Vlog on

I have a million blog posts in my head, sitting right alongside the 25k I waiting to be placed on the screen to finish up the book. That's right, people. I'm almost done with a book. Like, an entire one. The thought is way too surreal.

Anyway, I want to go the easy route today because I'm way behind on my writing schedule and really need to be a good little writer. So I'm going to use this post to let you know about a new feature I'm adding to my blog as of tomorrow. It's going to be called Story Time Saturdays and the plan is to showcase vlog posts showing myself or other writing peoples reading favorite stories to their children. Reading to Buttercup is a huge part of our relationship and I want to share that. I have a few writers lined up to share story time with their own kiddos and will choose my own favorites to throw in once or twice a month. More if the well runs dry.

Keep in mind, though...while Saturdays post is going to be family friendly, Friday's post might not be. I promise to do my best to limit the F-bombs to Sunday to Thursday...but please keep my #pottymouth tag in mind when sitting down with your kids to listen to a new tale on Saturdays. Bottom line? Just have the video cued up and ready to be safe if your kids can read. I'm still living down The Great Dam Gammit Incident of 2008 with my own child, and don't need any added guilt to add to my already tarnished Mom of the Year award points if your kids start repeating what I say.

And with that, I'm off to work on that making myself a famous writer thing.

For those who like to keep score

Guess how much I love you. It's a game almost every parent plays with their child. scan0001

"I love you more than..." Fill in the blank. It's fun, creative, and best of all, free entertainment.

Buttercup and I are playing this a lot lately, thanks to a new board book her Nana sent as a Valentine's Day present. It's titled, of course, "Guess How Much I Love You." And it's brilliant.

I won't ruin the book for you and your little ones. I'll just say that you'll smile each and every time you read it, finishing in a dramatic whisper...because in this version, the parent wins every time.

Open mic: The end of the rainbow

I've been getting a crazy amount of hits with "Roy G. Biv" as the search term. My ego thinks that's pretty snazzy. So I dug through my word doc and decided to post one more. If the hits keep coming, I might get brave enough to revise a few of the weaker poems and start querying. I'd love comments!

The end of the Rainbow

At the end of the Rainbow Are Violet and Gold

But no one pays attention to Violet

They can see her just fine But since the beginning of Time

It has always been about where Gold Is hiding

Humble pie can suck it

That's right. I said it. Forget modesty in the pit I like to call manuscript critique. I'm getting slammed with statements calling me out as a crappy kid lit writer when it comes to the poetry I submitted. So I revised. And it looks like that round of edits only got me more "suck." Granted, my critiques offered some very valid points that I wholeheartedly plan on addressing, but let's just say the tone of the critiques has left me wondering if there might be one dream less worth pursuing.

So I have three choices:

1) Put my big girl panties back on, smile pretty, and REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. Focus on the fact that I while I know my current kid lit project might not ever win an award if/when it's published, that at least I know the intended audience does like what I have to say.

2) Take a good hard look at my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I know I've got a good thing going on with my journalism background, bylines to make my mother proud, and this snappy blog. And I'm plenty proud of my memoir/momoir/bookumentary/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it Baby Ph(f)at book in the works. But these strengths do not necessarily mean that I know diddly (or have the talent needed to make up for any stated lack of knowledge) regarding writing for children.

3) Put the kid lit on the back burner and let it stew for a while so I can gather my bearings. This is my first attempt at criticism for this particular project from someone not bound by loyalty or blood and it's been a brutal wake up call. I'm not intending to let one bully on the playground scare me off the tire swing, but before I do anything, I need to figure out if I even want back on the damned thing.

Ouch. Reality hurts.

We've already covered the fact that I have too many balls I'm trying to juggle right now, right? Seriously, I'm a glutton for punishment and either go too long with no creative output, or conversely get myself into 15 projects at once and then wonder why I'm losing my mind. Maybe it all has something to do with my not sleeping lately. Who knows?

One thing I am very happy to be spending time on is contributing to an online manuscript exchange forum on which I've posted a few poems from my Roy G. Biv project. I've gotten some fantastic feedback from other kid lit writers on ways to improve my work.

I'll admit right here and now that I went in blinded by my ego. I was just waiting for responses like "This is a masterpiece!" and "You are a fantastic writer who needs no editing, drafts, or revisions at all!" Right.

The first critique stung a little bit, but then I went back and reread it the next day with an open mind. And guess what? It made sense. There's always room for improvement...especially on something I wrote when I was TWELVE! My ego is on vacation now, banished from my interaction on the forum, and my muse is ready to tackle my first round of revisions on the four poems I have posted for critique.

Maybe next time my peers will declare me a literary genius. For now, I'm eating humble pie.