www.Wednesday – We Need Diverse Books

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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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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.

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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 – Putting Yourself Out There

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Putting Yourself Out There

For those of us who are leery of tooting our own horn, there are ways you can begin to get your name out there.

Organizations

There are several organizations you can join to begin networking.

  • SCBWI
  • State Writing Organizations
  • Reading Organizations (RIF, First Books, IRA are a few)

Guest Blog

Some will give a CTA on their blog looking for  guest bloggers. You can also offer to write a post on someone else’s blog. Usually you will give a short bio and a few social links to go along with the post.

Talk About Others

Give shout outs to people who inspire you, who you find doing what you want to do, who have accomplished something major, or any other thing you would like to give a pat on the back. Letting people know that you think they are doing something awesome is… well, awesome!  🙂  Then when you have happy news, you will more than likely get those shout outs coming back at you.

Volunteer

You can do something as simple as reading at a local public library or school library. Or you can offer to help during a conference or convention. The main thing is you will learn first hand knowledge on the inner workings, what works better, and how to handle certain situations.

 

While you doing this, you are networking with people in your field. You will become more comfortable on working with people and how to approach them too. Putting yourself out there can be a scary, unsure thing, but it will also get you an added bonus when trying to excel in your field.

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you think about volunteering?
Are there some other organizations you love to be apart of?
How else do you get your name out there?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Feature Friday: ReFoReMo hosted by Carrie Charley Brown

ReFoReMo2ReFoReMo
Reading for Research Month

We know we love to write. We know we need to learn to write well to be published. So how do we go about to learning? There are classes we can take. Webinars we can watch. Speakers to listen to.

Another great way to learn?  R-E-A-D! Yes, read! By submersing yourself into your genre, you will see what works and what doesn’t. Read the classics to see what has carried them this far. Read the mid-list to see what can make you stay steady. Read the newly published to see what is on the pulse of publishing and how your writing can fit in.

By reading a combination of publishing years you can begin to see the patterns of publishing. Things that are considered ‘classics’ wouldn’t be published now. Stories that are coming out this year might not have been published 10 years ago. Use the current books as mentor text. You will see word count, topics, and trends that are similar and will help direct you to better writing.

Carrie Charley Brown came up with a genius of a plan to help writers collaborate together and learn from each other with mentoring texts. Her and I were talking the other day, and she graciously answered some of my questions:

 

Q1: Name of writing challenge?

Reading for Research Month, or ReFoReMo

Q2: Do you have a website?

Of course!  You can find more information at:

http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo

Q3: Date of sign-ups?

February 15-March 1

Q4: Date writing challenge runs?

March 1-31

Q5: Why did you come up with this challenge?

I’ve grown as a writer by participating in challenges such as PiBoIdMo, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and ReviMo. At the same time, I read a lot of picture books as research tools and I wanted to share that inspiration with others.  

Q6: What do you hope people will gain from this challenge?

Guest author-educators will allow us to step into their shoes as they use picture books as tools. My hope is that picture book writers will gain a deeper understanding of how to use mentor texts to grow as writers. I also hope the consistent practice of reading picture books will immerse them into the form they write.

Q7: What else would you like to include?

Sometimes people don’t realize that fiction takes research, too. I write mainly picture book fiction and could not imagine writing without first understanding what is constantly being released in our market. Writers need to stick together and share. ReFoReMo will allow us to be there for one another in both fiction and nonfiction.

 

About:

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Carrie Charley Brown

Carrie Charley Brown juggles ideas every day as a children’s writer, teacher, blogger, and mom. She is the founder of the 2015 ReFoReMo Challenge, or Reading for Research Month. You can learn more about Carrie’s writing journey, her KidLit Services, ReFoReMo, and many other amazing authors and resources, at her blogsite Carrie On… Together!

 

Thanks Carrie!
I am also honored to be one of the Author-Educators for the challenge.   🙂

Hope you all will join us. Click on the link, banner, or ~ HERE~ to take you over there.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about this post.
Have you read any great picture books lately?
Do you know of any writing challenges you would like to see featured here?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign-ups are over here —>
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Newsletter sign-up page.
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Tuesday Tip: Paying It Forward

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Paying it forward

Sometimes you never know when you have helped people. Sometimes you do. Being recognized isn’t the reason why I have been posting though. I have learned things… sometimes (more than most) the hard way. When I was starting out, I had a few people who were gracious to me. They answered questions and gave me some helpful hints. One author wrote to me to say thank you for my kind words about her. *fan girl scream*

Last week I was pleasantly surprised by Keila Dawson. She nominated me for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD.

THANKS YOU LOTS AND LOTS AND WHOLE BUNCHES, KEILA!

I think you rock too!

I nominate the following bloggers, because I find them paying it forward and just want to say, “You guys RAWK!” Thank you for the time and dedication you put into the KidLit Community! Take a moment to visit their blogs and you will definitely find useful information and inspiration.

  1. Julie Hedlund (12×12 Founder)
  2. Susanna Leonard Hill (PPBF & Making PB Magic)
  3. Tara Lazar (PiBoIdMo Founder)
  4. Carrie Charley Brown (ReFoReMo Founder)
  5. Beth Stillmore (Writer and Champion of Writers)
  6. Kathryn Howes (#RaisingReaders, Writer)

Now, I’m suppose to share…

7 things people might not know about me: 

  1. I was a cheerleader in elementary school and can still do a split.
  2. I know how to snowboard and rollerskate.
  3. My eyes are so brown, they are almost black.
  4. When I was little, I wanted to be a Roller Derby Queen when I grew up. Or a mime. HA!
  5. I can play the keyboard and use to be in a band.
  6. My favorite class in elementary school was Performing Arts. I love to draw, paint, create puppets, perform, etc!
  7. I know how to yodel.

 

Pay it forward! Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

Well done fellow bloggers! Pass it on!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about my crazy 7 things.
What other blogs do you find valuable?

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.
Easy, peasy buttons found  below.
*** Sign up for my  N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click  ~HERE~  to be directed to my
Newsletter sign-up page.
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Tuesday Tips: Get Back to Your Roots. WHY Do You Write?

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Getting Back to Your Roots
WHY Do You Write?

Have you ever been asked this question:

Why do you write?

Or more importantly, have you ever asked yourself that?

A fellow writer, Debbie LaCroix, posed this question to herself on her blog and it got me to thinking.

WHY do I write?

For me it is a number of things:

  1. My love of stories since I was a child.
    My papa told me stories all the time. I’m sure most of you have heard of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Jack and the Beanstalk, or The Three Pigs, want me to keep on??? BUT you might not have heard of The Three Frogs or The Three Lightning Bugs. Those were my Papa’s stories, those were the ones that I began my writing journey with. (If they do sound familiar, it is because THIS is where Ribbert and Liddil came to be.)
  2. Ideas and concepts that come into mind.
    I find that little things, ordinary things, things taken for granted will turn into an adventure in my head. Then I discover characters and characteristics, and twists with turns, and then -hopefully- the happy ending. It is amazing how many ideas surround us, if we only take the time to listen, look, feel.
  3. Wanting to make a difference.
    The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword.
    Y-E-S! Words can heal, can cut, can reach out, can silence, can make us feel deeper than we ever thought we could. I can’t tell you the times I have shed tears over a character or rooted them on into victory. There are times when I can’t sleep after reading something. There have been times when I would sneak off into my closet to turn the light on because I couldn’t put the book down in the middle of the night.
    Words, books, let us know we are not alone and can close the gap.
  4. The voices in my head won’t hush.
    I admit it. Yes, writers are the only people who can say we hear voices in our head and NOT have people worried about us.
  5. It is like breathing. If I tried to stop, I would die inside.
    This is the most profound statement I can make. I don’t choose to write words, the words have chosen me. People have callings… to be a doctor/nurse, to be a policeman, or a teacher. I have a calling to be a writer and it is my job to do it properly.

Those are some of my reasons. At least the first 5 that came into mind. It won’t be the same for everyone, but then again everyone has their own story to tell.
What are yours?

 

:::Leave me a comment:::

Let me hear WHY you write. Or follow up with your own blog post. Link this post to it and we can follow the journeys of different writers. Don’t forget to visit Debbie’s blog!

 

Happy writing!
~t

 

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www.Wednesday… KidLit TV

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KidLit TV, which will launch in the fall, will be the online video resource for the greater KidLit Community.

So why am I telling you about this web site now? There has been a FB group created for KidLit TV. This group will be your place to post videos or links to videos! Share your book trailers, news videos, interview videos, school visits, book signings, how-to advice on everything from creating awesome picture books to making animated presentations. You can also share others that you have found helpful, even if you have not created them. This is your video group in the KidLit world. 

I spoke with Julie Gribble, the creative brains behind KidLit TV and here’s what she had to say about it:


ABOUT KIDLIT TV


Our exciting new venture, KidLit TV, will leverage our experience with other forms of media to help parents, teachers, and librarians learn more about the world of children’s literature. It will feature interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators and will be an online visual resource for the greater KidLit Community.
The KidLit TV website and YouTube channel will be launching in fall 2014!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THIS FALL TO PARTICIPATE THOUGH!
Remember the FB Group Page I mentioned earlier. There is a ‘soft’ launch going on TONIGHT! Julie and I will be online at 8 pm est to answer your questions and take suggestions.
If you haven’t received an invite to the virtual launch, let me know you would like to be invited. We’ll have to be friends on fb. You can friend me on my page. Also here is the page for the KIDLIT TV FB GROUP PAGE.

Hope to see you all there. Now, get those videos going!
`t

 

 

DON’T FORGET…

Only three more days to sign-up for

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There’s a line up full of great advice, story sparks, and some prizes scattered throughout.

So go to this JUNE 1st POST to SIGN-UP!

***Sign-up is June 1st through June 14th.  You MUST comment on the June 1st post, complete the challenge, and comment on the last post to be eligible for prizes.***