www.Wednesday – We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books_logo_long

 

www. Wednesday –  weneeddiversebooks.org

We need diversity in our lives. Why? Because we are all different. Our skin has different shades. Our lives have different paths. Each of us excels and stinks in something. We are all different. Unique.

So why are the children’s books being published mainly fall into a certain category?

A group of people asked this very question and began a campaign – #WeNeedDiverseBooks or #WNDB to encourage awareness. We all would like to see more characters who have differences, be it in race, religion, sexual preference, disability, etc. We need to recognize every aspect of life and to give it meaning.

To allow a child to pick up a book and ‘see’ them in it is a wonderful thing!

Take it from me… a mixed-raced child who wasn’t able to celebrate her differences. It’s nice to open a book and find acceptance and representation.

We Need Diverse Books
Mission Statement:

“We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

How we define diversity:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.”

So please, check out the We Need Diverse Books website and help support our differences everyday.

 

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Remembering on Memorial Day

MemorialDayHello all.

I hope you are having a great day celebrating Memorial Day.   🙂

I wanted to take a time out on my blog post to say,

THANK YOU! Thank you to all the service men and woman who gave it all to our country. Without you, we would not be free. Without you, there is no reason to celebrate today. To your families, thank you for your sacrifice. There are no words to fill the void, but know that your lost does not fall on dead hearts.
Thank you”

 

Here are a few pictures and articles I’ve found that I would like to share:

EagleOnGrave

Eagle sitting on grave of soldier

 

94Woman

94 year old widow accepts pow husband’s body

Remember…

All give some, but some give all.

soldiercemetary

Until next time…

Have a great holiday
&
Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday – Peek-A-Boo! Finding Ideas

Finding IdeasPeek-A-Boo! Finding Ideas

I think the number one question I hear from writers (and students at school visits) is: WHERE DO YOU FIND your IDEAS?

Honestly, there isn’t magic words to mumble or a ritual to go through. It is simple though.

payAttention

Really. See things. Hear things. Experience things. Let your senses lead you. There are thousands of stories surrounding you everyday. You only have to take the time to see them. Hear them. Feel them. Explore them.

I’ve written stories on trees, geese, shapes, frogs, and on and on.

Think like a reader. What would they like to see? To do? To know? What are you curious about?

Once you begin the process of really seeing the world around you, there will be ideas that begin to jump at you. So will be crappy, but some will be great. Some will take shape. While others will slip through your fingers like grains of sand.

I wish there was an amazing piece of advice to give you on this subject! I would use it myself. hahaha.  😀

I guess I would say, experience life. Even though we have similar experiences, we don’t process them the same way. We each have a story to tell.

So get writing!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT::::
Let me know about your idea process.
Do you know some magical words?
Or have an awesome ritual that works?
^^^ I really want to know!!!  😉
Or do you struggle, like me?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Tuesday Tips – Why Critique Groups Are Important

Why Critique Groups Are ImportantWhy Critique Groups Are Important

You’ve spent hours, days, and years (yes, I said years – even with picture books) on a manuscript.

You’ve gone over it a gazillion times. You finally push yourself back from the computer and declare it ready.

But is it?

You’ve grown accustomed to your characters, their subtle and outlandish flaws, their quirks that make them – them! You have mapped out your setting and know every stone and corner in your story’s world. You know the conflict everything is a part of and everyone one is going through. So can you really “see” your story now???

Chances are, No.

This is where a second (or third or fourth or ???…) set of eyes can come into play. BUT do not get your best friend or your mother or someone close to read it and tell  you what they think. Although there is nothing wrong with them reading it.   😉   Get a group of your peers to look over it.

A critique group is just that… a group of your peers who are willing to give feedback. You, in return, give your opinion on their story too. They are also someone who is pursuing a career in writing and will be able to look at your material more critically than someone who isn’t in the field.

Some people are leery of doing this. They have heard of ideas being stolen. Harsh criticism on work to where the writer is left in tears. There are hurt feelings and deeper scars when it comes to trust.

BUT, BUT, BUT!!! There are people out there (AMAZING people) who are willing and lovely, and who will send out positivity into you and your work. It may take a few tries to find the right people in which you click with. You may have to weed out and resow with new people when a few don’t work. That is part of the process though. When you do find the right people, something will click! You will see that there are brilliant people who will push you further than you thought you could go. They will help your skills improve and the end result will be your career will begin to take shape.

What Should You Look For?

  • Look for someone who is like-minded.
    You want someone who has goals similar to yours. Are you wanting to get published? Find an agent? Just get some words down? Find people who will push you (and you push them) to the next level.
  • Genre.
    A lot of people think if you write a book, you can critique anything. Nope, nope, nope. I tell people it’s like dogs…
    A Chihuahua is a dog, a Lab is a dog, and a St. Bernard is a dog. (yes)
    Would you give them the same food? (no)
    Would you give them the same amount of medicine? (no)
    Do they take up the same amount of room? (no)
    The same amount of upkeep? (no)
    The same is true with your writing. Sure board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, mid grade, young adult, and new adult are ALL children’s writing. BUT they are different writing styles, how you approach the subject matter, IF you approach the subject matter, word count, and on and on.
  • Rhyming and non-rhyming
    Oh how I love rhyming, but my own critique group will tell you it’s not my strong point. (hahaha, I try.) Rhyming is very tough to do, to keep it within certain parameters, to not force the issue, to not do something just to make it fit, to not write it badly. There are some wonderful people out there that can do this though. Study their work if you choose to do this. Make sure your critique group is on board with you on the rhyming bit too.
  • Time commitment.
    Are you wanting someone who is only going to put 10-15 minutes of thought into a critique or are you wanting more in depth feedback? Line by line or overall thoughts? Nitpick or over-easy remarks? The more in depth someone goes, the more time they will need to spend on your work. (Which they hope you will do the same with theirs.) Make sure it is something you are comfortable with and are able to do.

How To Get Started?

Put a call out or scan around and see if someone else is already looking.

Set up guidelines: What you expect from each other. Turn around time. What needs to be said when sending work. HOW to send work.  etc. The more specific you get, the better your expectations will be.

 

Honestly, I’ve been in a few critique groups. Some have been better than others. I have made some great, great, GREAT friends along the way too. I hope this helps ease your mind about critique groups and helps show how to get the ball rolling too.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about critique groups?
Are you in one or more?
What have been the benefits/set backs?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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www. Wednesday – KatieDavis.com

http://www.Wednesday —> www.KatieDavis.com

If you’ve been following me long, then I know you’ve heard me talk about this ^^^ lady!

Katie Davis is an author entrepreneur, video making, marketing guru kind of gal! Her website is full of information. It will encourage you to write, to market, to get your video cameras rolling, to putting yourself out there and have a platform to stand on.

Take some time to fully explore her website and listen to a podcast or two. You won’t regret the time spent.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about Katie’s website.
Have you used any of her services?
Are there any other website you would like to see featured here?
Let me know!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – 4 Ways to Build “Word of Mouth”

4 Ways to Build Word of Mouth

4 Ways to Build ‘Word of Mouth’

On my 12 Ways to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money, I mentioned “Word of Mouth” as one way to market yourself. This is and isn’t the cheapest form of marketing. I’m confusing, aren’t I.   😉   It’s totally free, because you are not paying someone to talk about you. Or begging them. Or demanding either. It’s NOT free, because of the time you’ve invested to develop yourself into someone who people trust and look to for advice.  *The Ah-Ha moment!*

So HOW can you become someone who is trust worthy?

1. Be consistent  – If you are blogging, have certain days/times you blog.
– Content stays the same. Don’t say or do one thing and not back it up.

2. Do your research – Make sure what you are saying can be backed up.
– Go through and practice what you are talking about to make sure it works.

3. Share generously – Let people know what you have found out. Blog or post or tweet about things.
– You don’t have to charge for everything. Give people tidbits, something to build on.
– You can create loyalty and respect by helping others.

4. Offer services – Once you have built up enough knowledge and trust with your community, you can offer more indepth help.
– Don’t push your offers though. Let it come through naturally.

By building up what you have to offer, it will create trust, because people will notice that you do what you say and it is working. They will begin to talk about you and share what you are saying. And you won’t have to tell them to do it. They will do it because you have proven yourself over time.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you do to build up Word of Mouth?
What are some people in our industry that you talk about?
What services have you used because of Word of Mouth?

***As a side note: I do offer services.   🙂   Picture Book Critiques & Platform Building Consultations. Just if you are interested.***

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday – Writing/Illustrating Groups

Writing-IllustratingGroupInfo

Writing / Illustrating Groups

Why is it important to join groups?   I’ve heard a lot of people ask this. They are worried about ideas being stolen, techniques being copied, among other things. Honestly, I know of one person who has had this problem. ONE in fifteen years!

The benefits far outweigh the fears. In writing and illustrating groups I have found a tribe like no other. They get “me”!!! They know the struggles. The triumphs. The self-doubt. The isolation. The fear of rejection. The Snoopy Dancing of acceptance. EVERYTHING! They know ‘me’ and they know ‘you’ too. We all go through these things.

I’ve been able to share techniques, learn about workshops, books, conferences, all to help me better myself.

I’ve been able to help those who don’t have as much experience as me too. Although I feel as if I’m a newbie at things too. I have never stopped learning about my craft.

They are there to listen to your whine and offer the perfect cheese to go with it.   😀   <big, cheesy grin>

They are my support group, my cheerleaders, my friends.

You can find groups through email and social media. Here are a few I have found invaluable on Facebook:

There are so many more on Facebook. Just search for what you are looking for!

One forum I tell EVERYONE to check out is:

There are so many out there, but those are a few of my favorites.

Get out and mingle. You are sure to find great people and friends who know your heart.

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what groups you have found beneficial?
What other ways do you have to mingle?
Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign-ups are over here —>
** Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
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