Showing posts from December, 2012

The Gifts We Give our Children (and Main Characters)

This Christmas I gave the children lots of stuff.  Sparkly stuff, shiny stuff, shrill sounding stuff, swirling stuff and stuffed stuff.   They are pretty good wonderful kids, and I am lucky to be able to give them these gifts. by foxumon via But it got me thinking about the other gifts I can give my children - self esteem, compassion, responsibility to name a few. I'm a pretty good fantastic Mom.  And sometimes I am spectacular, evoking my days as a 4-H camp counselor.  But when I'm tired, overwhelmed, it's Monday, or any other number of situations, I can be a real lousy lady.   I'm reading the 10 Greatest Gifts I Give my Children by Steven W. Vannoy and hoping to store some of the tips in my parenting purse for those too-frequently-occurring lousy occasions. I was struck by how consistent the advice for raising kids is with advice on writing for kids, such as: Let kids develop their own solutions when problems strike.  Quoting the boo

A Mom to Share Holiday Story

Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting her second annual Holiday Contest  where you write  a children's holiday story beginning with any version of "Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh" and under 350 words.   In case you were wondering 350 words is not very many, but forces editing practice!   Happy Holidays everyone! A Mom to Share By Lauri Meyers Photo by N.J. Lee via Flickr Hopping through the squares in brown leather shoes, Maggie picked up her rock.  "How come you wear those shoes every day, even with your purple dress?"  Eva asked.  "They're the only pair I have," Maggie replied and skipped back to 1.  At home Eva spread her shoes across the floor.  She slid the flowered ones in her backpack.  "The flowers will match your purple dress," Eva said and handed Maggie the shoes. "Thank you!"  Maggie gave Eva a high five. For sharing day, Maggie brought the same pirate book she did ev

Memory Mining: One Pony or Two?

To be fair he had to use those ties with the little balls on the ends.        When I was five I would sit on the bottom step in front of a mirror.  My dad would ask "one pony or two?" and fix my hair in the requested fashion.   Too bad he didn't ask about straight or not, because I always ended up with lopsided ponytails.              After years of giving him a hard time about his salon skills, I admit defeat at the challenge of chasing a child and inserting decent looking ponytails.  On the rare occasion I find success, those stinkers yank 'em out within minutes.       What a sweet, if asymmetrical, memory.  Ahh, my memory!  That wonderful place where snow isn't cold and Ramen Noodles taste expensive.         Have you been shopping lately in your memory for picture book ideas?   Maybe the memory itself isn't worthy of a book, but the feeling that accompanies the memory is .        Rob Sanders (author of Cowboy Christmas,  which I was lu

Write Like a Celebrity

PiBoIdMo is over!   I have over 30 lovely picture book ideas just waiting for me to write them. I immensely enjoyed my first Picture Book Idea Month hosted by Tara Lazar at Writing for Kids While Raising Them.    Each day in November a writer or illustrator posted advice, experiences, and inspiration to light a spark for participants gathering story ideas.  It got me thinking, daydreaming really, about being famous one day (as I sometimes do to gain inspiration ).  What would I write in my PiBoIdMo post?   How would I inspire others to develop ideas for children's stories?  I loved the idea generator posts the most including the idea mash up by Diana Murray  and brainstorming in themes by Corey Rosen Schwartz .  So, here's my suggestion.  Write a picture book "like ( fill in celebrity) would write."  Some of my friends are anti-celebrity book, so I'm not suggesting celebrities literally writing.  I'm merely saying don a persona of someone i

Mischievous Elf on the Shelf

    As a new blogger, I completed the "April Platform a Day" Challenge at  Robert Lee Brewer's site .   He sprayed firehouse information at me, and I asked questions liked "What's Pinterest?"  Thankfully much of the social media and blogging concepts I learned then seem like second nature now.  A community sprung out of the challenge which now goes by the name "Wordsmith Studio."       During December Wordsmith Studio is hosting a weekly writing prompt.  Please stop by to check out the prompts and participate.  I couldn't resist trying my hand at a 700 word story when I saw this photo prompt:  Photo by Gerry Wilson The Elf Spy By Lauri Meyers      I dropped my backpack where Mom says it’s a major trip hazard.  Whatever, she'd leave it there too, if she had to carry 8 text books every day.  As I walked to the kitchen to snag a snack, I felt the chill of someone staring at me.  My parents weren't home yet, and Addie