Words to Live By

Putting crayons in the dryer is an ineffective way of dying fabrics.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Interview with Dianna Dorisi Winget

I am joined on my blog today by author Dianna Dorsi Winget. This is the second time that Dianna has been on my blog. The first time was a website review back in February of 2013. Here is a link to the first review: http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2013/02/dianna-dorisi-winget.html 
I'm so glad to bring her back on my blog and get the real inside scoop on how she thinks! Last time she was here there she only had one book available, and now she has three. She's been quite the busy bee! 

Dianna has written the books: "A Smidgen of Sky", "A Million Ways home and "A Sliver of Sun". Soon "A Sliver of Sun" (sequel to "A Smidgen of Sky") will be released as an ebook. Keep checking Dianna's website to see when this book will be released! 

If you haven't visited Dianna's website then check it out. You can read a lot of her stories there and find out more secrets that aren't in this interview. Don't check it out now, there's an interview you have yet to read! 

Dani: Why books?

Dianna: I had a mother who introduced me to books and the joy of reading from very early on. But I fell in love with books about age ten. From then on it became my dream to write middle grade novels.

Dani: What's over your rainbow?

Dianna: The kind of perfect living conditions the Bible promises for the future. No more sickness, pain or suffering for people or animals.

Dani: Finish these thoughts:

1. I don't often... invite people over to my home. I know I should be more hospitable. But neither my husband nor I are big social bugs. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I've always been a homebody. Maybe it’s that whole reclusive writer thing.

2. My greatest wish... Hmm. I don’t think it’s necessarily my greatest wish, but I wish the publishing industry was a lot less volatile. It can be frustrating when you have to wade through all the red tape and loopholes when all you really want to do is write entertaining stories for young readers. Another wish would be to have enough time, money and room to go to my local animal shelter and adopt all the dogs at once.

3. My books never... turn out looking quite like I expect them to. Don’t get me wrong, I've been very happy with my book covers for the most part. But somehow, I always have these ideas in my head of how I’d design them if it was up to me, and somehow they never look like that.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Dianna: My work isn't commercial, it’s literary. I love to delve deeply into friends, family and relationships. And I try hard to come up with characters that kids can deeply bond with and relate to. Oh, and the dogs, of course! You've gotta have a dog. They’re usually the most relatable of all

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Dianna: To be the best mom and wife I can be, and to help young readers fall in love with books the way I did.

Follow Dianna: 

Website: www.diannawinget.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiannaMWinget
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5573825.Dianna_Dorisi_Winget

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! December 10

Having a decent December so far. Working on a lot of things, being busy. My cold is almost gone and I have a few hours tomorrow to just create. Feeling weak still, so exercise is tough!

My son got a toy thrown at his head and ended up with a cut. He's had to have a bandage on him and I've not taken him to get a haircut because he's scared of people touching it. Hopefully I can get Christmas cards made before December 12 (which is the limit for sending things to the states before Christmas). 

Interview Schedule:
December 12 - Dianna Dorisi Winget
December 19 - Julie Murphy
December 26 - Day after Christmas so no Interview
January 2nd - Bobby Darcus

Still on the anthology. I'm behind because I was sick.

Continuing dummy work this week. Didn't get much done last week because I was sneezing up a storm! I didn't like the idea of getting sneeze on my artwork. I'm pretty sure there is a law against that!

Every Day Possible
Dummy work

Wed 12/10 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! 

Thursday 12/11-  Working on picture book Dummies

Friday 12/12- Interview with Dianna Dorisi Winget! Sending out mail today. 

Saturday 12/13- Dummy work and unicorn poo.

Sunday 12/14Continuing the poo

Monday 12/15- Still dying this day. 

Tuesday 12/16 - Sleeping the whole day (yeah right)! 

Wednesday 12/17 - What's Up Wednesday!

Sleep. All of the sleep!


Toddler Minding 
Just a boo boo and getting over the cough. 

Better but still weak.

*What's up Wednesday is part of Jamie Morrow's summer writing intensive: "Ready. Set. WRITE!" There are other host blogs including: Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kung Pow Chicken Winners!

Thank you for everyone who entered the giveaway for Cyndi Marko's book "Kung Pow Chicken: Heroes on the Side". The more people that enter these giveaways gives me a chance to have bigger and better giveaways! Keep checking back for more giveaways.

Here are the winners of the giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 7, 2014

PiBoIdMo Winnah!

I am a PiBoIdMo
I last year I entered Tara Lazar's (http://taralazar.com/) PiBoIdMo challenge because I was out of ideas. At least for picture books. This year I entered the 12x12 (12 picture books in 12 months http://www.juliehedlund.com/12-x-12/). and I would have had no ideas for picture books if it hadn't been for Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo. I focused on illustration this past year's 12x12, but I was able to generate several new ideas for manuscripts (even if not all of them got written). I just barely scraped by last year with 30 ideas.

This year I wanted more.  If an idea doesn't grab me when I go to write, then it's not helpful (at least not at the time). My plan was to have more than 30 ideas. After 10 days of the event I was done with 30. I could have stopped there and been fine, but I wanted more. So my new goal was 60, and I wasn't sure that I could get that.

I'm a pretty competitive person. If I know I can win something, then I will make it my goal to win that thing. I was reading through the numbers people were posting and I had to have MORE than what everyone else was posting. I think the highest number I saw was 52, so I went from 40-60 ideas in one day.

60 wasn't enough, so in the final week I came up with a few. I joked that I would come up with 30-40 ideas in one day. I was crazy busy all month, but Sunday was slow. I got an idea for generating ideas, and ended up with 102 ideas to finish up the month. 

Now not everyone is going to get 100 ideas, but it's the trying that counts. Next year will be different, but I'm happy what I achieved this year. I have a lot of ideas now, but not all of them are going to move me when I go to write. If I don't like any of my ideas? I'll go back to previous PiBoIdMo years and generate ideas from old posts. Thank you so much Tara Lazar for PiBoIdMo. I promise to make you proud of the amount of ideas I use in manuscripts this year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview With Jennyann Carthern

Today on my blog I have the fantastic Jennyann Carthern. I met Jennyann through the 12 x 12 (which is an awesome group of picture book writers/illustrators--more on this later). Jennyann has brought together several illustrators for a monster coloring book which she will be releasing soon. This fantastic coloring book will be a free download for every coloring enthusiast to enjoy!

Jennyann loves the fine art of mural creation. She also teaches students to paint murals, sculpt, act, design, and animate. Jennyann paints in a traditional medium and loves creating brightly colored illustrations.

Dani: Why picture books?

Jennyann: Picture books have always been a interest of mine since grade school. Under the influence of my school librarian, who would read to my class every week. I was not only inspired by the stories, but the images that surrounded them. Some of my favorite picture books growing up included Corduroy, the adventures of Busytown, The Little House, and all things by Shel Silverstein starting with Where the sidewalk ends. I could go on on on with this list.

Dani: Do you know the Muffin Man?

Jennyann: Yes, I know the muffin man, he lives on Drury Lane. I don’t like to visit him all that much, because of his crummy attitude. Just saying!

Dani: Finish these thoughts:

1. I can't find...my pencil sharpener.

2. I never want...to pet a spider.

3. Drawing is like..being born again.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Jennyann: The work I make is special because it is an authentic translation of where I am in any given moment. It’s made from passion, hard work , and play. I also prefer the tactile qualities in making art, in that I love using the raw materials, rather than digital, which still come in handy for editing purposes.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Jennyann: My ultimate goal is life is to create successful art businesses, that will allow me to make a living doing what I love while sharing those creative sparks with others. I love making art, teaching art, and advocating the arts in after school programs, and I’m on a mission to show the world what art is made of.

Follow Jennyann: 

Website: http://jennyanncarthern.wix.com/jennyanncarthern

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennyannCarthern

and https://www.facebook.com/paintisthickerthanwater

Fine Art: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jennyann-carthern.html

Blog: http://www.paintisthickerthanwater.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106358831937128489417

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What's Up Wednesday! December 3

I am SO GLAD November is over. It was a crazy month. It left me really sick, too! Or maybe that was my son? Oh well. Anyway I want to tell you to get your clucking self over to this post: http://daniduckart.blogspot.ca/2014/11/interview-with-cyndi-marko-and-book.html because you could win one of two Kung Pow Chicken: Let's Get Cracking! (Kung Pow Chicken book 4) books. Cyndi Marko has kindly donated two of her softcover books for the chicken cause! This is NOT an EBOOK PEOPLE! Please enter. You don't have to do much to enter!

Interview Schedule:
December 05 - Jennyann Carthen
December 12 - Dianna Dorisi Winget
December 19 - Julie Murphy
December 26 - Day after Christmas so no Interview
January 2nd - Bobby Darcus

I'm still reading stories for an anthology. The most recent story I read made me cry! Sweetest story ever!

I FINISHED MY DUMMY AND FINISHED ARTWORK! I submitted it to an agent, so fingers crossed. I also finished the portrait I was working on. The parents really love the portrait! I'm working on some additional dummy work now. It's one (by one I mean many stories) of those things that I need to get on paper yesterday. It's burning a hole in my brain. 

I also have a unicorn poo picture book I'm doing. This may not be suitable for people who are against unicorns, bunnies or poo. Sorry if you are one of these people. Hopefully I'll have this done soon!

Every Day Possible
Dummy Work and finals

Wed 11/26 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! 

Thursday 11/27 -  Starting some new picture book Dummies

Friday 11/28 - Interview with Jennyann Carthen! Maybe some Santa photos?

Saturday 11/29 - Dummy work and unicorn poo.

Sunday 11/30 

Monday 12/01 - I shall promptly die this day. 

Tuesday 11/18 - Working on Unicorn Poo if not done. Also sewing a pegasus

Wednesday 11/19 - What's Up Wednesday!

Occasional sinus medication... I have a cold. :(


Toddler Minding 
Kiddo has bronchitis! Had a cold forever and now this. He's on antibiotics right now. Coughs a bit and is fussy, but otherwise fine. 

Sick, sick, sick.

*What's up Wednesday is part of Jamie Morrow's summer writing intensive: "Ready. Set. WRITE!" There are other host blogs including: Erin L. FunkAlison MillerKaty Upperman, and Elodie Nowodazkij.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview with Cyndi Marko and a Book Giveaway!

Today on my blog I have the lovely Cyndi Marko! Cyndi is one of the members of my SCBWI (Canada West) region. It's so exciting when I get to interview someone who lives near me!

Cyndi is one serious chick. She's been working hard, boiling her eggs..er stories that are quickly becoming a hit (let's hope for a TV series). These stories are about a crime fighting chicken duo. When I think of her stories I wonder: Why was this not a thing before?

Cyndi's first book that cracked open the way for her no so foul popularity is KPC #1 Let’s Get Cracking!  This book is now nominated for the Silver Birch Express 2015 award. Click here to see the Nomination! Let's all cross our fingers (or feathers if you don't have fingers) for her! 

As an extra special bonus today, Cyndi has generously donated two of her books for a giveaway. Be sure to enter this giveaway for your chance to win one of these softcover books! Before you do this, please be sure to read this entire interview first. Anyone who breaks the pecking order will be disqualified. Of course I have no way to know if any of you cluckers entered before reading, so there probably wont be any disqualifications.

Edit: I forgot to mention earlier that for the giveaway anyone can enter, but books can only be sent to the US and Canada. I made a note of everyone who entered the contest before this. If one of these people wins (and does not live in the US or Canada) I'll figure something out for them! Also I shortened the giveaway time. It was always meant to run just a week. Sorry about that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dani: Why children’s books?

Cyndi: Writing and illustrating kids’ books is just something I’ve always wanted to do, and I always had a lot of encouragement from my English and Art teachers to pursue writing and art. But I think the biggest reason is because I can be as weird and as silly as I want, and kids will not only be okay with it, they’ll get it. At heart, I’m a big kid. Having to be a grown up seems like punishment in a lot of ways. I don’t wanna do the dishes!

Dani: Why DID the chicken cross the road?

Cyndi: SO funny you should ask that!! That question actually gets answered in KPC book 4, HEROES ON THE SIDE, which is out December 1st. *spoiler alert* To get to the bad guy on the other side.

Finish these thoughts:

1. My books are…

Cyndi: A little bit ridiculous. And I hope lots of fun! I’m usually giggling my pants off when I write or sketch something. So, yeah, I laugh at my own jokes. *hangs head in shame*

2. Readers should know…

Cyndi: Leotard wedgies are a real and constant threat. Be vigilant.

3. My secret is…

Cyndi: Secrets? What secrets? I don’t have any secrets. Why? Do you know something?

Dani: What’s special about your work?

Cyndi: I think my work has a slightly absurd, but a little bit charming, quality. I write/draw what would have made me laugh as a kid. It brings me immense joy to hear about kids running around saying Bok Bok Brains.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Cyndi: Three words: World Chicken Domination.

Webpage: http://cyndimarko.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynMarko