by Jenna Grodzicki

2015 was the year I decided to finally give writing a go. Armed with my first idea, I began writing my first manuscript. Fast forward nine months—I was still working on that same story. Don’t get me wrong; it needed a LOT of work. But I hadn’t come up with any other ideas. I started to worry I was destined to be a one-trick pony.

Then I heard about Tara Lazar’s Storystorm (formerly PiBoIdMo). I was hopeful this challenge would get my creative juices flowing and help me generate some new ideas. And it did. I had just read David Michael Slater’s guest post about listening for ideas in misunderstandings, jokes, and silly expressions, when my husband and I started a conversation about our favorite place, Cape Cod. We spend time there every summer, and there are always several great white shark sightings. My husband was joking and said, “What if those sharks were just looking for friends?” BOOM! There was a new idea.

The rest of the month provided more and more inspiration. While I didn’t manage to form 30 ideas, the handful I did come up with fueled the fire to keep me writing. And the shark idea wouldn’t let me go. I wrote and revised and received feedback from my critique group, and then I rewrote and revised some more.

I submitted my polished manuscript to many agents and publishers and received a lot of rejections. But as they say, it only takes one yes. Last November, I got a response from Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork Publishing. She loved my story!

Now, one year later, my very first idea from my very first Storystorm is about to become a book! FINN FINDS A FRIEND will be released on November 7th from Clear Fork Publishing.

Thank you so much, Tara, for organizing such a wonderful challenge. From the guest bloggers to the support from other participants, Storystorm has become something I look forward to every year. I can’t wait to see what inspiration Storystorm 2018 brings!

Storystorm 2018 begins in January, but you can register in late December. Follow this blog (email sign-up in left column) for all the details…

Jenna Grodzicki lives in Connecticut with her husband, two crazy awesome kids, a cat named Pixie, and a dog named Ozzy. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Boston College and a Master’s in Education from the University of New England. Her first book, PIXIE’S ADVENTURE, was awarded two Honorable Mentions in the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. She recently traded in her librarian hat to become a full-time writer. At all hours of the day (and night) she can be found at her desk, drinking iced coffee and working on her next story. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Jenna LOVES to read! She also enjoys skiing and cheering for the best team in baseball, the Boston Red Sox. Visit her website at