Monday Writing Magic: WordPress Family Blog Award

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

In every field, there are awards that are bestowed in recognition of excellence. The Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the Oscars and Emmys are a few of the well-known accolades. Even the blogsphere has some…The Versatile Blogger, Stylish Blog, Candlelighter Award…there are dozens. One of the newest is the WordPress Family Blog Award.

All bloggers are writers…and all writers need encouragement and support. Being part of the WordPress Family, I’ve found so much support and encouragement from fellow bloggers. Some write picture books, some write memoirs, some write YA or MG, some are not trying to write a book, but are investing their talent in writing great blog posts.

wordpress-family-award

Marylin over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother honored me with it the other day. One of the things I regret is that while I lived in Colorado Springs, I never connected in person with this amazing writer. In her blog, she shares the wonderful accomplishments and giving nature of her mom who now suffers from Alzheimers. Marylin supports aspiring authors with writing contests and her blog is a cornucopia of goodness and love and information…on child care, recipes, gardening anecdotes and family matters.  If you don’t know Marylin, I hope you will stop by her blog to say hello…you won’t be disappointed.

When I received the award, I tried to find out a little more about it. I discovered that it was started by Shaun from Scotland: http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/word-press-family-award/

This is what Shaun said about the award:

“This is an award for Continue reading

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!

Project 365 Challenge: Day 17…Awards and Attitudes

Academy Award

Image via Wikipedia

It’s still January 17th here in Colorado, so even though WordPress considers it the 18th, I’m posting this at 10:20pm on Tuesday night.

I’m really trying to do the “one post every day” that is part of the challenge…but believe me, it is not easy.

However, since I’m encouraging parents to read EVERY DAY with their kids, I can do no less than try to write EVERY DAY and post some type of tip, tactic or tool to help with the difficult job of parenting.

I got a lovely surprise today…Sharon from DoinTheGratefulDance received the Versatile Blogger Award and she passed it on to me.  Thank you, Sharon!  One of my presentations to moms and dads is called: WE ALL NEED A CHEERING COMMITTEE AND PARENTS ARE A CHILD’S MOST IMPORTANT FANS!

In the same way, bloggers need a cheering committee, and receiving the Versatile Blogger Award lets us know that others appreciate our efforts.

So here are seven things about me that you might not know:

1.      I used to stay up till 2 or 3am, reading romance novels.

2.      I exercise to a Kathy Smith DVD every morning before I go to work.

3.      I used to smoke 😦  but gave it up over 35 years ago when I was pregnant.

4.      I signed up for Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge and will be trying to write a picture book draft every month this year.

5.      I used to be so shy that I was afraid to speak up…I’m still shy, but I’ve learned to say what needs to be said.

6.      I went parasailing with my husband and skydiving with my son, even though I am afraid of heights.

7.      I used to bake bread with my children several times a week when they were young.

And now…the envelope please!  I’m supposed to pass the Versatile Blogger Award on to up to fifteen other bloggers.  I’ve connected many new blogs in the last few months and I’ll also have the opportunity to recognize some blogs that I’ve been following and enjoying this past year.  The wealth of talent and effort is unbelievable.  I’m sure some of these bloggers have received many awards, but, just like the Oscars, there’s always room for one more on the mantle.

Barbara at Spanish4Kiddos

Elyse at Fifty-four and a half

Aimee at Classified Mom

Julie Hedlund at Write Up My Life

Susannah Leonard Hill

Anita Silvey at The Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac

Ella at My Memorable Children’s Books

I know there are many others I should have included in this list.  If I missed you this time and last time, it’s just that my eyes are closing. 🙂

Goodnight!  I’ll be back tomorrow with some sweet photos of happy children involved in great activities.

Click to enter and comment: 2012 Positive Parental Participation Challenge

Project 365 and the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Challenge

Last year, bloggers on WordPress were given a challenge to write a post every day…it was called Post-a-day-2011.

This year, another daily post challenge has been issued by WordPress…Project 365.  Why not Project 366 since 2012 is a Leap Year with 366 days?  However, I guess if bloggers are able to write 365 posts in 2012, I’m sure they will consider themselves an unqualified success…I know I would.

I took part in the 2011 Post-a-day challenge and started out 2011 writing posts every day…this lasted about three months.  After that I tried to post at least twice a week…sometimes I succeeded, but other times I didn’t.  I take my hat off (or would if I wore one) to those bloggers who completed the task and made it to the end of the year, still posting every day.

For 2012, I am throwing my hat into the ring (even though, as I’ve already stated, I’m not wearing one) and will try to provide a post of value for every day.

In addition, I’m also issuing a challenge to every parent of young children.  Make 2012 a year of engagement with your child!  Read with your child every day!  Be positive and consistent!  Get back to the basics and spend time with your child doing fun-filled educational self-esteem building activities, like arts and crafts or simple cooking experiences.  Keep a journal of the picture books you read and the activities you do.  Share them here with us.

At the end of each month, there will be a prize of a picture book awarded to one family.  During the year, any parent who is participating in the challenge and wishes to buy a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking will receive an additional $5 off my website price.  I’ll set up a special PayPal button to reflect that discount.  This award-winning book is a unique resource for parents and teachers…it pinpoints 100 picture books every young child should hear and then provides a story summary, parenting tip, simple craft project and easy cooking activity for each of the recommended titles. 

 

Why should parents use Show Me How?  The author of the Angelina Ballerina series says, “Parents will find inspiration in this delightful guide to reading and planning activities with young children.”   And the creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series adds, “Show Me How is a wonderful resource for parents who care for their children and hope to better their reading and learning experiences.”

Parents…make this a fun-filled self-esteem building year for your child!

Join the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Challenge!

A small investment of your time will bring a great reward for your child!

The Show Me How program requires no batteries!

The activities are powered by your child’s imagination!