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.