Monday, December 29, 2014

My 2014 Professional Successes

In conjunction with Julie Hedlund's 12 Days of Christmas for Writers, I am listing my professional successes for the year 2014.  This is part of a 2015 Anti-Resolution Revolution post on Julie's blog,

The idea is that resolutions come from a negative attitude of "what did I do wrong that I need to fix."  By listing accomplishments, you're taking a positive attitude of "what did I do well and where can I go from here to grow."  Thus negative resolutions become positive goals.

So, here is my short (but positive) list:

1. Found an online writing challenge, Michelle Barnes' Ditty of the Month Club, that was fun and even "published" a few of my poems online.

2. Completed Angie Karcher's 2014 RhyPiBoMo online challenge/poetry course.

3. Participated in Kristen Fulton's WOW-NonFicPic 2014.

4. Participated in Tracey M. Cox's Summer Sparks writing challenge, and won a picture book critique by Alayne Kay Christian.  (I still need to finish a manuscript to send to her!)

5. Shared my desire to write picture books with my husband, daughter, sister, and a friend.  (This was big for me!  I kept it a total secret from everyone before this!)

6. Completed Tara Lazar's challenge, PiBoIdMo, in which I came up with 32 ideas for picture books.

7. Completed Renee LaTulippe's writing course, The Lyrical Language Lab.

8. Participated in Susanna Leonard Hill's 2014 Holiday Writing contest.

9. Registered for Susanna Leonard Hill's writing course, Making Picture Book Magic, which begins in January.

Actually, this list is not as short as I thought it would be.  I'm excited to see all that I've done so far to begin my career as a picture book author.  And I look forward to see what's to come in 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Susanna Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Writing Contest

Well, Susanna Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Writing Contest is well under way, and I'm entering a story for the very first time.  The story has a 350 word limit and has to contain some element of weather. It was hard to keep it under 350 words, but I was successful.  After many revisions, my holiday story comes in at a whopping 344 words!  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Echinopsis peruviana

The Not So Snowy Christmas  (344 words)
by Kristi Dee Veitenheimer

Billy and Sally longed for a snowy Christmas. Unfortunately, this year’s forecast was worse than last year’s—unusually warm and sunny, with the Texas drought continuing without relief.

Disappointed, the twins decided to create Christmas scenes from their favorite book.  The first scene depicted a pine tree with ornaments and tinsel, setting the stage for Santa and his reindeer to land on Christmas Eve.

With no pine trees anywhere, they settled for a cactus growing in the middle of their yard.  They found a lasso in the barn for garland, red jalapenos for ornaments, and a toy sheriff’s badge for the star.  "Well, it's not exactly like the book, but it’s not too bad," they said.

The next page pictured a snow ball fight.  “How in the world are we gonna make that happen?” cried Billy.  “Ya gotta have snow to have snow balls!”

“I have an idea,” said Sally.  “Wait right here.”  

Billy was just about to go looking for Sally, when all of a sudden…...WHOP!  He shook the icy mess off the back of his head.  “What in the world….”

“Hee, hee.”  Billy looked in the direction of the giggles. WHOP!  This time the cold was sliding down the back of his neck.

Billy saw Sally with an ice cooler full of snow cone balls.  He ran to the cooler, grabbed one, and plastered it right in Sally’s ear.  What fun they had!

Exhausted and wet, they finally plopped down after the last one had been thrown.  

“Ya know what, Sally?”

“Hmmm, what?”

“I just figured out that our Christmas may look different from the ones in the books, but it’s kinda the same,” Billy said.

“What do ya mean?” Sally asked.

“What’s important about Christma is the same,” he said.  “It’s not the snow that makes it fun.  It’s being together to do stuff that makes Christmas special.”

“Yeah, I see what ya mean, Billy.  It’s fun ‘cause we’re together. We can have a Merry Christmas without snow!”

“Maybe even funner,” said Billy as they headed inside for Christmas Eve dinner.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

15 Words or Less

It's been a very long time since I've posted anything!

Over at Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the world for kids today, she's got another "15 words or less" post.  Here's my stab at it:

File:Scary Hands.jpeg

I'm aghast! Appalled and freaked out!

But also intrigued ....

What's hid-


behind it, what



Friday, July 25, 2014

A Christmas Themed Parody

This month I participated in yet another challenge in the Ditty of the Month Club at Michelle Barnes' blog, "Today's Little Ditty."  Here's the link to my attempt at a parody of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

After seeing my poem published, I read through it and found that it needed some editing, especially in the meter department.  Here's my revised version.  See what you think.  Does the meter work better?

Santa had a heaping pack,
heaping pack, heaping pack,
Santa had a heaping pack
that he filled up with toys.

Santa needed boys and girls,
boys and girls, boys and girls.
Santa needed boys and girls
who had been good all year.

Santa looked at this year’s list,
this year’s list, this year’s list.
Santa looked at this year’s list
and charted a quick course.

Elves helped him to load his sled,
load his sled, load his sled.
Elves helped him to load his sled
and called his best reindeer.

Red-nosed Rudolph led the way,
led the way, led the way.
Red-nosed Rudolph led the way
to each and every home.

Christmas morn they all woke up,
all woke up, all woke up.
Christmas morn they all woke up
to see what Santa brought.

All the children laughed and played,
laughed and played, laughed and played.
All the children laughed and played
with Santa’s Christmas loot.

Back home Santa took a nap,
took a nap, took a nap.
Back home Santa took a nap
that lasted through the day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Water-Themed Cinquain Poem

On Michelle Barnes blog, Today's Little Ditty, back in May, readers were given the challenge to write a water-themed cinquain poem.  This was part of the Ditty of the Month Club challenge.  My poem about a "log ride" was one of the poems featured on Michelle's blog that month.  I was so excited to see my name and work "in print!"  I wrote the poem while thinking back to childhood visits to a Six Flags Over Texas amusement park.  The log ride was one of the rides that I both looked forward to and dreaded.  The fun of splashing our log through the waterway, and then the "frightened" anticipation of the log being caught by the chain for the upward climb at the end--resulting in a "free fall" toward a giant splash!  Fun times and fun memories. (Here is the link to that poem, Log Flume, on Michelle's blog.)


Monday, July 7, 2014

Interview with Tamera Will Wissinger

Today's Little Ditty is spotlighting Tamera Will Wissinger, author of This Old Band.

She gave a great interview, as well as a cute Ditty of the Month challenge.  Read all about it here....  

Michelle Barnes blog

And by the way--my entry for the challenge was a parody of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  I'll come back and share later!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Great Post on Revision!

Divas on Writing: How to Revise a Manuscript (via
How to Revise a Manuscript   Congratulations! You’ve completed your novel. All the words are out of your head and typed up neatly in your word processing program. So by show of hands, how many of you then send it to the proofreader, editor, or bestie…

Monday, June 9, 2014

Picture This!: Lists, The Rule of Three, and Repetition

Picture This!: Lists, The Rule of Three, and Repetition: Week of May 22—Pacing a Picture Book Friday, May 27—Lists, The Rule of Three, and Repetition As I was beginning to write today’s post, I de...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Picture Books Review: Rumpelstiltskin's Child (2014)

Picture Books Review: Rumpelstiltskin's Child (2014): Written and Illustrated by Bonne Ferrante Single Drop Publishing Fellow children's book blogger Bonnie Ferrante was good enough t...

I've thought about rewriting a famous fairy tale.  After reading this review, maybe I should pursue the idea....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Great Advice

Start Here: Writing for Children, Step One (via

by Laura Backes, Publisher, Children’s Book Insider     If you’re reading this article, you probably want to try your hand at writing a children’s book. And if you clicked on this post because of the title, you most likely have no idea what…

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lots of Learning Going On!

After many years of dreaming of being an author (like since I was in elementary school), I have decided to take the big leap.  I am officially calling myself an unpublished author.  (I heard this term used on a podcast and loved the positive spin it brings!)  I am starting this blog to chronicle my adventure.

I'm already behind in writing this first post, so let me get you updated on what's been transpiring over the last month or two.  This has been my path so far:

  • Began to research writing for children on the web.  I've found some amazing sites and people!!  I'll start a page listing them very soon.

  • Found the RhyPiBoMo challenge at Angie Karcher's site and decided to participate.  RhyPiBoMo stands for Rhyming Picture Book Month (April).  I had a great time and learned lots!  I'll share some of the poems that I wrote during this challenge on another post.  Check Angie out on Facebook.

  • Started this author blog and an author Facebook page.

I’m having a blast learning about the art of writing and getting started on this exciting career path.  Stay tuned to more posts on what I’m up to, what I’m reading, what courses I’m taking, and samples of my writing.  This is so much fun!