Reader University

Reader University

Reader University
Reader University may sound a little fancy (or silly), but don’t worry you are with me. This won’t get too complicated.
At the end of 2013, I decided after hearing Linda Sue Park speak at the Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI conference I should read more.
So, I thought of a personal goal — a reading project for me {and you, if you want to read these posts once a week}.
The basic idea is to read and give back to authors.
I will read more intently this year. I’m not trying to power through a huge list. Trust me I read a lot already as a picture book writer. Dozens of books cross my lap each week. One discussion in a kid lit forum or a mention on Perfect Picture Book Fridays, often results in a flurry of additions to my library hold list. I will simply enjoy {or not — hey they can’t all be winners} the books I read in 2014.
When I read Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story I realized I miss reading different genres. I won’t say novels, because I want to read more short stories too.
Reader University posts will appear on Mondays. A series of 12 posts offer ways readers can help authors and their own writing through reading. These 12 will also appear later on the Pikes Peak Writers blog Writing from the Peak.
So, here’s to adding more #amreading hashtags to my Twitter feed and relaxing more with books.  
Here’s my favorite quote from Linda Sue Park’s keynote address at RMC-SCBWI:

“Saying you don’t have time to read is the equivalent of an Olympic athlete saying she doesn’t have time to train.” — Linda Sue Park

Get training — go read.

A scary Halloweensie story

A scary Halloweensie story

It’s that time of year for a teeny, tiny Halloween tale called Halloweensie.
Author Susanna Leonard Hill began this contest and dares us (well, maybe encourages is a better word) to write a 100-word Halloween story for children. In addition to the 100-word limit, this year’s entry must contain the words Black Cat, Spooky, and Cackle.
Here’s my effort:

A Scary Halloween

By Stacy S. Jensen

Oscar thought Halloween was extra spooky this year.

Zombies cackled.

Witches moaned.

Black cats barked.

His mom howled at the moon.

Fruits and vegetables filled his trick-or-treat pumpkin.

“I think there’s a problem!” he said.

Oscar ran home and searched the pantry.

One small candy bar remained. He ate it.

The room spun around.

His mom tapped him on the shoulder, “It’s time to trick-or-treat.”

Halloween returned to normal.

Zombies moaned.

Witches cackled.

Black cats meowed.

All was normal, except, Oscar saw a yellow banana in his pumpkin.

“Ahhhhhh!,” Oscar yelled. “Let’s go!”


Wow. I have chills thinking about potatoes and carrots in a Halloween Pumpkin!

Entries can be posted on your own blog or in the comments on Susanna’s Halloweensie story until 11:59 p.m. EDT Halloween night (Oct. 31). You’ll find links spooky, scary, and funny entries on Susanna’s blog.

And one more thing …


I also have a post this week over at the Pikes Peak Writers Blog Writing from the Peak.

“What’s Your Game Plan for Your November Challenge?”

I wrote about my preparation for Picture Book Idea Month. I’m almost finished with the task I outlined for myself before November. I also share my goal for PiBoIdMo this year.

I’m ready for Picture Book Idea Month to begin. Are you participating in any November challenges like NaNoWriMo or PiBoIdMo?

Have fun skipping around the Internet this week!