Seven Stories. Seven Days. (Day 5)

I’m a teacher and I write for children.  For the first time ever, I’m trying to write seven picture book drafts in seven days.

Day 5

Today, I didn’t bother with the 5 am alarm as I don’t need to go to work.  I had an outline for a story about Winter Solstice Celebrations and I was able to get a draft done by 9:40 am! Yay!

Will this draft become a book one day?  Too early to tell.  For now it feels like it has potential but I might look at it next week and decide it is in need of a complete overhaul. One of my next steps will be to read mentor texts by picture book authors who have written on the same subject.  Do you know any books about the winter solstice celebration?  Let me know in the comments.

Five drafts done!  Two more to go.  Maybe I CAN write seven stories in seven days…

Curious about my debut picture book? It’s titled Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker


Seven Stories. Seven Days (Day 3 and 4)

For those new to my blog, I am a teacher and a picture book writer.  This is my first ever attempt to try and write seven stories in seven days.  Not a difficult task, you say?  But when this has to fit in around work, family and other responsibilities…not as easy as it sounds. (At least for me.)

Day 3.  Slept through my 5 am alarm.  No time to write before work.  The reality is that today just getting myself to work is the challenge.  And I actually left my lunch at home so I was stuck with the emergency granola bar in my purse.  But it was enough.

Later that day, I was able to write a little.  Is it a story I wrote?  Well, calling it a story would be a stretch.  Maybe its more of a poem.  Actually calling it a poem is a stretch too so maybe it is more of some ideas loosely tied together that my end up becoming a story one day.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to write anything good again.  So I’d say I took a dip on day 3.

Day 4. Didn’t get up at 5 am but started writing by 6 am and today, I have what I can actually call a first draft of a story.  It seems I have turned the tide as this draft might even have potential.  But I could change my mind about that when I re-read it tomorrow.  We shall see.  This one is called The Rainbow Snake.

So tomorrow is Saturday.  You would think that on the weekend, I ought to be able to write a story each day with no work to interfere, so there is hope for me to complete this challenge.  Stay tuned.

Oh, and just in case you’re curious about picture books I’ve already published, you can check out my debut picture book here

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Seven Stories. Seven Days. (Day 2)

Yes!  I woke up with the alarm.  5 am.  It took about 5 minutes to get out of bed and then I was at my computer ready to go.  Day 2.  Story number 2.  Trying to write seven picture book drafts in seven days.

And 45 minutes later, I have a draft.  A draft that needs a LOT of work.  Might not even be a viable story.  But I have something to work with.  A starting point.  And perhaps there will be potential…

Tentative title: Caterpillars Don’t Belong on Jungle Gyms

This title will probably change.  I almost never keep my original title.

Five more stories to go!

Seven Stories. Seven Days.

Seven stories in seven days.  Is it even possible for someone who works full time?  Well, I’m about to find out.  I started today (May 1st) and for the next week I will be writing a picture book draft each day.  Let’s see how I do.

By the way, I did do a little pre-planning with a few ideas up my sleeve on what I might write about. So at least when I get up each day, I have a writing prompt.

Day one.  Planned to get up at 5 am.  Alarm went off but didn’t wake up until 5:40 am.  Wrote a draft titled Blue Heron Gets Hungry.  It is very rough.  But it is a draft.  Maybe it can be polished into something great!  Time will tell.  And now it is 9:15 pm so I better get to bed soon so I can get up and write draft number 2.  I’ll let you all know how I get along.

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Also, check out my debut self-published picture book Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker

Little Steps

I wasn’t sure if I should share this news here but I’m bursting with excitement so here goes….I’m hopeful that there’s an exciting change on the horizon for me.


So right at the beginning of January, I came across a publisher’s wish list for picture book manuscripts.  It felt like my lucky day as two of the items on the wish list matched one of my manuscripts.  I sent my query and a few days later, I received a request to read my manuscript!  I’m told that it takes around 6 weeks to hear back about a manuscript so I don’t expect to know anything for awhile but cross your fingers for me! It is the first time ever I feel like I actually have a chance to become a traditionally published author.

I’d love to give more details but it is really still a very long shot so it may come to absolutely nothing but right now, there’s hope!

Hope with me, okay?

Kid Lit Love: The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Hello Readers and Lovers of Picture Books!

Since I have a newfound appreciation for book reviews, I’m on a mission to post one picture book review each month of a book I loved.  So January’s book is right here: Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi.

There is something about walking through the woods that goes along with stories.  Like tea and crumpets, cookies and milk or peanut butter and jam.  Anyway, this gentle story has a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning.  The book can be enjoyed for its delightful surprises and re-read for its kid appeal.  Who wouldn’t want to attend a tea party in the woods?


Kikko, a  winsome main character, wants to deliver a pie to her grandmother’s house.  Simple idea, but when her father leaves in advance, all she has to go on are some footprints in the snow and a figure in the distance. The story has a dreamlike quality with an appreciation of bravery and independence.  The black and white illustrations with splashes of colour are delightful and different.  Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, it is full of fun, friendship, encouragement and whimsy.  A sure hit with little people and their significant adults! I’m happy to add this one to my library.

Appreciate what you’re reading here?  I’d be happy to have your twitter follows and facebook likes. Thanks and have a great day!