Loud and Proud #amediting

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This is Stitch and Chewie’s favourite part of the whole writing process (next to making the material of course!). Yep it’s time to read that story out loud. Now my dogs love to come down for story time and they are wonderful, but they don’t fix holes in the plot. Stitch groans – not sure if that’s because it’s bad or because Chewie is usually lying on him… So I have two other willing recruits for this part of the editing process. My girls. No one can pick a hole in you plot like six and five year olds. I read them the story and they tell me what they think. This works two ways.

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The first is when you read a loud you tend to read what is actually written. Well more closely that when you read in your head. Often reading to yourself is a case of what your brain tells you it says, not what it actually says. So reading out loud is important. Plus if you write children’s books you want parents or teachers to read your stories out loud. The need to flow nicely.

Second: I write for kids, so if my kids don’t get it then I’m not on the right track. It helps that my girls are book worms and have always had a love for story time. They are never backward at telling me when something doesn’t work.

The down side… well it’s not really a downside, just an interesting note. Since I have been reading my manuscripts out loud to the girls I have generated many more writing ideas. How so… well they come up with great suggestions. They even use my characters in their own creative play. At the moment they are sharing an imaginary friend. A fairy named Fidget…. Who I created… Needless to say Fidget now has a whole host of stories I need to write.

The only other issue is my girls don’t quite understand how long it takes to publish a book. So after I read it to them they want to take the finished product to school to share… I’m not that quick, sorry girls!

I recommend reading out loud. Either to yourself or someone else.. give it a try oh and as always have fun!

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Story Ideas #amwriting #starttheyearoffwrite

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I thought this month I would blog about how I go about writing. It’s not rocket science, but it is something that I have been developing for a while. Today I will start with the very first step.

Getting ideas…

I am lucky I work with dogs and kids… yep a little crazy too. So what does that mean? Well aside from having a car full of hair and often not quite enough room for my kids it means getting lots of writing material. My dogs have always been clowns. It all started with Obi. That boy had personality to burn. He was so funny and so confident in himself. It was hilarious to watch him with the students. I even had one ten week block where he completely ignored the existence of the child at the end of his lead. Only Obi could do that. Anyway that’s another story. Obi was incredible at making people laugh. Then there is Stitch. The polar opposite in some ways. What he lacks in confidence he makes up for in sheer desire to work. That boy can go, go and go all day. He also has a lot of personality. Now we will be introducing Chewie. This boy is super confident and has mustered personality from somewhere. He is going to write my stories for me!!!!

I also have two daughters with highly active imaginations. That all helps with material and story ideas about dogs and kids. What if I want to write about something else???? Well the dogs help there too…

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Pirate Stitch is actually the inspiration for a pirate story I am working on. No he is not a dog in the story. However some of his personality traits may be in there. That’s the beauty of writing. I can use whatever I want and make it into a character of my choice (more about characters later).

There you have it an idea from a photo
The dreaded pirate Captain Walt Sharkchum! Will stop at nothing to find his missing treasure and rule the world. However sisters Aurora and Kate Cutty have different ideas.

Moving on to planning the story… that will be my next blog – fortunately it was also part of the first prompt for the Start the Year Write challenge! I’m off to do challenge two now. Until next time – have fun!

Research trip #zoodays

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I love the zoo – so do my superhero kids. We go fairly often and it never gets boring. There is always something new that makes life interesting. Today however we also had a mission. I am setting up my chapter book for March. Yep getting in early. I may even be writing the sequel by March – that would be awesome. Not going to get ahead of myself lots can happen between now and then. Anyway it is the first in my super hero series. Book one of The Lighting Lilly and Princess Seea Chronicles. Tentatively called The Great Zoo Heist. So today we were doing some research about which animals may appear.

The Meerkats always get a look in – they are so cheeky. Pretty sure there can be some fun between these little guys and Super Stitch.

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This goat just made me laugh…. May well get a gig somewhere. Sure there is room for a fat goat…

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Otters need to be in the story. They are my favourite and I have also already written a chapter about them for the SuperHERo Tales.

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Pretty sure there is room for a giraffe or two – they make pretty good lookouts for my two super heroes.

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I may need to do another zoo story at some stage… What animals would you like to see???

Love these days so much fun. The best bit was my girls when they came home they put on their superhero capes and rescued all the zoo animals. Lots of material there, solid gold stuff. Need to get my notebook out! Until next time – have fun!

Goofy goes to the Gold Coast #holiday

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Goofy is a well-travelled boy… This year he got a Christmas makeover and had lots of fun. He went SeaWorld.

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Met a Dinosaur…

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or two…

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He became a decoration at Movie World…

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Went to Australia Zoo and met a really cool family…

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Also a big crocodile…

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Visited the Tigers…

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Goofy even met the big man in red!!!

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In case I don’t get to my blog tomorrow I wish everyone a fantastic Christmas… As always have fun!

Writer’s Reveal December: Christmas #holidayspirit

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My topic this month is Christmas!
Such a large topic. However I have two little girls who love Christmas. So I thought I’d blog about some of our family traditions that we have built over the year. These are the things that make Christmas for them:
1. The tree – always the first sign of Christmas. It goes up on Pageant day (usually the second weekend in November).
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Over the years they have managed to put up more of the decorations, with only minor adjustments. Of course the really special decorations I still do, but they are the ones that we can’t replace and the girls are happy with that. I have never dog or kid proofed the tree. It goes up, all the decorations go on. The train goes around the tree and no one dog or child enters the train tracks without permission. Actually the only one who has ever gone under the tree was Obi. He however only ever removed his own presents, just to check there were enough.
2. Stories and songs – the Christmas books and music also come out around pageant day. This means lots of nights singing and reading. Their favourite songs are the Aussie Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. As for books, they love anything that shows them Santa’s village Still the night before Christmas is one of their best books.
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3. Santa – we visit Santa and they ask for one special toy. They also write letters to Santa and the Elves collect them from under the tree. The Elves bring a Turkey Neck for Stitch and return a reply letter the next night. Santa fills their sacks on Christmas Eve and of course that one special present usually appears.
4. Preparing for the big day – the girls decorate the yard. I have painted Disney Christmas characters that go on a fence. They also make the front yard into a Sleigh landing area and leave Santa’s magic Key somewhere for him to find.
My girls love to bake. So we make Chocolate Marshmallow truffles, reindeer biscuits, cake pops, gingerbread (house or sleigh). The house collapsed this year, but we still got to eat the gingerbread. We basically have one day just before Christmas when we bake our hearts out and make a huge mess. They love it. The best part is I pack up all the goodies and give them to everyone for Christmas.
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5. Christmas Eve – we put the Santa Sacks out, leave chocolate chip cookies for the big guy, carrots and a bucket of water for the reindeer (the girls once wanted to leave one bucket for each reindeer, but I reminded them that the dogs can share, so the reindeer could too!). Finally before going to bed we read The Night Before Christmas and then it is time for sleep!
6. Christmas day – an absolute whirl of excitement. My girls get excited over the littlest things, so this day is just pure overload and it is fantastic. They love every second. We generally spend the day with family, but it is them moments when the four of us are together (with the dogs of course) that are always the best.
This year we will have our little Chewbacca for the first time. We are also looking after Stitch’s brother Tug. So the dogs will also have a great day. It’s going to be a lot of fun. There is still lots to do and a little fuzz ball to collect!!!! Before everyone gets too hectic and wrapped up in Christmas fun I’d like to say a big Merry Christmas and Good on ya Mates to all!!!!
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To checkout all the other Writer’s Reveal posts go to:
http://networkedblogs.com/RVsuG

http://emilymorganwrites.com/

http://emhawker.blogspot.com.au/

http://jaycwolfe.com/

http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com.au/

http://www.jfgibson.com.au

http://www.aparentinglife.com/

http://havealaughonme.com/

while you’re doing that put on some Christmas songs and have fun!

My brain hurts #ideas #writing

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I love having lots of ideas to write about. New characters are buzzing, plots are spinning and settings are developing. I would normally be very happy about this (I am very happy). It’s just with Christmas I have so much to do! Still better the have all the ideas and little time to write than all the time, but no ideas. Well that’s what I am telling myself anyway. Would love to hear how other authors record their ideas when this happens?

I love this quote!
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If I had some pixie dust I would ask for some more time – will get it soon, holidays are coming. Funnily enough that probably doesn’t help me write because the kids are around. Still will no doubt provide me with more material. It will all happen, or it won’t. Either way I know I will get the better ideas down, because I’m getting that writing buzz again. Just need to finish some editing first.

I am also beginning to organise 2014 – if there are any blog topics you would like me to write about let me know. Would love your suggestions!

Until next time – have fun!

New book! #amwriting #author #Chaboocha

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I am very excited because there are now five books on my amazon author profile!!! You can check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BQA4XRO

The latest is the Jingle Bells Anthology from the Chapter Book Challenge group (Chaboocha).

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My two stories were inspired by my children. There’s another Lightning Lilly and Princess Seea Adventure – can they save Christmas on a foggy night???
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Super Stitch gets a gig in this one too, as does Captain Obi. Lots of fun. I can’t wait to sit down and actually write the whole series! These are some of my favourite characters. I have so many ideas I don’t know where to start. However this will be a goal for next year’s chapter book challenge!

The other story is a Maddy and Aijay’s Magical Adventure chapter. Yep Stitch is there too, but this time they need to find Santa’s Naughty or Nice list!
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I know dodgy drawings, I am getting better. Need to illustrate my own books because I can’t afford an illustrator. It’s all a learning process, makes the whole thing more fun.

There are also some other fantastic stories from some really great authors so check out Jingle Bells: Tales of Holiday Spirit from Around the World.

I may not have a naughty or nice list, but I certainly have a to do list – better get back to it, as always – have fun!

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