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;)

A Toddler Mom’s Staycation

Happiness hides in everyday moments.  Go looking for it.

Sometimes ten free minutes can feel like gold to a busy parent.  

Take a minute to join me on a mental Staycation…

2018-05-03 13.29.31

***

I dance outside to seize a very rare moment in a young mother’s day where both her daughters are off in the loving care of a grandma-like figure, leaving me a few glorious minutes sneaked in between tasks on my monotonous to-do list.

The sun is so bright that I have to squint as I release my thoughts on the pages of a composition notebook in a quick, messy scribble that no one else will be able to read. I feel the instinct to capture them on paper before they float away like bubbles. Sunglasses would be ideal, except all four pairs are sitting on a wooden shelf just inside the sliding door, snickering at me for forgetting to grab one, yet again. But I am on a mental vacation, and I am unwilling to get up until I begin to sweat through my clothes.

My annoyance slips away, as the sound of our bulky air conditioner soothes me like shushing to a baby, as it sprints to run down the heat of the afternoon canyon sun. A welcomed breeze whispers through and helps my body pause momentarily from melting like a creamsicle.

I find myself enjoying the smell of bonfires tickling my nostrils as it brings back vivid childhood memories of Michigan summers; until I remember it is actually the heartbreaking scent of thousands of acres of trees blazing in the Holy Canyon fire.

Laying on a beige, outdoor L-shaped sectional, I get distracted when I look up and suddenly notice how confined I am by neighboring fences, squeezing me from all sides. Yet, I am oddly comforted knowing this little slice of the world is my families, and I get to watch my young daughters laugh and learn through play in this outdoor classroom made of skinned knees and chalk masterpieces.

The heat starts to get to me. I swallow and notice the dry flavor of black coffee lingering in my mouth. Licking the fuzz off my teeth, I imagine hydrating myself with an overpriced flute of anything sparkling. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs hearing a bell, I begin to salivate. Tonight is Mom’s Night Out with some old friends; our gathering is only six months overdue.

2018-03-22 15.53.43-2

Before I can feel good about heading out and leaving my family to fen for themselves, I feel an internal tug to finish my to-do list. I pick myself up off the warm couch, feeling completely restored from just a few minutes of silence and sunshine. I have renewed energy to tackle the pile of laundry that is staring me down. I will win. This Mom is putting on studded black heels tonight because I am tired of seeing them slowly wither in the back corner of my closet.

***

My staycation write-up was actually part of a writing exercise I took part in last week.  The assignment was to use all five sense to describe a vacation spot you traveled to this summer.  Because I have been busy starting a new job, getting my six month old in daycare, and juggling book releases, mental staycations are where it is at these days!

Coincidentally, this week my husband and I finally scheduled our ten year wedding anniversary trip to Palm Springs in October.  I am giddy.  I can hardly believe that an Adults-Only vacation is happening!

But if an adults only resort getaway isn’t realistic for you right now, take a minute to really explore the environment you are in – drink in the sights, smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds around you. It might just take something that normally blends in to a weekday afternoon, and reframe it.  For me it was ten minutes outside in my own backyard.

Happiness hides in everyday moments.  Go looking for it.

cover 2 new
Next Book Release Coming Soon!

Pieces of Me Died When I had Kids, and I’m Glad They Did

Not everything you did before kids was that awesome.  You had freedom, but I’m sure it wasn’t always used wisely.

If we’re being honest, little pieces of you die when you start having kids.

Hold up.  This is not some marter-fest where we sit around and talk about how our best days are gone now that we had kids.  I’ve actually come to see this as a good thing. Stick with me.

Not everything you did before kids was that awesome.  You had freedom, but I’m sure it wasn’t always used wisely.  You could have traveled the world.  You could have spent time volunteering at a children’s hospital.  You could have read more books.  I actually really hope you did!

But you all also spent a decent amount of that time picking the right filter for your rose’ picture by the pool, binge watching shows on netflix, and spending long hours sitting in front of your computer at the office.

And there is nothing wrong with any of that.

Except that kids are vacuums.  They suck up most of the hours you once had.

Because of that, pieces of you will have to die.  The great part is, you are an adult with a tiny semblance of control.  You get to pick which pieces you keep and which to let go, but you will be forced to be selective.

mom life, kids are awake, mommy brain
@mommyconvos

Read the book or watch the show?

Do your make-up or snuggle with the kids?

Take the pictures or live the moment?

Run the extra miles or write the next book chapter?

Take on the extra work project or make dinner from scratch?

This is not a test, there is no wrong answer.  But you still need to chose wisely.  Not because one is bad and the other is good.  Chose wisely because there is less time that you have to work with.  If you don’t intentionally chose, you will feel like there is never any time, and feel resentful that all the former pieces of you were forced to die.   Thanks kiddos.

Your goals will naturally need to be fewer in number, incredibly focused, and likely with a grace-filled (ie longer than you would like) timeline.  Coincidently, that is actually a great formula for successfully accomplishing your goals with or without kids.

Before kids, it’s just easier to assume you will act later because you own all the hours.  But when kids are present, you don’t know which hours will be yours.  You have to be intentional.  You need the day’s game plan in your head so that when the minutes and hours appear, you can seize them.

Do you see how kids can actually be a highly effective tool at helping you decide what the best pieces of you are?  Go tell that sweet baby thank you.  Unless they are sleeping.  In that case DO NOT WAKE THEM!

My current goal is getting my third book finished up.  I literally have one step for it, each day, that I plan to complete.  Beyond that I don’t even try because with young kids I wouldn’t be setting myself up for success or happiness.  After I finish that one goal, I let my kids guide most of the day.  My goals are few and focused, and accomplishing them takes much longer than I’d like.  But I get to enjoy my kids in between.   It makes me happy knowing that there is a small, but very important, piece of me still thriving amongst that chaos.

Amazon Rank, My Mom is the Worst #1 Motherhood
My Mom is the Worst Children’s Book, Available on Amazon Here

Which pieces of you have you intentionally chosen to focus on once having kids?

Two Years Later; My Writing Anniversary

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

For a parent whose memory has gone to mush, I really heart the Facebook Memories feature.  Most of the time I can’t believe things happened so long ago.

Seriously?! That concert was eight years ago!

It’s been that long since I’ve been to Europe?!

Wait.  What.  I used to go out on Thursday nights.

But then again, sometimes we are glad to no longer be in that season of life that we were reminded of.  The reality is that it may not have been our best season.

On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% … and that’s pretty good. – unknown

Let that sink in.

***

Reflection can be difficult, but it can also be empowering.  Anniversaries are the perfect time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

A few days ago this photo popped up on facebook and it reminded me it had been two years since I wrote Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

BM

Adorable right?!  But those days of adjusting to motherhood were tough.  Here is the post where I shared my own reflections from the last two years:

“This huge smile takes me back to a really tough time in my life. It was taken shortly after I wrote the first draft of what became the loving children’s book: Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

I can picture myself sitting in the car, two months postpartum, tears in my eyes. I was trying to figure out the new roller-coaster I had stepped on to. I constantly flowed back and forth between immense love (Did you see that smile?) and silly frustrations (feeling like I was failing at everything).

Reflecting on the last two years, I am so grateful that this Beautiful Monster broke me.

Our highs are insanely high.
We like to get it all out there by silly dancing in the kitchen to Eminem and the Beatles.

Our lows are embarrassingly low. I tell her to go watch Elmo so no one loses their shi….. , even though I hate when she sits there like a zombie.

All in all, we get to practice a lot of love and laughter in our house.

Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster”

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

 

The book is a chance  to snuggle up to your Beautiful little Monster and relax knowing that you are doing this parenting thing just fine.  Your track record is 100%.

love_you_to_pieces_B_Cover_for_Kindle
Read it Here

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the Birth Book Update You’ve Been Waiting For

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured. 

The Coys-59I’ve got a matter of minutes before my baby awakes from her magical slumber and turns in to a salivating little monster in search of THE MILK.

I wanted to give a quick update of where things are at with the most recent masterpiece in the making – a compilation of Natural Birth Stories, meant to inspire woman to take control of their birth care.

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured.

  • A Woman that had two medicated births and wanted to finally have the birth experience she desired
  • A  woman that gave birth in one of the most progressive birth countries:  The Netherlands
  • A woman that delivered TWINS without pain meds
  • A woman that had her baby eight minutes after arriving at the hospital (my hand is up)
  • A woman whose labor lasted more than a day
  • A woman that had to fight the negativity she received from the hospital staff to persevere
  • A woman whose body was recovering from physical injury and just a year ago never would have thought her body was capable
  • A woman that had to face the feared “back labor”
  • A woman afraid of hospitals and pain.
  • A woman that has been ashamed to share her birth story because it’s not acceptable to share a positive birth story in light of all the negativity surrounding birth
  • A woman that had to cancel a work presentation to go deliver her baby

In short, a bad ass woman just like you.

So here is where I am at –

The stories are in, I have requested follow-up details from every contributor, I interviewed Staci (Doula and Owner of Labor of Love), I hired the editor this afternoon, and I am wrapping up the opening chapters this week.

The book is on track to come out this summer.  Subscribe to this blog via email to be the first to know when it launches, or follow us on Facebook @Storiesbyjkcoy.

I typically give out some free copies of my books during launch to readers on my email list.  So make sure you share this with friends that may be interested.

More news to come.