The Birth of a Book Idea ~ From my Son’s Language Arts Project.

There’s a book project that’s been brewing inside me for a couple years now. I’ve mulled over it time and time again, scribbling down plot and character ideas. It was originally a book about ghost hunter kids. I wanted to explore my personal ideas about heaven and hell, spirits, angels and demons… but in a fun and approachable way, told through the adventures of three kids.

The final book concept finally hit me like a lightening bolt after spending time with my son, helping him develop his own illustrated book for his Language Arts class this year. My son HATES writing, and is extremely self-critical, so I baby-stepped him through the entire process, trying to make the experience as enjoyable for him as possible. The first step was to make sure he had an idea that he felt would be fun to write about. He was VERY into Stranger Things and The Last Kids on Earth at the time, so the two of us brainstormed together and finally decided on a story idea. It was about a boy attacked by a creature from another dimension – and that contact made him unwillingly able to travel to other dimensions when he fell asleep.

The concept was pretty fun, and we had a good time with it. As I helped him through it, I told him how much I loved his story, and that it was inspiring me to find a final direction for the story that’s been brewing in me for years now.

It was the idea of traveling to other dimensions and the fact that the main character is swept up into it accidentally that intrigued me. It reminded me of my belief that heaven and hell can be scientifically explained as separate dimensions – and that we are unwillingly swept into these dimensions when we are torn from our bodies through death.

A year earlier, I lost my dad to emphysema/COPD and had been struggling with my own grief. This book idea seemed a good timely way to explore my ideas about the afterlife, and my own personal belief that even after we die we still have choices.

Using Camp Nanowrimo (a free online writing challenge that takes place twice a year) as a way to motivate myself to write as many words as I can, I think I’m actually going to get that rough draft done by the end of July! VERY excited, since normally I give myself every excuse not to write. My kids have been wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic as I read them my progress chapter by chapter (testing my target audience)!

I just felt like sharing this journey – I’ve been doing a lot of manifesting exercises, like this Animoto Book Trailer (a trailer for a book that isn’t even ready yet)!

(SEE ABOVE, at top of post)

Well, back to writing some more… AFTER I finally get some sleep. Dang it! I stayed up till 2:00am AGAIN! AARGH!

Oh, well… that’s the life of a writer.


30 Book Ideas in 30 Days! (I’m a WINNER!)

vinvogel_piboldmo_winnerEvery year I participate in NaNoWriMo and have yet to actually meet the 50K word goal. I am always busy with projects in November, so Nano always ends up being a losing battle for me.


Coming up with 30 Picture Book ideas in 30 days seemed like a challenge I could really dig my creative teeth into!

I was right!

On day one, I immediately realized how this was going to stretch me. Coming up with ideas is the easy part for me. Concentrating FULLY for a WHOLE MONTH on purely idea generation was the true challenge for me. Normally when I get an idea, I work with the one idea, bring it into something great, and then move on to the next thing before I’ve been able to really figure out how to make the idea into something solid. I’ll wear the idea out or overwhelm myself, and another idea will start pestering me and interrupt my flow of executing the current idea.

So I LOVED this challenge, and gave myself permission to move on every day to a new idea, staying with the flow of idea energy. On day TWO I struggled big time with tis, coming up with a book idea that I totally LOVED. I ended up writing the whole manuscript (picture book length). It rhymed and everything! I even had the main character sketched out. When that idea came to full fruition, I moved on to the next day. It was frustrating and freeing at the same time. Everything inside me wanted to start sketching layout plans for the book. But I had my permission slip to say NO. I HAVE TO KEEP COMING UP WITH IDEAS. WHEN THE MONTH IS OVER, THEN I CAN SIFT THROUGH MY IDEAS AND HOPEFULLY THIS IDEA WILL STILL LOOK GOOD TO ME (as it does, thank goodness!).

I also have another idea brewing which I am looking forward to bringing to life in 2015. A Monthly challenge of my own to share with the world… purely based around idea generation for professional creatives. It’s an idea I had last year and shelved it when once again I became too overwhelmed.

I am very excited to enter 2015 with 30 book ideas and a new Create-A-Way project to introduce to the world!

Sunview Star Writers: The LOUDEST and SILLIEST Writers Group EVER!



This past weekend I had a small group of girls over to my house for what I should call a “writing party.” It was supposed to be a Writers Group meeting, but I kept wanting to stick my head in my daughter’s room and yell over the screams and laughter, “I don’t hear any writing going on in here!”

I had to stop myself, because I knew when you get a group of third grade girls together for a play date, you’re lucky if they end up doing anything constructive. When I peeked in to witness the chaos, I was so happy. Yes, they were joking and laughing and being totally silly… but they were doing all that with their workbooks and journals in front of them. One girl was very determined to write in her book.  She looked up at me and said “Mrs. Fedan, I’M writing!” I smiled wide and nodded, VERY appreciative. One girl quickly went through all the pages of the workbook and blurted out her funny ideas to the other girls, making them all laugh, and role played one of her character ideas (that was pretty funny). One girl hated the workbook pages I printed out and announced to me loudly, “I’m bored!” My daughter couldn’t stop talking the whole time – it looked like she got a total of three words written in all. But she successfully learned to contort her body into a pretzel and shouted to me between her legs, “WE WANT SNACKS!”

I could say it was a disaster – that I failed miserably as a teacher for them… but teaching about writing wasn’t really the goal for this group get-together.

The purpose for the gathering was REALLY to get the girls together around the theme of writing and just get them to have FUN with the whole writing thing (whatever that means). I really didn’t want to hang over them and say, “Now look here, girls, this is what we’re going to do…”

That would definitely be a FUN-killer!

I want them to keep writing. And how do I make sure that happen? By making them realize writing doesn’t have to be a chore. All it is (at the age of eight), is making things up – using your imagination. This is NOT the time to give their imaginations boundaries, I thought. I don’t want to do that. So the only rule of this Sunview Star Writer Club is to JUST WRITE. Write what? Write anything. Write a journal, write about yourself and your life, write poetry, write a novel, or write a series of short stories. It’s about getting words on the page.

And words can get on the page much more fun with giggles, popcorn and lollypops.

Below, I’m sharing my video to my Sunview Star Writers, and with it is a writing prompt you just might like to try out yourself!  🙂  🙂

The NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program – Launching my first Young Writers Group!

logoYeah, I know, don’t I have enough going on? Well, I just couldn’t stop myself.

When I realized my daughter was into writing a couple years ago, I totally flipped out. Oh yeah. Cartwheels.

I’ve been a write-a-holic ever since I received my first blank workbook in grade two – well, maybe before then.

I remember before I ever knew how to read, I used to flip through novels on my parents’ bookshelves and try to figure out why words were grouped certain ways (what were paragraphs all about? I wondered).

Yeah, I’m a nerd, all right  🙂 

And my author grandmother would give me recycled paper to type with on her old manual typewriter – it would keep me occupied for hours, and I was slightly annoyed when I would tap too hard on the keys and my “o”s would punch holes through the paper (How does one use white-out over a HOLE in the page?). I sent my first manuscript (104 pages typed) out to publishers when I was thirteen, and got my first pile of rejection letters back the same year.

So of course when my daughter showed interest in writing, OH yeah – I totally FLIPPED and signed her up last year for the YWP. This year I thought it would be fun to try getting more of her friends involved. Luckily she has several brainy friends (that’s my girl) who also have an interest in writing, so I thought we should be able to get a small group together from her classroom. We’ll see how this goes!

Nanowrimo: On a QUEST to complete the LONGEST writing project of my LIFE!

I’m participating in Nanowrimo for the first time (I participated in Camp Nanowrimo twice during the summer). Over the summer, my focus was to get as much written for this book series as I could. What started out as a 104-page book in 1987 (I was thirteen) has transformed into a three-book-series for Young Adult Readers.

I am so excited – I have the first two books completed, and thanks to Camp Nano I have four chapters of the third book written as well (edited is another story).

I think it’s neat that this book has been a work-in-progress for so many years. It was shelved for a long time, and then in 2000 I picked it back up to completely rewrite it.

I totally believe in Divine Timing, so I’m not lamenting that it’s taken me this long to finish it. I really believe that some great insights will come while writing and editing now. I can write my book now with an adult’s mind, but through a child’s eyes. And now having children of my own I have an even greater perspective to understand, as I write my parents into my story.

If you’d like to check out what I have written so far on this book series, I have all the chapters available for free on my book website (until I have the whole thing edited). I plan to add illustrations as well to have even more fun with it.

The byline for the book will probably be with my maiden AND married name (Wendy Carrick Fedan) to pay homage to the original author, my 12-year-old self.

If you’re participating in Nanowrimo, you can find me there – my Nano name is “wfedan” – I’d love to meet you and your novel there!