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Show Me How! Guest Posts on What Color Is Your Brain?

Sheila Glazov, author and personality guru, invited me to guest post on her Brain Color blog to talk a little about Show Me How!  

She is a fascinating speaker, a lover of children and books and a true friend.  When I was poised to publish “Show Me How!”, Sheila generously shared her knowledge and expertise.

Please click on the link, read my post and check out her wonderful blog site.  Take the Brain Color Quiz!  She also puts out a free monthly newsletter that’s lots of fun.

http://www.sheilaglazov.com/2012/12/11/show-me-how-this-book-is-a-perfect-parent-teacher-holiday-gift/

Show Me How is in the News!

THE SUMMER IS MORE THAN HALFWAY OVER!

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE…KIDS ARE OUT BUYING NEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES….AND TEACHERS ARE GEARING UP FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR.

This post is a summary of some of the projects I have underway and some of the events that have been taking place recently, here in Colorado.

WE’VE BEEN POUNDED BY TRAGEDY…FIRST THE WALDO CANYON FIRES RIGHT HERE IN COLORADO SPRINGS (AND VARIOUS OTHER WILDFIRES IN THE REST OF THE STATE) AND JUST LAST WEEK, THE AURORA THEATER MASSACRE, WHERE TWELVE PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES AND DOZENS OF OTHERS WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED.

MANY ASK…HOW CAN WE STOP THIS TYPE OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE?

UNFORTUNATELY, I DON’T THINK THERE IS AN ANSWER…NOT UNTIL EVERY PERSON’S HEART IS FILLED WITH LOVE FOR OTHERS.

WHAT WE CAN DO IS PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IMPACTED.  WE ARE ALL ONE FAMILY.  WE CAN REACH OUT TO EACH OTHER WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION BECAUSE, IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY, LOVE IS WHAT HEALS.

WE CAN ALSO TRY TO MAKE OUR OWN LITTLE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

SOMEONE WHO DOES THAT VERY WELL IS picture book author, SUSANNA LEONARD HILL.

DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR, SHE HOSTS A PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY  WHERE SHE INVITES OTHERS TO LINK UP WITH A PICTURE BOOK REVIEW AND RELATED ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES.

FOR THE SUMMER, SHE HAS COME UP WITH A WHOLE NEW CHALLENGE: SUMMER SHORT AND SWEETS.

DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE?  ARE YOU AN ASPIRING AUTHOR?

JOIN SUSANNA AND FRIENDS FOR THIS CREATIVE WRITING EXERCISE.

I hope you will check out this fun-filled writing exercise!  Here is my entry for week #3:

I am Castle.
Gray as weathered stone in a cloud-filled twilight.
With tall turreted towers.
Decaying.
Crumbling.
Adjacent to an ancient herb garden where quartz paving stones glisten in the moonlight.
Guarding a hidden secret.
Protecting a forgotten treasure.
Waiting for eventual discovery.
Like a tightrope walker holding his breath.
I am Castle.

Another project for me this summer was to submit a picture book to Rate Your Story.  This amazing website is hosted by several children’s authors, illustrators and editors.  They provide professional manuscript critiques and other services…but will look over your story for FREE and rate it from “1”…great story, you should consider submitting…to “10”…consider this story as practice and write another one.  In addition, some of the judges may even give your story some constructive suggestions to help make it better.

A couple of weeks ago, I submitted, “The Boots of Dylan McGee”.  This is a rhyming picture book that tells the story of a little boy who wants to be a cowboy and loves his boots so much that he never wants to take them off. 

Here’s the first verse:

Dylan McGee was a cowboy-in-training.

Boots were his garb, whether sunshine or raining.

“It’s time to go nighty-night”, Momma would say.

But take off his boots?  Nada, nix, no and nay!

 When his boots begin to hurt his feet because they are too small, “he tried to remove them but couldn’t succeed…those boots wouldn’t budge ‘cause he’d grown like a weed.”

Early this week, I got the reply back…”The Boots of Dylan McGee” scored a “3”… which means: good story, get a critique or two and polish before submitting.  I was really excited because the judge gave me three awesome suggestions which I am working on implementing to make the story better and ready to put out there in publishing-land.

I’m also continuing in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 in 2012 Picture Book Writing Challenge.

I’ve been having so much fun since January…writing a picture book draft each month.  Thanks to Julie and the encouraging group of more than FOUR HUNDRED participants, I now have seven picture book drafts waiting to be revised and polished and revised and polished and revised and polished some more.  July’s picture book draft is completed!

Another project for me is to de-clutter my garage. 

 

As the comic strip character, Cathy, would say, “AACK!!!!!!”

I know that clutter is a problem for many of us.  Objectively, I understand that clutter creates stress.  Subjectively, it is difficult to decide what to keep and what to toss.

But I have done a little work on this and plan to do more every weekend until I am done.

As Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way would say, “Aaaah, that’s better.

And now I’d like to share some lovely news.

Lovely news #1: Last week, I got an email from WordPress notifying me that I had reached a milepost in “likes”…1000 of them.

For that I have to thank all of you, my readers!  Sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to write, especially because I love to read and comment on everyone else’s posts.  I’m thrilled to have connected with so many people all over the world…what an exciting journey this has been!

Lovely news #2: I just got word from TaRhonda Thomas, Emmy-winning anchor for the 9News Morning Show in Denver.  She will be interviewing me on August 27th and we will be discussing an extremely timely topic for the opening of the new school year…how parents can detect the subtle signs of bullying.  I’ll share more details in future posts.

Lovely news #3: Diane Kress Hower over at bookwisdombydiane did an amazing review of Show Me How! and also one of Cindy Moo.  She has a spot on the local NBC affiliate KKCO TV 11 News morning show where she spotlights children’s books.  On Tuesday morning, she talked about the importance of self-esteem and how those two books were wonderful resources for parents and teachers.  Diane is offering a copy of each of the books as a giveaway on her website…you just need to leave her a comment.

Lovely news #4:  My daughter and her family will definitely be moving to Colorado Springs within the year…I can’t wait to be able to spend more time with my grandson!

Following in the Footsteps of Steve Jobs

Have you seen the February issue of Parenting Magazine?

Splashed on the cover is a picture of a young boy, with glasses, and a thoughtful yet mischievous expression on his face.  I guess you might say he is the “stereotype” of an “intelligent” child.  The lead article in this issue is entitled, “Raise the Next Steve Jobs…or at least a really, really bright kid”.  (Click on the link and it will take you to the entire article on CNN.com) 

Parenting’s senior editor, Christina Vercelletto, did a masterful job of pulling together the opinions of experts along with a mountain of research and contributions from colleagues Lois Barrett, Stephanie Eckelkamp, Beth Weinhouse and Stephanie Wood, as she focused on revealing “what makes a child grow into a brilliant adult”.

The feature recounts how Steve Jobs dropped out of college, but went on to change the world with his Apple computer.  The article examines topics like “genius defined”, “the lowdown on testing” and “the power of a parent”.

I was honored to be a contributor to that article.  Asked what I thought about the validity of IQ and standardized tests and whether they should be used to determine a child’s potential for success in school and later in life, I responded that I believe there are many factors that can affect the score of these tests.  “What if the child didn’t get a good night’s sleep or is getting over a cold?  Maybe the room is too hot or the kid next to him is fidgeting and distracting him.” 

The Parenting Magazine article emphasizes several things that parents can do to encourage school success and greater enthusiasm for learning.  These echo the suggestions that are found in my Show Me How book, where I provide activities and concrete examples for parents of young children.

1.      TALK, TALK, TALK…about anything and everything.  Engage your child in conversation at the breakfast table, while shopping, in the car, on a walk.  Ask open-ended questions like the one given as an example in the article, “What would happen if we stopped for ice cream on the way to the beach?” And don’t talk down or baby-talk to your children…your children will learn whatever you teach them.

2.      READ, READ, READ…anything and everything.  Picture books, comic books, travel guides, atlases, cookbooks…children have more of a chance to succeed in school when they have access to books and someone who reads to them. 

3.      PRAISE RESULTS…mastering tasks and skills motivates children to seek new challenges.  Chapter One in my book, I Can Do It Myself, encourages parents to allow children to try to do things on their own, even if they fail in the beginning.  Give praise for problem-solving and good effort as opposed to blanket praise.  True self-esteem is built on a basis of self-worth.  We feel good about ourselves when we accomplish our goals.   We all need a cheering committee…and parents are a child’s most important fans!

4.      CELEBRATE CURIOSITY…very young children are almost always curious.  But something often happens as they get a little older…they stop asking questions and begin to operate within the confines of what is considered the “norm”.  Parents need to encourage their children by sharing their passions…art, music, sports, carpentry.  And they also need to observe what special talents or strengths their children have and show an interest in those…even if it is watching an anthill or making intricate mud-pies.

5.      SEIZE TEACHABLE MOMENTS…encourage observation of detail and build vocabulary, math and money skills while shopping, driving or doing just about anything with your child.  Parents can engage young children in conversation about the shapes and colors of fruits and vegetables….and older children can discuss where the foods come from and how they are grown.  And that advice brings us back to number 1: TALK, TALK, and TALK.

I don’t know if you want your child to be the next Steve Jobs.  But I do know that every parent wants their child to have a positive self-image and thrive and be happy and succeed in life and in school.  Look back over the five points above…they are simple steps you can take that have big results: Talk with your children; read with your children (join my reading challenge…you might be the lucky winner of a picture book for your child); praise your children; celebrate your children’s curiosity and seize teachable moments.

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