Tag Archives: COVID-19

Literary Scavenger Hunt

Hello everyone!

After being under a stay-at-home order for more than a month, many of us are eager to reengage with the rest of humanity and resume our normal comings and goings. Unfortunately, we still have to wait.

To give us something fun to do while complying with the stay-at-home order, I challenge you to a literary scavenger hunt.

Rules:

  1. Look in books to find something that satisfies each category.
  2. A different book must be used for each category.
  3. Once you’ve found all twelve categories, share what you found and the books they came from in the comments section.

Open Books

Categories:

  1. A weapon
  2. A difficult decision
  3. A beautiful setting
  4. A first kiss
  5. A mistake
  6. A betrayal
  7. A loss
  8. Best friends
  9. More than two siblings
  10. A single parent
  11. A grandparent
  12. A talking animal

Good luck! Happy reading!

Katie

Advertisement

COVID-19 Life Revisions

Hello everyone! I hope you are all staying healthy!

As writers, the concept of needing to revise something should not be a new one to us. We write something, and then we revise it again, and again, and again, and a few more times for good measure before we finally query or publish it.

Time for Change Sign with LED LightHowever, the idea of revising our lives due to COVID-19 has come as a shock to even those of us who are most experienced in making revisions. You’d think that the one activity that wouldn’t be affected by social distancing is writing. (Think about it. You usually do it by yourself at home or in a coffee shop.) But even writing hasn’t been safe from unplanned changes. Libraries are closed, writer’s groups have to find new ways to meet, and conferences are postponed or canceled.

At the beginning of 2020, I designed my entire yearly plan for writing around a conference in June that I was planning on attending. I devoted the first six months of the year to writing and the last six to querying. Now, that conference may or may not take place; the organizers are still waiting to see where we’re at with social distancing come June.¬†On a more positive note, some alternative workshops and online activities for writers that didn’t exist when I created my 2020 writing goals have become available.

As a result of all the changes, I had to seriously consider whether or not my original writing plan for this year was still the best one to follow. To give myself some much needed clarity on what to do, I summarized my writing priority for the year in one sentence: My goal for 2020 is to get something published. With that goal in mind, and after a lot of thought, I gave myself permission to scrap my original writing plan and adjust it for our current, everchanging situation. I then started looking at the options available to me and chose the ones that would get me closer to my end goal of publication.

My Revised Writing Plan for 2020:

  1. Start querying the materials that are ready for agents and editors to read.
  2. Write a picture book and participate in the free online Peer-to-Peer Picture Book & Chapter Book Manuscript Critiques program offered through the Pennsylvania: East chapter of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Blue Card Surrounded with White FlowersDuring this time of constant change and uncertainty, give yourself permission to adjust your plans (this does not only apply to writing plans). Life looks different right now. It’s not comfortable, but if you search for the positives in the situation, you might be surprised by what you find.

Stay healthy, and happy writing!

Katie

God’s Goodness in the Middle of Trouble

Hello everyone!

Have you ever noticed how when you focus on something that upsets you, you become more upset? Now, have you noticed how changing your focus from what’s bothering you to something else can help you to calm down?

Right now, it’s easy to focus on COVID-19 and the uncertainty that it’s introduced into our lives. It’s easy to be afraid. And while what we focus on might not change our circumstances, it will change how we view them.

Ship AnchorWhen I was 18, my father was suddenly laid off. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go to college in the fall like we’d planned and that we might lose our house. I was scared and angry. One day, while looking at the courses I was hopefully going to be taking in the fall, I started crying. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself sitting on an old-fashioned ship’s anchor that was dangling in the air. I couldn’t see what the anchor was attached to, and above, below, and all around me was blackness. Objects that represented parts of my life were falling from somewhere overhead into the darkness below, but I was safe on the anchor. I felt like God told me that he was the only solid thing in my life. I was honest with him and told him that I hated that. I asked God my questions, but he didn’t answer any of them. He said, “You will never go hungry,” and with those words, my fear disappeared. God blessed my family, and both of my parents got new jobs. I was able to go to college as planned, and we kept our house. During that scary time, what God had promised me kept me from being afraid.

Last year, I was walking out of the hospital after visiting my grandfather, and I looked up to see storm clouds rolling in. I felt like God said to me, “We’re going into a storm, but we are coming out on the other side.” My grandfather went to the hospital multiple times in 2019, and I watched him get weaker between stays. It was hard, and I cried plenty. I told God to either heal my grandfather or take him home, because I needed the drawn-out death and uncertainty to stop. Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I clung to the promise God had given me outside of the hospital. He was with me in the storm, and it wouldn’t last forever. We were going to come out on the other side. My grandfather died two days before Christmas. Last year was hard, but God got me through it.

I want to encourage you that COVID-19 will pass. It isn’t going to stay forever. And while we wait for this storm to blow away, God is with us in the middle of it.

Journal and PenAre you scared? Tell God. Angry? Talk to God. He can handle your anger. Confused? Trust Him. He might not give you the answers, but he will get you through this. It says in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Journaling your feelings and/or prayers can really help with releasing the negative emotions and processing what’s going on.

Be blessed, write lots, and stay healthy!

Katie