12×12 in 2012

Usually in this corner of the interwebz, you are my {somewhat} captive audience and I bombard you with my graphic design and picture book obsessions. Aren’t you lucky?!

So today…some respite.

Sometime last November, while participating in the lovely Tara Lazar’s brainchild, PiBoIdMo, I stumbled across Julie Hedlund’s wild idea: DO SOMETHING with all of those ideas, and draft 12 picture book manuscripts in 2012. Without much hesitation or considering what I was really getting myself into, I hopped on board.

Best idea ever.

The 12×12 community exploded and has been a constant source of encouragement, focus, feedback, and FRIENDS. And so this week, we are celebrating our halfway mark with a blog party! {In my head, I keep repeating this: What is up there on top of that tree? A dog party! A big dog party! and just replace ‘dog’ with ‘blog.’}

Here’s my party favor: an already-completed-before-you-even-got-the-chance crossword puzzle!


My biggest goal in writing picture books is to create a rowdy read aloud experience. When I was a librarian, one of my favorite read alouds was John Lithgow’s The Remarkable Farkle McBride, mainly because it was SO MUCH FUN to tumble those words around and spit them out right into the ears of eager listeners. And I shamelessly love words. {Eyeball is my favorite!}

So I plucked my favorite 6 words out of each of my 6 drafts, and boom. And by boom I just mean I played with their layout and color coded them by month, and really…just plain looked at them. I love them. I also love how I can get a small taste of each manuscript in six little words.

And yes, I used ‘puddles‘ both in January and February. Good to know, right? That was news to me!

Curious about 12×12 or want to see the other posts in our traveling blog party? Head over here…and maybe think about 12×12 in 2013??

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40 thoughts on “12×12 in 2012

  1. Have you read Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy? It’s one of my faves. I laugh every time I read it over her fabulous use of fun words. Congrats on your six drafts!

  2. Very creative! Love the crossword puzzle of your favorite words. I especially like “somersaults” and how it tickles my ears. Congratulations on completing your 6 drafts. Happy halfway mark!

  3. Love the crossword puzzle of your favorite words. Very creative! I especially love “somersaults” and how it tickles my ears. Congrats on your 6 drafts!

  4. I want to read your picture book with the word cadence. Cadence has a nice cadence, no? Of course you would have a beautiful way to visually represent your manuscripts for the year. It’s so Carter Higgins of you. :) And as for puddles, I would say the year is half full rather than half empty. Wouldn’t you?

  5. “The 12×12 community exploded and has been a constant source of encouragement, focus, feedback, and FRIENDS.” <– Absolutely agree!

    Happy Halfway! :)

  6. Love your scrabbly way with words and inviting visual! What a groovy idea from a groovy personality – can’t wait to see your published work too. Wholehearted congrats at the halfway mark!

  7. What a lovely idea! I have a list of favourite words, but I hadn’t thought of selecting my faves from my12x12 drafts.
    I wish you whimsical words, fantastic phrasing, and magnificent manuscripts.

  8. What an amazing crossword puzzle…a great testament to a successful first half of the year in 12×12! Congrats, Carter…and best of luck in the next six months…happy picture booking. :)

  9. Pingback: Wrapping Up 12 x 12 in 2012 “Halfway There” Blog Party | JulieHedlund.com

  10. When I saw you did a puzzle, I put on my thinking cap. Fun to see how your words duplicated themselves some months. Good luck with the next six months/manuscripts.

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