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Calling all picture book writers!

There's a fantastic challenge that runs from May 1st through May 7th that encourages you to write 7 picture book drafts in 7 days.  It's called NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week) and was created by author Paula Yoo.  This will be my third year participating, and some of my favorite picture book manuscripts have come from this challenge.  It always reminds me that I should take a little break from revising my novel and current picture book manuscripts so I can write several new ones.

I'll share some of the rules below, but make sure you check Paula's site for all the details, updates, and wonderful guest blogs from Lisa Wheeler, Dan Santat, Don Tate, and several others.  Here's a direct link to the NaPiBoWriWee area on Paula's site.  And did I tell you that you can win prizes?  So you'll already be a winner for having seven new picture book drafts to mold into shape AND you can win prizes, too.  Wahoo!  

Here's a little more info:

1. Midnight May 1st to 11:59 p.m. May 7th: Write 7 separate and complete picture books.
2. You are NOT allowed to write the same picture book in 7 variations. Each book must be complete and separate.
3. No minimum word count. Instead, each book must have a clear beginning, middle and end.
4. You are allowed to brainstorm and research book topics before May 1st. Outlines are acceptable. First draft writing is NOT. Do NOT write your books before May 1st – only brainstorming, taking notes, and outlining are allowed.
5. You are NOT allowed to write a single word of your draft until midnight May 1st.

So...who is going to take the NaPiBoWriWee plunge with me?  I've been busy finishing up revisions on my MG, Mom Wars, and after one more quick read through, it will be DONE!  I haven't had much time to plan my new picture book manuscripts, so I'm really glad I have over 30 ideas that I jotted down during Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) challenge.  I was hoping to flesh out those ideas before this challenge, and will try to work on them today and tomorrow.  It looks like Sunday is going to be a very busy day...I can't wait!

Several of us formed a Facebook group to cheer each other on during NaPiBoWriWee--let me know if you want me to add you to our group!

Thanks for creating this wonderful challenge, Paula!  Good luck to everyone participating in NaPiBoWriWee.  I can't wait to hear about all your new manuscripts!
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I love Valentine's Day Surprises

I owe a huge thank you to Tara Lazar for holding PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) in November.  After I finished NaNoWriMo mid-month, I tackled her amazing challenge and wasn't sure if I'd be able to come up with 30 new picture book ideas that fast.  Well...I ended up with 38 ideas by the end of the month, and can't wait to flesh out my favorites and tackle them in Paula Yoo's NaPiBoWriWee challenge in the beginning of May, where I'll write 7 picture book drafts in 7 days. 

Not only did Tara inspire me to come up with some amazing new picture book ideas, but she also held a wonderful contest.  Look what I got in the mail:

I love receiving surprises in the mail.  Thanks so much for the fun prize, Tara and Alyson Heller from Simon & Schuster!

Nineteen years ago, Hubby gave me a huge Valentine's Day surprise when he proposed to me.  I'll never forget how he ordered champagne and made the most beautiful toast.  But he acted kind of strange when I sipped the champagne.  He asked if it tasted okay, and I said it was great.  Sip, sip, sip.  Then, he held up his glass and said you can tell a good champagne by the effervescence of the bubbles.  I thought the bubbles looked fine.  Sip, sip, sip.  And then our waiter came over, took my glass, and tipped it toward me saying that sometimes champagne can have a bitter taste because of a metallic sediment on the bottom.  That's when I finally saw the ring--good thing I didn't drink it! :)

Here's our engagement picture (sorry that it's a little fuzzy, but I had to scan it in).

Hubby fished the ring out, dried it off, and proposed to me...what a wonderful Valentine's Day memory!  I hope all of you have a fantastic Valentine's Day, and make special memories that will stay with you forever. 
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Mindy's head shot
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.


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