Words to Live By

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Finally Some Artwork!

I am almost positive that I never got around to showing you this artwork! I was posting them on Facebook a few days ago and realized that I never posted them here. What's that all about? Anyway here they are. These are two of my favorite paintings that I did for VCON back in October. I'm going to start thinking about VCON early this year, so I'm not swamped that month. The theme is "Time Travel" so it's going to be fun and tough to come up with images this year! I hope you like the illustrations!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Interview With Writer Auri Lynn

Today on my blog I have the magical Auri Lynn! Auri weaves her magic into young adult fantasy books (in other words she uses her magic for both good and evil!). Auri has her roots in nature being an Environmental Educator.

Right now Auri is working on her first book "The Wakening". You can read a sample from the book here. It's always exciting for me to read about a new fantasy series coming out. Is this the next big series? Hopefully, we'll wait and see!


Dani: Why young adult fantasy?

I love to read young adult fantasy. I remember the teen years as such a magical time with a blurred line between dreams and reality. When I started writing The Wakening it naturally came out from the point of view of a 16 year old girl named Lera.

Dani: What magic do you believe in?

I believe everyone has some form of magic within. I once had a friend who saw letters as colors, so in his mind there was a color pattern for each person he met. I also know people who perceive what others are feeling physically or emotionally in a special way. I find it fascinating and love that moment when you realize someone's magic.

Dani: Finish the following thoughts:

1. I hate... waiting. I am always late, so I don't have a lot of experience waiting. :)

2. Dreams are... a place to break the rules we believe exist in reality.

3. The first time... you alter fate it hurts. In the words of the Rolling Stones (Wild Horses), "Fate has been broken, tears must be cried."

Dani: What's special about your work?

Being an environmental educator and working in natural resource management is amazing. Every day is different and there are always special moments like finding an orphaned fawn, working with wild birds, and zip lining through the trees. Plus it is so fulfilling to help parents and children learn through unstructured time in nature.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life? 

To spend as much time with my family as possible, to connect children to nature, and to live the life that was meant for me.


Follow Auri:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWakeningBook

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's Up Wednesday! January 21

It has been the weirdest week. Things seem to be flying by. I completely forgot to post this until 11:42. Silly me! I have but minutes to finish this today. Looks like I need to start finding some more people to interview!

Interview Schedule:
January 23rd - Auri Lynn 
January 30th - Sheila Kelly Welch 
February 6th - Rue Cole
February 13th - Tatum Flynn

Kid's books mostly. David's Potty Book For Boys is a favorite. PatricK McDonnell's Wag is another!

Finished up the portrait last week no problem... okay BIG PROBLEM. Somehow I ended up with non-waterproof ink in my ink pen. I use watercolors, so when I went to add them the ink went everywhere. Had to start over, but still got it done in time!

Every Day Possible
Dummy and coloring book work.

Wed 01/22 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done just barely. Hopefully cleaning up my art area before bedtime.

Thursday 01/23-  Working on some dummy work. Hoping for good news that I can't mention yet.

Friday 01/24- Interview with Auri Lynn. Making a cake!

Saturday 01/25- David's Birthday Party is today!

Sunday  01/26 - Enjoying the day... hopefully.

Monday  01/27 - Doing some cleaning... might even be some serious business cleaning.

Tuesday  01/28 - Hanging out with some good friends and their kids.

Wednesday  01/29 - What's Up Wednesday! 

Insanity... insanity works for me.


Toddler Minding 
Making the cake and doing some last minute prep for David's party!

Up to 30 minutes exercise every other day!

*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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

12 Reasons to Join the 12x12

Registration for the 12 x 12 Challenge is now open for everyone. What is the 12 x 12? It's for those of us who want to write 12 picture books in 12 months! This challenge is also open to illustrators as well, so no one gets left behind!

There are three levels to the 12 x 12. Each level up has stronger rewards. The following reasons are things that are good about the 12 x 12 no matter your level.

1)  If you stick with it, on January 1, 2016 you will have at least 12 fully polished manuscripts to submit.

2)  Best. Prizes. Ever.

3)  Hundreds and hundreds of writers and illustrators rooting for YOU to be published.

4)  Resources and information easily accessible to you.

5)  Private Forums and a Facebook group

6)  Wonderful leaders who are always ready to answer your questions. Yes, our fearless leader Julie Hedlund interacts often with the members of the group!

7)  Access to products, services and events only available to 12 x 12 members.

8)  Ability to join any number of fabulous critique groups.

9)  Have your burning picture book questions answered.

10)  Being able to add the 12x12 as a plus on your submissions

11)  Motivation and inspiration from members. Plus motivation and inspiration from Julie's blog

12) Access to webinars for just a bit more! (Free with Silver or above.)

These are things you get if you just opt into the bronze version. There are so many more things you can get with the higher levels. Look at the membership options here.


You have until February 28th to join!

If you are ready, at the end of 12 months you may consider Gold Level. This gives you the access to submit to 10 agents over the year and bypass the slush pile. Don't have the money? Apply for a scholarship in 2016!

I'm Dani Duck and this is my third year as a Gold Member for the 12 x 12. Sound like something you'd hear at an AA meeting? Maybe, but it's all good things from here. Join the 12 x 12 in 2015. You will thank me later.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Interview With Elizabeth Maginnis

To say that Elizabeth Maginnis is a great lover of animals and the environment is an understatement. I say this because from reading her work I don't see her as just loving these things -- Elizabeth works hard to protect animals and the enviroment. Elizabeth Maginnis works hard to inform others about the impact humans have on the environment. She also creates wonderful stories and articles that help people to fall in love with animals. Her articles can be viewed on her website. Elizabeth's picture book, "There's a Dog on the Dining Room Table" is available now on Amazon.

Dani: If you had a dog on your table, what would you do? 

Elizabeth: I would gently pick him up off the table and place him on the floor while telling him what a silly dog he is, dogs don’t belong on tables, just as I did when I found our dog Barney on our dining room table. He’s the inspiration for my book.

Dani: Which word is the best? 

Elizabeth's "Once in a Lifetime Dog" Barney.
Read about him on Elizabeth's Website!
Elizabeth: Love. It’s the only thing that really matters.

Finish the following thoughts:

1. Stories are... portals to other worlds.

2. I need to... relax! My mind never stops working.

3. Yesterday I... snuggled with my dogs and cats on the couch. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

Dani: What's special about your work? 

Elizabeth: I find the humor in life with pets.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life? 

Elizabeth: To influence others to respect Mother Earth and all her children.


Follow Elizabeth:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's Up Wednesday! January 14 - All the Exclamation Marks!

This past week has been okay. Nothing major done, but things are picking up. Been a bit tired lately, but feeling better today. I'm hoping to get a lot done this week!

Interview Schedule:
January 16th - Elizabeth Maginnis
January 23rd - Auri Lynn 
January 30th - Sheila Kelly Welch 
February 6th - Rue Cole
February 13th - Tatum Flynn

Chirp magazine to my son... so many times! It's the train issue for January/February. He loves it so much!

I need to finish up a portrait this week so I can start working on other things!!! The 12x12 has open registration starting today. I'll talk about it tomorrow. Will post some of my illustrations Saturday.

Every Day Possible
Portrait, dummy and coloring book work.

Wed 01/14 
What's Up Wednesday Post. Done! 

Thursday 01/15-  12x12 post. Open Registration starts today! Working on finishing up a portrait.

Friday 12/16- Interview with Elizabeth Maginnis! Portrait work.

Saturday 12/17- Going to Hayden's birthday party (one of David's friends)!

Sunday 12/18 - Planning/making David's Birthday cake.

Monday 12/19 - My house will be perfectly clean this day (in my dreams).

Tuesday 12/20 - Cuddling my kid until he screams and I have to put him back down.

Wednesday 12/21 - What's Up Wednesday! 

Cake, chocolate cake!


Toddler Minding 
Planning his birthday cake this week!

Been working out more lately. Every other day. Did 30 minutes yesterday!

*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.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ReViMo! Registration Closes Tomorrow!

I've been meaning to post this all week, but I keep forgetting. ReViMo! (Revise More Picture Books Week) starts tomorrow! If you have some picture book manuscripts to revise then you'll want to join this! You need to sign up tomorrow by 10pm CST! I'm sorry for not posting about this sooner. Please sign up, there are a lot of great prizes. Also you'll get your manuscripts in good repair! Join here or click on the picture: http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.ca/p/revimo-2015.html