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Friday, October 26, 2012

An Idea a Day?



It's kinda like breakfast . . . important every day, breakfast is the first order of business that gives you the energy to keep on keepin' on. Here's the challenge: Could you come up with a brand-spanking new picture book idea every day for a month? If you take author Tara Lazar's "PiBoIdMo" challenge, you will fill your hopper with ideas that can be fleshed out the rest of the year.

In October, thousands of writers gear up for NaNoWriMo, the "National Novel Writing Month" in which novel writers combine Luke Skywalker- and Darth Vader-like forces to bang out 50,000 words in a month. Many succeed, and bestselling books have been polished out of those rough diamonds.

Kiddie picture book writers have PiBoIdMo"Picture Book Idea Month, the brainchild of author Tara Lazar (www.taralazar.com).

A few weeks ago, I heard Tara give a creative and encouraging keynote speech ago at the Rutgers University Council on Children's Lit One-on-One Conference. Afterward, Tara told me she had no idea PiBoIdMo would be as wildly popular as it has become. "Maybe ten followers?" she guessed she'd have, but kid lit writers everywhere are eating their extra Wheaties in November and thanking Tara when the idea mills in their heads are miraculously cranking at full speed.

I tried PiBoIdMo for the first time in 2011 and was amazed at how those rusty October wheels started turning right on schedule, on November 1st. I saw fun picture book potential in the most ordinary, everyday kind of places and events. It was like the dusty film had been wiped off my glasses, and I ended the month excited about several of the ideas.

Try it and let me know how it goes for you!