ame dyckmanby Ame Dyckman

There they are! Your PiBoIdMo ideas! Staring at you with perky eyebrows and expectant smiles and wiggling like puppies.

Now, whatddya DO with ’em?!

Your 30 ideas all have potential for something. (Except that 11:59 PM idea about the talking toilet. Let that one go.)

Your 29 ideas all have potential for something. But no matter how rockin’ each of them may be, you really can’t develop more than a few of them into picture book manuscripts at the same time. And you don’t know to choose just two or three to focus on now.

So you try my patented Idea Herding Method® and bang your head on the table*, causing most of your PiBoIdMo ideas to run and dive into various folders in your brain:

  • Possible Future Manuscript Ideas
  • Possible Tweet/Post/Social-Media-of-Your-Choice Ideas
  • Possibly Too Weird To Share With Anyone Else Ideas

*You agree that Ame shall not be held responsible for damage to your forehead—or table—and acknowledge that suing Ame would be pointless as she spends all her money on books and candy.

These hiding-in-folders ideas aren’t gone gone. They’ll probably peek out to say, “Howdy!” from time to time. (And the ideas in the last folder are bound to pop out and create Very Embarrassing Moments at parties. Nuthin’ you can do.)

But a few of your PiBoIdMo ideas don’t run away. They rush over and give your poor sore head a reassuring pat.

’Cause they really like you.

And you realize you really like them, too.

So be a good host and offer your Special Ideas a little something. Like opening lines.


No, not “Hey, baby. Come ’round my brain often?” I mean opening lines for the stories your Special Ideas want to tell.

Genius opening lines, ones that set up worlds where each of your Special Ideas can hang out and grow.

Got ’em? Awesome! Looks like you and your Special Ideas are bonding.

Write each Special Idea’s opening line (and title, if you’re feelin’ it) on its own piece of paper.

Now fetch a roll of tape. And this is the Really Important Part…

Tape your nose like a pig.

Yeah, it has absolutely nothing to do with writing. But it’s FUN! And having fun is Really Important!

Right. Back to writing.

Use the tape that’s not on your nose to tape each of your Special Ideas’ opening line pages to a door in your home.

Yeah, I’m being serious. (What? It happens occasionally.)

You don’t get to make any excuses for not doing this. ’Cause I’ve already made them—and countered them—for you:

  • “I don’t want people to see my ideas.”
    Your signings are gonna be interesting.
  • “I might scuff my door.”
    So repaint it when you’re done. Purple would be nice.
  • “I don’t have a door.”
    Really? I will be right over to investigate your freaky slide-in-the-windows-General-Lee-style home. And then I will find something in your home to tape your opening lines to:
  • Your fridge.
  • Your TV.
  • Your pet. (Sorry, Fluffy!)

Because this is the Really Important Writing Part: when you feel your Special Ideas can stand up to the Blood (paper cuts, yo), Sweat, and Revisions necessary to try to bring them forward, then they’re worth keeping them where you can see them—and sharing with the Special Folks that supported your participation in PiBoIdMo in the first place:

  • Your family.
  • Your friends.
  • The delivery guy with the sideburns that look like Peru. (Okay, maybe not him. But definitely your family and friends.)

And with your continued work and your Special Folks’ continued encouragement, your Truly Special Idea has the potential to become an Amazing Manuscript—and hopefully, more.

So, get to taping! Then say it loud, say it proud:

“This is the Future Published Picture Book I’m writing. And here’s how it starts…”

GOOD LUCK, GUYS! I can’t wait to see ’em on the shelves!


TEA PARTY RULES COVER FOR TARAAme Dyckman is the author of BOY + BOT (Knopf; 2012); TEA PARTY RULES (Viking; 2013); WOLFIE THE BUNNY (Little, Brown; 2015); and HORRIBLE BEAR (Little, Brown; 2016). Her Super Agent Guy is about to sub her latest manuscript, previously taped to a purple door in Ame’s house. (The manuscript. Not her agent.) Find Ame sitting on the floor of her local library, or on Twitter: @AmeDyckman.


Ame is giving away a signed copy of TEA PARTY RULES (brilliantly illustrated by K.G. Campbell), and a TEA PARTY RULES prize pack: bookmark, sticker, button, and squeeze cookie. (If you win, do not attempt to eat the squeeze cookie. Ame says they taste gross.) This prize pack will be given away at the conclusion of Post-PiBo.


You are eligible for this prize if:

  1. You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
  2. You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
  3. You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You have signed the PiBoIdMo Winner’s Pledge.)

Good luck, everyone!