Hello, PiBoIdMo

November has been National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, since 1999. The challenge? Write a novel in a month. Don't fret about quality, just write and write without judging the work. Then, in November 2009, children's author Tara Lazar hosted the first Picture Book Idea Month, or PiBoIdMo for the rest of us. Thirty picture book ideas in thirty days. Cool. Since I had such a rewarding experience from the Picture Book Marathon back in February, I was happy to recently discover this new excuse to brainstorm story ideas and restock my cue of manuscripts to develop.

An idea a day for thirty days? That's doable, right? The PB Marathon encouraged writing an entire story every day for 30 days. I ended up tailoring my goal to at least attempt a full draft of a story, but to accept outlining, plot summaries and fleshing out ideas as a job well done. For the PB Marathon, I brainstormed a list of titles or concepts in advance, then made a calendar and assigned one idea to work on each day. But for PiBoIdMo, I'm trying to go in with a blank slate. No pre-made lists of story ideas this time. Each day, I will attempt to pop out a brand spanking new idea from scratch. The fun part is that not all seeds for ideas come packaged the same way. Sometimes it's a title, other times it's a character in a setting, now and then it's a rhyming stanza that miraculously materializes, a childhood memory, or something happening in my kids' lives. Isn't that the question people always ask writers? "Where do you get all your ideas?" They come from anywhere and everywhere.

The madness kicks off November 1st. Deadline to sign up is November 3rd. Sounds like there'll be some cool prizes as well as guest author blogging and literary agent participation. Click the pic of the idea bugs in the upper right corner or visit Tara's blog Writing For Kids (While Raising Them) for more info.