Light #1...Tara Lazar (www.taralazar.wordpress.com), creator of PiBoIdMo and published author. It was her leadership that made my experience with this annual picture book idea creating event so successful and her guest bloggers taught me so much about becoming a better writer.
Light #2...Joanna Penn (www.thecreativepenn.com), author, blogger, speaker and business consultant. Joanna's website has an incredible wealth of articles on writing, marketing, publishing as well as a online store. It would probably take me a year or longer to make it through all the wonderful articles you can find there.
Light #3...Kristi Holl (www.kristiholl.com), award-winning author of 34 books and over 150 stories and articles. Kristi's book, Writer's First Aid, sits on my roll top desk as a quick reference guide and she has just come out with Writer's First Aid 2 which I have added to my wishlist.
Light #4...Darcy Pattison (www.darcypattison.com), speaker, teacher, and author. Darcy's website carries an exceptional collection of articles going back 4 years and covering all aspects of fiction writing for both children and adults as well as other writing, marketing, and publishing tips.
Light #5...Karen S Elliott (www.karenselliott.wordpress.com), writer of horror, poetry, memoir, experimental fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. I love Karen's website picture of the shark. It reminds me that one needs to be sharp and aggressive in strengthening their writing skills. She invites many guest bloggers who write fascinating articles about perfecting the written word.
Light #6...Linda Silvestri (www.lindasilvestri.com), illustrator and graphic designer. Oh my goodness, how I LOVE Linda's illustrations! I am following her blog (www.sketchedout.wordpress.com) where her hilarious drawings are giving me ideas for other picture books.
Light #7...Susanna Leonard Hill (www.susannahill.blogspot.com), author, speaker, and book critic. I like reading her Perfect Picture Book Friday blogs to get an update on what is out there in the writing industry.
Light #8...Julie Hedlund (www.writeupmylife.com), writer, blogger, and current participant in the Meegenius writing challenge. You can read and vote for Julie's entry, A Troop Is A Group Of Monkeys at the Meegenius website (www.meegenius.com/challenge/a-troop-is-a-group-of-monkeys-by-julie-hedlund. I like reading her "How I Got My Agent" series as it gives me tips as well as hope that one day I too might be able to join that successful group.
Light #9...Beth Stilborn (www.elizbethannewrites.com), writer, blogger, and in my humble opinion, an excellent supportive cheerleader of other writers! Beth is a great source for industry updates and is the reason why I joined the Children's Book Hub Facebook group.
Light #10...Sheri A Larsen (www.writersally.blogspot.com), writer and blogger. I can always find many helpful articles and tips to help me sharpen my writing skills.
Light #11...Jean Reidy (www.jeanreidy.blogspot.com), author and creator of the Light Up The Library online auction event. I will be forever grateful to Jean for this event because I was lucky enough to win the bid for a picture book critique from author Nancy Coffelt and the information I received from Nancy regarding my picture book, "Nicky's Birthday Surprise" was priceless!
Light #12...Mindy Alyse Weiss...(mindyelse.livejournal.com), author and blogger. Mindy is multi talented in the writing industy. She writes in many of the genres that interest me so I find her blogs very informative.
There you have it...my Twelve Lights Of Christmas...people that I was introduced to through the magic of the internet, through events like PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo and Light Up The Library. People who shine along that path we all travel toward becoming a better writer. Their wisdom, encouragement, and online friendships are their gifts to me. My gratitude, growth as a writer, and ability to shine the light back on their writing efforts is my gift back to them. Somehow I think I have received the greater gifts and will be forever thankful!