that by the end of August, I’ll be fully rested and recharged and ready to go back to work.  I’m feeling very grateful that I’ve been able to enjoy a couple of months off each year.  It really helps me to appreciate and enjoy my preschoolers, piano students, and their families when I go back every fall.

What makes you feel grateful?

Books by Cynthia

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  I’m giving weekly writing updates to keep myself motivated.  Writing consistently can be a challenge when there are so many distractions.  This is my way of keeping myself on track so please humour me here.

So this week I’m feeling incredibly grateful for my online critique group, who have given me some amazing feedback to help move my story forwards.  I’d left this one aside for several months while working on other projects but I’m still very passionate about the story.  It is a fiction picture book that features an autistic main character whose sensory challenges make it very difficult for him to enjoy something as simple as going to the beach with his family.  It is a super challenging story to write because if you know much about autism, you know it presents itself quite differently in each individual.

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Yes, it is getting dark and I’m still working.

Anyway, thanks to Tara Perkowski, Tasha Hilderman, Sue Macartney, Akilah Pikou and Emma Wood, I have a new direction and inspiration for this story.  I’ve written a couple of new scenes to develop the story and main character further.  Revising this story hasn’t been easy but I know it is getting closer to where I want it to be.

How do you keep yourself motivated to get things done?

 “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” -Creighton Abrams

Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is written by Cynthia Mackey

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Lovely Reader!

Thank you for stopping to read my Wednesday Writing Update.  What did I get done this week?

Well, first off, there were a few distractions like the Mr. Rogers movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbour (you’ve got to see it if you haven’t yet!) and then the boat and the lake were calling…

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Still, I managed to do some writing related stuff.  Most importantly, I did two new submissions…Yay!

And aside from that, I came home from the library with a mountain of picture books to read for research.

I’m hopeful that small steps lead to greater things.  We all have to start somewhere.  Even  Mr. Fred Rogers was not born a television star.

What are you up to this week?

 

Wednesday Writing Update

Hello Lovely Readers!

Welcome to my Wednesday writing update.  This is where I let you know what I’ve been working on this week in my writing life.  Summer is a time where I shift my focus to more picture book writing as I do not have to teach for a couple of months.

Below are my latest book dummies.  I just fold 8 pages of 8 1/2 by 11 paper in half and staple them together.  Then I print off my manuscript and cut and paste based on 12-14 spreads to make a 32 page picture book.

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These are the two I worked on this week.  My next step is to read them aloud and record them with my phone.  Then I play back the stories and listen for any flaws.

This week I’m also working on revising an older manuscript I hadn’t touched in several months.  That story will also need to be made into a dummy fairly soon.

I am also reading a lot of comparative picture books as mentor texts.

What writing projects have you been working on this week?

Discover children’s books by Cynthia Mackey

Happy Monday!

Hello and welcome to Monday!  Mondays, my blog plan for the summer is to share some bits of information about myself to let you get to know the writer behind the blog. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you know that I’m an introvert and so this isn’t easy for me but I’m trying…

One thing I’ve been challenged with my entire life is allergies.  I am allergic to a bunch of things including pollen, furry pets, grass, hay and even water.  If you don’t have any allergies, I am super jealous of you!  And if you do, I can empathize.

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As a child, it showed itself on my skin.  I was always scratching.  Not realizing I was making it worse for myself, I didn’t hold back and my skin at times became extremely red and blotchy.

Now, I actually take two 24 hour anti-histamines per day (they only last 12 hours for me).  On the really bad days, I need eye drops and an additional anti-inflammatory,  like Naproxen.  If I don’t take care of this, I suffer.  For some reason, it seems to me that my allergy season is getting longer.  In a bad year, I suffer from February to July.  But, I am learning to avoid the things that cause me a problem.

How about you…do you have allergies?  How do you cope during allergy season?

Don’t let Mondays and allergies get you down!  Have a wonderful day 🙂

Discover children’s books by Cynthia Mackey

Joining the 12 by 12 Picture Book Challenge

In January I did something that makes me feel nervous and excited at the same time.  I joined the 12 by 12 picture book challenge. And now I will immerse myself in writing all year long.

Although I’m very new to the world of writing, I believe in myself as a capable creator of children’s literature and I want to be part of that world.  For this challenge, I must write 12 picture books drafts in 2017.  One draft each month.  Revising a draft also counts.  I may need a little stronger tea in my mug this year to help me out with this 🙂

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Joining the 12 by 12 community gives the opportunity to get feedback from other writers in an online format.  This is so valuable as writing is all about getting feedback and doing revisions.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head and hope to get them all down on paper into a solid draft form.

The challenge is open to new picture book writers and more seasoned writers as well.  There are lots of SCBWI members (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).  So far I find it to be a very welcoming and supportive online community.

Now it is March and I am right on track with my writing.  The 12 by 12 challenge continues!