Sunday Post: Reflections…Do You Love Yours?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is REFLECTIONS.

Look in the mirror.  Do you see your reflection?

The picture that you have in your mind’s eye may be quite different.

This reflection or self-image…who we are and how we look…forms in early childhood and is influenced in large part by how our parents act and react with us.

I’ve been taking part in a creative writing exercise for the past eight weeks.  Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill organized “Summer Short & Sweets” and each week she provided writing prompts.  Last week she posted this beautiful illustration by gifted artist and picture book illustrator, Heather Newman, and asked us to think about a children’s story based on that picture.

Illustration copyright Heather Newman 2012 – Used by Permission



I’m going to share the story I wrote for the contest…and it ties in with the Sunday Post theme of Reflections…how we see ourselves and what happens when a person doesn’t have a positive self-image.

I hope you all enjoy it…I’d love to have your feedback and comments.

Working Title: Boot Camp at Old Dragons-Lair

Genre: Picture Book

Word Count: 240


The first day of boot camp at Old Dragons-Lair

The white witch decided to darken her hair.

So tired was she of her colorless locks

She lifted the red from the tail of the fox.


“Did you see that?” all the campers cried out.

“I’ll do as I please!” the witch said with a shout.

“I don’t like how I look…I’ll take what I wish

The tail of the dragon…the eyes of a fish.


“You can’t take from others”, the raven explained.

Your magical powers should be more restrained.

You’re leader of boot camp at Old Dragons-lair

You can’t create havoc and cause such a scare.


The black bird continued, “It’s what people do

That shows their real beauty…believe me, it’s true!”

And nodding her head, the witch waved her thin wand

Her hair began changing from red back to blonde.


The campers all gathered around the white witch

And loudly applauded the spell-binding switch.

She’d learned to treat others with love and with care

You don’t bully people at Old Dragons-lair!


The last day of boot camp at Old Dragons-lair

The campers took part in a Renaissance Fair

The white witch placed first in the costume parade

And raven won gold in the gaming arcade.


The campers were packed and excited to go

The sky was alight with a fiery glow

Each clambered to mount his own flying gazelle,

And said to the raven and witch,”Fond farewell!”

That’s it…what do you think?

We have one more month to get nominations to give 12 free copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookingto schools or other childcare facilities.  Nominate your child’s school in the Show Me How School Initiative by leaving a comment and telling us why you’d like them to have this book.  If you don’t have young children, but know people who do, please tell them about the free book their child’s school can receive!  Please tweet this or spread the word across any of your social media networks.  At the beginning of October we will use to choose 12 lucky schools.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

Are You Like An Ant?

Photo by Roy Toft

 I’m taking part in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Summer Short and Sweets, a creative writing exercise that would be fun for elementary students as well.  Click on her link and get all of the details.

Today’s challenge was to pick an adjective and then an animal that adjective might be associated with…here’s my entry:

Is a steadfast ant
Tirelessly laboring with strong jaws excavating
In the subterranean tunnels under my feet
Creating a new home for his queen.

 I’ve always been fascinated with ants…such tireless goal-setting creatures!

Tireless and goal-setting can also define the firefighters who battled the Waldo Canyon Fire last month here in Colorado Springs.

Fortunately, many of the homes were insured.

What about the forests?

The trees had no insurance policies.

Fortunately, there are some individuals who are trying to help.


One of these is a neighbor of mine who has put together a photo-journal.

The pictures show the impact of the fire on the forest.

Visit to find out how you can purchase it.

Proceeds will go to the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar Rehabilitation Project.

I’ve also been liked to an ant and have been called tenacious by those who know me.

If I believe in something, I am tireless and never give up.

One thing I believe in is the importance of building self-esteem in children.

That’s why I started the Show Me How! School Initiative.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment, nominating a deserving school.

A dozen copies of Show Me How! will be awarded at the end of September.

Would you like your favorite school to get a copy?  Just leave a comment!

Sunday Post: Road: Which One Will You Follow?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is ROAD.


  The Road Not Taken  (1916) 
by Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Children need a parent’s guidance as they embark on the road of life.

As parents, we also need to make a choice as to which road or parenting approach we will take as we raise our children.  Here are five simple tips:

  • Be consistent with your children…set guidelines and stick to them.
  • Be compassionate with your children…show them love and respect.
  • Teach consequences…children need to learn that for every action there is a reaction.
  • Communicate with your children…a two-way street of talking AND listening.
  • Connect with your children…participate together in all types of activities.

Speaking about participating in activities, have you ever tried creative writing with your children?  It’s lots of fun and will help strengthen their literacy skills and exercise their creativity.  I’m taking part in a little creative writing over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.  It’s called Summer Short and Sweets.

This is week four of Susanna’s challenge…if you click on the link above, you’ll see that this challenge was to take a letter of the alphabet, possibly the first letter of your name, and think of as many words (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) that begin with that letter and then write a 50 – 100 word story.  You are not supposed to peek at the detailed instructions until you choose your letter.  I picked “V” since that is the first letter of my name (had I peeked, I might have chosen an easier letter)…and here is my submission:

Viscountess Vanessa Versailles, a virginal Venezuelan virtuoso with varicose veins, vigilantly clutched the valuable Venetian violin in the velvet valise and vaulted over vipers and violent voles, her out-of-gas veneered van parked in the valley behind her. Her view blurred by a veil of venomous vapors, Vanessa valiantly raced onward, vowing to validate her promise to the vacationers who were even now vacating their seats for the violinist’s Valentine’s Day performance. Is she racing in vain?

Why not give it a try…just visit Susanna’s blog and hop aboard the Summer Short and Sweets train…it will be a fun ride.  Then you can adjust the challenges for your children, depending on their ages.  Young kids can draw pictures to tell their story and have a parent or older sibling write the words.

What else can you do with your kids this summer?  For the price of a large pizza, some breadsticks and a liter of soda (that will only last a few minutes), you can have quick and easy activities that will keep kids busy and happy and learning till school starts…and beyond!  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is the book I wish I had when my kids were growing up.  Suzanne Williams, author of over 27 children’s books says, “I wish Show Me How! had existed when my own children were young.”  Clinical psychologist, Jodi Harap adds, “Ms. Kirkfield presents concrete examples and helpful recommendations that are sure to give parents a newfound sense of competence and confidence in their own abilities as well.”

I want to remind everyone that the book is now available for shipment to Canadian residents…please visit my website and click on the special PayPal buttons for Canadian shipment!  I’ve already mailed out two copies of the book to Canada last week…one to Bowmanville, Ontario and one to Regina, Saskatchewan.

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post? 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post: