a warm, healthy, and peaceful holiday season
filled with gratitude and joy.
See you in the new year.
Yuletide lights twinkle
As we gather ‘round the tree
Wrapped in love’s ribbons
Remembering with fondness
Weaving next year’s memories
For her high school senior project, Kendra Stefan wanted to write, illustrate, and publish a children’s book, and I agreed to mentor her through the project. As writers out there know, a book is a lot of work. For Kendra, the challenge was over the top. She was suffering from heart failure.
We got an early start, working on the book between her other studies, her numerous doctor’s appointments, and rising fatigue. As we got her story down, her condition declined and her position on the waiting list for a donor moved up.
When the story was essentially done, but the illustrations just started, Kendra got the call. In July, she received her new heart.
Kendra’s work on the book continued while she recovered in the hospital – between rehab sessions, medication adjustments, and the hard and painful work of building up her strength.
When she was released for visits home, we worked on the book. Still unable to return to school, we inserted the artwork. Between her follow-up doctors’ appointments, we formatted. Between her naps, we uploaded and worked through the myriad of glitches that plague even seasoned authors.
And then Kendra hit PUBLISH. Jackie Moves to Bunsvill is live in print and ebook.
If you feel like giving this young writer a big smile, click this global link:
Now back to Kendra. She was kind enough to do a mini-interview with me.
What did you enjoy most about writing a children’s book?
I think the thing I enjoyed most was drawing the characters for the first time and coming up with their personalities and how all of those different personalities would mesh together. It gave me so much creative freedom… there was no limit.
Was there anything that surprised you about the process?
Yes. There was a lot that surprised me. I never knew it would take so much time and so many computer programs. I was surprised by how easily I would make mistakes.
What might you do differently next time besides not having a heart transplant in the middle of the process?
I would work more at lining up dates and setting up plans to do readings instead of doing it at the last minute.
Any advice for other young authors?
As soon as words start flowing through your head, write it down because you can always organize those ideas into stories.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by to learn about Kendra’s journey and her book! I was so honored to play a small part.
Now get busy writing!
Every week, Chelsea Owens offers a prompt for her Terrible Poetry Contest. The submissions are all unequivocally terrible… soooo terrible that I eagerly await them, knowing that I’m going to laugh myself silly. This week’s topic should offer up some side-splitters. Want to try your hand at some terrible poetry? It’s harder than it looks!
1. The topic is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This is my LEAST FAVORITE poem in the entire world – whenever it’s parodied. Therefore; I normally feel that every idiot who goes about with “‘Twas the night before Christmas” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart; but this week you’re getting a pass. Strangely enough, I love the original. I have at least three favorite stanzas in there.
2. What’s the limit? For the love of my own sanity and yours, please keep it to eight or nine stanzas, maximum. That’s about the point of the original where we read I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
3. It’s gotta rhyme. At the end of the line. Make it fine.
4. Remember, remember: the poem needs to be terrible…
(For the rest of the rules, the deadline, and to read some terrible poetry entries: The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest)
And here is my terrible entry for this week:
Tis the afternoon that comes just before Christmas Eve
And I’m rushing around like you wouldn’t believe
The dog’s barfed up tinsel, my tree lights are dead
I couldn’t find any clear ones, but the minimart had red
Just like Trump’s hall of fiendish stalactites
Or with the points up, does that make them stalagmites?
I burned a batch of cookies for jolly old Saint Nick
Defrosted some corn dogs from July that even then tasted ick
No carrots for the reindeer. No veggies! I’m out.
January better hurry up, cause I’m all tuckered out.
Fa la fella fa, dee da dee da
Fifi folly duh, ta da, ta da!