Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Love Is In the Air

I have a very sad kitty on my lap. She was spayed yesterday, and wow, did she hate that cone of shame. I concocted a kitty jumper today that still keeps her from getting to her stitches, but gives her more mobility and less clanging her poor little cone head on the walls. She's a much happier kitty now. 

So many things have been going on, not the least of which is our decision to homeschool our children. Since we are overseas, our options in schools are a bit limited, but not anymore. Now the world is our school and I hope to learn along with them. Our new adventure starts Friday.

I am worried, of course, that I won't be able to pull off being a teacher, and that I will lose all my writing time. But we have an awesome curriculum, and I have to remind myself that I did work part time and go to college full time, so I can do this. 

It will take time to find our groove, but in the long run, I hope my children's educational experiences will be what is best for them. And who knows, maybe this adventure will help me be more productive with my writing time. Here's hoping. 

On that happy note, I have a few great things to share from the writing world this week:

Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting the first ever Vanlentiny contest--much like the Halloweensie but with a Valentines theme obviously. The rules: 
Write a "Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone is grumpy!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone grumpy (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day)."
Visit here for all the details: http://susannahill.com/2016/01/18/oh-boy-were-going-to-have-some-fun-now/

Emma Dryden also posted a fabulous article about watching out for jealousy in writing. My favorite quote: 
"The only writer to whom I should be comparing myself is the writer I was yesterday." 
And finally, an incredible video from Jarrett J. Krosoczka (author of the Lunch Lady series) on how writing a reading saved his life. Inspirational story and a good reminder of why we need to write quality books for children.

Have a great week.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Writing a Story with Random Pictures

It was a week and a half into December. I had to come up with something cool to send my son for Christmas. He's been away from home for 18 months and will come back next summer. I took pictures he had sent me as well as others his older brother had sent home and some that I had taken. I started writing a story. I had three days to meet a Shutterfly deadline for a free book and get it printed and sent to my son in time for Christmas. Whenever I started to get stuck or the story seemed boring, I thought, "What else can go wrong?" In three days I had my photo story inspired by random pictures taken in 2015. 

The story is called Goblin Magic and you can read it at my Shutterfly Share site: https://katherineniemann.shutterfly.com/  Hope you enjoy it. And more importantly, maybe it will inspire you to be creative with your own family photos.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I have much to be grateful for, and as I start a new year, I want to be more aware of the amazing miracles that happen all around me. 

To start it off, the above video includes some awesome gratitude quotes compiled by Julie Hedlund, who is hosting her 12x12 Picture Book Challenge again this year. See here for details: http://12x12challenge.com

Here's hoping you have a great year with many more miracles to come.