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Just Write SnoopyI tried and liked her exercise about what to do with your ideas.  Enjoy!

Kelly Bingham’s blog post talks about carving out time to write, protecting that time, and how to bring ideas to life.

Kelly’s post really inspired me to just get on and write.  No more excuses!!

I also tried and liked her exercise about what to do with your ideas.


  1. Take your exciting snippet of an idea (a girl encounters a magic zebra, for instance) OR your character (a pink polar bear who feels he does not fit in). Write it down.
  2. What happens next?Now list at least three ideas for what happens next. Nothing is too silly. Nothing is too dumb. Pull crazy solutions out of thin air.(The polar bear meets a purple penguin who invites him to Rainbow Island.) Write it down. You will create a list of possibilities—some of them a bit unexciting, some of them wonderful, and some in-between.
  3. When you run dry on “what happens next,” then choose one of your strung-together storylines. Ask yourself, “What is the mostexpected way to finish this off?” (The bear discovers that it’s okay to be pink, and lives happily on Rainbow Island with all the other multi-colored animals.) Go ahead, write that down. Then ask, “What is something surprising that could happen here?” (The bear eats the penguin and turns purple, which he decides is even worse than pink.) Write that down.
  4. Look at what you have.   You have one predictable path that you have thoughtfully laid out for yourself toavoid. No one is looking for predictable endings, after all. But you’ve also paved the way for more creative, surprising, and interesting developments for your story and character.

Have fun playing around with your ideas!



Photo Illustration: Kristin Kurzawa

KRISTI VALIANT: Start an ongoing list of things you adore or loathe or laughed out loud at or evoked some kind of emotion that stuck with you.

My take away from PiBoldMo Day blog post #1:

“Don’t be afraid to change the way something happened. Writing fiction is lying in a good way. Sometimes we get so stuck on basing our manuscript on a real-life experience or a sweet person or animal we love, that we’re preventing our manuscript from becoming a fully realized, great book.” Kristi Valiant


I’m taking part in PiBoIdMo 2014, aka Picture Book Idea Month! This is the first time I have taken part, and I’m really excited about it.

The challenge is to create 30 picture book concepts in 30 days, and while you don’t have to write a manuscript, you can if it feels right.

I’ll share the daily posts here, so look out for them 🙂

Playing with color - Matissa #1

Inspired by my trip to the Henri Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition at Tate Modern over the summer, I have decided to make a piece inspired by his work.

Step one is creating my color pallet. Would love to add a vibrant purple to these and some deep pinks, but need to work a bit harder on my mixing. It seems that purple doesn’t come that easy  . . . .

Purple attempts

I don’t spend enough time using my hands to make things, but I LOVE it when I do.

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Moleskin Fun!

I made these at my friends studio before Christmas so that I could give gifts that I had put real time and effort into. I took the image of the Lupins popping up over a fence down at Muir Beach. So happy that the details came out when the screen was made. Thank you, Jon, for facilitating my creativity and letting me use your studio! (He was the brains behind the green bit!).

Next u2013-12-19 08.53.22p . . . hand stamped linen bags for all of my many cousins. Bought the wooden stamp from India, and used silk screen ink as per the suggestion of the man at Flax. Stuffed them with Tcho chocolates. Happy faces all round 🙂