“My Inspiration for Life”

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Lynn side-by-side with her beautiful mother, Evelyn. That’s how it’s been through both their lives.

Since last time I’ve posted, my life has taken a gigantic, unexpected turn. You see, my extreme best friend, my inspiration, my dear mother, Evelyn – known as Mom to me – passed into Heaven’s eternal life on January 31st of this year. I’ve been heartsick since then and unable to write. Until now.

My mother has been a great supporter of my writing since my high school and professional journalism years. And now my children’s book writing years as well. My Mom was a go-getter, as was my Dad. I’m thankful I take after them. A former boss told me I have a tenacious work ethic. I have my parents to thank.

I can and will always hear my Mom encouraging me to “get going,” especially since the publishing process takes so long. The best thing I can do to honor and memorialize her is to continue to write, revise, and submit manuscripts. She wants it that way. She can’t wait to see me published, even from her heavenly eye’s view.

I can remember my Mom reading to me as a child. I still own the multi-volume set of children’s story books

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My Mom Evelyn, the best story teller I’ve ever known. The most intelligent and loving person I could ever be blessed to have as a mother. ~ Lynn

encyclopedia style she and my Dad gave my brother and I. I of course have taken them over. Those books and stories filled our minds and days with so many amazing imaginings.

My Mom was a bit of a story teller in her own right. She was no doubt my first influence. I have many fond memories of her sitting on my bedside when I had trouble falling asleep. There she wove a bedtime story that inspired my dreams. I recall how fascinating I found the story and I loved the fact that she told it to me again and again. I can’t wait to write it down for other children to enjoy, courtesy of my Mom’s imagination. She likes that idea.

Happy Mother’s Day, my sweet Mom!

“2016 ALA Youth Media Award Winners”

What better way to start the New Year than with the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Award winners recently announced!

ALA 2016 Winners
We’re talking a group of talented children book writers and illustrators who have contributed greatly to the world of children’s literature in 2015. Here’s a list of the complete winners: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2016/01/american-library-association-announces-2016-youth-media-award-winners.

Last year I watched online and found it thrilling. Where else can you hear a banquet roomful of librarians cheer, clap, hoot, and holler? I got caught up in the excitement and am now hooked on watching every year.
When the award presentations were over, I discovered myself inspired to revise and even write a new picture book with fresh found fervor. Not with the hopes of ever winning an award, very few authors do that, but to create a literary experience for children in this age of technology. Children writer’s and illustrators do what we do in hopes kids will tap into their strongest superpower: Imagination!

Here’s the link to the Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecotthonors/caldecottmedal.
Did you notice an evolution or revolution in children’s books over the decades? Did you find your favorite book(s) listed? I must admit almost any book for kids sparks my whimsy for daydreaming, and therefore writing. They transport me into a fantasy world of fun where of course, Dr. Seuss and his curious creatures reign.

Your input: Which children’s books powered your imagination as a child or an adult?

“Happy New Year, Welcome 2016!”

I’m bucking tradition and not making any new resolutions for 2016. I still have the ongoing ones from 2015: Eat healthier, exercise more, escape into nature more, become a minimalist, and spend more time with my Mom, family, and friends. I will also continue to delve deeper into writing for children.

Looking back on 2015, I’m satisfied with writing many new picture book manuscripts. To me, that’s an accomplishment in itself. I sent two of those manuscripts out to three agents and one editor. I plan to increase that volume in the New Year. So the journey and quest continues.

Poppy Field_eyelevel_wmkLike a field of wild poppies, I believe my greatest accomplishments this year were people, whether family or friends. Most exciting to me was reconnecting with two childhood friends who are sisters whom I met at age five. We were best friends on top of that, so they will always both be my sisters. About ten years ago we each lost contact of each other for one reason or another, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is the three of us have been reunited. I can thank Facebook for one connection and God for bumping into the other sister at a health fair.

I have made some new friends and acquaintances this year as well. I will spend more of my time with my Mom, and with my friends also where we have let too many months go between us.

Here’s wishing and hoping for a very Healthy, Productive New Year for my family, friends, blog followers, and myself!

Your input: What were some of your highlights in 2015? What are your resolutions for 2016?

“Thawing Out Writing Inspiration”

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It’s in the atmosphere. Everyone is busy scurrying around to finish Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, visiting, and so on. Even here in Tucson, AZ the air is extra crisp and cold with a chance of snow on the mountains around Christmastime.

depositphotos_36217991-hot-cocoa-with-cinnamonAll I want to do is relax and keep warm with my hands wrapped around several cups of steaming hot chocolate. What better way to conjure up visions of sugar plums and new picture book ideas! Once my fingers thaw, I can write at the keyboard.

To be honest, my whole system tends to shut down when the weather gets cold and frosty. I find it hard to think and unravel the creativity. The Southwest has had several hard freezes this year, as the East coast enjoys “our” warmer winter weather. However, enough hot cocoa and I’m defrosted and the caffeine in the chocolate ushers in a wealth of wintry inspiration. Even here in the desert.

In the meantime, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Your input: Does the cold weather or the holidays slow down your writing process or fuel the fire? Are you ready for Christmas? Ho ho ho!

“Happy Thankswriting”

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This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for everything in my life: Family, friends, my dogs, God, and the talent He has given me to write. I pause everyday and realize that my ability to write is no mistake and was infused into me at birth.

I’ve always had a huge imagination as most children do. I couldn’t help but carry it forward into young adulthood and beyond to become a professional writer as my career. Though currently unpublished in the children’s book arena, I believe it’s just a matter of time.

So this Turkey Day I coined the phrase “Thankswriting,” because I count my tons of messy rough drafts, revisions, and even rejections as blessings ever moving me farther ahead and developing me into a better writer and eventually a children’s book author. In the meantime, please pass the cranberries!

Your input: What are you thankful for in your writing and/or non-writing life/world?

© Lynn Rogalsky

“Am I Any Good?” Taking the Measure of Yourself as a Writer

I’ve been a bit under the weather this week and physically not able to sit at the PC keyboard and write or re-write. It happens sometimes. But I discovered that my creative mind kept moving forward, thinking of improvements to my WIP picture book manuscript. I found that encouraging. The true writer’s mind never stops. And that’s good. Last year I had the delight of attending SCBWI AZ’s “Welcome to Our House” where Literary Agent, John Cusick of Folio Jr. headlined. I am posting one of his most recent blogs. Your input: I feel I am a good writer. Do you feel the same about yourself?

John M. Cusick

Like this post? Then check out my November 19th webinar HOW TO BE A WRITER WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND: Balancing Work, Life, and Craft. There will be a Q and A as well as query critiques for all attendees. You should check it out!

Am I any good?

I get this question a lot. Mostly at conferences, in one-on-one critique sessions. It usually pops up late in the conversation, after I’ve discussed the writer’s sample pages and given my critiques. Then there’s a pause, and the aspiring author sitting across from me looks as if he’s about to make some awful confession, like the curtain of polite discourse is about to fall, and we’re going to get to the real, unvarnished and possibly painful truth.

“So, am I any good?”

There are subtle variations. Sometimes it’s “Is this any good?” or “Do you think I can get this published?” But…

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