How to Write 30 Children’s Stories in 30 Days

#ChiBoWriMo 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books. Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated. 

I’ve fallen off the wagon.

This last year has felt out of sorts.

In the last two months, we have…

…said goodbye to our dog of fifteen years

…our 3.5 yr old daughter left the daycare she had been at since she was four months old and started at a new preschool

…we sold our house

…we bought a new house and did a large remodel in thirty days

…then we moved and went right into having house guests visit

All that to say, I need some routine in my life. Especially in my writing.

My birthday was this week and I’d like to start the year off right.

I want to help you gain a feeling of accomplishment too.  So whether you have thought it would be fun to write your own children’s book, or you just need a new goal to flex your creative muscle, I’ve got something for you!

Come November, you often hear the writing community discussing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Their goal is to finish a 50k word manuscript in the month of November.

It’s a great goal, but it doesn’t translate to those of us that want to write children’s books.

So in an effort to get motivated and try something new, I’m challenging myself to write 30 children’s books in 30 days. One book a day in the month of November,

Sure, these will not all be gems. I know that. But the goal is all about creating routine and space for creativity to come out.

Want to write 30 stories too??? I’m starting #ChiBoWriMo (Children’s Book Writing Month), and you can join me!

(yes I totally just made up #ChiBoWriMo)

Read on for thirty writing prompts to keep you motivated.  Then use #ChiBoWriMo online if you want to share your progress for accountability.

#ChiBoWriMo: 30 Writing Prompts for Children’s Books

  1. Write a story about a pet
  2. Write a short, silly rhyme for 1-3 yr olds (think Sandra Boynton)
  3. Write a story about a bubble bath gone wrong
  4. Write a story where they live in a strange location (spaceship, treehouse, etc)
  5. Write a story about how to promote kindness in the world
  6. Write a story about ice cream
  7. Write a story about kids that sell something
  8. Write a story about a free day with no routine
  9. Write a story about a unique animal
  10. Write a story explaining how you would make new friends if you moved to a new place
  11. Write a story about a grumpy object
  12. Write a story about a hair cut
  13. Write a story about something strange happening at the library
  14. Write a story that has a game element to it
  15. Write a story about an animal that is part of the circus
  16. Write a story about a secret door
  17. Write a story that pulls from a fond childhood memory
  18. Write a story on a hot topic for kids (use google to research)
  19. Write a story that has a character with a growth mindset
  20. Write a poem
  21. Write a story about a food eating contest
  22. Write a story about a shocking gift from a crazy aunt
  23. Write a story about the profession you wanted as a kid
  24. Write a story that revolves around one emotion
  25. Write a story about a child that woke up and was all of a sudden an adult
  26. Write a story about a never-ending supply of something totally normal (floss, paper plates, shoes, etc)
  27. Write a story about your car breaking down and having to ride your bike everywhere
  28. Write a story about waiting in line for a very long time (think about everything you might observe)
  29. Write a story about never growing up
  30. Write a story about something random you find in a junk drawer

 

Happy Writing!

Now I’m off to do ALL the Halloween things.  Thankfully I finally had kids so that I don’t have to be the creepy adult trick or treater in the neighborhood – anymore-:)

 

 

 

 

 

Quit All 2019 Resolutions Today

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

I am a goal setter. Are you?

I’m currently mapping out 2019. My list is long and spans many facets of life (business, marital, social, physical, spiritual, financial, family, hobbies…), but the one thing you won’t find on my list?

Resolutions.

Resolutions are for quitters. One slip-up and you feel like all is lost. You’re a failure. You didn’t try hard enough. Game over.

That kind of self-talk flat out stinks. It’s not motivating. Goals, on the other hand, help you frame everything with a growth mindset. “Today (fill in the blank) happened. What can I learn from that to take the next step toward the goal I set for myself to achieve in 2019?”

I literally just finished four miles on our treadmill, then picked up my phone and started typing this post. Probably not a huge surprise for those that know me, but two of my goals this year are:

1, Set a new PR for a half marathon. (Benchmark: Surf City 2017 1:50:14//8:25 pace)

2. Write daily. It could be in my journal, working on book four (another children’s book), or the next blog post – it all counts to me – I just want to make writing a part of my daily rhythm.

If you want to use the same goal tracker I’ve been using for years – here is the monthly and quarterly template view:

2019 goal box monthly

2019 goal box quarterly view

No matter which way you chose to attack 2019 – be courageous. Set big goals and set out an action plan for each.

Yes. You have to write it down.

More specifically you have to write down the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) action steps that will point you in the direction of your goal, and let you know if you actually got there!

Once you’ve decided on a goal and written down your S.MA.R.T. steps, share it with someone. A boss, a spouse, a friend, Instagram. Me. It doesn’t matter who, but it does matter that YOU DO.

This year I started by writing down every goal I could possibly hope to achieve in each category.  Then I spent the next week just letting them swirl around my head to see if…

…anything else came to mind…

…then really consider which one was most critical in each category.

Not which was the easiest to achieve, but what would truly take that area of life to the next level.

Next week I’ll be putting them in to my template so that I can track them weekly (honestly, sometimes weekly becomes monthly, but do what you need to do to keep yourself accountable).

Don’t be afraid to let this goal-setting process take a week or two.  Remember, you are planning out the next year.  That’s pretty major.

You’re pretty major.

GO GET THIS YEAR!

I’d love to hear which goal you are most excited to work on in 2019.  Drop it in the comments below.

File Dec 10, 8 46 26 AM
Happy New Year from the Coys! Cracking up because the little ones eyes are saying, “Help me!”;)  

 

 

ALL the Birth (Book) Details – Slighty Less Graphic than My Birth Video

Can you imagine being pregnant and having the “due date” continuously pushed back, week after week?

At some point you might just think you are going to stay pregnant forever.

Many times I felt that way during the writing of the latest book.  Things took far longer than I expected to come together.  It literally ended up taking nine months from the time I put a call out that I was looking for positive, minimal intervention birth stories to then compile, write, edit, format, and publish this baby.  And like an anxious mama-to-be, I was losing my patience with the process toward the end.

Even the name took longer than expected to choose. But a title, is pretty important.  It will be around for a while.  I wanted a strong title, yet one that wasn’t too “birthy.”  So like most of us do when we are expecting, I made lists and ran them by friends (and fans) to gauge their reaction.

But ultimatly the decision was mine.  This book was my baby.  The final title is one I feel honors the women that shared their positive birth stories in the book. And it also encourages any woman, that decides to one day give birth, to believe in her body:

Because YOU Are Superwoman:  How to Harness Your Superpower and Create a Positive Birth Experiance with Minimal Medical intervention 

Things are finally coming together.  This baby is fully baked and ready to make an appearance.

Speaking of appearances, let me share the first official cover photo!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

The cover clearly lets readers know that the topic is “birth,” but hopefully the strong, modern, and bold look and feel alludes to the tone of this birth book.

I also threw in some humor and overly personal details, just to keep it light;)  Think of the book You are a Bad*ss and then add the words, At Giving Birth.

Here is the working book description:

***

Do you want a positive birth experience, but haven’t heard of any?
Do you think a more natural birth experience sounds ideal, but don’t know how to go about having one?
Have you ever wondered if other strong, educated women choose to birth with minimal medical intervention?
Fortunately, these are not your typical birth stories. 
These are the remarkable stories of modern-day superheroes. A bunch of bad*ss super women, just like you. They are bold, educated, strong, and they decided to do things differently. Ultimately, they chose to make their belief in their body Plan A, while reserving the marvel of medical interventions for Plan B.
Over twenty birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, will provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.
Stop simply hoping for a positive, minimal intervention birth. This book contains the specific birth plan for you, and it’s easier than you think.

***

Cursing, pooping, grunting, naked, raw, real and candid birth stories told by strong, intelligent mamas.  Above all their stories will encourage fellow women that they too have everything they need to birth their baby with minimal intervention.

So here is the exciting part. Unlike childbirth where you never know the exact birthdate, this book is going to be available on Amazon on Nov. 11th, 2018!  That’s just two weeks away, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for you to read it!  If it lives up to the expectations of those of us that collaborated on it, this book is going to change the way women, and practitioners, think about birth.

If you’d like to get an advanced copy of Because YOU Are Superwoman in exchange for an honest review on Facebook or Amazon, join the launch team! Contact me here and include the words Launch Team in the heading – I’ll follow-up with details next week.  To join the team and get your free advanced copy, I need to hear from you by Monday, Nov. 5th.

Ready to get your hands on something now?  For a limited time, if you buy either of my children’s books on Amazon, you get the e-book FREE and you can start reading ASAP!

And if you are still questioning, does she really have a graphic birth video? The answer is yes.

And no.

It’s not a flattering angle, and I don’t plan to share it;)

How Hard is it to Make Your Own Baby Food? Spoiler, it’s Not!

Do you have fifteen minutes one time a week? I understand that as a busy parent you probably paused to honestly consider your answer.

But seriously, it takes me fifteen minutes to make a week’s worth of baby food.

Let me share some recipe ideas and tips to get you started on the right foot – all have been tested by a busy family of four, in a household with two under two.

Baby Liv is eight months now, but her adventures in food started at about four and a half months. I know at some point in her life she will eat whip cream on pop-tarts (a high school favorite of mine) or chocolate frosted donuts, but right now it is up to me to make sure she gets some good stuff to help her body and brain grow and thrive.

Your baby’s primary calorie and nutritional needs should still be met by breast milk or formula, so think of baby food as a supplemental learning experience for your little one.

I enjoy making baby food so I can control what is in it. Plus, we decided to skip the baby cereal and puffs since they don’t provide much nutritional value. Thankfully it seriously takes less than fifteen minutes to make a week’s worth of food – don’t get too hung up on the ingredient quantities, just scoop it in extra containers for the freezer!

*FYI the first two months we tested foods one by one for a few days to check for allergies, but since around six months we have been having fun with some yummy combinations*

Below are six quick ideas for a more interesting meal.

Make a batch and store a few days worth in the fridge, and any extra can go in the freezer in 1-2oz. containers.

– deli rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken breast, chicken or veggie stock, steamed sweet potato or squash, and unsweetened apple sauce – mix in blender

– unsweetened apple sauce, chia seeds, almond milk, and cinnamon – stir to combine

– cooked ground turkey, fresh pitted cherries, splash of breast milk or almond milk – mix in blender

– rinse a sweet potato, wrap it in a paper towel and steam it in the microwave on the potato setting. Then scoop out the insides and add a little cinnamon. Add breast milk or coconut milk to thin if needed.

– cooked black beans, peeled and pitted peach, vitamin D drops, mix in blender

– cooked garbanzo beans, blueberries, spinach, full fat Greek yogurt – mix in blender

Tips that have helped me make baby food prep easier:

– make baby food in bulk and store in 1-2oz. Containers. I use the XO ones!

– add vitamin D drops to your baby food containers so you don’t have to remember to get it out daily

– the baby food lasts in the fridge for at least three days, or if you make bulk you can freeze it and take one out to thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to use, heat in microwave for 18 seconds

– no prep foods if you need something on the go: mashed banana, unsweetened apple sauce, mashed avocado

– serve purées right out of the fridge (cold) if your little one is teething

– steam fresh veggies make baby food prep so easy. Steam the veggie in the microwave then purée it in the blender. You can always throw in some spices or other foods on the back end for variety

– if you need more recipe ideas the book Sage Spoonfuls has been a great guide for feeding both my girls so that I know what is appropriate at each stage

– they sell reusable pouches if you want something less messy for mealtime. Just put your purées inside (in all fairness, I love this idea, but haven’t used mine yet)

As they get older, you can purée the food less to provide some food interest with texture.

Now that Liv is eight months and has two teeth, I try to give her at least one thing on her tray that she can feed herself (like steamed veggies, cheese, apples or bananas – in tiny pieces). Half usually ends up on her or the floor, but it keeps her and our dog VERY happy!

Can’t wait to hear your creative baby food ideas and tips!

*Always reach out to a Doctor with questions or concerns

The Missing Toys that Torture Me

How do Moms find anything? 

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

To the missing ‘W,’

Your run is finally over.

The madness you managed to create in our house was monumental.  For months my daughter’s alphabet toy had been incomplete.  How was she supposed to finish learning her ABC’s when the W was missing?

 

No wagon, no walrus, no watermelon.

Whelp!

I searched for you, lost sleep over you, and considered offering a reward to anyone that could find you.  Many times I silently resolved to give up on you.  But then I always caved, because a good Mom doesn’t give up.

I admit, I got way too excited each time I thought of somewhere new to look.  Surely today would be the day I found you!

But it never was.  You are indeed talented at the game of hide and seek.

This morning I thought I caught a glimpse of you under the toy chest.  I moved it, already planning a victory dance in my head.  Instead, it was the wooden bunny from a puzzle.  I hadn’t even noticed that she was missing yet, since I was still fixated on the W.

So I thought about it for way too long.  At that point I was obsessed with finding you.  I pictured you in hiding with the lost red crayon and plastic egg that also keep me up at night.

I thought.  And I thought…clearly wasting too much time on the matter.

But then the clouds parted as the the following thought came to mind…

How do Moms find anything?

JK Coy Books
Check Out these Children’s Books by Author J.K. Coy Here

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

No socks in the drawer, just check the drawer.

No toilet paper left in the cupboard, just check the cupboard.

No milk left in the fridge, just check the fridge.

It’s a fantastic starting place for every Mom detective.

So I held my breath, and I lowered my stomach to the floor, flash light in hand.  Low and behold, there you were, waiting quietly in the darkness beneath the couch.  The same couch I was guarenteed had been checked.

Well played W, well played.

Once I find the red crayon and plastic egg, you’re all in timeout.

Twenty Two Meals and a Bottle of Rum

So instead of European vacations or a trip home for the holidays, I scheduled some other fun activities. 

Various doctors appointments.  Finally sitting down to write our Will.  Cooking over twenty freezer meals before Baby Two disrupts our routine.

I clearly know how to keep a marriage hot.

My husband had the week between Christmas and New Years off.  The younger versions of us would have never let this week pass us by without making some amazing travel plans.  The current versions of us let finances, toddlers, and the third trimester of pregnancy get in the way.  Lame excuses. I know.

So instead of European vacations or a trip home for the holidays, I scheduled some other fun activities.

Various doctors appointments.  Finally sitting down to write our Will.  Cooking over twenty freezer meals before Baby Two disrupts our routine.

I clearly know how to keep a marriage hot.

22 freezer mealsWe did the freezer meals before Wynn was born and it turned out to be a life saver for us.   There was already going to be plenty of chaos in our house as first time parents of a newborn, and typically we cook a hot breakfast daily, and 5-6 dinners a week.

There was no way that was going to happen those first few months, so being able to pull out a meal from the freezer was one very appreciated amenity.  Between a tired mama, and a crying newborn, nothing good happens in the kitchen.  We would have ended up eating Chipotle or Pizza Hut every night, which contrary to what some of you believe, probably isn’t the best idea.

Actually, it could have been even worse than that.

We could have reverted back to our early marriage days where lean pockets and ramen noodles were considered full meals.  You can read about the entire ridiculous year we spent learning to cook here. Expect to read lots of embarrassing stories and many, many typos.  You’ve been warned.

You don’t have to be pregnant to benefit from stocking your freezer with meals.  This is great for all of us with a busy life.

Stocked with freezer meals

Here is the game plan we used to stock our freezer with 22 meals (88 servings).  I recommend spreading the tasks over three days so that you don’t overwhelm yourself:

  1.  Day One (30 min/1 person):  Gather recipes on Pinterest for freezer meals.  I actually had these saved on my computer from last time we stocked the freezer.  We chose 11 different recipes and planned to make two batches of each recipe.
  2. Day One Cont. (30 min/1 person):  Create a master shopping list, organized by the section of the store the ingredients would be found in:  meat, produce, canned goods, etc.  Make sure to double ingredients if you plan to make multiple of the same meal.
  3. Day Two (1 hr/1 person):  Go grocery shopping. I went to two stores, Grocery Outlet and Ralphs, and spent $230 ($2.61 per serving).  The most expensive part was that we chose to buy organic meat and ingredients when possible.  It adds up, but organic meat is important to us, especially when I will be nursing and passing everything along to my young baby.
  4. Day Three (3 hrs/2 ppl. steps 4-7):  Label all the freezer bags with date/recipe name/servings/and cooking day instructions.
  5. Put all the meat in the bags so that you only have to touch meat once before moving on to other ingredients.
  6. Recipe by recipe add remaining ingredients.  It’s great to have one person reading the recipe and adding the dry ingredients while the other person is chopping the fresh ingredients.  Lay each bag flat in the freezer, and stack them on top of each other to save space.
  7. Clean up.

For a price, there are sites out there that will email you a monthly menu, shopping list, prep instructions, and bag labels.  Once a Month Cooking is one that I have used a free sample menu from in the past.  But I also enjoy finding recipes of my own that I know my family will eat.

If you looked in our freezer on a typical day, it’s freakishly barren.  To the point you might feel bad for us.  A few mini bottles of airplane booze and an ice pack.  But now it is completely stocked.  We look like a real American family, with the status symbol of abundance, the ‘overflowing freezer’.