Saturday, February 19, 2011

Picture book marathon

I have learned a lot on this month's journey. It occurred to me during a discussion about chordates in my Biology class the other day that I've also learned a lot about the nature of things from reading and writing. Specifically, from the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I learned that you don't need to have a brain in order to learn how to use one. So that's it! Perhaps this organ between my ears is a stumbling block.

JK ; )

Thus, the latest picture book from the mixed up files of Shaunda Wenger

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picture Book Marathon

I am floating somewhere in the midst of the middle of the marathon, realizing I may only finish a half-marathon, but I'm totally digging that, especially since this month's running has been piggy-backed with the release of The Ghost in Me, and readying the release of Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again. It's been busy. And Little Red would be ready to go, but I need to find a pdf conversion program that will not compress the resolution of my images inside the book to a quality that is lower than 300dpi. (IF ANYONE has any SUGGESTIONS on this, please send them my way. I would be so appreciative!)

Aside from that FRUSTRATION, I'm completely thrilled with the picture books I have drafted so far, and can't wait until I can dive into creating them sometime in the next couple months!

I have so much going on right now in my life, it is crazy! I hope someday I feel like I'm getting it all done.

Love you all,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Picture Book Marathon

Given the hour, I'm not sure what day it is in the picture book marathon.  Today, I didn't get a new pb written, but I did work on revising the proof copy of Little Red Riding Hood: Into the Forest Again. This is a chapter book for ages 7-10, and I'm hoping it will be ready for publication by the middle of March.

Little Red Riding Hood was a favorite bedtime story of mine when I younger. I loved Little Red's bravery as she set out to walk throught the forest by herself to visit her grandmother. This sequel came to me one sunny winter's day in February 2007. I loved all of the characters as they met Little Red, but Big Bad surprised me the most.

Here is the cover, based on today's changes. It shows both the back and front sides of the cover.

Other than that, I am so amazed at the talent and skill of other Utah authors and illustrators. Julie Olsen and Will Terry announced the release of a new picture book as an application for ipad and iphone users that allows the interactive viewing of children's picture books. I'm so impressed with the direction that digital books are taking. This is yet another way to enjoy literature, while embracing the world's expansion into new technologies. Check this app out at I bet this will be a much-loved application of parents who travel with toddlers, but want to lighten their load with the books/entertainment they carry.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 3 for Me. Picture Book Marathon

Another day near done. Here is part-word, part-photo essay of the day's and past week's events.

Started another pb, and will finish it tonight, then write the other that just popped into my head.

After the catastrophe of dropping my paper with my handwritten story in the puddle, I switched to creating little 32-page booklets, that I scribble my text out on. It's working great actually, because I can see the structure of the book in my hands as it unfolds with each page-turn, and it helps keep the word-count to a minimum, since my page space is only about 5x5inches.

Shot a video of Judy Torres reading her book, Duck, Duck, Moose, to some school kids today. It went great! The kids loved it. The teachers loved it. "Book Trailers R Us" is the next venture. ; )

A few days ago, I was lured to the side of the road--or rather, the side of a speedy highway--to capture this photo of some hopeful, patient ducks. At first, I thought they might be waiting for the ice to thaw, but perhaps they are waiting for the fish to bite?... Ice fishing, anyone?

The rest of my week and the days to come is recorded in a list a that is five pages long. Yes, that's my to-do list. I'm getting thru it, bit by bit, but I also have always been good at cramming, especially when it comes to crunch time.

For now, I'm just fueling the muse with chocolate, as shown by the wrappers piling up on my desk...

Happy writing everyone!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My 2nd Day of the Picture Book Marathon

If you are a writer, who strays from the computer and scribbles your ideas out on paper, then you need to read this bit of advice.

Do not use felt-tip pens.

Mine was part of a set of 4 that I got as a Christmas gift. I thought they were so neat. That colorful set of four: black, red, green, blue. So, of course, when I sat down to write my first pb for the marthon, I turned to this thoughtful gift.

Unfortunately, the ink of this thoughtfut gift runs right off the paper, if you happen to be rushing into work and your paper that holds your new story, that you shoved into your notebook, falls out of that notebook in the midst of all your rushing and lands in a puddle. A deep, dark, wet puddle.

And stays in that puddle all day, because you are inside working, where you should be, and even end up staying after-hours, because that is what you do when students ask for extra help, and you don't return to your vehicle until the end of the day and find that paper soaked all the way thru, with a few hints of that coloful, red ink blotching up the edges. It even tears in half when you try to pick it up, because it is drenched and would prefer to stay stuck to the pavement where it has been laying for 7 hours....

7 hour-work-day. Rough, I know. I shouldn't complain.

I don't. And I didn't, because this is how life works for me.

So, I did my best to pick up the sopping paper that once held the words to my story, and put all three pieces of it in the back of my car, because I don't litter, and headed home, and sat down, and rewrote my story.

The good news? I think I like it even better the second time around!

Now I just have to find a safe place to put the paper that it's written on....

And the funny thing is, the title still includes the word, CAUTION!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Picture Book Marathon

I told myself I would do this event this year. Despite crazy hectiness (yes, that is my new word, in the spirit of picture book creativeness (another new word), I finally made it to the starting line. Last night I woke a little after midnight with 3 ideas rattling my brain. I had told myself I had to wait until Monday (today) to start, so at 1:30 in the morning I got out of bed and started writing. I'm so excited to be digitally and spiritually connected to so many wonderful people--especially those who love to create books for children.

This year's logo for the marathon was designed by author-illustrator crazy-man Nathan Hale. Isn't it cool? His website has tons of fun stuff, so if you want to check it out, visit

As far as my tally on pb so far, my first picture book is based on the word, Caution. Don't know if that's a good sign or not. We'll see!